The ancient provincial capital of Joellanamdo, Gwangju has been the center of administrative, economic and education activity for centuries for the area.
The modest city boasts the country’s best jeongjong (rice and barley wine) and makgeolli (rice wine). Don’t let the “wine” in the title of these names fool you, as these Korean liquors are surprisingly potent despite their mild flavor.
Gwangju is also famous for the Kimchi Festival held in October, where Koreans and foreigners alike come to taste scores of different kimchi (pickled cabbage). The more daring visitors can sample other unique dishes, such as kimchi pizza and kimchi hamburgers while watching various talent performances and musicians throughout the day.