Hanok Village in the town of Jeonju is home to more than 800 traditional Korean “hanok” houses and represents the largest cluster of hanok in Korea. It’s a bit like walking back in time because while the rest of Jeonju is pretty modern, Hanok Village stays true to historic Korean culture and customs. In fact, many people rent traditional garb and walk around in bright, colorful period outfits/dresses. It is quite touristy, with small trinket shops and street food vendors lining the roads, but I believe we were the only people from the western hemisphere in sight. We spent the day perusing the village, looking at the architecture, tasting some of the local treats and people watching (my favorite!).
From the Korean tourism website : “all the houses are heated with the ondol system, a unique sub-flooring heating system. Since Koreans enjoy sitting, eating, and sleeping on the floor, it needs to remain heated. ” Traditionally, Koreans also remove their shoes before going indoors. I don’t blame them. If I was going to sit on the ground all the time, I would also want to keep the floors clean!
In 2010, Hanok Village became Korea’s 7th “slow city”. Slow city refers to a city that pursues sustainable growth based on “slow lifestyle / food” philosophies. Cities receiving the designation often attract tourists by promoting their eco-friendly aspects to the world.
Street meat is popular throughout Korea, so we weren’t surprised to see the longest lines in front of the chicken and octopus on a stick “restaurants”.
My favorite part was seeing all the people in their traditional dresses. They were brightly colored and beautifully made, but a little warm for the 84+ degree temps.