Let’s go to… Jeonju!

Each year the Hedgers Abroad set out on one of South Korea’s most unique holidays to challenge themselves both mentally and physically to decide Who…Wins…Hangeul Day!!! One of our favorite holidays, this celebration for the Korean alphabet’s creation pits both Stephanie and me against each other in some random challenge that we cook up at the last minute. This year we put a small amount of planning into the conception of Hangeul Day Challenge and we are proud to present the video of our competition. Enjoy!

What is Hangeul Day?

Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, created by King Sejong back in the year zero (or something) to level the playing field between the educated elite and the illiterate lower classes. After designing a simple alphabet that could be learned very quickly, the Korean people began to revolutionize education and separate themselves from the Chinese language that had previously been a staple. Today it is celebrated as a National Holiday.


Hangeul Fan!

Hangeul Day Annual Challenge!

In our odd annual celebration of this alphabet, we visited Jeonju with my mother to explore the historic hanok village. While exploring this awesome old-town, we donned a bit of traditional garb and set out to decide who would prove victorious and settle our 1-1 tie score.

As you can see, it was yet another heated battle of physical skill and mental prowess. In previous competitions we let more capable athletes settle the debate of greatness for us, then later we tested our abilities in the Korean alphabet Hangeul. Check out our past videos and challenges here! This year’s competition mostly tested our Korean Festival Competency, in that it forced us to improvise and quarrel in the olden ways of “Joseon Selfie,” “Throw the Stick into the Tube Thing,” and finally duke it out in a traditional struggle of “Kaleidoscope Slushee Chugging.” Enjoy our video and witness the true nature of Korea’s most important holiday (at least one of our favorites): Hangeul Day!





  1. Misstsuchiya October 21, 2015 at 1:31 am - Reply

    Great photos!! And I can’t wait to try on those hanboks this coming winter on my ROK trip! Still couldn’t believe I didn’t even try it on the last two times I went there…T.T

    • Hedgers Abroad October 27, 2015 at 9:22 am - Reply

      The great thing about the hanok village in Jeonju is that there are a ton of hanbok rental shops. They charge by the hour and have a pretty cheap rate (like 10,000 won for four hours!)

      • Misstsuchiya October 27, 2015 at 12:23 pm

        Really?? Okay, now I really should get it on my places to go list. At least as a day trip… coz I doubt I could make it for an overnight sleepover…T.T

  2. mindoe October 21, 2015 at 11:06 am - Reply

    We loved Jeoju, but only went in the winter! We are considering going back this year and snowboarding at Muju again!

    • Hedgers Abroad October 27, 2015 at 9:23 am - Reply

      We loved Jeonju as well. We will probably be making another trip again soon just because we simply didn’t have enough time to see and do it all!

  3. Charisse Windebank October 23, 2015 at 8:59 am - Reply

    I loved Jeonju! The hanok village was nice how you were able to see traditional architecture and do a little bit of shopping at the same time. Hanguel was definitely easier to learn than I had originally anticipated. Unfortunately, I could sound out the characters, but still took some time to learn what I was saying. You guys look great in the hanboks!

    • Hedgers Abroad October 27, 2015 at 9:24 am - Reply

      Ryan picked up reading Hangeul really quickly while we rode the subways in Seoul. I just sort of relied on him for a while, but once I sat down and studied it, it really was SUPER EASY to learn!

  4. Lindsay Mickles October 23, 2015 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Haha, LOVE this post! I like that you incorporated both photos and video in this post and have a sense of humor!! I totally agree about the selfie contest (kudos Stephanie!)… but DAMN! that slushie contest looked brutal!

    • Hedgers Abroad October 27, 2015 at 9:26 am - Reply

      This video was so much fun to make! I almost caught up to Ryan in the slushie contest. I was sooooo close. Next year, I will not lose!

  5. Laura October 23, 2015 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    It looks like you guys had a great time! You’re lucky to have had a family member here not once but twice! Stephanie, totally unrelated, but I really like your hair! How did you get a good blond job here in Korea?!

    • Hedgers Abroad October 27, 2015 at 9:30 am - Reply

      We were definitely super happy to have her come a second time and get to show her some of the more rural parts of the country.

      I agree about not being able to get a good blond here in Korea. I went to two different places that specialize in foreign hair trying to get it fixed. The first place turned me into a striped mess, and the second left my hair highlighter yellow without using any toner. I had to go online and buy toner and fix it myself. Took over a month to finally get it fixed!! Now I buy all the stuff to do my hair online and just take care of it myself.

  6. Williams Kyei October 24, 2015 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    That was fun..hahaha. A holiday well spent. Congrats to Ryan for winning the challenge. I love the drinking challenge.

    • Hedgers Abroad October 28, 2015 at 10:45 am - Reply

      Glad you enjoyed the video! It is one of our favorite holidays with a bit of friendly competition!

  7. Rafiqua October 26, 2015 at 8:49 am - Reply

    This was such a fun video to watch! I really like the photo challenge…the slushie challenge seems plain mean. Bring on brain freeze! I really like that you did everything in hanbok. It makes things seem so much more authentic 😛

    • Hedgers Abroad October 28, 2015 at 10:46 am - Reply

      We had planned on just doing it with the hat we found on gmarket and a traditional hairpin I had, but then I lucked into finding a hanbok for sale. It was perfect for the video!

  8. ehevesy2014 October 26, 2015 at 10:39 am - Reply

    Really entertaining video, you two look great and play off each other well! Loved the editing and music especially. Very creative way to explain some of Korea’s culture with a bit of fun mixed in. Drinking those slushies certainly didn’t look fun though!

    • Hedgers Abroad October 28, 2015 at 10:47 am - Reply

      Thanks! It takes a lot of time to edit and put the videos together so I’m so glad that you guys enjoy them.

  9. wrpalomo October 26, 2015 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    You both are funny. It’s so nice to see two people enjoying their stay here in Korea and you’re both enjoying your holiday in a Hanok Village in a hanbok! And the crowd behind you were cheering for you also:-).

    • Hedgers Abroad October 28, 2015 at 10:49 am - Reply

      We love Korea and have a ton of fun going around and filming these videos. Thank you for all the positive feedback!

  10. elainaslane October 26, 2015 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    I’ve been to that Hanok village several times and I have a blast every time. I’ve never made it to the hanguel festival but made it to the bibimbap festival last year. Did you stay over night near the hanok village? That’s always a blast.
    You both look great in the traditional clothing

    • Hedgers Abroad October 28, 2015 at 10:51 am - Reply

      Yes, there are many hanok guesthouses to stay at in the village. We stayed in one right on the edge of all the action which was good since it put us away from all the crowds.

  11. Gina October 27, 2015 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Amazing photos! I’ve recently been to Jeonju and I loved it! The traditional town was amazing! You two look great in Hanbok!

    • Hedgers Abroad October 28, 2015 at 10:51 am - Reply

      Thank you! We plan on returning soon since we loved this city so much.

  12. ourstory15 October 28, 2015 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Hey nice post! I really enjoyed my trip to Jeonju and visiting it’s Hanok Village! I have never been to any festival there so I’d like to make it for one of them if I get the chance this year or next. Love the Jeonju chocopies! Haha

  13. Nathan October 30, 2015 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    Your day in Jeonju was definitely more exciting than mine! Note to self: challenge random people to competitions next time.

  14. Hanokstay Guide | Hedgers Abroad November 25, 2015 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    […] so visitors are sure to have plenty of dining and entertainment opportunities. We have found Jeonju to be the perfect mix of city and tradition. While not too far outside of Seoul, Jeonju will […]

  15. […] More information: Let’s go to… Jeonju! […]

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