‘Joseon Nanjang,’ a New Landmark Marketplace in Jeonju Hanok Village
Have you heard that a new marketplace has opened in the famous Jeonju Hanok Village? It is said that the marketplace recreated various attractions to see, eat, and experience in the Joseon Dynasty style. Today, I will introduce you to Joseon Nanjang (‘Nanjang’ literally means a ‘mess’ or ‘jumbled-up scene’ in Korean), a novel addition to Jeonju’s must visit list that will stir curiosity among tourists.
Joseon Nanjang is a new cultural space inspired by the Joseon Dynasty marketplace. Apart from various and unique stores, visitors to Joseon Nanjang can enjoy pansori (a traditional Korean long epic song) and gukak (traditional Korean classical music) performances, Korean candy seller melody, saju (traditional horoscopic fortune telling), and Hanbok (Korean traditional attire) show, for example. Even the signboard saying ‘조선난장(Joseon Nanjang)’ gives distinctively traditional air.
The appetizing smell of jeon (Korean pancake) is probably what initially draws people to Joseon Nanjang. The smell of susu-bukumi (sorghum pancake), haemul-pajeon (shallot and seafood pancake), and nokdu-bindaeteok (mung bean pancake) from the jeon parlor at the entrance of Joseon Nanjang stops the passing tourists.
The chef’s costume very much suits the concept of jeon parlor at Nanjang.
It seems as if I have travelled back in time inside Joseon Nanjang.
From the picturesque Korean-style stores, ditch, and watermills, I could imagine what it would have been like in the old Joseon Dynasty marketplace.
Antiquated store names such as bang-atgan (‘grain mill’ in Korean), pujootgan (‘a butcher’s’ in Korean), and danmul dabang (‘sweet juice teahouse’ in Korean) appear on the streets.
They may be unfamiliar to young generations, but still, they somehow sound friendly.
Oe-halmoni-Ga (‘the Grandmother’s’ in Korean) sells healthy eats like ginseng milkshake, ginseng rice wine, and fried ginseng. Other venues also sell things to eat, such as jeon, steak, rice wine, and hot pot. There are also venues where visitors can participate in making ceramics, craftworks, or fortune-telling.
Joseon Nanjang must be more fun with your families, friends, or significant other.
Also cannot be missed in Nanjang are the various food venues that are located on the underground and second floors. You will see the typical gukbap (hot pot with rice) venues and joomaks (Korean traditional tavern) that appear in Korean historical soap operas. There is no rice wine venue big enough to accommodate a large number of people, but the place in Joseon Nanjang can hold a big rice wine party.
The interior of the store reminds me of the memories of the old days.
There are elementary school math and science textbooks, the Korean traditional tile-shaped window grills, a briquet stove that is rare these days, and old slaps and card games as props that stir up emotions of missing the long-gone past.
Because of its exotic and old charm, professional photographers stop by Joseon Nanjang to take photos. The place is especially popular among the visitors in Hanbok wanting to take nice photos in traditional settings.
Joseon Nanjang is also frequented in the evenings too. There are night markets and traditional musical performances at night, so that the visitors can spend evenings here during their stay in Jeonju.
Nanjang means occasional marketplace, or literally, a scene of confusion and disorder where people and things are all jumbled together.
I wish Joseon Nanjang to become a unique attraction of Jeonju with a frolic, crowded and exciting atmosphere. It must be nice for people to experience traditional and old things in places like Nanjang.