Friday, February 28, 2014

[Restaurant/Press Article] A Boribap Restaurant, Gonji Gonji

My friends and I headed to Apsan for a hike, and then some food afterwards. We found Gonjigonji (Onggiboribap) Restaurant, a healthy choice after our morning hike. Boribap (보리밥) is barley and rice boiled together and mixed with a lot more banchan. It is then flavored with dwenjang. This can be a good option for vegetarians, though often one or two fish dishes may be included.

My friend recommended the gondeurae dolsotbap (곤드레돌솥밥), as the root is a regional food to the province. It translates to the Lanceolate root, called 'Sasam' in Chinese characters. It tastes sweetly bitter. Dolsot, meaning "stone pot", is a very hot stone bowl in which the rice is cooked against the sides of the bowl. 

After taking the rice out and mixing it with other side vegetables you pour rice water into it and covering it with the wooden cover. After finishing your meal, the leftover toasted rice from the sides of the bowl melt into the water, giving you a crunchy chewy treat at the end.

The barbequed pork on charcoal fire, the bulgogi,  was delicious. It was a perfect amount of spice that set off a good start to the meal and the less flavorful rice dishes. I highly recommend it. The boiled barley camed with a lot of side dishes and  special fermented soybean paste that is a little different from the regular fermented bean paste stew. It is a bit more frothy as it is the leftover of when you do make dwenjjang.

There is plenty of banchan with the dishes and a great place to have traditional korean food after a good hike.

[Gonjigonji (Onggiboribap) Restaurant - 곤지곤지 (옹기보리밥) - 앞산]
  -Address: Daegu Namgu Daemyeong9dong 540-19(대구광역시 남구 대명9 540-19)
 -Phone: 053-656-8872

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

[Information] Oppa! Take me to Korea! ─ A famous blogger from Singapore named 'littlemisshoo' published a travel guide book of Daegu!

Rosalind Hoo(Nickname: littlemisshoo), who works for Bank of America Merill Lynch in Singapore, is leading a group of travel bloggers in Southeast Asia.

After having been fascinated by the series of Korean soap operas and K-pops, she visited Korea more than 10 times since 2002. As her interests in Korean entertainment were expended to many other things she met in Korea, she started to introduce tourist attractions, especially Seoul and Jeju, on her blog.

Here's how the story started. One day, Hoo visited the exhibition of National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) and got some information about Daegu. By some chance, she was lucky enough to be invited to Daegu by Daegu government to look around some tourist spots and a couple of locations of movie/TV series shooting. She finally decided to publish a travel guide book, titled ‘Oppa! Take me to Korea!’ introducing the tourist spots, restaurants and cafes which she had visited in Daegu.

Hoo described Daegu as a clean, full of richness of various food and lovely city in the book. The best thing, she wrote, while she was in Daegu, was that she could enjoy many experiential programs in the city. 

The tourist spots she recommended were the café ‘C’est La Vie’, the campus of Keimyung University, Yangnyeongsi museum of oriental medicine, Kim Kwang-Seok Street, Seomun market, Donghwasa temple and several restaurants. Not only the attractions aforementioned but also general tourism information on transportations, the location of information centers, and the web sites of Daegu tour are introduced in the book.

You can find this wonderful guide book at Gyobo book store (Seoul and Daegu) and Amazon as well.

Monday, February 24, 2014

[Living/Press Article] Things you’ll miss from Korea

It is February in Korea which signals for many the end of work contracts and time to  move on from this lovely country. Whether you’ve had a rocky time here and can’t wait to get on the plane or if you have loved every second and are fearing the teary good byes its important to stop for a moment and enjoy the crazy things you will miss once you go (even if it’s just an excuse to drag your friends out for a few more ‘farewell’ events).
Things you’ll miss from Korea:

If you have lived in Korea for even a few days you will already know the experience that is ‘Norae Bang’. If you have some how missed this phenomenon, Norae Bang translates to ‘Singing Room’ and it is just that. A room you hire for (normally) a small amount of money where you have hundreds of songs to choose from. Once you pick your song the lights start flashing, your friends play the tambourine and you sing the night away. Norabang is unique because it’s not just Karaoke, there’s something special about having your own space with friends to make private fools of yourselves. Singing rooms are starting to pop up around the world. The UK has a few establishments but the rarity means it is an expensive past time. So get to those Norabang booths now before you head home and crave those tiny singing booths and the hours of fun they bring.

Whether you love or hate Korean food you will definitely not find it easy to find it when you leave. If you are lucky enough to live in a place like LA or New Jersey you will already have small Korean towns in your cities that will supply the basics but for the rest of us we may never see red pepper sauce again. I know one or two people that think this won’t be a problem but whether it’s the huge honey pizzas, sweet potato lattes, peanut butter squid or just the ice cream there is something unique here that everyone has taken a liking too, even if it’s the novelty of cheese. I know of people that have left Korea and who send me emails begging me to send them Maxim coffee sticks and Sam Guap Sal sauce. If you are a lover of Korean food like me you will have already had to come to terms with leaving all this loveliness behind but if you haven’t given it a second thought, maybe you should spare a moment for those little touches that you loved in Korea (and if possible fill your suitcases with them).


Most people who head away from Korea are off on an adventure. You may be heading to Vietnam with family, Cambodia with your boyfriend or maybe Australia to live but all of you will be heading to different shores. This is exciting in itself but spare a moment for all the travel Korea allowed you to do. It may be expensive to get off this small part of the world but when you do the world is your oyster. Taiwan, China and Thailand are mere hours away and then of course there’s always the quick hop to Japan.
Even if you didn’t travel much around Asia during your time here the traveling and differing environments you can visit inside Korea are vast. Ski resorts and snow capped mountains, long sunny beaches, temples in the forest and tiny tropical islands are all part of the Korean experience. Before you jump on that plane and head away take a second to tip your hat to all those badly planned excursions and fantastic trips that let you see a whole lot more than you ever thought Korea had to offer.

Firstly, what is an Ajuma? Almost every foreigner I have spoke to here in Korea can give you their own interpretation of what this term means but my personal interpretation would be fiery old ladies that run this country. These visor wearing lovelies demand you take a seat on the bus, help you choose your dinner or just demand respect and they deserve it. I suppose this is an unfair category and the real thing you should be ready to miss is Korean people. There may be many differences between your nation and theirs but I haven’t meant anyone in Daegu that hasn’t been shocked at a pure act of kindness from a stranger or that doesn’t have a funny story about this loving nation. Korean people are definitely unique in the world and although we will all bump into Korean people from time to time as we travel it is a privilege to be here at the heart of their culture and society for a little while.

Love it or loath it the Korean drinking culture is by far the weirdest and most magical thing a lot of westerners have experienced. Doing shots with your local shop owner and getting drunk with your boss at 5pm is a regular story around the BBQ table in Korea. Mikgu, Soju and Makgollie have definitely passed most foreigners lips (sometimes all in one night) and they will be hard to replace. A small bottle of Soju can be found in the UK but it is being sold for the shocking price of 30,000\. Makgollie is the most unique alcoholic drink I’ve personally experienced and I don’t expect to find a replacement. Leaving behind the delicious food and conversation that comes from sitting around a strawberry Makgollie pot and ladling it to all my friends will be one of my fondest memories of this country. I may just have to start a Makgollie home brewing system when I leave.

 Public Transport
If you keep up with British news you will have recently seen the chaos that is the London subway (tube) strikes. This normal and frequent occurrence around the world is not something you would have to deal with here. Delayed subways and cancelled buses are rare. Waiting an extra 10 minutes when you watch your subway pull away from the station as you run down the stairs is probably the closest to public transport annoyances you’ll find here in Korea. It’s well run and frequent. Public transport we salute you.

 Being lost in translation
The first few days here were daunting for us all. Hangul seemed impossible to crack and the speed in which everyone talked definitely wasn’t the speed in which they spoke on your ‘learn Korean’ CD. Slowly over time you start to pick things up and this place seems less confusing but all of us from time to time, no matter how long you have been here will run into a tradition or situation that baffles us. This is something rare and the reason people travel, to be in situations you couldn’t even imagine and to come out smiling. Being an Alien in a country can come times feel just like that, like it’s a different planet. You may be traveling to other places and being even more lost in translation for the next few years but if you are heading back home to normality , take a second to realize how crazy 98% of your day is and how even crazier it is that its almost all just normal to you.

 The ‘Waygook’ card
This kind of goes hand in hand with being lost in translation but the ‘Waygook’ card is a magical thing. The word ‘Waygook’ means foreigner. The Waygook card is when you do something silly or obviously wrong but can plead ignorance because after all you aren’t from here. I know of many people that use this on a daily basis. In fairness it is normally always justified and you genuinely have no clue what’s expected of you but just sometimes it’s a fantastic buffer that you will never be given in your home country. Enjoy it while you can.

There are hundreds of things you will miss when you leave this City and Country , most of which you won’t be aware of until you go but if you are leaving us make sure to take a second and think about the wonders of Daegu and the weird time you’ve had here. You never know, you may miss it so much that you come back.

Friday, February 21, 2014

[Restaurant] A Nice Mexican restaurant, Dos Tacos

If you have found it hard to encounter tasty western dishes in Korea, try Mexican food this time at 'Dos Tacos'.

<'Very Nice Taqueria': The neon sign on the wall of restaurant shows the owner's pride in the taste of the dishes served.>

Das Tacos, as the food here absolutely charmed the taste buds of the westerns as well as Koreans, is always crowded with many people from various countries.
They serve diverse Mexican dishes from Taco, Quesadilla, Nacho to Burrito, you name it!!

Since each food on the menu can be enjoyed with an order of toppings like beef, chicken, seafood and/or vegetables as you like, even vegetarians feel free to help themselves with the nice food here. In addition to the toppings aforementioned, you can choose avocado, a rare topping item in Korea, when ordering Chimichanga or Flauta.
To make things even better, the prices for the food here are so reasonable! A dish of hard shell Tacos is 4,000won or under while cheese Quesadilla is only 3,500won.

[Dos Tacos]
Address: 68-21 Dongseongno 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
Phone: 053-255-4885
Opening hour: 11:00~22:00

Thursday, February 20, 2014

[Culture] Experience Herbal Medicine at the Museum of Oriental Medicine

Daegu City is offering a variety of medicinal herb and traditional Korean culture experience programs at the Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine on Namseongro Street, Jung-gu.

Various traditional folk games, such as hoop rolling, arrow-throwing (tuho) and shuttlecock (jegi) games are regularly played in the garden of the museum by family visitors. All visitors can taste medicinal herbal tea and try on traditional costumes at no cost. They can also, for a small fee, enjoy a footbath or make soap or potpourri bags.

The museum offers a “chongmyeonghwan” program, the herbal medicine pill that clear heads, for families of elementary students on Feb. 22, during school spring break.

- Chongmyeonghwan refers to pills made from various medicinal herbs that are used to make “chongmyeongtang” and other ingredients for “samultang.” The pills are believed to cure memory loss and improve the power of the mind. The program will offer participants the chance to see, touch and taste various fragrant herbs used in Oriental medicine.

The museum extends its opening hours until 9 p.m. on the last Wednesday of every month. Visitors can get a 10 percent discount on the admission fee when they participate in the experiential programs during these extended business hours.

For kindergarteners and preschoolers, the museum is operating a ‘create your own mobile’ program in which young children can make their own mobiles and decorate them with miniature herbal medicine tools made of clay. It also offers a program to help children understand what herbal medicine doctors actually do and includes activities such as stamping mock medical history cards.

All classes are offered in the Traditional Culture Education Room, on the third floor of the museum, at 2 p.m., Saturday. The admission fee is 5,000 won (refer to the attachment). Each class has a capacity of 30 and the museum accepts reservations. Admission is granted on a first reserved, first served basis. For more details, visit the museum’s website ( or call 053-253-4729.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

[Information] The Boutique Hotels Chosen and Supported by the Government of Daegu

The shortage of proper accommodations in Daegu has been referred to as the major problem to hold big scale international events ever since Daegu held the 2011 IAAF World Championships.
In an effort of solving such problem, Daegu government has been working on arranging accommodations for foreign guests to Daegu introducing Boutique hotels, which are financially supported by the city government to improve their customer services.
The chosen 13 Boutique hotels are the alternatives of high-class hotels with unique and glitzy interior at affordable prices.

[The List of Boutique hotels recommended by Daegu government]
The names of hotels
Phone no.
No. of rooms
2X Hotel
201-2 Dongindong 1-ga, Jung-gu
In the Hotel
318-2 Shincheon 4-dong, Dong-gu
ESIA Hotel
1548-5 Bongmu-dong, Dong-gu
Time Hotel
349-6 Shinam-dong, Dong-gu
2 Wol Hotel in Apsan
1699-12 daemyeong 5-dong, Nam-gu
Apsan Business Hotel
1713-2 Daemyeong 5-dong, Nam-gu
Enter Park Hotel
1618 Sangeok-dong, Buk-gu
New Grand Hotel
302-207 Chilseong 2-ga, Buk-gu
2 Wol Hotel in Hwanggeum-dong
779-1 Hwanggeum 2-dong, Suseong-gu
Midas Hotel
42-1 Beomeo 3-dong, Suseong-gu
X-Gate Hotel
850-1 Hwanggeum-dong, Suseong-gu
Sunshine Hotel
375-2 Bonri-dong, Dalseo-gu
Unid Hotel
1200-3 Igok-dong, Dalseo-gu

① 2月(2 Wol) Hotels

The hotel has 3 branches in Duran-gil, Hwangeum-dong and Apsan. The hotel is filled with pieces of antique furniture and wonderful interior decorations. Every different concept for each room makes the hotel more engaging and idiosyncratic.
Royal suite, for example, fitted with a caravan and a mini swimming pool is not less than or rather better than those ones in high class hotels.
-Reservation: 053-626-7001 (English is available.)
  Suseong: 67 Cheongsu-ro, Suseong-gu, Daegu
  Hwanggeum: 165 Dongdaegu-ro, Suseong-gu, Daegu
  Apsan: 235 Daemyeong-ro, Nam-gu, Daegu
-Check in: 08:00a.m.~/Check out: ~11:00a.m.
-Price: 65,000won & up

②ESIA Hotel

The hotel is distinctive in decoration with the rooms of different interior themes; from oriental style to modern one. On the 2nd floor, a snack bar, where continental breakfast is offered to the guests, is available.
-Reservation: 053-986-7424(English and Japanese is available.)
-Address: 1548-5 Bongmu-dong, Dong-gu, Daegu
  Suite room: 300,000won
  Special room: 120,000won
  Deluxe room: 100,000won
  Standard room: 80,000won
* Designating rooms is unavailable (except suite and deluxe room).
* Reservation is unavailable on Fridays and Saturdays.(Only personal visiting registration is accepted)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

[Living] A list of useful mobile apps for living in Daegu

I Daegu Guide

You can check on information of Daegu's hospitals, shopping, beauty, lodging, restaurants, culture, life and use coupons for the event information in real-time services. The app is pretty useful for foreign visitors who has just been in Daegu for the first time. But it's a shame that you have to sign up for the app before using it.

Go to itunes appstore (for IOS users):

I Daegu METRO Subway South Korea

You can zoom the subway maps, find the shortest route between selected stations and get information about stations by using this app. It supports multilanguage interface. Sadly, it's only for Android users.

Go to Google play (for Android users):

Daegu Bus Service Information

The app offers the service of
 buses route information, buses arrival information, real time location of the buses, the path of buses, and line types. It's also for Android users only.

Daegu Junggu Walking Tour

This application program provides detailed information about DaeguJunggu’s Walking tour courses (Course 1: Gyeongsang-ga-myeongDalseong road, Course 2: Modern Culture Alley, Course 3: Fashion and Oriental Medicine Road, Course 4: SamdeokBongsan Culture Road and Course 5: Namsan 100th year History Road) as well as the themed tour courses. It also provides a way-finding program and neighborhood search function, as well as allowing you to record your memories of the tour.

- Main Features

- "Visit Tour"
Provides information about tour courses and thirty six tourist attractions (texts and commentaries, photos, panoramic images).
Way-finding program (works with Daum map)

- "Record Tour"
Record your memories of the tour in the form of photos and text.
Get stamps at various attractions.

- "Video Tour"
Experience a video tour of DaeguJunggu’s Alley

- "Search Neighborhood"
Provide information on the restaurants, beauty shops, and accommodations recommended by Junggu, Daegu.
Search for information on the local neighborhood using the AR function through layar.

- "Tourist Information"
Provides contact numbers for touring Junggu, Daegu.

Go to itunes appstore (for IOS users):
Go to Google play (for Android users):