Friday, November 30, 2012

[Tour] Stay Overnight at a Traditional House

Stay Overnight at a Traditional House

Daegu, with its population of 2.5 million residents, has become a modern metropolis of high rise apartment complexes, busy streets and concrete structures. There is little evidence of “old Korea” in this fast-paced urban center. Old-style dwellings have been abandoned for a modern, some would say more convenient living environment. However, there are many people who miss the old days, when things were slower. 

For these people, special accommodations have been prepared to satisfy their needs, and take them back to a simpler time. These are the traditional house at Otgol Village and the former Guamseowon Confucian Academy. 


The traditional house, called Baekbul-gotaek is located at the foot of the Mt. Palgongsan in Otgol Village. Baekbul-gotaek is the oldest traditional house in Daegu, dating from the Joseon Dynasty, and is one of the best representations of the houses and lifestyle of the Yangban or ruling class. The house is composed of Several Structures, including the Salimchae, a living space with a traditional kitchen, built in 1694; Sarangchae, a building for men, reconstructed in 1905; and the Bobondang, a family shrine, built in 1742. In this traditional house, three rooms are available to rent, each of which can accommodate up to three persons at a cost of 100,000 won per person, per night. Toilet facilities and showers are located in a separate building. Guests can enjoy traditional plays during their stay free of charge; however, the house does not offer kitchen or dining room services. Fortunately, a number of quality restaurants are located nearby. 

Baekbul-gotaek / Photo courtesy of Daum Cafe Dachaeum

   ● Direction
      : Take Donggu 3(To otgol) and get off at Gyeongju Choe's Head House.


Another traditional style house is located in the downtown area of Daegu. Previously known as the Guam-seowon, a Confucian academy, the building was moved to what is now the downtown area of Daegu in 1718. With the expansion of the city over the subsequent centuries, the Confucian Academy was eventually relocated to the Sangyeokdong, Buk gu area of Daegu in 1995, leaving the original structure empty. Now renovated as a representative traditional style structure, the building offers four rooms, which can accommodate two to five people, depending on the size of the room. Rooms for two are available at 40,000 won per night; rooms for three are available 60,000 won per night; and rooms accommodating up to five quests are available at 100,000 won per night. The building is furnished with a fully functional kitchen which guests can use, as well as a shared bathroom. Check-in time for these traditional-style accommodations is 2pm; check-out is at 10am. Since these traditional houses are built mainly of wood, smoking is strictly prohibited in the rooms, and when smoking outside, guests are asked to use extreme caution.

● Direction
   : Take one of 623, 653, Circle 2, Circle 2-1 buses and get off at Sangyeok Cultural Center.

For more details on these traditional houses, please contact the Daegu Cultural Heritage office at 428-9900.

[ Courtesy of Chingusai Vol. 109 ]

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

[Living/Press Article] Daegu Knitters and Crocheters Group

Daegu Knitters and Crocheters Group

Looking to pick up a new hobby?  Then consider knitting or crocheting.  The next "Stitch 'n' Bitch" session will be from 5-8pm this Sunday, December 2nd, at In The Garden Cafe.  Leave through Banwoldang Exit 12, take the first left, and the cafe will be just past the Holy Grill on your right.

The group is opened to all those who knit and crochet and will most likely meet bi monthly.  Come and meet like minded people who enjoy the same hobby.

For more information on when future meetings will take place, check the group's Facebook page at:

If you're new and want personal attention, then consider a class that is being offered by one of the group's members.  Classes will be offered until the end of March. Join the Facebook page for more information. 

For more information on where to buy knitting and crocheting materials in Daegu, check out this blog post:

Monday, November 26, 2012

[Tour/Press Article] Asia's only Sci Fi Memorabilia Museum is in Daegu!

Asia's only Sci Fi Memorabilia Museum is in Daegu!

When we were kids we all let our imaginations run wild and wanted to run away to the fantasy worlds we saw in the movies. Some of us even collected action figures and other merchandise related to our favourite movies and super action heroes.

However, one local entrepreneur has taken this a step further and opened a gallery to house his burgeoning collection of movie memorabilia and to share his passion with others. Reminiscent of the comic book stores back home CW Restaurant and Museum located just outside Daegu is a homage to the most popular and influential SF and fantasy movies of the last four decades. 

CW Restaurant and Museum

I recently discovered about Cinema World in Daegu by accident this week, immediately became excited, and wanted to visit at the first opportunity. With my medium level Korean and the help of a Korean friend I was able to interview owner and CEO Cho Woong.

CEO Cho Woong

Q. Why did you start your collection?
A: After first watching Star Wars I was fascinated by the characters.

Q.What did your family think when you first started?
A: My father was upset at first and it took five years for him to get used to it. 

Q. When did you start collecting?
A: I started 13 years ago at age 22 originally with movie posters and have a very large DVD/BluRay collection.

Q. Where do you get your materials from, the internet, trips to USA, or have them made?
A: Some of them are from ebay. I have been to Japan many times and a few times to the US. Others I make myself.

Q. Have you had a valuation done of your collection or what is the highest value item?
A: The lifesize C3PO & R2D2 was a limited edition purchased from the US five years ago for $400,000.

Lifesize C3PO & R2D2

Q. You have Star Trek and Planet of the Apes which are unknown to most Koreans. How do you know about these?
A: When I was in Seoul AFKN an Armed Forces Services channel would air the Star Trek series so I became interested.

Q. You don’t have any Doctor Who (which currently airs in Korea on BBC Entertainment)?
A: I know of it but want to use things that Koreans will be familiar with, and I don’t know where to buy the merchandise.

Q. Do many foreigners come to visit?
A: There are some foreign students from nearby Yeongnam University that have visited but most foreigners don't know about this place.

Q. Such museums back home would cost over $30 but yours is so cheap at only 3000w.
A: I want to share this with everyone but if I made it free people would think the things aren't valuable so I have to charge something. 


Q. What is your favourite movie or exhibit?
A: I like Back to the Future the best. The ET for the bicycle was a limited edition item I had purchased.

Back to the Future

Q. Have you met any celebrities or been to US fan conventions?
A: I haven’t met anyone like Arnie or the Star Wars actors as none of them have come to Korea. I'd love to go to a Sci Fi convention one day. [I suggested he organize a Korean one with his exhibits and invite some actors!]

Q. What can you tell us about your future plans?
A: This is the only gallery of its kind in Korea, there is not one like it in Seoul. I am from Seoul but the rents were too expensive so I opened my museum in Daegu. I started this location 3 years ago. I want to expand in the future as we've run out of space but I haven’t made plans yet. It’s well known by the Korean media but not by foreigners. This is the only such museum in Asia and my dream is for it to become very famous. 

Cinema World is not just a memorabilia museum but also a restaurant and cafe. 

Restaurant and Cafe Entrance
CW Restaurant
Cinema World Cafe
Rooftop Terrace

The third floor houses the museum and rooftop terrace. The second floor is divided into the restaurant on one half and cafe on the other side. 

CW Restaurant & Museum is easy to reach now that the Green Line 2 has been extended east into Gyeongsan. From Jeongpyeong station two stops before the end of the line you take exit 4 and head across the river. The museum is immediately visible by the river behind the megabox theatre. Visitors from outside Daegu can easily access the subway at DongDaegu if coming by KTX or Express Bus.

Souvenir Guide Book

You can also buy a souvenir memorabilia book for only 1000w. ($1)

This is their website and address
437-1 Daepyeong-dong, Gyeongsan-si, Gyeongbuk

and their Facebook Page

Here is a Korean Blog with illustrations of the restaurant menu items

another Korean Blog with detailed exhibit pics including the restaurant

and another Korean blog showing the exhibits

Batman & Spiderman
Span of Gallery
Star Wars Figures
Marvel Superheroes
Jabba's Palace
Yoda's House
Terminator Exoskeletons
Terminator Robot
Sarah Connor Photo & Arnies Jacket

How this has remained a complete secret from the expat community for so long is a mystery, and for only 3000w admission ($2.70) right outside a subway stop why wouldn’t you go? I'm already planning a second trip back with friends and will be sure to be back many times after that. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

[Food] Taste DAEGU, the 5th story of food streets in Daegu!

Taste DAEGU, 
The 5th story of food streets in Daegu! 

1. 2030 Eatery Alley

There is a very small alley on the east side of Gallery zone in downtown where there are about 17 restaurants reaching to the Rodeo street. Best selling dish in the 2030 alley is Samgyepsal. Because it opens from 5pm to 2am, many young people who want to hang out near the rodeo street and to drink till late night visit this alley often. It's especially crowded on Friday nights.

    ● Address: 32-12 Dongseong-ro 3gil (32-1 Samdeokdong 1ga), Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
    ● Bus: 303, 303-1, 305, 309, 427, 609, 649, 730, 805, 840, 939, 990, 991, Donggu 1-1, Rapid2
    ● Subway: Take subway line1 or line2 and get off at Banwoldang station. Take exit 10.

2. Jung-gu Office Ddeokbokki Street

Ddeokbokki Street is located across the Jung district office and about 10 restaurants are placed in the street. Different from other common ddeokbokki, the ddeokbokki in this street is served with very sipcy sauce but other ingredients such as fish cake and veggies are not included. It tastes best when you dip fried dumplings and odengs into the very spicy ddeokbokki soup. If it's too spicy for you, I recommend drinking sweet juice called “coolpeace”. You can order the juice at the place too. Once you try this spicy ddeokbokki, you will be addicted to it.

    ● Address: 710 Gukchaebosang-ro (314-2 Dongin 4ga), Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
    ● Bus: 106, 305, 323-1, 400, 400-1, 403, 425, 508, 518, 724, 805, 909, Gachang2, Donggu1, Donggu1-1, Rapid3

3. Dongseongno Downtown Snack Alley

Dongseongno snack alley was naturally formed as various restaurants are opened in the alley and young people started to visit the alley for dining. There are various restaurant options from sushi, pasta, shabu-shabu restaurants to noodle and rice restaurants. Price varies according to the type of dishes. The small alley behind McDonald’s is famous for grilled Ddeokbokki restaurants.

    ● Address: 406-20 Jungang daero (70 Sail dong), Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
    ● Bus: 106, 202, 303-1, 349, 401, 410-1, 503, 518, 650, 704, 706, 730, 909, Donggu1-1, Bukgu2, Rapid2
    ● Subway: Take subway line1 and get off at Jungangno Station. Take exit2.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

[Tour/Press Article] Keimyung University Museums

Museums of Keimyung University

Exploring a University Campus may not be the first thing that comes to mind for a spare afternoon but Daegu's Keimyung University Campus is an interesting architectural collection with museums and an outdoor folk village.

The campus is home to two museums, one of which is closed weekends. I was waiting a long time for a spare weekday to go so that I could visit both museums.

The first building you will see at the southeast corner by the metro stop is the performing arts centre. Here they have hosted major productions like Les Miserables, Mamma Mia, and The Three Muskateers when these shows tour in Daegu. 

Wondering around the campus I found a large folk village towards the northwest side. This is similar to the outdoor folk villages you see in places like Andong or Suwon so was strange to be in the middle of a large urban campus.

There are two collections of houses. The first set is made from dark timber and has a raised temple style lookout balcony at the entrance. The architecture and layout is also similar to temples except the buildings are not painted.

A side staircase will lead you to the second set of houses to the left of the first set. This is more traditional rural style and has displays of implements for traditional life.

Like most folk villages they also allow you to participate in traditional crafts as well as a tea drinking ceremony. Its best to check their website for the best time to visit as there are scheduled days/times for these events.

Back outside in front of the village is a small garden and pond with a raised terrace overlooking. This has also been used as a site for shooting several Korean dramas.  

Following the signs east through the campus I was trying to find one of the museums. I made it to one of the buildings that matched the photo on the tourist brochure I had. I asked inside if this was where the museum was.

The lady wasn’t sure and had to ask in the admin office who directed us to the 2nd floor. Here inside the library was the Relics Exhibition. Unfortunately it was closed this week and the lady told me I'd have to come back next week.

Of the two museums on campus this was the one that was closed weekends and weekdays after 4pm and why I made a special weekday trip. It seems unlikely I'll have an opportunity to come here again. They have a website, though it’s all in Korean and I can’t find a reference or photos of the relics exhibition:

Wandering back I tried to find the larger main museum. I had in fact passed it as it wasn’t clearly marked. The Hengso Museum is housed in its own building with landscaped grounds. 

The two story interior houses a photo exhibit on the ground floor. There are illustrations of Korean life at the start of photography. Interesting are many early photos of Seoul showing it to be mostly rural, traditional, and undeveloped.

The grand staircase then leads you to a second floor with a wraparound exhibit in various stages. It begins with the history of the university, its founding in the 1950s, and various university awards.

Then begins the archeological section with various excavation finds. Collections range from clay pots, daggers and spear heads, and a duck shaped pot.

The next exhibition room has bronze and copper ware. This is a more militaristic theme as we have battle armament along with the large elaborate egg shaped carving which was the symbol of the Baekje Dynasty. 

There is then a buddhist collection of tiny buddha carvings along with giant buddha heads. 

This leads next to the ceramics collection where there is beautifully decorated porcelain, leading finally to the handcrafts section.

The Hengso Museum is open everyday except Sundays and Public Holidays. It was quite impressive, comparable to National Museums in other cities so more than made up for the first museum that was closed in the university library. They also have their own website at:

I was then debating if I wanted to hike to the top of the hill at the west side of the campus where there is a large chapel. Since I probably wasn’t going to come here again I decided to give it a look. 

After a steep climb you are rewarded with another unique architectural jewel housing an elaborate chapel. The interior has vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows. Inside the main dome is more stained glass. 

There is a giant organ at the front which would be interesting to hear playing during sunday service. The chapel also provides for stunning views looking down on the campus and cityscape.

The university has some other interesting architecture particularly a Dutch style turret on top of one of the other larger buildings. It was an interesting way to spend an afternoon despite one of the museums being closed. Most universities in Daegu tend to have a free museum on campus, although I'm not sure if they are specific to fields of studies offered.