The 2017 Jinju Namgang Lantern Festival (진주 남강유등축제) is coming up again from October 1 to October 15.
We visited last year and definitely were surprised by the number and variety of the lanterns. Jinju really means business when it comes to this festival! If you’re looking for something to do this weekend or next, I would definitely recommend that you make the visit!
We had decided to drive down from Seoul and spent one night in Jinju and one night in Jeonju (to break up the drive back to Seoul). In Jinju we booked a small pension (motel) called the Greece Motel via Agoda.com. The room was very affordable and located within walking distance of the Namgang River where all the lanterns are.
When we arrived, we were quick to suspect this was an old love motel. What do you think?!
Nonetheless the room was clean enough and totally fine for a one night stay. Parking was also free. We could see the river from our room and immediately set out after check-in towards the river to explore the festival. As soon as we hit the river bank we ended up at a bunch of tents and some “sets” that were apparently there for the Korea Drama Festival.
There are some food vendors in the festival area, it’s a festival must to make a pitstop and grab some chicken on a stick!
Once we reached the Lantern Festival area, we stopped at the ticket booth to pay the ₩10,000 fee for Adults (₩5,000 fee for Children ages 7-18 ) to enter the lantern area.
As you can see from the map, the Lantern Festival is quite expansive!!
They have lanterns on the bank of the river as well as in the river. Each lantern cluster represents different companies, other festivals around Korea, fairy tales and more.
After you see the lanterns on the water you can go up to the Jinjuseong Fortress and see the lanterns that have been set up to reenact a battle that took place there. The battle lanterns were actually my favorite, they were full size and I was shocked how well done this was!
This lantern was actually moving!!
If you are looking for something fun to do outside of Seoul, I highly recommend checking out these incredible lanterns, especially at night. There’s something even more magical when the lanterns are all lit up. Enjoy!!