Because of the long holiday weekend, Amy and I took a road trip to Jinju, or 진주 for you Korean buffs. We took an hour bus ride to this bigger city. Jinju will be an important city for us because of what’s there. There is an E-Mart, which sells things we can’t find in Hapcheon. The closest movie theater is in Jinju. The bus station is in the heart of downtown Jinju. Everything is about a ten minute walk from it. The castle, E-Mart, and the cinema are all very easy to get to.
We went by ourselves and were our own tour guides. We got there around noon so we were hungry. Our only criteria for a restaurant was it couldn’t serve dog(we haven’t found one that does) and it had to have pictures in the menu. We went to the castle, just to locate it, and asked at the tourism center for a suggested restaurant(on our walk to the castle, all we saw were antique shops and furniture stores). They pointed us towards a tradition Korean restaurant that was a block away. When we got there, we saw that the menu didn’t have any pictures so we tried our luck down a different street. We spotted pictures of food on the second floor build at a restaurant named “the Food Center.” With an English name and pictures, this was the place we went.
After climbing the flight of stairs to the restaurant, we saw that the restaurant was also a traditional Korean one. The menu was in Korea but they only had about seven things on the menu and they had pictures to go along with them. We sat on the floor at a table with a grill in the middle. I think we ordered some beef(not American of course). They brought out two long and thin slabs of meat(think skirt steaks) along with a number of side dishes and sauces. We grilled our meat after a little demonstration from our waitress and ate our beef. Traditionally, you take your grilled beef, put it on a leaf of lettuce with some sauces/garlic/kimchi/etc, roll it up, and eat it. That’s what we did for lunch. It was a little pricey but we were hungry and they had pictures. It was good.
After that, we went to the castle. We walked around the castle for a couple of hours. It is kind of like a walled in park. You pay around 1000 won per head and can spend as much time there as you like. There is a museum and restaurant, along with some sites. You can also see Jinju pretty well because the castle is on a little bit of a hill. We saw Jinju getting ready for a lantern festival that will start in the beginning of October. It looks like it will be a big event.
After the castle we went to E-Mart and picked up peanut butter and a Yoga mat. After that we found the cinema, just so we would know where it was for the future. Usually, American movies are in English with Korean subtitles. Mamma Mia was just released. After that we went to the bus station to go back to Hapcheon.
Here are some pictures of Jinju: