Gyeongsangnam-do is a culturally-rich province in the south-east region of South Korea. It’s home to ancient temples, traditional villages and therapeutic hot springs and sits just a stone’s throw away from the buzzing port of Busan.
Things to do in Gyeongsangnam-do
Enjoy a relaxing soak in the sulphur-rich waters of the Bugok Hot Springs, nestled at the base of Deokamsan Mountain. In addition to its indoor and outdoor pools set within a natural forest, the complex includes a botanical garden, zoo and restaurant where you can eat boiled eggs cooked in the hot springs themselves.
Also in the east of Gyeongsangnam-do is the 7th-century Tongdosa Temple where a robe, begging bowl and bone belonging to Buddha are housed. The complex features seven impressive pagodas and is set within a historic pine forest dotted with architecturally diverse hermitages.
Want to experience the traditional way of life in rural South Korea? Head to the village of Cheonghakdong in the west of Gyeongsangnam-do, which is situated next to the working monastery of Samseong-gung. You can visit this area to see Cheonghakdong’s residents still farming using manual methods and wearing traditional Korean dress.
The islands of Geoje sit along the southern coast of Gyeongsangnam-do and are home to the Geoje POW Camp, where North Koreans were detained during the Korean War. Cruise beneath the soaring cliffs of Haegeumgang Island and visit Oedo Island to explore the fusion of Korean and European landscaping styles at Oedo Botanica.
Getting around Gyeongsangnam-do
Busan’s Gimhae International Airport lies on the eastern bounds of Gyeongsangnam-do and trains connect major cities across the province. Buses run to nearby towns and villages, with taxis available for short excursions.