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Overnight at the “Imperial” Hanok Stay

 

I have friends who visit Jeonju at least once a year. Every time they visit, they have high expectations over where to go and what to eat. I’ve been a resident of Jeonju for 20 years already, but still, impressing my friends hasn’t always been the easiest job. This year, we spent a night together at Jeonju Hanok Village. Let’s see how this went this time.

Korean rib barbeque and red bean noodle in a hanok restaurant

Jeonju Hanok Village is home to about 800 “hanok” (traditional Korean building) buildings that boast traditional beauty of Korea. I especially love Jeonju Hanok Village in winter, when the black-tiled hanok roofs and bright-red persimmons stand out in snow. But when I visited, it was more windy than snowy.

Two days are not enough for Jeonju. We wanted to make good use of time by having dinner early evening before proceeding to drinking makgeolli (Korean rice wine) at night. We had dinner at “Hanokjip”, a restaurant specializing in charcoal barbequed Korean rib. Here, we didn’t have to worry about our clothes smelling of the barbeque, because the ribs were already barbequed before being served. We only had to cut the rib into pieces, dip a piece in the sauces, wrap the piece with the vegetables, and enjoy the wrap’s flavors and textures. I also had a bowl of cold noodle.

I was already full, but we couldn’t miss the famous Jeonju makgeolli. We proceeded to a makgeolli place in the Dongmun Street, next to Jeonju Hanok Village. The place was already busy with people taking shelter from the long winter night. We ordered “a couple’s table” menu which, as always, surprised my friends with the large variety of dishes offered alongside the old brass kettle filled with the fresh rice wine.

On our way back home, we passed through the alleyways of the Hanok Village. Our stomachs were full, but we still talked about our plan to eat patjuk (red bean soup) the next day.

Spending a night at the “imperial” hanok stay, Seunggwangjae

Well into the night, we arrived at our ‘imperial’ hanok accommodation, “Seunggwangjae”. This place is the home to Mr. Lee Seok, the last surviving descendent of the Korean imperial household. He hosts visitors in one of the buildings. My friends were surprised to find out that such an important person is living in Jeonju, hosting visitors.

Seunggwangjae is less than five minutes’ walk away from the Jeonju Hanok Village public parking. Our talks, ranging from the everyday life to history, continued into the late winter night.

The next morning, our hostess made the breakfast table for us. Each of us received the Joseon Dynasty style small dining table. On the table were tteokguk (rice cake soup), gondre bap (steamed rice with thistle), pan-fried Chinese cabbage, and side dishes. I especially liked the fragrance of gondre.

After breakfast, we had a tea time with our host couple. Mr. Lee Seok shared with us very interesting stories of his early life in the palace, the turbulent modern Korean history, and how he spends time these days.

Overnight in Jeonju Hanok Village

On our way to Seunggwangjae last night, we passed through the stone walled alleyway next to Gyeonggijeon Palace and Jeondong Cathedral. We also had grilled cheese and chicken skewers for night snacks.

On the second day, we visited Omokdae Pavilion, famous for the view overlooking Jeonju Hanok Village, before heading to Jaman Mural Village. Those murals reminded me of my childhood.

We also walked the alleyways between the old hanok buildings. I’m always fascinated by the alleyways of the Hanok Village, boasting the traditional beauty. We kept walking on the Jeonjuchun River trail.

The new year needs a new well-wishing remark. I decided to keep the advice of Mr. Lee Seok, “empty mind” for this year’s remark. The memories of the overnight in Jeonju Hanok Village with my loving friends will be cherished for a long time.

 

location

Hanokjip (Korean rib barbeque)

Contact: 063-244-8131

Address: Samgeo 1-gil 67, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju

 

Dongmunjuga (rice wine)

Contact: 063-288-0606

Address: Dongmun-gil 50, Wansan-gu, Jeonju

 

Namchunmaru (red bean noodle and soup)

Contact: 063-282-3330

Address: Gyodong 183-2, Wansan-gu, Jeonju

 

Seunggwangjae (accommodation)

Contact: 063-284-2323

Choimyunghee-gil 12-6, Wansan-gu, Jeonju

 

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  • My brother and his family stayed here 2 years ago when they visited me. It was an excellent experience for them.

  • I’m down for that

  • Adila Ayub

    I want to try Hanok stay for my next visit 🙂

  • Arielle Pukanecz

    Such a great experience!!

  • The first time I came to Korea in 2012, I had the opportunity to stay at a Hanok and I must admit that it is still one of my warmest memories from the first time I came to the country as a tourist, the environment is a true traditional experience and will stay with you forever.

  • Elysia Toh

    I find it really cool that Mr. Lee Seok is a descendant of Korean royalty!! You guys should definitely write an article about his experiences in the palace because I’ll definitely be interested in reading that. Also, IMSIL CHEESE OHMYGOD I CAN’T WAIT

  • Nosheen

    Awesome

  • izmirK

    That is cool! I would like to listen more of Mr.Lee’s experience in the house of Korean royalty. Sounds like a very valuable and rare information that can’t be heard anywhere else!

  • Sara Rousalova

    Rice bean noodles are my favorite! And I love the last picture, it is so pretty!

  • Ada Choy

    Those red bean noodles look so unique! Looking forward to trying them 🙂

  • Honie Phan

    wish I have a chance to stay in these beautiful and unique hanoks.

  • lesley g

    Would love to get the chance to stay here!

  • Bronwyn Pretorius

    This looks so special! I’m staying in a traditional Hanok Village with some of my friends in April – this makes me really excited for our trip!

  • IamNaZza

    One of the best experiences in Korean is staying in Hanok in Jeonju. Last time I went to Korea I did not have enough time to stay in Hanok but I will for my next trip.

  • Iris Jang

    I love that image from the Jeonju River Trail. Looks like you went back in time.

  • Melissa

    I also got married at a traditional Korean house so I am biased but I absolutely love them. Beautiful.

  • Dimas Yunianto Putro

    Hanok stay in Jeonju will give you the real life atmosphere in old time of Korea!
    Let’s visit Jeonju in 2019 guys!!!

  • James

    Wow the kimchi looks amazing, the food is always great too look at

  • Kittipot Imjard

    god. I wanna to take a trip and stay in Hanok one time in my life.

  • Joshua Garcia

    When i went to jeonju for the first time I could have never Imagine that this city has so much to offer for foreigners who would like to embrace and know about korean culture. Temple staying is a MUST when you are in deeply spiritual country like Korea. Plus, delicious food like rib bbq is just only of the many great things to enjoy.

  • Victoria T

    Wow, Mr. Lee sounds like a really interesting person! I will definitely visit his hanok when I come visit 🙂

  • Aysha

    The murals look amazing! I want to go there and take many pictures for the gram haha
    And one of the things that I don’t like about going to BBQ restaurants is how my clothes smell of barbecue after I leave the place, so the fact that this doesn’t happen at the Hanokjib is more than enough to convince me to go there when I go to Jeonju.

  • Joshua Garcia

    Everything tasted better with some Kimchi

  • Marie Boes (Be Marie Korea)

    i love hanok stays. 😀 😀

  • Thandar Aung

    after i saw this, i got new list to my bucket list. i really want to experience hanok stay and enjoy jeonju city night beauty.

  • Katalli Na

    Hanok stay is definitely a must thing to do in Korea.

  • Joshua Garcia

    Ready to go there soon, many things to do in Jeonju.

  • ishwor

    When i went to jeonju for the first time I could have never Imagine that this city has so much to offer for foreigners who would like to embrace and know about korean culture. i love everything …

  • Amy Tsai

    The food in Jeonju was amazing and it seems like there’s a lot more for me to explore!
    I’ll definitely go there again!

  • I heard about Jeonju is the most traditional city that famous with Hanok and I had my very first experience living in Hanok at Jeonju too!!!
    It is not as comfortable as a hotel of course but you will able to experience the living style and habits in the old days.
    As a girl from a city, i appreciated this experiences that I should have feeling greatful for being born in the 20th century with all the improvements done in living!

  • meg123k

    If there is anywhere you should do a hanok stay, it’s Jeonju!

  • Joshua Garcia

    So many things to do in Jeonju

  • How nice if the Seunggwangjae is available when i travel to Jeonju!

  • Egenia H

    I really need someone to fund me..im desperate😂😂 I love all those imperial dramas and I just got to go to this place ㅠㅠㅠ Hope i can visit during my university break 🇰🇷🇰🇷

  • Shana Trương

    The food looks delicious. I haven’t tried a Hanok stay yet either.

  • Ely

    Those fruit skewers look delicious… The fact that it’s 3 a.m. right now is not helping… dowajuseyo…

  • Samki Y

    I’d like to know what the name of that soup/tea with the flowers is called. Also, is the last picture a photo of roasted persimmons? Are those a specialty of Jeonju?

  • Silvia

    I have experienced Hanok stay https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2853f5dfc9faca1366f8713cc83bb2e9c5220a820be4a7b45838c97d005b2b19.jpg only in Andong, and I highly recommend you try it out! It’s an experience a foreigner would really find exciting and exotic!

  • 아미르

    When i went to jeonju for the first time I could have never Imagine that this city has so much to offer for foreigners who would like to embrace and know about korean culture. Temple staying is a MUST when you are in deeply spiritual country like Korea. Plus, delicious food like rib bbq is just only of the many great things to enjoy.

  • 아미르

    I heard about Jeonju is the most traditional city that famous with Hanok and I had my very first experience living in Hanok at Jeonju too.
    I love Jeonju

  • 아미르

    The murals look amazing! I want to go there and take many pictures for the gram haha
    And one of the things that I don’t like about going to BBQ restaurants is how my clothes smell of barbecue after I leave the place, so the fact that this doesn’t happen at the Hanokjib is more than enough to convince me to go there when I go to again Jeonju.

  • Qasim Sultan

    Calm and spiritual environment with good food makes it a best place to stay.

  • Joshua Garcia

    I am really thinking on going on a temple stay soon

  • Joshua Garcia

    nothing like a temple staying to calm your mind

  • Veronica H. Padron

    Jeonju is really beautiful, definetly is a must visit point of Korea! The people there is so kind and the food is GREAT! I would like to take pictures in the murals

  • Mahesh Shinde

    i think its really good experience to experience overnight hanok stay with good food and beautiful scenery

  • Charles Churro Yoo

    The red bean noodles looks a lil funky but I definitely have to give it a try

  • Korean rib barbeque and red bean noodle looks delicious!!! I have never try red bean noodle before~

  • What is the thing holding on hands in the last picture???

  • I wish to visit Mr. Lee and have a talk with him~ He seems to be a very kind and shareful person! Can he speak english?

  • Omokdae pavilion is so beautiful. Does it mean anything in the old times?

  • Can i know where is the exact street of the art wall??

  • Is the dishes in the Seunggwangjae prepared by the host?? Looks so delicious~

  • I wish to go to Seunggwangjae!!!

  • bora 🍓

    Honestly so grateful for all these recommendations, I would be incredibly lost when visiting and didn’t even have the slightest idea of going to Jeonju at the beginning. But now I have such a long list of places and activities that have me super excited.

  • Joshua Garcia

    i would like to meet those ajeoshis and ajumas to learn from their experiences

  • Joshua Garcia

    the more i know about jeonju, the more i love it

  • Joshua Garcia

    there is nothing better than some jeonju in my heart

  • Shielfa

    Spending time in hanok village is never getting bored with lot of good food and the korean history place hanok, feel the old era already

  • Joshua Garcia

    man, i want so me of that food to warm my soul

  • Joshua Garcia

    to all those “seoul”-less people out there, do yourselves a favor and visit jeonju now!

  • Joshua Garcia

    where I am from we dont have such delicious food, we only have meat and that is bad for you

  • Joshua Garcia

    I feel I can get to jeonju´s heart someday, just need some time for it to notice me

  • Joshua Garcia

    I was lonely the other day and I went to jeonju, I was equally lonely but ten times happier

  • Joshua Garcia

    hanok stay is a nice way to experience traditions in korea

  • Joshua Garcia

    there is no possible way you can miss jeonju if you come here, really

  • Joshua Garcia

    what a best way to expetience korean if not imperial hanok stay

  • Joshua Garcia

    Please dont tell you did not fell in love with this palce?

  • Joshua Garcia

    festivals, traditions, nice food, woow! just wowwww

  • Joshua Garcia

    wonder if they can teach you how to craft hanji in this palce?

  • Joshua Garcia

    ok, its done, Im going right now to jeonju to have a temple stay

  • Nao Z

    This one takes hanok stay to a whole another level!

  • Nurseit Seitzhanov

    The food there is really delicious

  • Nurseit Seitzhanov

    Wish to stay there for a couple of days with my family

  • Nurseit Seitzhanov

    The people out there are extremely kind, this cannot be not noticible

  • Pervesh Maheshwari

    I wish I could give a try to Korean food, unfortunately I am vegetarian

  • Pervesh Maheshwari

    All I have tried is Kimchi…. what a test kimchi got

  • Korean rib BBQ looks so delicious, I would love to try it when I visit Jeonju next.

  • Grace S

    I’ve been to the mural village!!! The paintings were so fun to look at but the steep walk really surprised me!!

  • Grace S

    All these food pictures make me hungry…

  • Joshua Garcia

    Im learning so much about hanok thanks to this blog

  • Joshua Garcia

    wanna stay here not for a night, but my whole life

  • Joshua Garcia

    whenever i feel like i dont belong, i think of jeonju

  • Joshua Garcia

    jeonju is the best city in korea, and its temples and activities are thebest

  • Joshua Garcia

    when will be the time jeonju and I become one

  • Joshua Garcia

    no city is better than jeonju, i can confirm thar

  • Joshua Garcia

    look at these nice pictures, wanna be there to take some by myself

  • Joshua Garcia

    woow, jeonju is the nicest city

  • Joshua Garcia

    I wanna be in jeonju by the end of the weekend and stay there

  • Joshua Garcia

    I dont love jeonju for its things, but for its people, but this is one of the best experiences i have had

  • Joshua Garcia

    wooow, jeonjy temples and places are amazing

  • Joshua Garcia

    I dont know if i get too hyped byjeonju temples, but i love it

  • Joshua Garcia

    wanna come here and eat those nice dishes

  • Joshua Garcia

    on a recent research, jeonju turned out to be one of the most visited cities in korea

  • Joshua Garcia

    i wanna take jeonju everywhere I go

  • Joshua Garcia

    nothing like jeonju in the morning and jeonju at night before sleeping

  • Joshua Garcia

    take me to jeonju where i can be free

  • Joshua Garcia

    what if we go to jeonju now and forget about everything

  • Joshua Garcia

    jeonju is the best city in the whole world, seoul? tokyo? london? lol nothing like jeonju

  • Joshua Garcia

    jeonju please you are breaking my heart

  • Joshua Garcia

    staying in this hanok is the best thing that ever happened to me

  • Joshua Garcia

    wanna stay here forever and drink tea and eat delicious food

  • Joshua Garcia

    jeonju is the best thing ever in this world

  • Joshua Garcia

    no joke, this is nice and elegant, jeonju temples forever

  • Joshua Garcia

    untill when we will keep pretending we dont know anything about jeonju,its time to give some recognition to it

  • Joshua Garcia

    nono, there isn place better than this in korea

  • Joshua Garcia

    over night stay in hanok in korea is the nice

  • Joshua Garcia

    yeah, if jeonju city can make such a nice blog like this. i wonder if they could make a youtube channel

  • Joshua Garcia

    when im in jeonju i really feel happy

  • Thandar Aung

    when we always travel, most of the time stay in hotel before.

  • Thandar Aung

    after seeing this, should stay at hanok stay when we travel

  • Thandar Aung

    so excited to experience the hanok stay

  • Julien

    Anyone stayed in this compared to the hanok village in seoul? How does it compare

  • Sonia

    When I first returned to Korea in 2005, I lived in Jeonju. An old friend from Seoul contacted me because he was doing a Master’s thesis and wanted to interview Lee Seok, who was then a part-time lecturer at my school (Jeonju University). He gave talks on the Joseon Dynasty, of course!!

    A colleague was able to help us arrange a meeting, so my friend, Bob, another of his friends, Ken (who spoke great Korean) and I went to meet the “emperor”. We were very impressed! Lee Seok was charming, humble, and spoke excellent English. He told us stories about being let into the palaces, even though the Japanese had done away with the monarchy, and of living in a temple near Busan during the war.

    He spent years in the USA (managing a liquor store!) and living in his van, going to saunas, and visiting relatives. Then one day he was given the opportunity to move to Jeonju, lecture on the Joseon dynasty, and the guesthouse was built with him in mind (when he’s there, he meets guests!)

    After the interview, we were invited to a reception of his supporters– prominent people from Jeonju including the architect of the sunflower wedding hall!, a woman promoting new-hanbok fashion. . .It was a long time ago– before camera phones– but I many amazing memories of that night! Lee Seok must have been close to 70 at the time! but in great health (he showed us some running shoes with springs on them he had been given!), If he is still around, I would love to visit with him again!!

  • MinJi Jung

    I have not tried this yet but on my bucket list the next time I am at Jeonju

  • Joshua Garcia

    look at those delicious dishes, need to eat some galbi there

  • Joshua Garcia

    why is jeonju so far from jinju, wish i could be there for dinner every day

  • Joshua Garcia

    if i was someone living in jeonju, I wouldnt miss these nice traditions

  • Joshua Garcia

    no person can skip a meal in the hanok village hahaha

  • Joshua Garcia

    great to have these nice news from this blog

  • Joshua Garcia

    jeonju is like 2 hours and a half from jinju, the place i live. man so far

  • Joshua Garcia

    i have been to jeonju like two times, and i loved being there in every moment

  • Joshua Garcia

    if you are short on time in this country, jeonju is a must place to visit

  • Joshua Garcia

    that fish looks so delicious, i wanna dieeeee

  • Joshua Garcia

    jeonju people is so nice, wanna go and meet those nice citizens

  • Joshua Garcia

    wanna stay there soon, nice place

  • Joshua Garcia

    PLEASE TAKE ME FOR AN IMPERIAL HANOK STAY

  • Joshua Garcia

    WONDER IF THEY HAVE SINGLE ROOMS

  • Joshua Garcia

    I DONT LIKE STAYING IN NORMAL GUEST HOUSES, HAS TO BE ROYAL STYLE, JUST IN JEONNJU

  • Tetiana Slusar

    Once I spent a night in Hanok and enjoyed a Korean traditional meal. Unforgettable experience. Thank you for this guide, for kindly showing us many unknown places and things of Jeonju.

  • Joshua Garcia

    BEST THINg is to go with friends and have some fun

  • Joshua Garcia

    jeonju mixes tradition and modernity, have both

  • Joshua Garcia

    this is a experience i will never forget

  • Joshua Garcia

    thanks the jeonju blog for this nice presentations

  • Joshua Garcia

    jeonju blog should have a youtube channel

  • John John

    I didnt know you could stay here overnight. Thanks for the info!

  • John John

    that makgeolli looks amazinf

  • Joshua Garcia

    The drinks are nice and the night isn’t young in jeonju

  • Joshua Garcia

    Need to be here soon and book somehwee in jeonju

  • Joshua Garcia

    Jeonju is such a nice city

  • Joshua Garcia

    Let’s go there soon and get some.good food

  • Joshua Garcia

    Thanks to jeonju now we can learn about this city

  • Joshua Garcia

    Super nice way to expericne what this city has to offer

  • Joshua Garcia

    Wanna go here and meet those nice ajoshis

  • Joshua Garcia

    Would like to have a conversation with jeonju people

  • Joshua Garcia

    Wanna learn more about this city

  • Joshua Garcia

    Need to go to jeonju and experience what it has to offer

  • Joshua Garcia

    Look at the pictures of those snaccks

  • Joshua Garcia

    Wooow these pictures arecool

  • Joshua Garcia

    Take me plaserhere hahaneed to eat all that

  • Joshua Garcia

    Thanks to jeonju city for this opportunity and look forward to hearing from jeonju

  • Joshua Garcia

    Thanks to jeonju now we can learn a lot a out this city