After our Gunsan trip we drove to Jeonju and by the time we got there it was about 5 o’clock. So first we went to go eat a traditional Jeonju meal, as Jeonju is known for being the “food region” of Korea. Honestly, aside from Seoul, everyone tells me that their region is the “food region” of Korea. It all tastes good to me so I don’t know who to believe, although it is evident that the food farther down South is better than in Seoul.
After dinner we drove to our hotel — we stayed in the Ramada which is right next to 전주시내, Downtown Jeonju. My roommate was Rachel, who is a CLS student from Williams College.
Anyways, we all met up again at 7:30 to head to the Nambu Yashijang, 남부 야시장, which is a night market relatively famous in the region. The market was built in 1905 and has been open since.
I have never been to a night market before, so this was a first, and it definitely surpassed my expectations. 남부 시장 is quite big and is packed tight with food shops. Apparently there are about 800 stores inside and 1,200 vendors. It definitely violates like every U.S. fire and safety code, but they take those lighter here in Korea, especially with traditional markets. There is also an outdoor section of the market, but at night the inside is where everything is happening.
This last photo I took from the second floor where there was a whole in the wall and your could peep out to see what was happening below.
At the stands with popular foods the lines would be so long that I had to push my way through to get past that stand. I was so full from the buffet lunch in Gunsan and the traditional Jeonju meal that I could not imagine eating more, but wished I could magically have an empty stomach. I ended up getting 식혜, Shikhye, which is a traditional Korean drink made from rice. It was nice and cold which I appreciated because the night market seemed to hold all the heat from the restaurants and people inside. Although that night was a balmy 75 degrees, when I finally walked out of the market it felt so nice and refreshing.
My next post will be about the following day when we went to the Jeonju Hanok Village, 전주한옥마을. Hope to see you there!