If you’ve been following along with the series of posts about both the Korean and English versions of the Daegu Stamp Trail, you’ll know that it is almost over! The Korean version covers 30 locations, and the English version covers 10. Previous posts have covered the English version in its entirety as well as half of the Korean book. If you are able to visit all the locations in either, or both, books by October 30th, you can send it in to receive a prize.
Previous posts of Daegu Stamp Trail
This is the third of four installments of blog posts about the Korean version of the Daegu Stamp Trail. This post will just cover the four locations in the Suseong and Gachang areas mentioned exclusively in the Korean version of the book, but you can read about the three that are shared by both here: Click. Please be aware that the four locations covered in this post are not near one another, so it may be best to see them all on different days. The Daegu Bus Information website is a great reference tool for finding how to get from your home to these locations via public transportation, so click this link for more information: Click. As there is no particular route to follow between these sites, let’s begin with the two more active stops and end with both the historical locations.
Apsan is a mountain in the south of the city that is well-known because of the lighted observation platform at the top where you can get a stunning view of the city, especially at night. There are a variety of hiking trails on Apsan, starting on all sides of the mountain. Probably the best-known trail is the very steep one that takes about 45 minutes to hike and brings you directly to the observation platform.
This trail starts as a paved road but becomes more of a typical trail with stairs built into it once you reach a temple at the half way point. It’s a hike that most people, even though who are not avid hikers, are able to accomplish without much trouble.Unfortunately, this well-known trail is not where you get your stamp. In order to get to the office where you can get the stamp, walk across the street under the highway as though you are going to the base of the trail. Once across the street, take a left. A few minutes up the road, you should pass a stone monument on your right, but continue walking straight. Follow the curve of the road to the right. At this point, you’ll begin to see some other trails as you head around to another side of the mountain. Some of these trails bring you to the observation platform at the end of a slightly longer but more gradual hike.
Continue walking straight, and you’ll see a small restaurant/convenience store. Passed the convenience store and to the right is the white building where you need to go to get your stamp. Make sure to go during normal business hours, or the office will be closed. If you show any of the staff in the office your book, they should know how to help you. There are many ways to enjoy Apsan: do the night hike, hike any number of beautiful trails along the mountain, or take the cable cars. You can always go to Apsan and come back another day to get your stamp. There are a variety of buses that take you close to the entrance of the popular night hike, and the closest subway station is hyeongchungno on the red line.
The second more active location in this section of the stamp trail is Suseong Lake/Suseong Resort. Suseong Lake is famous throughout Daegu as having the best, and probably the most expensive, restaurants. In the middle of all of this is a lovely lake with a walking trail completely encircling it. It’s a great place to walk, run, or bike, and there are nice parks to sit and rest as well. There is a fountain in the middle of the lake that runs on intervals, and you can ride in the duck boats if you visit in the summer.
Suseong Resort is a small amusement park on one end of the lake that primarily caters to young children. You won’t find anything like the roller coasters at E-World there. It is just 2,000 won to get in, but you must also pay for the rides and experience programs after that as well. You can get your stamp at the ticket booth at the entrance to the amusement park, but you don’t have to feel obligated to go in. Behind the park is a really unique bingsu café built into the body of an old plane! Make a day of it and get some delicious lunch or dinner, take a walk around the lake, and finish it off with some bingsu for dessert. Suseong Lake is not yet connected to a subway system, but it will be once the new monorail line opens. For now, you can get there on many different bus lines.
Daegu is a city with a ton of history to enjoy and appreciate. Some of the historic locations are apparent to tourists, but other sites are more hidden. Thankfully, the Daegu Stamp Trail helps teach foreign residents as well as tourists the history of this city on a deeper level. Momyeongjae Shrine is between the Manchon (exit 4) and Damti (exit 1) subway stations on the green line. From Damti station exit 1, walk straight as you come out the exit. After about 5 minutes, you will come to a place where the road continues straight, but there is another parallel road that branches off. Look for a brown sign with the name of the shrine on it and follow the arrows. If you miss the sign, take the slight road and walk straight down the road parallel to the main one that you’re on. You’ll walk past some restaurants and coffee shops on your right. Continue walking straight until you get to another sign that tells you to turn right. It should be the first possible right after you’ve walked straight for just a few minutes. At the end of the road is the shrine.
Momyeongjae Shrine is a traditional Korean-style building that was made in 1912 as a monument to Dusachung, a Chinese general who came to help fight against the Japanese Invasion in 1592 and later became a naturalized citizen. You can get your stamp at the information booth next to the shrine. Behind the shrine, you’ll see some hiking/walking trails as well as General Dusachung’s burial site.
NokdongSeowon Confucian Academy is the last location in this section of the stamp book, and, like Momyeongjae Shrine, it is of great historical importance to the city. It is quite simple to get there by public transportation. The Gachang 2 (to Urok), despite being a branch bus, runs about every 40 minutes, and you can catch it at the stop called Naengcheon-ri. Any stop before Naengcheon-ri and there’s a chance you may end up getting on the wrong branch of the bus. The bus will stop directly in front of the Academy.
The Nokdong Seowon Confucian Academy was built in 1789 to commemorate the achievements of Kim Chung-Seon. Kim was a Japanese general who became a naturalized Korean citizen during the Japanese Invasion in 1592. He later spent many years in the Korean military, helping to defend the country against further foreign invasions. The Nokdong Seowon Confucian Academy is a very peaceful place, located off the beaten path surrounded by trees and mountains. Next to the Academy is the Korea-Japan Friendship Center, a museum, opened in 2012, focusing on the long periods of positive interactions and relations between the two countries. The museum also offers several experience programs, including trying on traditional clothing from both countries and doing a tea tasting.
The Gachang and Suseong area of the Daegu Stamp Trails focused on being active as well as historically informed. There are just three weekends left to finish the stamp trail and mail in the book to receive a prize. The upcoming final post in this series will also cover what to do with the book once it is finished, so stay tuned for that.