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Daegu

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Daegu (대구, 大邱), also spelled Taegu, is the fourth largest city in South Korea.

The colors of Daegu

Understand

Dubbing itself "Colorful Daegu", Daegu is situated in the middle of a wide, flat valley. Thus it is quite literally rectangular in shape, with the subway system forming a stretched X over this region. The city plays host to one of South Korea's largest US military bases.

To learn more about the city, you can borrow a PDA from Tourist Information Center at Daegu Airport, Daegu Tourist Information Center and some hotels for your trip. It contains tourist information such as maps, transportation, tourist sites, accommodation, restaurants and shopping, and GPS service. In addition, it also provides useful expressions in Korean, English and Japanese, and has a '119' key which will be used for emergencies. If you have a local ID card (or passport) and credit card, you can use the PDA for free but you need to pay a communications fee. Tel :053-803-3633 [1].

Get in

By plane

Daegu Airport [2] (TAE/RKTN) has some services to Seoul, Jeju, China, Philippines and Bangkok. The airport is quite small and shared with the Airforce.

It is located in eastside of the city. To go to the downtown area, there is a bus (No. 401, Fare: W1,100) and you can also ride a taxi. (Dongsungro district(Centre of the city/fare around W7,000, 25min), Dongdaegu train station (Around W3,000, 10min)).

There is a hotel, Hotel Airport [3] in the same area. The roomrate is usually from around W130,000 including tax.

By train

There are two train stations in the city. One is Dongdaegu(East Daegu) station and the other is Daegu station. Both two stations connect by Subway Line 1, as the same name.

  • Dongdaegu(East Daegu) station

It is the main, larger station. Note that KTX trains stop only at this station. KTX trains connect Seoul to Busan via Daegu and Daejeon, usually they take an hour and 40 minutes to Seoul and 38 to 44 minutes to Busan. They are usually in every 20~30 minutes. The fare to Seoul is W38,400, Busan is W14,000 and Daejeon is W16,900. (At the time of June 2011) There are other trains such as Saemaeul and Mugunghwa. They also go to Seoul and Busan. (Gyeongbu line) But you can go to other places from this station. There are trains to Yeongcheon and Pohang, Gyeongju, Ulsan and Haeundae.(Haeundae is a very famous beach in Busan city)

  • Daegu station

It is located in the centre of the city(Dongsungro/Jungangro). The station is a complex building with Lotte department store(the largest domestic department chain). Only Saemaeul and Mugunghwa trains stop at this station. Because of its location, it is easy to access to the downtown(5 to 10 min by walk) or other places of the city.

For travelling by train, visit an Official website of Korail. [4] It provides Timetables, fare, and some informations around their stations.

By car

1. Gyungbu highway located between Daejun and Kyong Ju

By bus

There is an extensive intercity bus system in South Korea. Buses go directly from Daegu to Seoul in just under 4 hrs. They only have 3 seats in a row allowing for larger and more comfortable seats than on a normal North American bus.

Get around

By subway

Daegu has a two-line subway network that intersects at the main downtown stop Banwoldang. Line 1 ( red line) runs from Daegok to Ansim and Line 2 ( green line) runs from Munyang to Sawol. Stops are announced in both Korean and English. Subways typically run from 5:30am to 11:30pm. Tickets can be purchased from machines or at a customer service booths. To enter the subway, scan your token and HOLD ON TO IT because you will need to insert your token as you exit. There are ticket machines marked " complimentary tickets" but these are for people with specific ID cards.

By taxi

Taxis are cheap and easy to find. Be aware that people in Daegu do not use street addresses. To give directions, you should give the nearest landmark to your destination such as a department store, hotel, or movie theater.

By tour bus

Daegu operates a City Tour Bus that passes by many cultural remains and otherwise touristy places. It is open year-round and operates from 10:00 everyday departing from Daegu Tourist Information Center, Dongdaegu Train Station and Banwoldang. It costs about 5,000 won for an adult with discounted fares for school students.

See

Woobang Tower, landmark of Daegu

Palgongsan : Pangongsan is a mountain located north-east of Daegu and about 20km from downtown. It's central peak is Birobong which is 1,192m above sea level and also has other peaks such as Dongbong and Seobong. Although it belongs to Daegu City, it contains four other cities and its total size is 30,593km². It looks like a sacred ground of Buddhism because there are many Buddhist statues, pagodas and rock cliffs Buddhas in Palgong Mountain. Gatbawi is a Buddhist statue located on the top of mount Palgongsan which is believed to grant one’s wish once in a life and attracts visitors from the whole country.

Hiking trails of Palgongsan:

  1. Donghwasa Temple -> 20 min. -> Budoam Hermitage -> 40 min. -> Yeomburam Hermitage -> 60 min. -> Dongbong Peak -> 90 min. -> Ticket Booth
  2. Pagyesa Temple -> 40 min.-> Pagyejae Pass-> 3 hrs. -> Dongbong Peak -> 2hrs. & 40 min. -> Inbong Peak -> 100 min. -> Bakhongam Hermitage -> 50 min. -> Eunhaesa Temple
  3. Eunhaesa Temple -> 50 min. -> Bakhongam Hermitage -> 2 hrs. -> Inbong Peak -> 90 min. -> Gatbawi Buddha -> 40 min. -> Parking lot

Other parks include Bongmu Reports Park between Daegu Airport and the entrance of Palgong Mountain, it has playgrounds and equipment for tennis, Jokku, badminton, shooting and so on; you can enjoy of outdoor variety sports.

Not only the Palgong Mountain, but also Apsan Park, Woobang Tower Land, Daegu Arboretum, Mangwoo Park, Gyeongsan-gamyeong Park and Gukchaebosang Memorial Park are also good sightseeing. And if you arrive in downtown, Dongsungro, you can enjoy shopping for jewelry and clothes and visiting Kyodong Market and Seomoon Market add you more fun.

Nightlife is usually found outside the main universities (Kyungpook, Keimyung) and in the downtown area (Banwoldang). Banwoldang is where the greatest concentration of foreign restaurants lies, and weekend nights are filled with people shopping, walking, or sitting in the innumerable pubs, coffee shops, and cafes.

Visit Woobangland, Daegu's largest theme park and home to Woobang Tower, Daegu's tallest building.

Do

Attend a Samsung Lions baseball game.

A bungee jump from Woobang Tower

Learn

As in all cities in Korea, there are numerous YMCAs which offer English lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners. They also offer tutoring sessions.

Work

Like all Korean cities, Daegu has numerous job openings for ESL / EFL teachers at public schools and private academies. Most teaching jobs require applicants to be come from a country where English is the official language, and to have a three- or four-year college degree. Salaries for teaching jobs generally start between 2.0 and 2.5 million Korean Won per month and often include free housing and round-trip airfare. Many foreigners instruct at the numerous universities in Daegu as well, but these positions will usually require graduate degrees.

For more information about teaching English in Korea through the priavte-sector, visit eslcafe.com, worknplay.co.kr, eslstarter.com and englishspectrum.com. For the public-sector, visit epik.go.kr.

Buy

Eat

You can find a place to eat anywhere you go in Daegu for any price range. The are a large number of restaraunts downtown around Bandwoldong station. You can find anything from Western, such as the Holy Grill near subway exit 13; to Turkish Kebabs, Uzbek, Italian, Japanese, etc.

For those with special dietary needs, Daegu has a considerable number of the Loving Hut chain of organic, vegan, new pseudo-religious group-run restaurants. The one outside the National University of Education (literally outside the central gate and on the left, 5 minutes from the subway) is probably the most central. Check the website for listings.[[5]]

Drink

  • Gypsy Rock (짚시랔), KNU North Gate (Walk past Paris Baguette with Dunkin Donuts behind you. Keep going until you see Gypsy Rock on your right.). 8pm. A great underground "rock bar" in the KNU North Gate area. The lighting is a little dark, the air a little damp, the music a bit too loud, but Gypspy Rock remains one of Daegu's best watering holes. The owner of the bar, Dohan, speaks English well and is more than happy to take any request songs from his voluminous library of rock music. The bar is busiest on Friday and Saturday nights, when both students and English teachers from the nearby university come to unwind. With that in mind, it's a great place to meet locals and expats. 3000won/draft beer.


Sleep

Budget

There are a few options for budget accommodations in Daegu. There is currently one hostel in Daegu, as well as plenty of motels and jjimjilbang (찜질방) for the budget minded. See the main South_Korea article for more information on these options.

"Love Hotels" are very common in Daegu and Korea and are usually found near nightclubs, train stations, or downtown areas. They will often have red neon hearts or other obvious signage. Love hotels are often used by the sort of clientele who rent by the hour, but are quite safe and offer cheap, convenient, albeit spartan accommodation. Basic rooms might be below 30,000 but for the real experience some rooms will have the full porn-set treatment such as heart-shaped beds or whirlpool baths.

  • Danimbackpackers, 070-7532-9119 / +82-10-7757-6116 (), [6]. The first and currently only hostel in Daegu is "Danimbackpackers". "Danim" means "traveling" in Korean. Danimbackpackers is located in downtown Daegu near the Banwoldang Subway Station, Daegu's central subway station where both subway lines intersect. It takes only 5 minutes on foot to downtown, and is easy to get to any place in Deagu by public transportation. Staff are young and enthusiastic to help travelers and are English-speaking. Additionally, this hostel offers 1 free drink for every night at it's bar and breakfast is included in the price.


  • Union Tourist Hotel, 053-252-2221. The Union Tourist Hotel is located just west of Daegu station. Rates are between 38,000 and 50,000 Won per night. The rooms are fairly large and clean but somewhat old, and the bathrooms, especially the bathtubs, are in need of remodeling. Nevertheless, it is a quiet, comfortable, and affordable place to stay. If you call to reserve a room, you receive a discount. Front desk number: 053-252-2221.
  • LifeSpa, [7]. A short taxi ride from Jincheon subway station. It might be best to ask for 'Oncheon', or follow a map from the website, http://www.lifespa.kr/page_lifespa5.php. This is a jjimjilbang in west Daegu, near to the west bus terminal, Woobang Tower Land and Duryu Park. The entry fee, under 10,000 WON, includes access to a large bathing area and impressive hot rooms. There are provincially themed rooms including Mungyeong and Gyeongju rock. One scorchingly hot room has a carriage of rocks on tracks that seem to have come from a great subterranean forge. There is a snow room, which is far more impressive than most jjimjilbang ice rooms, with falling snow from above. Unfortunately, this room can look a little ransacked if it has hosted families or drunks in the evening. There are small male and female sleeping rooms, but the open sleeping areas are fairly quiet too. The provision of sleeping mats is much worse than in most jjimjilbangs. The baths and saunas are large and impressive. There are several standard pools, a big cooled pool where kids enjoy swimming, a great pine steam sauna and a traditional hot spring room with cold fresh air. The PC room is large and in good repair, there is a restaurant and a rooftop garden and there are far more television screens than could possibly be necessary.

Mid-range

Splurge

Of course someone not on a tight budget will be able to stay at the better hotels in Daegu. Readers are cautioned though that what go as deluxe hotels in Daegu are not much better than "motel6".

The nicest hotel in Daegu is probably Hotel the Inter-Burgo, which is far out of the city center.

The next is probably the Walker Lodge, but is only for military.

Others include:

Eldis Regent: drawbacks include small parking lot that is overfilled at any event (weddings), usually weekends, but clears out in evening. Also rare for a taxi driver to recognize the name, expect to show a map or give directions from the Prince (nearby).

Prince: almost any taxi driver knows when you ask for the Prince Hotel. Parking area seems smaller than the others but generally with less trouble. Standard rooms are fairly large but many seem a bit run down. Water coolers in the hallways save on bottled water. Wireless internet reception varies.

Grand: Rooms roughly the same as the Prince. Has a parking garage but often a tight squeeze.

Daegu Garden: Rooms said to be not as nice as the Prince or Grand, is near a more active nightlife area.

Novotel Daegu City Center: Located in the main downtown area of Daegu, this is the only major international chain hotel in the city of Daegu.

Contact

Stay safe

Like the rest of Korea, all of Daegu is safe at any time of the day. However, westerners, especially minorities or men with Korean women, may encounter hostility from drunken men, but this is increasingly rare. The water is safe, but newcomers with sensitive stomachs should be prudent with street food or with the spice levels. Be aware that some, but not all, ATM machines close before midnight if you need late-night drinking money.

Korean taxi drivers may drive somewhat eratically. Drivers are usually honest and being cheated on fares is not common.

Cope

Get out

  • The major cities of Seoul, Daejeon, Ulsan or Busan via the KTX.
  • Andong, home of the annual International Mask Festival and World Heritage rated Hahoe Folk Village.
  • Gayasan Mountain National Park, home to Haeinsa, one of Korea's Three Jewel Temples and a World Heritage Site.
  • Gumi, nearby electronics powerhouse, but not without its fair share of hiking opportunities too.
  • Gyeongju, Korea's cultural capital and home to World Heritage rated Donghaksa Temple.


Routes through Daegu
DaejeonGimcheon (Gumi) ←  NW noframe SE  Shin-gyeongjuBusan
END  NW noframe S  MiryangBusan
END  NW noframe S  MiryangMasan


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