My girlfriend and I managed to get two days off work last week and turned them into a four-day weekend. We decided to use this opportunity to travel around Korea for a few days and try to see as much as possible without over-exhausting ourselves in times of MERS. Sadly, for me as a foreigner without any noteworthy Korean language skills, it was quite difficult to figure out where to go, so Minjae handled the planning of our trip. We decided that travelling by train with a so called Rail-Ro (내일로) ticket, which allowed us to take any train apart from KTX and subways, would be the most cost efficient way to go about our trip. The 5-day version of this ticket cost us 56.500 won (about 45 €) each and is an incredible deal for all Korea-travellers. Sadly, the ticket isn’t always available and kind of a special promotion. Unlike a Korail-Pass it can be bought within Korea though, which makes it a fantastic opportunity to do a spontaneous round-trip across Korea. You also get an awful lot of freebies when purchasing this ticket, like a 30 days subscription of a Korean music streaming service called Bugs-Music and lots of discounts for hotels, restaurants and tourist destinations. The 30 day Bugs-Music trial is especially interesting for all you lovers of K-Pop out there!
Anyway, our trip led us from Seoul to Jeonju, Yeosu and finally Busan – all of which are beautiful cities with their very own unique character and food. Today’s post is about our first stop in Jeonju, where we visited a traditional Korean shopping area and had a Makgeolli party with some of the best Makgeolli I ever got to try.
On Thursday we left Seoul, right after Minjae’s work was over. I used the day to finish packing our things and do some last preparations. The train-ride from Seoul to Jeonju took about 3,5 hours and was quite entertaining, since you can’t make any seat reservations with a Rail-Ro ticket and are often times forced to change your seat when someone with a reservation is boarding the train. I know I said it was “entertaining” just now but I think the more appropriate term would be “stressful”. Travelling with Minjae is super fun though so that wasn’t a big issue at all.
Arriving in Jeonju
We arrived in Jeonju in the early evening at around 6 pm and decided to head to Jeonju Hanok Village after dropping our bags in our guesthouse. The Hanok Village in Jeonju is a super beautiful place, full of restaurants, gift-shops and artist studios. It isn’t exactly the cheapest place to eat and buy your souveniers at but certainly one of the most beautiful ones.
Traditional houses and the best Makegeolli
Now Jeonju isn’t just famous for its Hanok village, another big act on the city’s tourism stage is its famous Makgeolli, which is a fermented and slightly sparkly rice-wine. At first I kind of disliked it because it tastes a bit like German cold medicine but now I’m digging it like nothing else. Korea is slowly turning me into an alcoholic I think! The good thing is: Makgeolli is also available in Asia stores in most other parts of the world so please do yourself a favor and try it one day. I’m relatively sure you won’t regret it!
That’s it for Jeonju! Stay tuned for the next stop of our Rail-Ro trip to Busan, which I’ll introduce in the next update sometime later.
For now I hope you all have a great time and enjoyed the read 🙂