Bullo-dong Tomb Park, near Daegu International Airport, is among my absolute favorite places to visit in Daegu. It’s a great mix of nature and history, and in some ways it’s just plain eerie when you think about it. It’s also one of Daegu’s best places for a picnic. I wanted to share photos from four visits I’ve made to the park since 2012.
There are more than 200 tombs in the park, each filled with the remains of the ancient inhabitants of the Daegu area – easily more than a thousand people – and the artifacts they considered relevant to their afterlife. Excavations have revealed gold, bronze and iron bits of jewelry and weapons as well as pottery, shark remains and more. (They apparently had an advanced trade network across the Korean Peninsula.) Dating to the Three Kingdoms period (circa the 6th century CE), the tombs provide a fascinating look into how early Korean culture and society developed.These days the immediate joy of the tomb park is its natural scenery. Springtime brings an uncommon amount of flowers growing up and down and in-between the tombs, as you can see in the photos above (from April 2012). It’s quite an experience, rambling among these old tombs that have stood by silently for centuries.
I wouldn’t really advise climbing the tombs – every footstep can displace soil that and slowly erode the soil – but I couldn’t blame you for mistaking the tombs for hills. Look at them! I still can hardly believe they were built by man. And there are so many! It’s truly an amazing undertaking; it tells us a lot about the organizational and spiritual power of the people who built them.
Avid runners can meet their match trying to job between the tombs and up and down all the slopes they dot along. Not that I would know; I’m strictly a strolling kinda guy, especially when hills are involved.
The photos above, from October 2013, show the park on a crisp fall afternoon. I remember taking some friends to the park that day and smiling at their disbelief – the hills were all tombs, and they couldn’t see how. Really, this place is freaky and impressive.And above is from September 2015. A friend and I were admiring the flowers when we came across an old lady picking plants at the base of one of the larger tombs. She told us she was collecting lemongrass and other herbs that grow naturally in the park, and she was pretty excited about the dishes she would prepare with them later. I was too, but I couldn’t exactly invite myself to dinner, so we just wished her happy hunting and continued our walk around the park.
And the above are from May 2016. A surprisingly green day at the tomb park, though the sun was coming out a little too strong. We made a quick circuit of the larger tombs in the middle of the park and moved along to Palgongsan nearby.
Bullo-dong Tomb Park is a stop on the Palgongsan Course of the Daegu City Tour Bus. It’s also on the Daegu City Stamp Trail, so I go there every year to get the stamp. Actually, it’s always my first destination of the year. That’s the stamp in the photo above, and the tail-end of the tour bus.
Going to Bullo-dong Tomb Park is easy enough. There’s the Daegu City Tour Bus, of course, and its Palgongsan Course runs daily (except Monday) from Dongdaegu Station and Sinnam Station.
The nearest subway station is Ayanggyo Station, and from there you can take buses 101-1 or 401 to the Bullo Cheonju Church stop, followed by a 10-minute walk to the park.