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Jeonju ‘Retro’ Tour: Jeonju Nanjang and Memory Museum

‘Retro’ has been fashionable for a while, and tourism is no exception. Today, I’ll introduce two spots in Jeonju where you can travel back in time to the 20th century Korea for experiences and instagrammable photos.

Jeonju Nanjang

Our first spot is Jeonju Nanjang, located at the edge of Jeonju Hanok Village. Jeonju Nanjang is the theme park-style museum for experiencing the 20th century Korea. The museum took 25 years for gathering materials and 3.5 years for construction.

Due to the COVID19, hand sanitizing and body temperature check are mandatory before entering. Wearing a mask is also required.

Unlike a conventional museum, Jeonju Nanjang is focused on experience. Thus, the visitors can touch and take photos of the displayed materials freely. Upon entering I came across the old elementary school classroom where people were taking photos with the props probably reminding them of their parents’ childhood days.

Jeonju Nanjang consists of 70 theme zones. The museum is rather labyrinthine. I suggest following the red arrow when visiting.

This is the old stationary store, usually located in front of schools. I could see old toys, notebooks, and crayons. I wondered where all these props were found.

Then I proceeded to <my mum’s childhood> zone. The household goods from the economically poor 1960s era were filling the room. Probably a whole family used to occupy a single room back then. I used ‘dadumi’ (‘fulling’ in Korean).

I was happy to see the old school arcade. The games were free. I spent some time here enjoying the games before the PC and mobile era.

Then I proceeded to the disco hall. The old school tunes were on, along with colorful lightings. There used to be DJs in these places back then, playing music with LP records. There also were the old bakery, comic book shop, and video room.

I also dug up the ice-cold water from the 110 years old well. It was a relief in the hot weather.

I was impressed by the hand-drawn wooden signboards at the <street shops> zone. The street looked like a movie set.

The sky-blue Pony, South Korea’s first mass-produced and exported car, is the famous photo spot of Jeonju Nanjang. The old movie posters of the <Gunsan Cinema> zone enhance the retro feel.

This post cannot convey all the experiences that Jeonju Nanjang offers. This place will interest both older and younger generation!

 

Jeonju Nanjang

Address: Eunhaengro 13, Wansangu, Jeonju

Opening hours: Weekdays and Sunday 10:00~20:00 / Friday, Saturday, and Public Holidays 09:30~20:30

Entrance fee: adults 6,000 won / middle and high school students 5,000 won / children (over 36 months) ~ primary school students 4,000 won

Jeonju Memory Museum

Our next retro tour spot is Jeonju Memory Museum. The museum is also located on the edge of Jeonju Hanok Village.

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The visitors to the museum can play old school games. Those born in the 80s or 90s will be familiar with these plays.

These matchboxes, gums, fans, magazines, phone books, and baseballs could be found in old restaurants or pubs.

In this museum, instead of arcade, the visitors can play ‘bbopki’, a stationary store lottery for children which used to cost 100 won or 200 won. Here, it was 1,000 won for two games or 2,000 won for 5 games.

For reward, different old junk food was offered. I really liked the candy that color lips and tongue.

The matchbox depicting the 10 beautiful sceneries of Jeonju seems like a good souvenir.

The ‘dabang’ (‘teahouse’ in Korean) has the old sofa and table, and public phones too. Just like those old days, I also played stacking matches while waiting for my tea.

This is the old elementary school classroom with the small chairs, desks for two, and the chalkboard, which worked like the guestbook for this museum.

At the main exhibition hall of the museum were the famous red underclothes, the old lunchbox, thermos bottle, and the like. I could learn what my parents’ school days were like.

On the wall were the paper clothes for paper dolls. My mum also liked playing with them. Imagining her childhood, I was impressed to see them displayed here. There were also colorful slap-match games.

Jeonju Memory Museum sells homemade sweet beverages and coffee. It was a moment of time travel to my parents’ childhood.

 

Jeonju Memory Museum

Address: Jeondongsungdanggil 8, Wansangu, Jeonju

Opening hours: every day 11:00~19:00 / lunch hour 12:00~13:00

Entrance fee: 3,000 won

Today, I introduced two retro tour spots in Jeonju for a visit with your family, friends, or your significant other. It must be a relief from the busy 21st century life to visit the 20th century Korea.

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  • Ever Enrique Castillo Osorio

    So many relics from the past!. It is a good place that tells us about the history and past lifestyle in Korea.

  • Munich

    I hope I can visite both museums soon, they’re interesting. I never knew Jeonju had this type of museum.

  • Luna Moon

    Wow! This museum looks like a fun place to visit for people of all ages. I definitely will try to visit here in the future.

  • Melissa

    I love the retro style! It’s amazing 🙂

  • Jared Sandler

    Jeonju Nanjang and Jeonju Memory Museum are a blast from the past! And situated so close to Jeonju Hanok Village is a great location to attract visitors. Both of these museums are incredible and offer a totally different reality of daily life for South Koreans during the latter half of the 20th century (compared to the modern day). Jeonju Nanjang is like a living museum, as it allows visitors to freely touch and interact with the various themed rooms. And it’s an interesting contrast to see the blogger’s smartphone resting on the table of the ‘Da-Bang’ as he stacks matches and waits for his tea in Jeonju Memory Museum.

  • BigBG

    This seems like a must visit and it looks very interesting!

  • Diana Du Itu

    Wow! The entrance fee is more than reasonable for such great places. It kind of reminds me of my own childhood, specially those stationary stores, I used to go there after classes to get whatever needed for my homework. It kind of makes me feel like Korea is not as different from my own country as I thought 🙂 will definitely visit soon as share some pics!

  • Voradanu Visetvichaporn

    It muse be good to have a chance to wear retro school uniform in the museum.