Jinju(진주, 晋州), formerly Chinju, is in South Gyeongsang province, South Korea.

Jinju and the Nam River from the fortress


Orienting yourself in Jinju is easy. The town is cut in half by the Nam River (Namgang), with Jinju Fortress, downtown, most hotels, the commercial-residential sprawl and the intercity bus station all on the north bank. The train station and the express bus station lie on the south bank.

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) 8.9 10.0 14.5 20.8 25.5 26.6 29.0 27.7 26.8 21.8 15.7 7.1
Nightly lows (°C) -6.3 -2.0 2.1 6.2 11.2 17.2 20.9 20.8 16.0 9.1 3.0 -4.9
Precipitation (mm) 7.1 16.2 113.5 123.2 91.2 143.6 186.3 580.6 129.3 164.5 78.1 11.3

Source: 2014 Korea Meteorological Administration

Get in

By plane

Jinju's Sacheon Airport (IATA: HIN), 20 km away from the city, fields flights daily to and from Seoul's Gimpo Airport and twice a week to Jeju Island. Buses to the city center take 25 minutes and cost ₩3,000.

Alternatively Busan's Gimhae International Airport is one and a half hours away, and also serves international routes.

By bus

Bus is the easiest way of reaching Jinju. There are departures every ten minutes from Busan's Seobu (Sa-sang) terminal (1.5h, ₩6,900) and from Masan (1h, ₩4,000), as well as every 20-30 min from Seoul's Gangnam Express Bus terminal (4h, ₩20,000). Check which bus terminal you will be arriving at as the Intercity Bus Terminal is centrally located within walking distance of Jinju Fortress while the Express Bus Terminal is located a bit further south, on the south side of the river.

There is a bus that goes directly from Incheon International Airport to Jinju. It takes 4 hours, and it costs about ₩36,000.

Buses from Busan Nopodong Bus Terminal to Jinju depart roughly every 50 minutes.

The main highway in Jinju is National Highway 10 or Namhae Expressway.

By train

There are daily 5 services to Seoul (6.5h) and 4 to Busan (3h). Jinju is served by passenger service with KTX at Jinju Station along the Gyeongjeon Line. Note that currently Jinju has two train stations.   The old train station is near downtown, on the south side of the river (near Manggyeong-dong or Juyak-dong). A new train station is near Gyeongsang University, at the southern end of town. This new train station is functioning; you can get on and off the train there. Getting to and from the new train station: the city buses 126, 127, 131, 132, 134, and 135 go there.

Get around

By bus

This website has an excellent run-down of the bus system, with lots of good maps. Buses inside Jinju cost ₩1100 and go almost everywhere in Jinju. You can buy a reloadable bus pass at convenience stores like GS-25. These cost about ₩10,000 and may come with a bus ride or two already on them, depending on the kind you buy. Each ride is discounted to ₩1,000 as well. See also here.

Buses are available but you'll find it hard to use it unless you speak Korean, since bus stop signs are almost exclusively in Korean and your average bus driver won't speak English.

City bus routes that go to the KTX station: 126, 127, 128, 131, 132, 134, 135, 151.

City bus routes that go past the Intercity Bus Terminal (Shee-way bus terminal, 시외버스터미널): 120-124, 126, 127, 129, 144, 260, 261, 270-273, 280, 290, 291, 295, 340-343, 350, 351, 353, 354, 360-364, 370-377, 550, 551.

By bicycle or on foot

Highly recommended. Jinju is a small city, so if you have a detailed street map, you can simply get around on foot. If you’re touring the city, you’ll probably be walking, as there is no bicycle-rental system. If you live here, a bicycle is a nice investment.

The Nam River is lined with a lovely park that features outdoor gymnasiums, multiple-lane bicycle paths, and 24-hour restrooms. Cars are generally not allowed.

Numerous mountains with hiking trails can be found around the city.

By taxi

The basic fare for regular taxis is ₩2,200, with a surcharge of ₩100 applied according to time and distance. In deluxe taxis, the basic fare is ₩4500 and the additional fare increases in increments of ₩200. Jinju is a small city, so you will rarely spend more than ₩7,000 on a taxi ride.

Deluxe taxis are black with a yellow sign and are more expensive than regular taxis although provide a better and more comfortable service. Regular taxis are silver or yellow.


See also: Korean phrasebook

As is true elsewhere in Korea, a grasp of basic Korean will be helpful. See the South Korea article for detailed advice.


Choksuk Pavillion, The South headquarters in Jinju Fortress

A few sights of minor interest are scattered elsewhere around town.




There are two movie theaters in Jinju. Lotte Cinema is located downtown. MBC Cinema is located on the east side of town.

Visit this site to check movie titles and show times. Select “Gyeongsang” Province. “CVG” is MBC and the other is Lotte Cinema.

If the movie is in English, it will have Korean subtitles. If the movie uses subtitles to communicate character dialogue from a different language, it will only be in Korean.

Korean Language

Gyeongsang National University (GNU, Gyeonsang Daehak-gyo, 경상대학교) is located in the southern part of Jinju. They offer Korean-language classes each semester. For information, contact gnukorean@gnu.ac.kr .



There is a great demand for ESL (English as a Second Language) instruction in South Korea. See the main South Korea article for details.

Jinju is a university city with potentially many options for ESL work.


Souvenirs for the Tourist

There´s an excellent silk outlet across the street from the fortress(촉석루) towards the main bridge. The prices are good and the quality and selection are excellent. If you want to experience a local traditional flea market, you could swing by Joong-ang central market ("Joong-Ahng-Shee-Jhang = 중앙시장". Come and get a glimpse into the daily lives of the people of Jinju at this market with over a 100 year history. At Joongang market shoppers can browse through the medicine and hanbok (traditional Korean dress) street, restaurant street, and street vendor street. The central underground shopping mall, south of Jinju central intersection, offers an array of medicinal products, accessories, cosmetics, clothing and living products. Also, there are many little shops (가게, 상점) throughout the city where you can buy goods.

Living in Jinju

Jinju now has three major department stores - E-Mart, Galleria and Homeplus, where you can purchase foods stuffs, including some western type foods, clothing, footwear, electrical goods, bedding and household goods. Both, also include a food court, where you can sit and eat western style take-away foods or a large variety of traditional Korean foods. Emart and Galleria are both close to the center of the city; Emart is a little to the west, and Galleria is a little north. Homeplus is on the east side of the city. Food/groceries are on the basement level of these department stores.

There are several Hi-marts, LG stores, and Samsung stores throughout the city, for your electronic/appliance needs.

Grocery stores are found everywhere in Jinju, from small family operated grocery stores, to the upmarket chain convenience stores like GS25, FamilyMart (renamed "CU" in August 2012), 7-Eleven, etc. These grocery stores generally operate 24 hours for your convience. At these stores you can purchase items like, milk, soft drinks, beer, cigarettes, snack foods and general grocery items.

If you are planning to set up house in Jinju, there are furniture shops in Jinju that can provide most of your requirements, whether you are looking for new or second hand furniture and appliances.Linen and bedding stores are also available and there is also two outdoor markets in Jinju where you can purchase all of these things. Personal gardens are pretty much non-existent in Jinju, however, there are plenty of shops where you can buy indoor plants and pots and all the tools to satisfy your green thumb.

There are a number of book stores in Jinju; however most only stock Korean literature. The bookstore, on the basement floor of the MBC building in Hotan-Dong, does have some English language and reading books. It is almost impossible to find English newspapers in Jinju, the internet being the only way to keep up with overseas news and current events.


Bibimbap at Kwan Namgaek Sikdang

Jinju has its own version of bibimbap (비빔밥), which is rice topped with all sorts of goodies. The Jinju style, also known as kkotbap (flower rice) or chilbohwaban (seven-color flower rice), is distinguished by using raw meat! (Not to be confused with the rather more famous Jeonju bibimbap.)

Another local delicacy is broiled eel (장어구이 jangeo-gui), eaten bulgogi-style with a dab of gochujang paste and wrapped in a sesame leaf.


See South Korea#Drink for general guidance to nightlife in Korea.

Jinju has a few bars and clubs. Pyeonggeo-dong (평거동, west side of town) has quite a few bars and clubs. For example, Umbrella Bar is quite popular. Umbrella Bar is called 우산 in Korean. Address: 우산, 평거동, 진주시. +82 55-745-9305 There are also many bars and clubs near Gyeongsang National University (GNU, Gyeonsang Daehak-gyo, 경상대학교), on the south side of town. Some people say that the tap water is drinkable, but others would recommend drinking bottled water, which is widely available.



If you are adventurous and need a really cheap place to stay, try one of the jjimjilbang (co-ed sauna rooms) around the city. Jjimjilbang typically cost ₩8000 and up, for which you get a pair of pajamas to wear, full use of the sauna, a locker to put your possessions in, and a floor to sleep on. One such jimjilbang is Theme Spa Land (테마건강란드), which has a good sauna.


There are lots of gaudy love hotels/yeogwan along the riverfront on both sides of the bus terminal. Rooms from ₩25,000 and up. Among these, The Versace Motel (베르싸체 모텔) is recognisable for it's romanesque frontage, complete with pillars and small balconies. Located right next to Jinju Bridge in the city centre, rooms start at around ₩40,000, but are large, clean and offer the best views of the river - especially during the festivals.


Stay Safe

Jinju is a very safe city. Pickpocketing is not very common and violent crime is minimal.

See South Korean article on safety.


Internet cafes known as PC bang (PC 방) (pr: pee-shee-bang) are common, and usually cost anywhere from ₩800-₩2,000/hr. Most have printers at the front desk.

Post offices are sprinkled around Jinju, although many are hidden on smaller roads and alleys. Most post offices sell boxes and packing materials. They probably don't speak English, or if they do, they only speak a little bit.

If you want to buy an international phone card, you can look in convenience stores (also known as ‘variety stores’, such as 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, GS25, etc.). If the convenience stores don’t have any, then you can check the Asian Food stores. Option 1: There’s a Chinese shop next to the Intercity Bus Terminal that has international phone cards. Option 2: there’s a Pakistani shop near City Hall. It's just off the road that goes past City Hall, in the Homeplus direction, down an alley, on the right. They’re cheap and last for about 4 hours.



Pharmacies are everywhere. While most are labeled only in Korean, the signage and Hangul character is easy to recognize, 약 (pronounced “yak”). Most pharmacists speak some English.

Vaccinations/inoculations: the place to get vaccines is at the Public Health Center, on the second floor. The Public Health Center is located across the street from E-Mart, in Insadong (인사동). They do not speak English there.


Dentists: There are several good dentists in Jinju. The Korean word for “dentist” is치과 (chi-gwa).

Optician (Eye Doctors): there is an INOTI in Pyeonggo-dong (Pyeonggo neighborhood) which can help you with your glasses. The employees there speak enough English to get the job done.

Chiropractors. The nearest chiropractor is in Masan (마산), a one-hour-long bus ride away. Name: Taeg Su Choi, D.C. 최택수. Address: Woo sung B/D 4F, 84-30, Hapsung-dong, Masan City, GN, South Korea (경남 마산시 합성동 84-30 우성빌딩 4층). If you copy-and-paste the address into Naver Maps, you'll get a good map of the area, and you'll see that it's really close to the Masan Intercity Bus Terminal. Phone numbers: +82 55-292-8279 / +82 55-292-8279. Email addresses: chirochoi@chirochoi.com, www.chiro.or.kr. Hours: M, Tu, W, F = 9:30am–6:00pm. Th = 2:00pm–6:00pm. Lunch hour: 1:00-2:00pm. The chiropractor speaks English.

Thai Massage. In Pyeonggeo-dong (neighborhood on the west side of town), there's a Thai massage place. The ladies there don't speak English; it's called Thai Feeling 태국전통휠링센타. 010-6399-8882. If you know the Korean alphabet, you can sound out "sports massage", etc., on their list of offered massages. It's usually about W60,000 for an hour. Latitude and longitude: 35.171592, 128.063206. If you just copy-and-paste the latitude and longitude into GoogleMaps, it should pop up with the location. The massage place is on the same block as a 7-Eleven and a Paris Baguette. The massage place is on the second floor of the building. The outside of the building says "Chinese foot massage" and has pictures of people getting massages, but the inside of the building says "Thai feeling".

Some people with sensitive stomachs should use caution when dining in Korea as some of the local cuisine is heavily spiced with copious amounts of pepper and garlic.


International English Church (Jinju Sungnam Church, 성남교회) meets on Sundays at 1:30PM for English speakers, including both foreigners and Koreans. More information is available at http://internationalenglishchurch.com/IEC/Welcome.html. They host an American-style Thanksgiving dinner for the Jinju community every November.

Jinju Church (진주교회) is international and non-denominational. Join us on Sunday at 11.00am for lively worship followed by lunch. There is also Bible study after lunch for all who want to stay. More information is available at http://www.jinjuchurch.or.kr/

Air Quality

Air quality is fine. Jinju is a smaller city, so the air is clean. However, some Koreans sometimes wear different types of masks outdoors for allergies, smog and yellow dust storms (mostly in March–April). Mongolian yellow dust storms were regarded as dangerous long before industrialization began in Asia. Now these storms pick up trace amounts of toxins in the Chinese industry belt.


Haircuts. If you go to Emart in Insadong, there's a hair shop in the Emart. Inside this shop, there is a person (James, or "제임스" in Korean) who speaks English. Address: Jinju Emart, 3 Insadong, Jinju-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (in Korean: 진주이마트점. 경남 진주시 인사동 3번지 [이마트 진주점 1층]. Telephone: 055-747-8322. James doesn't work on Thursdays. Open between 10am and 10pm.

Mostly, Koreans are very curious about foreigners. Many will gawk and stare while others will practice their English. For the most part, Koreans are very friendly on the street and will take great pains to be helpful, despite the above attitudes. If working in Korea, one should do a little reading on Confucianism and how it translates into social standing.

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