I don’t get a lot of time off, so when I do, I always try to get the most out of my limited vacations. I like to live by three simple rules whenever I travel:
Because I live in Seoul it is very easy and convenient to travel to Daegu. You can go by car, bus or KTX express train. For this trip I decided to take the bus; although it takes longer, it’s still only about ₩50,000 round trip and only takes about 4 hours each way. You can find cheaper buses, but the deluxe bus is really comfortable for a long drive. To book tickets, you can either use the kiosks for self serve ticket purchase, or go to the window and have someone print them for you.
This bus offers a direct route that drops you off right near the heart of Daegu. Dong Daegu Station is connected to the brand new Shinsegae Mall, so if you’re tired or hungry you can always grab a drink or something to eat before heading to your hotel. I took the 8 am bus and arrived right around noon, so I decided to go to my room before finding food.
You can also access the subway directly from this connection, so it’s easy to get to wherever you need to go. (I would note however, that while you can use your T money card in Daegu, you cannot reload it at the stations. You can however buy one way fares which will come in the form of a coin instead of a ticket.) For this trip, I booked with AirBnB since I use them whenever I travel and have a good rapport with them.
Although there are many options such as hotels, hostels, and guest houses, I personally prefer AirBnB because of the safety, price, and prior positive experiences. Fortunately, when booking this apt in Daegu, I found a unit close to the center of the city, and the owner even knew someone who works for the Daegu Tourism Organization, so she was extremely helpful and made my stay quite enjoyable.
Whenever I travel, I love to try local flavor or regional specialties, for this trip, I did a little research and found that Jung-gu, the “downtown” of Daegu, is where many popular food places are located.
I found a small mandu shop that is best known for 비빔군만두 bibimgun mandu, a crispy mandu topped with spicy banchan, so I had to try it! I wasn’t sure how much I would be getting since it was so affordable so I also ordered a bowl of 물냉면 cold buckwheat noodles.
Both of these had so much flavor, and the mandu came out with 10 pieces, more than I could eat, but so worth it! I’ve never had mandu like this, and it was amazing to say the least. The restaurant was fast paced, but the manager was really friendly, and the meal was only ₩10,000 what a deal!
I just happened to be in town for the Dongseongno Festival held in Jung-gu every May. This festival featured special performances, shopping experiences, and food from all around the area. Even though the weather was warm, there were delicious drinks being sold and shaded areas to watch all the local festivities. This type of event is especially convenient for someone travelling alone, as you can buy snacks and drinks and shop at your leisure. I was able to test some 막걸리 makkeolli and try some food samples.
The festival went on all weekend, so after I walked around a bit, I decided to move on to something else, knowing I could come back later to see more events.
Before coming to visit Daegu, I had seen photos on Instagram of this place, and let me tell you this place is really insta-worthy, however photos don’t even do it justice! Getting to the ARC isn’t difficult even if it’s on the outskirts of the city. From Daesil Station, you can take a bus or taxi to the park where it’s located. Unfortunately when I got to the station, the bus wasn’t coming through, so I took a taxi which only cost ₩4,000.
On the road up to the park there are many different scooter/segway rental places which people use to ride around the park’s long pathways and bridge. I decided to go on foot so that I could take pictures along the way. I got dropped off at the far end of the park, which was incredible to see as the sun was just starting to set.
There are rose gardens, an information booth, and small trails to walk along from the bridge to the ARC itself.
Once you get to the ARC you will want to walk all the way around it, as it has a gorgeous 360 view. The colors of the ARC are ever changing, and complemented by the LED’s of the bikes riding by, its quite a phenomenon. In front, by the parking lot there’s a large area where people play, camp, and enjoy the outdoors. There’s also a water fountain on the main ground as well as on top of the ARC itself, which you can reach from an elevator inside.
Inside the ARC is another information desk, various galleries, and a cafe. Someone was kind enough to take my photo with the trick eye painting as I forgot my selfie stick at home, and then took the elevator to the roof to enjoy the cool night breeze and to take in the beautiful view.
After a long night of walking around, I was hungry. It was saturday night so I wanted to see some of the nightlife while also enjoying a good meal and maybe something to drink. I ended up going back to the Jung-gu area and found a Japanese restaurant called Osakaya.
I decided to go big for this dinner, and ordered a bottle of peach makkeolli along with two of their most popular dishes. I got the Chicken Karage and the Cheese Fried Rice, both of which were absolutely amazing. I would definitely eat here again the next time I come back.