We tried to book a single trip to Jinju, but as we were a little ‘late’ to the game, all the hotels seemed to be fully booked, and I was not comfortable venturing to a new city without having a place to stay. Although we considered trying to do a day-trip, but after our experience, I’m really glad we didn’t-the traffic in the city is a NIGHTMARE during the festival and I doubt we would have been able to get the full-experience if we were trying to catch the bus back to Daegu. The Enjoy Korea tour to the Jinju Lantern Festival and Namhae Oktoberfest took care of all our needs!
Jinju Lantern Festival
The festival was great (though not quite what I expected) and very very busy later on in the day. We arrived in Jinju at 12:30 and had until 9:00 to enjoy the festival and the city. The lanterns were amazing and the fireworks were very nice though very short! We even had time to take a quick boat ride along the river to see some of the lanterns up-close.
Here are a few highlights-keep in mind–these are ALL Lanterns!:
As there was a massive traffic jam (with a fistfight we hear), we were unable to leave the city until 10:30 and did not arrive at our beach pension in Namhae until midnight. Sangju Beach Youth Hostel & Pension was fantastic! It was very clean, very modern and very quiet. I will definitely look in to staying there again next summer.
The next day, we were able to sleep in and slowly get ready for our day. We were picked up around 12ish and taken to the German Village which was about 35min away. From that point on, we had the entire day (until 10pm) to enjoy the village and Oktoberfest at our leisure. Enjoy Korea even gave us instructions on how to take a taxi back to the pension, in case we wanted to leave early. The German Village was lovely and the scenery was beautiful. Oktoberfest was entertaining, but it would have been more fun if I was drunk! I’m not one for drinking too much on vacation as I can get drunk at home and be hungover in the comfort of my own apartment.
Here are a few of the photographic highlights:
Enjoy Korea organized a beach party for the Saturday night, but I was too tired and went straight to bed! Sunday morning we had until 11:00 to check out/load our luggage and then had until 2pm to explore Namhae and enjoy the beach.
All in all, I had a great trip to the Jinju Lantern Festival and Namhae Oktoberfest with Enjoy Korea my ~$150 for the weekend was very well spent. It was certainly a party crowd, but I was still able to enjoy myself and really appreciated the time we were given at each attraction and the cheery disposition of our guides. I will tour with this group again!