Friday, June 28, 2013

[Tour/Press article] Let’s Enjoy the Taste of Daegu!

Last weekend was the Daegu Food Tour Expo. A couple of friends and I were lucky enough to score spaces on the tour before obtaining free tickets to the exhibition that would showcase international produce along with Korean food, cooking demonstrations - and my favourite part and reason for wanting to go - FREE SAMPLES. Did I mention I like free stuff?

The ‘Noodle Tasting Tour’ left the Exco centre at 9.30am and lasted 4 hours. Our route was Gangjeong Goryeong Weir - The Arc - Yuksinsa Shrine - Donggok Noodle tasting.
Our first stop was the Weir, it was vast and watery and I thought how nice it would be to get a bike and cycle along it.

This is Nakdonggang river - the lifeline of Daegu. The Goryeong Weir has been turned into an attraction as the center of the river in Gangjeong and for also being the largest Weir on the river.

After walking along a bit we were greeted by a spaceship.

Not really, but it was still pretty cool.

The ARC is a center for the Artistry of River Culture and was designed by Hani Rashid, an architect who wanted to express river culture such as skimming stones and jumping fish in his design (which I think he’s done quite accurately). The building looks quite natural and organic on the outside, but on the inside it is like a futuristic pod of touchscreens, floor projections and nicely presented data.

The place is definitely worth another visit as spent most of our allotted time there re-hydrating on the roof, but the little we learnt about river culture was very interesting!

Afterwards we jumped back on the bus and headed to Yuksinsa Shrine. Everything became very green and suddenly it felt like we weren’t in Daegu anymore but some tropical paradise. 

The original Shrine was built in the Joseon Dynasty, and rebuilt in 1981 by the descendants of the dynasty and devotees from memorial tributes. The Shrine’s Taegojeong Pavilion is designated as National Treasure No. 554.

The place was so picturesque and I would love to go back here too as it seems the area had a few walks and a lot more to see! The groundskeepers and devotees have worked extremely hard maintaining the gardens, there were the most beautiful flowers. We talked about how calm we felt and how it would be the perfect place for a picnic before jumping back on the bus.
It was approaching 1pm and we were all hungry from the morning’s travels. Luckily we would be able to try Daegu’s most famous Kalguksu on our next stop!

The restaurant where we ate had been there since 1950 and had even been paid a visit by President Park Geun-hye! I felt honoured to be eating (for free) in such a significant place. We all agreed that the food was delicious and that there is no glamourous way to eat noodles. Nobody looks good doing it, just slurp them up and enjoy (which we did).
This was our last stop and it was time to head back to check out the exhibition. I was excited for the prospect of more free food and the others wanted to pick up some authentic Korean Kimchi. The bus drive back was nice though with some good views and entertainment along the way - we even won a prize! Hooray!

'EXCO is a leading exhibition and convention center in Daegu Metropolitan City. Since opening in April 2001, the EXCO has been successfully hosting international events. Major facilities include exhibition halls, conference rooms, and meeting rooms, while subsidiary facilities include restaurants, cafes, bank, post office, travel agency, medical clinic, business support centers, and convenience store.’ - visitkorea

Even though we had just eaten, our mouths began watering (there’s always room for dessert) we eagerly approached the sweets table but there was something about the food that was a bit strange… It was all plastic! I think this was common practice for the ‘display’ dishes so I forgave, admired, and moved on to the real food.

Tasters acquired include: sweet garlic bread, ice cream, blueberries, quesadilla, Korean pomegranate and apple wine - win.
The exhibition had a lot of international stands including food and drink from the USA, China, Kenya and many other countries. It was busy and smelt delicious. There was a great food court too where you could support local and international suppliers. Despite my initial disappointment with the plastic food the dishes were still very impressive and it was interesting to find out a bit more about the food that we consume and other lesser known alternatives on the market. The expo is great for businesses in this way and I hope that the stall owners generated a lot of interest for their products and brands over the weekend.

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