Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hanok, knock. Who's there? Jeonj. Jeonj-who? Correct

Jeonju (전주) then - another historical Korean city, another nice morning of sightseeing and another tedious afternoon bent over my laptop and a crumpled tourist map double-checking whether 'Gyeonggijeon' has a double 'g' with my increasingly poor eyesight and wondering why I didn't just go to Wales or something. Oh wait, that would be even more frustrating - at least the Korean language has vowels.

Jeonju was the capital of the Hubaekje Kingdom (900-936 AD), making some of it very, very old. Hanok Village is the nice bit, filled with old-style slopey houses (in an architectural rather than a racist sense), optimistic art shops and nice hills with occasional dead stuff. It's sort of the Malacca of South Korea, and like that Malaysian city I ended up killing more time here than my patience would have preferred, as I couldn't afford to leave. There are worse places to get stranded.

Hanok Village

Pungnammun (South Gate)

Jesus Christ! It's Jeondong Seongdang (Catholic Cathedral)

Some other Bible characters, I expect?
Where's my bigoted Ned Flanders of an uncle when you need him?

Ancient ginkgo tree.
They can't seem to decide whether it's 500 or 600 years old, or how to spell ginko

Possibly the Jeonju Wood Engraving Calligraphy Experience Hall?
Maybe not, but it's a nice building and that's a cool name, so it goes

Some dubious oriental 'medicine' at the Oriental Medicine Cultural Centre.
An entire culture has clearly confused medicine with condiments

Valiant water wheel contends with ice


This vast shrine complex (1410, rebuilt 1614) was built to house a painting. But now it's mostly popular for featuring in - yes, that's right - mawkish Korean TV drama serials. There didn't seem to be a changing of the guard going on, but then it was Lunar New Year and bally cold.

Another nice ghost town.
I could live here, if it wasn't for those pesky meddling film crews

King's well (no he isn't, he's been dead 614 years, etc.)

Eojin of King Taejo of Joseon.
You know, all these Js would get you a great score in Korean Scrabble!*

* Except Korean Scrabble would presumably use Hangul characters, not Latin ones, proper nouns aren't allowed, and there's only one 'J' in the standard Scrabble set anyway. But facts aside, it was still an ace joke.

Jogyeongmyo ancestral shrine

Unpleasantly décored historical archives

Kid bothers pigeons at the King's Portrait Museum

Urban bamboo forest, so now I don't have to visit one for real.
Ker-ching, off the hook! Why am I travelling again?

This tree was apparently important too?

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