Daegu, also spelled Taegu, is a city where the majority of Travel and Teach teachers go to teach English. It is an affluent city and is the third largest metropolis in South Korea. It is right on the railway lines so it is easy to travel around the country since it is the crossroads to access any and all points in Korea.
It is a city with one main downtown core and is surrounded by mountains, provincial parks and temples, so it offers teachers the 'best of both worlds', having the split between the big city feel and with the rural areas.
The Daegu region has four distinct seasons like all other regions in Korea. It is surrounded by high mountains in the northeast and south, and has cooler temperatures in the winter and hot and sticky temperatures in the summer.
If you are keen on outdoor activities, you can get a nice balance between urban and rural in colorful Daegu. The city has a total of 4.5 million trees along the streets and in the parks of the downtown area. The total area of Daegu's parks also turns out to be the largest among all the seven metropolitan cities; parks occupy approximately14% of the city’s total area. It is also in close proximity to the East coast, so if you love the surf, you aren’t far from the waves.
Daegu is popular for sporting events, home of the Samsung Lions baseball team and the Daegu FC soccer team.
Daegu on Wikipedia
Daegu City website
Landmarks in this area:
- Donghwasa Temple: Reconstructed in 832 A.D, the temple is known as the ‘temple of winter flowers’. A 33 meter high Buddha was built recently as a sign of hope for the reunification of the Korean Peninsula
- Yongyeonsa Temple: Founded in 912 AD, this temple contains 17 buildings as well as stupas and stone pagodas. It also boasts beautiful cherry blossoms along the gateways in the spring
- Bullo-dong Ancient Tomb Park: Built during the ‘Three Kindoms Era’, there are 211 tombs which are very well preserved. The tombs are said to be those who once ruled the area.
- Daegu National Museum: In addition to ancient exhibits, the museaum holds various cultural events that include performances and movies. Free admission is offered from time to time for such events
- Yugasa Temple: Founded by a Buddhist teacher in 827 A.D, the temple is located deep in the valley of Mount Biseulsan. With its beautiful rock peaks, cliffs and secluded location, the temple is known as a great place to meditate
- Palgongsan Provincial Park: Offers great sightseeing to tourists with its stone pagodas and over 20,000 sunflowers surrounding the area
- Gyoridaek (House) in Daesan-dong: Established in 1760, the house was lived in by Lee Gwisang who was a descendant of the founder Lee Seokgu.
- Costco: Most likely not considered a landmark to Koreans, but certainly to English teachers or other expats in Korea. You can find pretty much the same items in Costco in Korea as you would back home: great cheese, fine wine, and all the junk food you can handle!
Festivals in Deagu:
- Dalseong Chunghyoje: This festival is a celebration of tradition and a passing from the younger generation to the next generation. The people of Daegu hold tradition and culture in high regard, and so the Dalseong Chunghyoje is a great way to showcase this. The festival is held every October at the Dalseong-gun Community Stadium.
- Mount Biseulsan Azalea Festival: This festival is held between the months of April and May when the Azalea flower is in bloom. Activities include dancing, drumming performances and traditional Korean folk games.
- Bongsan Fine Art Festival: For 12 days every October, the fine arts festival is held in the Bongsan Culture and along Art Street. There are plenty of art exhibitions set up along the street as well as seminars on fine arts offered. Visitors are also able to participate in creating their own art themselves.
- Palgong Goryeo Cultural Festival: This festival is held every October and is hosted by the Dong-gu District office at the Palgong Cultural Center. The Cultural Festival celebrates Korea’s Three Kingdoms and makes efforts toward the reunification of the North and South on the Korean peninsula.
- Yangnyeongsi Herbal Medicine Festival: This festival has been held every fall since 1995 and celebrates Korea’s successful traditional herbal medicine. The festival includes activities such as singing, writing and cooking contests and also has traditional performances and a Taekwondo demonstration. Most people go to the festival because of the free diagnosis and treatments that are given to visitors, both Korean and international.
- Dongseongno Festival: Dongseongno Street is the busiest street in all of Daegu, which is always filled with young people and offers a variety of stores shops. During the festival, there are marching bands as well as a traditional Korean drum dance.
- Textile & Fashion Festival: This festival was created to shed light on the textile industry in Daegu for it to be seen as one of the largest textile production centers of the world. It includes a sewing and design competition, as well as a swimsuit show.
Nightlife in Daegu:
- Commune's Club: The club is on the basement level and is very popular among English teachers as well as other expats. Even if the atmosphere is not particularly your style, it is a good place to meet other foreigners.
- Gypsy Rock: More of a club than a bar scene, Gypsy Rock plays a lot of Hip Hop and is known among local expats as one of the premier clubs in Daegu. The doors open at 10pm and close sometime after 3am, depending on the number of people still there at that time. A 5,000 Won cover charge is the cost of admission.
- Elvis Bar: More of a bar than a club, Elvis Bar offers a variety of western beer as well as Korean beer which can be bought by the pitcher. It is an English-friendly bar, as the staff speak well enough to serve their patrons, which are largely expats. Free popcorn is served and no cover is charged at the door.
- The Thunderbird Lounge: Located in the heart of downtown Daegu, the Thunderbird Lounge is one of the original expat hangouts and is one of the only foreign owned bars in Daegu. Complete with a big screen TV and a foosball table, the atmosphere is one that feels like a local bar from home.
- Frog and Bubble: This is one of the more popular clubs in Daegu as it is simply a good time. The cover is 10,000 Won which gives access to both clubs and includes a free drink ticket. Western appetizers are also available.
Transportation in Daegu:
Daegu Bus Route Guide: Bus terminals to other cities
Train terminals + KTX to other cities
Cost of taxis: Within 2km, 2200 Won. After 2km, it is 100 Won for every 150m.