Road Trip - No.1

Jeonju - Jinan - Daejeon - Suwon

What an exhilarating three-day road trip through the captivating cities of South Korea! Throughout my adventure I got to soak in the country's rich history, immerse myself in its vibrant culture, and partake of it's delicious culinary delights! I visited 4 cities in total, Jeonju, Jinan, Daejeon and Suwon. Let's start with Jeonju!

jeonju - hanok mall

Let's kick off our journey in Jeonju, a city known for its famous Hanok Mall tucked away in a preserved traditional hanok village. After quickly finding a parking space, I was first met with this beautiful Korean pavilion, Cheong Yeon Ru. Built on an arched shaped bridge pier over the Jeonju river, it has a traditional hip and gable roof with 10 pillars from the front and 3 from the sides. There were books available and people chilled out inside taking shelter from the hot sun!

Because of its mixture of tradition and modernity, the city has earned the title of an "International Slow City," reflecting its leisurely way of life. As I made my way through the cobblestoned streets, I encountered energetic children splashing and playing in the water fountains and couples adorned in vibrant traditional hanbok attire. Many could be found exploring Gyeonggijeon, cameras poised to capture every moment,  preserving cherished memories! 

For others the best way to see it all was by renting a scooter or an RV. Many families took to the road in colourful 4 wheelers which also provided some much needed shelter from the ever increasing heat from the midday sun!

People were taking much needed rests around Gyeonggijeon on the seating provided to get some refreshments. Tanghulu (탕후루) was the most popular with the younger visitors!  These sweet fruits on a stick could be found on every corner with queues of children waiting their turn for their sugary snack! 

jinan - tapsa temple

Next was Jinan, a serene town that houses the unique Tapsa Temple. I was amazed by the breathtaking scenery and the mesmerizing sight of countless stone pagodas around the temple. It's a truely unique place!  

Tapsa Temple boasts 80+ sturdy stone pagodas, of all shapes and sizes, built by scholar Lee Gapyong. He collected stones by day and erected them at night. These pagodas, over a century old, have never moved or collapsed despite the harsh elements, absolutely amazing! 

Daejeon - Expo Bridge

Continuing on my adventure, I arrived in Daejeon, a modern metropolis that seamlessly blends innovation with culture. One of the highlights here is the Expo Bridge, a stunning architectural marvel offering panoramic views of the city. As night fell, people were totally immersed in the vibrant nightlife, treated to a stunning musical fountain display and soaked in the athmosphere well into the night! Daejeon is a destination that will leave you wanting more! 

Suwon - Hwaseong Fortress

After a night's rest it was on to the magnificent Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon. This city exudes history and charm at every turn! Prepare to be amazed by the majestic Hwaseong Fortress, a true testament to grandeur and architectural beauty. Explore the city inside with it's many streets, markets, wine bars, restaurants and coffee shops. After several hours of exploring you'll want to stay and see more... so I did! Day 3 saw more experiences along the wall, including the martial arts display at the main gate! This really was an extraordinary road trip that included so many diverse experiences and a genuine immersion into the heart and soul of South Korea. An adventure I will cherish for a lifetime! 

Finally, you can take a boat tour of the city's harbors and landmarks for around 10,000 won. Sites include the Yeosu Maritime Cable Car, the Odongdo Lighthouse, and Aqua Planet. The boat ride offers a unique perspective of the city from the water. 

10,000 for a 20 minute boat ride around Yeosu.

Odongdo Lighthouse