Famous for bibimbap (rice, egg, meat and vegies with chilli sauce) and its role in the Japanese invasions of the 16th century, Jinju is a laid-back city with a park-like fortress by the Nam-gang (Nam River). It's the largest city in the area and a convenient transport hub from which to explore the province’s western region.
Jirisan National Park
This park offers some of Korea’s best hiking opportunities, with 12 peaks over 1000m forming a 40km-long ridge. Many peaks are over 1500m, including Cheonwang-bong (1915m), the country’s second-highest mountain. There are three principal entrances, each with a temple. Two of the three temples, Ssanggye-sa and Daewon-sa, are in Gyeongsangnam-do.
Connected to the mainland by the 8km Busan-Geoje Fixed Link bridge and tunnel, Korea’s second-largest island is famous for its massive shipbuilding industry and natural beauty. The coastal scenery varies between pastoral and industrial, with the best views in and around Haegeumgang (해금강).
Gajisan Provincial Park
This park has three sections. The northernmost section, not far from Gyeongju, is known for rocky terrain. This is where you’ll find Gajisan (가지산; Mt Gaji; 1240m), the park’s highest peak. Tongdo-sa, one of the country’s most commercialised Buddhist temples, is in the smallest of the three sections.