Currency: Korean Won (₩)
₩1000 = 72.5p . £1 = ₩1378
Time Zone: GMT +9 (8 hours ahead of UK summer time)
9th – 10th Oct
Our purpose for being here was Namgang Yudeung, an annual event held over 3 weeks in October where hundreds of intricate lanterns are made and erected around the Jinju fortress to commemorate their usage in the war against the Japanese in the 16th century and remember the fallen.
We had a 5 minute walk to the entrance. We paid our won and wandered in. The festival is huge and spread across the fortress grounds, the river and a small patch of land on the other side of the river.
Our first destination was across the river. To get across they installed 2 floating walkways which were a lot of fun on their own! Our destination on the opposite bank was the lantern tunnel whilst there was some daylight left. This is made from 40,000 personalised lanterns funded by individuals or groups that can personalise their message. It’s a beautiful sight to behold both in daytime and nightime and I’m sure we’re missing out on a lot of significance by not being able to read Korean.
We spent ages walking round the grounds seeing so many fantastic displays. Rather than take you through step by step I shall just show you the photos.
Around the grounds there were various stages for live performances. During our time there we saw some dancing drummers, an accordionist, North Korean refugee singers, a theatre troup, techno panpipes, the can-can and a young chap playing the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean.
They had a good variety of street food available inside the grounds. I had a big battered sausage thing and a chicken kebab. Kate had eomukguk (fishcake soup) and corn on the cob. Then we both had big creamy waffles!
After all our fun it was back to the hotel. There was a Korean drama festival going on at the same time further down the river and they played livr music very loudly just outside our window. But thankfully it stopped promptly at 11:30 so we could sleep. We had a fair journey the next day.
Goodstay Eden Motel was the only (decent looking) available room we could book! Jinju gets full up during these festivals so I think we were lucky to be staying so close to the action. Our room was equipped with a giant TV, a desktop PC, ensuite bathroom and a massage bed! Apart from the complete lack of staff presence the next morning (see the next entry) I think it was a great hotel for the price.