This weekend I returned to Daegu to do a little comparison travel. After my last visit where I spent most of my time in the city center, I wanted to travel to the outskirts and see what there was to experience. I decided to take the #2 Green line in either direction and see what was at the end of this line. At one end is Yeungnam University and close to the other end of the line is Keimyung University. Since I really love the university areas in Seoul like Hongdae, Sinchon, Kondae, etc, I thought this would be a great way to see Daegu’s young university areas.
I found more than I expected.
I honestly had no idea what to expect since this area of Daegu is still foreign to me, so it was quite nice to come out of station exit 3 and be directly at the main entrance of the campus which has a beautiful lawn and entryway presentation. Now this time of year, school is not in session, so overall the campus was very quiet, but it was nice to be able to enter and see the layout without any crowds or noise.
The first thing I noticed as we walked along the grounds is the giant lily field off to the west side. There is an organic farm and lovely walkway that leads to the south end of the school. You can see beautiful flowers along the side of the stream and water lilies as far as the eye can see. It was truly idyllic because the school grounds themselves are not especially manicured this time of year.
Once you cross from the path back to the campus, it is nice because there is a campus map right there, and the buildings are very simply labeled, making it easy to find your way around the campus. As I looked over the map, I noticed right away that the school had a 구계서원 (민소촌) folk village, which I found surprising for a school, but I guess not for Korea. The folk village is located on the far east side and available to see even though the rest of the campus was closed.
One of the nice things about this particular folk village was how nicely preserved it is. Although these houses were built at the University in the 1970’s, with some sections from the 1600’s transplanted there, they took great care in their reconstruction and maintenance. At the entrance you can see a large map showing the layout of the grounds as well as some historical information. There are seven different units you can see and it’s a terrific place to take photos or walk around. The school holds an annual cultural festival here which is just one great reason to come out and visit this location.
One extra little feature of the folk village is a giant swing that reaches taller than the tree tops. You can swing on it while looking around at the beautiful surroundings. There are also clay pots with sticks so you can play 투호 a Korean stick tossing game. It’s a great place to explore when the weather is nice, and I imagine even more beautiful in fall and spring.
Nearby the folk village are two notorious campus locations which hold folklore of their own. The first is the well known 러브로드 Love Road. Here it is said that if you walk the road holding hands with your loved one your love cannot be broken.
The second, is the lake in front of the Love Road. This splendid lake is known for being a go to spot during the cherry blossom season. However, rumor has it, that if someone falls into the lake, they will be alone forever. Pretty daunting stuff! Fortunately, I did not fall in while I was visiting!
As I was walking back towards the campus entrance I came across one of the school’s major landmarks, 홍만이, located in the center of the campus. This large statue is hard to miss, a large man with a noticeably small head and wild hair. He’s looking down at a small object that notes the sculptor’s information.
Read Part 2 Here.