The small south-western province of Jeollabuk-do (전라북도) punches above its weight. At the centre is the capital Jeonju, famous for its hanok maeul, a village of hundreds of traditional tile-roofed buildings that house restaurants, cafes and teahouses. Koreans also call Jeonju, a Unesco-listed 'City of Gastronomy', the country's number-one foodie destination: eat once in Jeonju, they say, and you're spoiled for life. It makes sense: this fertile green province is an agricultural heartland whose fresh produce stars in local dishes.
Much of rural Jeollabuk-do is parkland, which means, if you tire of Jeonju's old-world charms, you can stretch your legs on any number of fantastic hiking trails, from the steep peaks of Naejangsan National Park to the gentle hills of Seonunsan Provincial Park. There's also skiing on the slopes of Muju to the east and sandy beaches on the West Sea, from where you can catch ferries to sleepy islands.