Friday, 1 May 2009
The Gates of Jeonju
The Pungnammun Gate in Jeonju was built during the Joseon Dynasty (1768) and is one of four built, but the only one remaining on the south side of the city.
It is not far from the Jeonju Hanok Village - if you find yourself near the CAtholic Cathedral you are only a short walk away from this gate.
The gate is a tourist attraction these days, and is in the middle of what we would call a "traffic island" as traffic circles it in this part of town. I found that this area has a lot of market stalls too - and I found a BIG BATH TOWEL. I had been warned to bring a bath towel to Korea as the folk here usually use a small towel (like a hand towel) in the bathroom and I was keen to use something I was "used to". The idea of drying off with a handtowel after a shower did not appeal.
After I left this area, I walked a familiar route back into the "down town" area, but I had seen an ancient building on the way to the Hanok Village, so decided to explore further.
I found another Arts Museum (again, more a shop than a "real museum"), and then found the old building.
While it is quite clear it is of historical significance, it seemed to be a place to sit and rest. I walked around, took a few photos and then went walking in the "Walking Street." I was initially a little wary here - as I walked into what I thought was a "demonstration" which it was, but I soon learned that it was a student protest against smoking. I was given some information (in Korean) by a student who spoke a splattering of English. Here in Korea the men smoke, (I've certainly not seen a female smoking) and the men drink a lot too.
After walking around for quite a while I passed a street that was blocked off and Security and Police were directing traffic. But it was part of JIFF. (The Jeonju International Film Festival) which is a huge annual event here.
I soon found another taxi and headed back home. I showed him my map and pointed - but he seemed confused. So I said "E-Mart" the big supermarket, and he safely delivered me there.
I might add that all the time he was driving he was watching television on his GPS!
I bought some food at my favourite supermarket - spicy chicken, spicy vegetables, some french bread loaf cut, and some fruit juice, and I decided to walk the short distance back to my "house" - despite my now heavy load.
My dinner was delicious - I'm now a firm fan of Korean food.