If you are planning to stay in South Korea for a long time how about once visiting Korean countryside? Located in North Jeolla Province, Jinan county is a good countryside destination in South Korea. Still, the county is small and rural, people stay live there. It is not well-known place for travelers, but offers a chance to discover culture of countryside.
Maisan (마이산) is a great for mountain hikers. Mt. has two Peaks, that similar with horse ears. There is an interesting legend about this Mt. I did not know before visiting, but taxi driver told us very kindly^^. So, two Peaks are called Male and Female horse ear Peak each other. Actually, they were Gods, but when they came down on Earth and spent some time there, were seen by people. That’s why they could not come back to Heaven and stay forever on Earth as two Peaks of mountain.
Also the Mt. is known for its stone pagodas and some temples. You can visit temples by visiting Maisan Provincial Park. There are Geumdangsa (금당사), Tapsa (탑사) and Eunsusa (은수사) temples.
Go there to see a beautiful scenery and calm your mind down. I think the best time to visit is a spring and autumn. Mountain’s fresh air and views of the temples will leave one of the best memories about Jinan.
Location: 130, Maisan-ro, Jinan-gun, Jeollabuk-do
Maisan Provincial Park admission fee: adults 3000 WON, children 1000 WON
Korean Red Ginseng
North Jeolla Province is well-known for red ginseng. Korean red ginseng is used to strengthen the immune system, improve blood flow and brain functions like memory, recover energy and relieve stress or anxiety. The Jinan Red Ginseng Spa (진안홍삼스파) is a good place, which offers treatments and facilities with using local red ginseng.
Visitors can enjoy various themed rooms, that is not similar with standard spas.
One of the most popular programs is body massage of red ginseng bubbles. The room is big, where people should sit on the warm stone chair, then bubbles will begin to rise high until the covering whole body. Massage you body with Ginseng foam, that will discharge toxins and dead skin, promote metabolism and improve blood flow.
The name of therapy is “Red Ginseng Bubble Sense Therapy”.
Another program is “Aroma Therapy”, where you can have a bath with water containing ginseng extract.
One more interesting and relaxing program is having a rest on a bed, which is filled with medicinal herbs.
The name of therapy is “Yangsaeng Herb Therapy”.
“Fire harmony therapy” offers to try ginseng mud pack on the face and body.
Also don’t miss wind and stone therapy. My favorite was aqua zone, which is outdoor tub with a view of Maisan mountain. What could be better than relaxing under a blue sky with a beautiful view!
Relax your mind and spirit in the Jinan Red Ginseng Spa!
Location: 16-10 Oesayang-gil, Jinan-eup, Jinan-gun, Jeollabuk-do
Operating hours: 09.30 am – 20.00 pm
Weekday: (Adult)39,000 WON/(Children)30,000 WON
Weekends: (Adult)43,000 WON/(Children)34,000 WON
Official Website: redginsengspa.co.kr (only Korean)
*Before visiting check the official website for more detailed information.
After a long day of sightseeing, trying local delicious food will be the best end of a day. I can recommend these places, where you can find tasty foods. BeojkkochmaEul (벚꽃마을) is a barbecue restaurant. They offer incredible BBQ dishes such as 갈비 (galbi: Korean barbecued short ribs) and 목살 구이 (Korean style pork BBQ). The taste of meat is special and juicy.
Location: 61-3 Dongchon-ri, Maryeong-myeon, Jinan-gun, Jeollabuk-do
Open hours: 08.00 am – 21.00 pm
By the way, there is a pretty coffee shop near this restaurant. The atmosphere and drinks of 정담213 coffeeshop is very good. They also offer Bingsu, Korean shaved ice dessert.
Location: 213, Maisannam-ro, Maryeong-myeon, Jinan-gun, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea
Another place is 전주회관, where you can try grilled Deodeok. Korean Deodeok is a mountain herb root. It is made by adding spicy sauce and then grilling. You can order set menu and try other dishes too. For example, they have Grilled deodeok + grilled black pork + Korean soybean paste stew + Korean steamed eggs set for 20,000 WON or Grilled deodeok + Korean soybean paste stew + Korean steamed eggs set for 15,000 WON.
I tried grilled Deodeok there for the first time and should say that it’s very tasty and moreover healthy. Koreans use deodeok roots not only for food, but also for medicine too.
Location: 687-3 Danyang-ri, Jinan-eup, Jinan-gun, Jeollabuk-do
And the last place I would like to recommend is a ‘진안고원시장’ local market, where selling vegetables, fruits, Korean ginseng, medicinal herbs, fish, and other general goods. Buying some souvenirs there will leave a good memory about Jinan countryside trip.
Location: 567-800 Gunsang-ri, Jinan-eup, Jinan county, North Jeolla province.
I hope this post about Exploring the Korean Countryside was informative. Don’t forget to comment if you have any more recommendations or tips related to this post. Thanks for reading and have a nice trip!
Read more: Exploring Jeonju Hanok Village