Peek into the Free-Spirited City that's Daegu!

by Michelle Li

As I was looking through the Korean cities that we’ve travelled around, I soon realised that we haven’t covered Daegu at all! This surprised me because it’s actually the second largest city (first being Busan which you can tour around here). A city located in the South-Eastern side of Korea, Daegu is known to be where the fashion and high-tech industries bloomed. But I’m sure after we look around Daegu, you’ll soon realise there’s a lot more you can see that aren't all focused on the industries I’ve just mentioned.

Firstly, there are quite a few water activities which I didn’t expect. Let’s take a look at Daegu Spa Valley where there are various hot springs! There’s two floors, and the second one is where you’ll have a full day of activities waiting to greet you! Several hot spring pools, many steam rooms even a herbal path bool and when in Korea, it’s a must to go to a bathhouse or  jjimjilbang (찜질방) in Korean. For something a bit more family-friendly, how about the Duryu Water Park?  You can find many water slides and wave pools to splash around in. Daegu actually experiences the hottest summers in Korea that there’s even a name to describe this, Daefrika (대프리카), combining Daegu and Africa together. So a Water Park like this is the best and fastest way to cool off!

The next Daegu hotspot is Sparkland Amusement Park which is actually located on the top three floors of department store, Spark Mall. There’s two zones, indoor and outdoor rides so you can get the full amusement park experience. A must is the ferris wheel in the outdoor zone to get a breathtaking aerial view of Daegu. If you’ve got an urge for crazy rides (like the roller coaster in the image 🎢 ), Daegu E-World is made up of four outdoor amusement parks, all with different themes. If you go, you might as well check out the E-World Tower closeby too. 

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If those thrilling activities aren’t your thing, let’s venture out to Duryu Park, home to Daegu Tower, the tallest observatory tower in South Korea. The Osaek Fountain located in this park is said to contain mineral water which has healing properties. But this park isn’t just your typical park; feel free to explore the Duryu Library and Daeseongsa Temple at your leisure. Oh, and if these plus the 133 species of trees and plants aren’t already enough, there’s a skating rink, swimming pool, tennis court and even a judo centre located in Duryu Park too!

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There’s also the Daegu Arboretum, the first of its kind in Korea where a landfill was turned into an arboretum. Thus, it became the first eco-friendly ecological park! No matter when you go, each season offers a different feel as each flower can bloom at different times of the year. Upon nature, you can find hanok pavilions tucked away which makes the Daego Arboretum even more of a place to visit for a cute photoshoot session. If you happen to visit Daegu in the spring (which coincidentally is the best time to go to Korea 😉), Geumho Flower Island is another must go! A popular picnic spot and bike riding destination, this island is asking to be part of a romantic day’s date plan.

There’s already so much to do and we haven’t even got to the food! Now there’s a whole list of local Daegu dishes from mungtigi (뭉티기) or marinated raw beef to muchimhoe (무침회), basically a seafood salad. But what intrigued me the most is on one street, there’s a line of restaurants that specialise in gopchang (곱창) pork intestines. Now it may sound a bit weird but this has gained popularity even with the MZ Generation! I reckon for first timers, the way to ease yourself into trying it is when it’s k-bbq’d. I’ve seen a lot of Koreans talk about the Ajirang Madang Gopchang restaurant located in this alley. They expose the pork intestines to a fire pit before serving. When k-bbq'd after, the pork intestines are chewy, savoury and there’s a smokey and addictingly yummy flavour that comes out. 

Facebook | 봉산동 생고기집

Remember how I said raw beef was a local delicacy too? If you feel like treating yourself, go to hanok-inspired Bongsandong-saeng (봉산동 생고기집). The signature dish is obviously their fresh raw beef but this is also plated with marinated raw beef too. You’re given egg yolk, two different marinades to enjoy it with as well as white rice rolled in seaweed, the most simplistic version of kimbap (김밥). But nonetheless, I think it’s a perfect pairing to balance out the richness of the beef and egg yolk.

Even though Daegu isn’t considered a tourist destination, that’s not to say there is not much to do. Being one of the largest city, you definitely find a vast variety of activities whether you’re up for something adventurous or a simply a relaxing day out. If you’re a foodie, I’m sure you can tell there are way TOO many delicious dishes to eat. A family day, couple date or spending time alone, Daegu is a K-city not to miss out on!  

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