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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Daegu Stamp Trail Fast Track #3

This is the third of four posts dedicated to helping you get the MINIMUM number of stamps required for the Daegu Tour Stamp Trail. Look for the article “Daegu StampTrail Fast Track #1” for more information.

Let’s look at three more great locations to visit in Jung-gu, the downtown part of Daegu. They’re within walking distance of one another, and at the end you’ll have some good choices for lunch or dinner, so it’s a fine way to spend a Saturday or Sunday if you want to get out and about for a while.

First, some resources. Use these to get around, get help or just get in touch with Daegu a little better.

“Where is Daegu?”Google Map :I’ve made this map to highlight the locations of Daegu Stamp Trail sites current and former, as well as other great places to visit in the city. You can find some of my favorite restaurants, too.

“Where is Daegu?” Facebook group A Facebook group for people dedicated to completing the Daegu Stamp Trail each year. Some, like me, are on their sixth year or more. Need some quick, English-friendly Daegu tourism information? This is your group.

So let’s go.
Stamp #1:Seomun Market. The first stamp is at Seomun Market, a hectic market bursting with shoppers and tourists. It’s quite easy to get there, as it has its own monorail station – Seomun Market Station. Easy enough, right? Head that way and get yourself lost in several buildings’ worth of food, textiles and who knows what else. If you’re really hungry, Seomun Market is famous for kalguksu (a tasty flour-based noodle dish) and napjak mandu (dumplings that actually have nothing in them; literally just the shell). If you’ve got the nerve, jostle with the locals for a place at a table and dig in.
TIP: Seomun Market is a popular tourist spot, but of course countless people come here to shop for goods in their daily lives. If you can haggle skillfully, try picking up a new shirt or cookware or whatever else you might just fancy on a whim. There are bargains to be found if you navigate the market well!
Stamp #2: Dalseong Park. Dalseong Park is built along the remains of the historic Daegu fortress. Its southeastern rim is actually what is left of the fortress’s outer walls. The rest of the park is well-landscaped grounds and a zoo that rings them. It’s a popular place for a picnic or wedding photos, though the animals in the zoo are the biggest draw.
TIP: In all fairness, some foreign visitors are uncomfortable with seeing the animals in the zoo. The animals’ pens and enclosures are not the same as in other countries (they’re quite small, and the animals seem a bit distressed). The city of Daegu is seeking a suitable solution to improving the lives of the zoo’s residents. While the park is lovely, the zoo itself is a bit dismaying.
Stamp #3: Daegu Art Factory. The third and final stop today is Daegu Art Factory, located in a sharply renovated old factory. The building itself is a stylish, smart example of adaptive reuse – the idea of adapting old structures for new purposes, preserving local history while giving something useful to the community and local businesses. What was once a drab, dusty, moldering old pile of brick has been reborn into a haven for modern art and local artists. Give it a good look around, and perhaps stop to the browse through the creative arts library or have some coffee in the first-floor café.
TIP: I’m going to send you to Bukseongno Bulgogi Street, but after that, perhaps on your way over to downtown for some shopping, stop by the Daegu Modern History Museum. I always tell people to go there; it’s just such a thoughtful, fun way to learn more about Daegu. And Hyangchon Cultural Center too! Both are near Jungangno Station, so you might be passing by anyway. But first – bulgogi.
DINNER: Bukseongno has a long history as one of Daegu’s industrial centers. Small workshops and factories line the neighborhood’s streets, filling the air with clanging, banging noises all week. But in the evening, when things quiet down, people stop by to enjoy the area’s contribution to local cuisine – bulgogi, udon and beer, beer, beer under massive orange tents (ideally in pouring rain). Hob-nob with the grease monkeys of Bukseongno and get your fill of hearty, simple dishes. After that, you might be surprised to spy a few trendy, upscale cafes in the area. If you can stand up straight after such a meal, toddle over and have a glass of wine and admire how some of the workshops have been retooled (get it?) to appeal to a new economic class of Daeguites.

And that’s it. Another three stamps under your belt and only three more to go. You can do it!


2 comments:

  1. Thank you for putting these together, you inspired me to start the stamp trial from your first post.
    I managed to get to the 10 stamps this past weekend but I dont plan on stopping!
    I went to Seomon market but couldnt find the stamp location. I find it to be a massave maze, so some help would be appreciated!
    Also I went to Daegu Art Factory and it seemed like all the exhibits were closed, is this right?

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    1. Hey Lewis, that's good to hear! Good luck! The stamp for Seomun Market is at the information booth. The market can be confusing, so it is difficult to give directions. But basically, if you enter the market from the eastern entrance (under the large, colorful "Seomun Market" sign), keep going straight. After about 100 meters you'll come to the underground parking garage. Next to it will be a tiny metal booth -- that's where you'll find the stamp. As for Daegu Art Factory, yeah, I heard they are remodeling these days, so there's a lot of empty space; d'oh!

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