Friday, August 31, 2018

Grocery Shopping in Sangin/Wolbae/Jincheon area | WOLBAE MARKET

Do you love street food?  Is Homeplus and Emart draining your bank account with their expensive food prices? Does shopping for clothing bargains give you a thrill? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it is time to check out the Wolbae Market!  Located just minutes away from Wolbae Station is the Wolbae Market, the oldest and largest market in the Dalseo region. If you were to compare the Wolbae Market to a huge market like Seomum, then it would look as small a peanut in comparison, but size apart, the Wolbae Market’s charm lies within the market’s uncommercialized vibe. Here you can buy street food, fresh produce, clothes, and an assortment of other items.

It was lunch time and I came here with an empty belly and a small amount of cash. I challenged myself to only spend about 10,000 won on food and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I got.

First up, I had napjak mandu (flat dumpling) for just 2,000 won. Fun fact, napjak mandu is a dumpling that originated in Daegu! 

Next, I had a sort of fish stew for 5,000 won.

After that, it was time for dessert! I had an assortment of fried sweets. For 2,000 won I was allowed to pick 10 sweets to try, and they were all delicious.

Finally, I bought a cup sikhye (sweet rice punch) for 1,000 won.

You can find tons of other Korean food here like tteokbokki (Stir-fried rice cake), twigim (deep-fried foods), eomuk (fish cake) just to name a few.

Aside from street food, they had tons of fresh produce being sold by vendors. Since I live close by I like to come here and get fruits. Fruit in Korea can be pretty expensive overall, but the vendors that sell fruit here offer them at a pretty reasonable price compared to the prices of fruit at stores like Emart or Homeplus. Personally, I prefer to buy fruit from the local vendors because after I formed a relationship with a few of them, sometimes they give me extra fruits to be kind.

Wolbae market is also a pretty awesome place to shop for clothes bargain too. They have a few shops that sell clothes and accessories for men, women, and children.

The Wolbae Market is a cheapo’s paradise. If your ever in the Dalseo-gu area this is a must visit location.

13 Wolbae-ro 24 gil, Dalseo-gu, Daegu
Take Line 1 to Wolbae Station(Exit . From there it is about a 3-5-minute walk to Wolbae Market.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

4 Things You Should Not Miss Around Gangjeongbo Area

4 things you should not miss around the ARC (or Gangjeongbo) –
A beautiful place for walking and watching sunset

Are you wondering where should we go out on this weekend? Where else would you be able to find better than Gangjeonbo area  - where reed and grass fields decorate magnificent scenery and a Metasequoia-lined extend long.

This Metasequoia-lined Road is located opposite site of Dalseong wetland. The tall trees shoot toward the sky and stretched along the walking sides, how it was wonderful if you are hand-in-hand with someone on this trail, I’m so regret that I went alone on that day. But I will come back with my friend next time :)

In the late afternoon, as you walk along the Metasequoia road and turn around, the cool feeling from green grass and the wind blows are the wonderful gift to reducing heat in summer.

In summer, Dalseong wetland is covered by green color of wild grass and low trees, there is not much special thing here at that time but it is a good place to walking, riding bike and enjoy the cool wind from Nakdong river which will help you refresh in a hot summer day.
Along the river side, you will spot the ‘The ARC’ and Gangjeongbo weir from afar.

It’s perfect day if you pay free time leisurely feeling its brightness, watching the sunset for a better walk.

Keep walking down direct to Gangchang Bridge, you can see a small traditional building on the right and “Flower Dalseong” sign on the left site. The sunset view in here is really touching your soul. It remind me a sentence of Kristen Butler: ‘’Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautiful’’.  Therefore, let’s spend your time in Dalseong wetland before the sunset and enjoy the night view of ‘The ARC’  at night. (I will share you some review about it in next article).

The Metasequoia-lined Road
Address: 76, Dalseo-daero 109an-gil, Dalseo-gu, Daegu, Korea
Address(KR): 대구광역시 달서구 달서대로109안길 76

Irak Seodang
Address: 965, Dalgubeol-daero, Dalseo-gu, Daegu, Korea
Address(KR): 대구광역시 달서구 달구벌대로 965


Gyodong Market | Traditional Market in Daegu downtown

Exploring Gyodong Market

Located very close to the heart of Daegu city is the Gyodong market. The market lies between the main Daegu station and the Jungangno subway station, stretching about 2 blocks on either sides of the stations. The  market started in the 1950’s during the Korean war. It was known then as the Yankee market selling military garments and imported snacks

The expectation I had when I first set out to explore this market was that of a traditional market with local merchandise on display. This was however not the reality I was confronted with. The Gyodong market is a modern buzzing market with ultra-modern shops and goods.

The Jewelries Trade
The most prominent and visible product sold in this market. Jewelry shops can be found in almost all corners of the market. Ranging from rings, watches, ear-rings, necklaces etc. and all of these are available at different prices depending on the quality, brand or purity. There are also repair shops that can work on your faulty watches or other jewelries. Whether it is for the special wedding occasion, or just a gift for a special one, whatever your jewelry needs might be, Gyodong market is the perfect place for.

The Electronics Trade
The market became famous in the 1980’s for electronics and I can say it still is. An equally dominant feature of this market is the array of electronic products available for sale. From electric fans to speakers, MP 3 players, portable recorders etc, you can visit this market for all your electronic needs.

Restaurants, Cafes and Coffee Shops
Unlike other markets where there may be abundance of restaurants and other street foods, there are not much of these in this market. There are a handful of restaurants and coffee shops scattered across the market. There are also few stalls where street food are sold. You can quiet easily find any of these as you shop around. Although I was not able to explore at my visit, I found out later that there is a street called “Mukja Golmok(Lets-eat Street)” dedicated mostly to street foods at the market, too.

General Merchandise
Although dominant with jewelries and electronics, there are still a lot more of other general goods sold in this market. Most dominant among these are clothes, shoes and garments. Another significant feature, perhaps a reflection of the historical purpose and reputation of the market, is the sale of military garments and other military items in large quantities.

Car Park and Resting Place
For the convenience of shoppers, there is a car park behind the market where shoppers can easily park their vehicles. Also, on the main street across the market between the two rail stations (Daegu and Jumgangno) is a stretch of benches for your relaxation . It is a cool place to relax and cool off.

Gyodong Public Parking Lot

Gyodong market is one of the numerous markets Daegu city has to offer. Check this market out anytime you get the chance to and experience the buzz and vibe in the city.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

2018 September Festivals in Daegu: art, culture and music!

September is just around the corner! Are you ready say good-bye to #Daefrica? If you are, check out this list and plan your September ahead.

Daegu Photo Biennale
Daegu Photo Biennale is one of the top 3 biennales in Korea along with Gwangju Biennale and Busan Biennale. Daegu is a great place to hosts a photography festival since it was the first place to hold an international photography exhibition in Korea in 1945. Also, Daegu is the top city that has the most number of photography majors.

■ Date: Sep 7 – Oct 16
Location: Daegu Arts Center, Daegu Art Factory, and around Daegu
Address: 201, Gongwonsunhwan-ro, Dalseo-gu, Daegu, Korea
Address(KR): 대구 달서구 공원순환로 201

Gangjeong Daegu Contemporary Art Festival
It’s art time in Daegu! The yearly Gangjeong Contemporary Art Festival is coming back! The charm of this festival is to see installation arts displayed in the open area of Gangjeongbo. The harmony or disharmony of the artworks and the nature create an unusual opportunity to see art from outside the box. The theme of the year is “Artistic Island Gangjeong.” Getting curious? You should check out!

■ Date: Sep 7 – 30
Location: Around the ARC
Address: 806, Jukgok-ri, Dasa-eup, Dalseong-gun, Daegu, Korea
KR address: 대구시 달성군 다사읍 죽곡리 805

Daegu International Jazz Festival
Fall is a great time to go outdoors and enjoy groovy jazz! If you have missed Chimac Festival and Folk Festival because of the steaming weather in summer, you shouldn’t miss this great chance to enjoy quality jazz. From local artists to international talents, you will get to appreciate a variety spectrum of jazz music.  

■ Date: Sep 9 – 15
Main venue: Suseongmot
Other locations: Suseong Artpia, Kimgwangseok Street Concert Hall, Dongseongro Outdoor Stage

Daegu International Opera Festival
Opera might not be one of the top things that come to mind when people think about Asia Luckily, Daegu presents a great opportunity in fall to enjoy quality opera works without going too far. For 2018 DIOF, the main performances features Don Carlo, F. Lehár Die Lustige Witwe(The Merry Widow), G. Verdi La Traviata and Jin Yeongmin Yun Simdeok.

■ Date: Sep 14 – Oct 21
Locations: Daegu Opera House, Suseong Lake Stage

East Asia Bojagi Festival
Bojagi is a Korean term to describe traditional Korean wrapping cloth. Usually, it has square shape and made of various materials like silk and ramie. Korean ancestors used bojagi not only to wrap gifts and precious object but also to simply carry things before there were bags. It can be as simple as a piece of fabric or one can be decorated with beautiful embroidery. Today, it has also become an artwork by itself. Learn about bojagi culture from Korea, China and Japan.

■ Date: Aug 31 – Sep 2
Location: Daegu SAMSUNG Creative Campus
Address: 51, Hoam-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu, Korea
KR Address: 대구광역시 북구 호암로 51

Suseong Lake Festival
Suseongmot Lake is one of the most popular spots for locals and expats. The view around lake is beautiful and there are countless number of options for trendy cafes, bars and restaurants. It is no wonder, the area is filled with visitors each weekend. The first weekend of September is expected to attract even more people with its annual Suseong Lake Festival! Some of things you should not miss are: street art performances, concerts, yacht festival, magic shows, singing contest and, the last but not least, and firework show!  

■ Date: Sep 7 - 9
Location: Suseongmot Lake
Address: 112, Muhak-ro, Suseong-gu, Daegu, Korea
Address(KR): 대구광역시 수성구 무학로 112

e-FUN 2018: Daegu Global Game Culture Festival
Since 2001, e-Fun has showcased a lot of unique and industry-leading game contents. From little kids to adults, people are welcome to try games and see displays. There are even Civic Center RPG games, stage events and game concerts that even game novices can enjoy. The booths are located in downtown Donseongro near Daegu Department Store.  

■ Date: Sep 15 - 16
Location: Around Daegu Dongseongro Outdoor Stage

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

“Cheonsachorong” with me! 2018 Daegu Heritage Night

“Cheonsachorong” with me! 2018 Daegu Heritage Night (FOUR nights actually)

To be honest, I am not much of a history buff. I am not savvy about architecture either. And I am certainly not disciplined enough to engage in a self-guided tour throughout the city solo! But there was something so compelling about a NIGHT festival allowing exclusive access to its treasured cultural landmarks in celebration of Daegu’s modern history. I had to check it out!

2018 Daegu Heritage Night runs for FOUR nights this year:  24 & 25 August (already past, but you will have another chance coming up quickly), and 7 & 8 September (Friday & Saturday nights from 6pm -10pm). The festival footprint was easy to get to as my normal downtown bus stop is already the Oriental Medicine Market (central to many wonderful things in Downtown Daegu). After getting off the bus, we headed in the direction of the nearest landmark on the Modern Culture Street (Course2). Then…we just listened for the music…and it led us to outdoor musical performances, many canopied vendors, and access to facilities opening their doors AFTER-hours just for Festival patrons!

1. Daegu Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine, 49 Dalgubeol-daero 415-gil, Jung-gu, Daegu. Normal business hours: 9am -6pm (closed every Monday except holiday Mondays, Jan 1, Korean Thanksgiving Day, and Lunar New Year’s Day.) FREE. Whether you go on a festival night, or during normal business hours, definitely check out this interactive gem!

This interactive museum presents many of its displays and teachings in English. It is informative and fun for both adults and children: blood pressure check, automated weight & height scale (completely hands free…the measuring stick travels down to your head to take the measurement), Hanbok dress up closet, and diorama displays illustrating Daegu Yangnyeongsi life as far back as 400 years!

Here is where I decided that I would COME BACK to this museum REGULARLY after the festival! From 10am-12pm/2pm-5pm on Tue-Fri & 10am-12pm/2pm-4pm on Sat, Sun & Holiday Mon, museum visitors can participate in additional hands-on programs: Foot bathing in herb medicine (5,000 won) requires 20 minutes, making herb medicinal soap (3,000 won) requires 45 minutes, making an oriental incense pouch (5,000 won) requires 20 minutes, making herb medicinal mist (5,000 won) requires 15 minutes, and making herb medicinal lip balm (4,000 won) requires 40 minutes. Each program booking (onsite) requires at least 30 minutes to prepare materials for your hands-on experience!

Let’s pop back out to the rest of the Festival! There are no tickets to buy for access. Bring plenty of cash won anyway to enjoy the unique vendor offerings or exhibition activity offerings. Cheongsachorong (traditional Korean red & blue silk lanterns) are the signature souvenir for the festival, so get yours while the supplies last! But no worries, any color or pattern lantern will do! Prices vary.

Dine outside…or take a short rickshaw ride (1,000 won).

Shop for vintage Korean records, custom size your own ring, pose with festival street performers, make your own handkerchief, visit Jeil barber shop, or explore a “modern” (meaning western style) tailor shop.
Note: August’s Hands-on Experiences took place in the Yangnyeongsi area. September’s Hands-on Experiences will be located at the Cheongna Hill parking lot (Park Taejun’s children’s song, Ghost Radio, English textbook from 100 years ago, DIY embroidery, and DIY stained glass postcard). 

2. Old Jeil Church, 50, Gukchaebosang-ro 102-gil, Jung-gu, Daegu, church interior normally open to the public Tue – Sat.
When we first arrived to the Festival, THIS was where the music was coming from! A melodic duet was being performed LIVE from the terrace of the Old Jeil Church. 8:30pm. In the courtyard shared with the Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine, a series of ceremonies and performances took place between 6:30pm and 9:30pm including a mock wedding party!
Note: First Presbyterian Church of Daegu (Jeil Church) is still a current congregation located at the top of the 3.1 Independence Movement Road steps, (Korean only)

3. Oriental Medicine & Ecological Wellbeing Experience Center, 24, Namseong-ro, Namseongno, Jung-gu, Daegu, normal business hours: 9am-7pm (Apr-Oct), 9am-6pm (Nov-Mar), closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year’s Day, and Chuseok. 1F has an Eco Hall promoting energy and resource conservation awareness through art and innovation. If you need your phone charged, there is a stylish bicycle you can feverishly pedal to recharge it! A Traditional Tea Room (Da Hyang Café) can be found at the inner courtyard of the center. 2F has an Herbal Gallery, Sarangbang (rest area), and a Healing Time Room consisting of automated massage chairs facing calming videos of beauty in Korea. Last prices listed approximately 6,000 won for 15 minutes in the massage chair.


4. Former Gyonam YMCA Building, 24, Namseong-ro, Namseongno, Jung-gu, Daegu, open to public only during open house hours. Historically significant, this particular building served as the headquarters for the Korean Independence Movement in Daegu during the 1919 Japanese Colonial Period. Members of the Gyonam YMCA were the driving force behind the movement. YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) was founded in London in 1844 if you were suddenly curious like I was!).

5. Gyesan Catholic Church, 10 Seoseong-ro, Gyesandong 2(il)-ga, (Korean only), apparently always open! In the church parking lot, a stage is set up for a rockin’ out concert at 9:30pm both nights of the festival. Be sure to sit in the church sanctuary to listen to the eerie and solemn sounds of the pipe organ performances prior (6pm and 9pm).

6. Cheongna Hill, 3.1 (or March First) Independence Movement Road, First Presbyterian Church of Daegu (the “new” Jeil Church), and Missionary Houses
It is 90 steps going up or down depending from which direction you started your Daegu Heritage Night experience. Learn more about this commemorative path of strong wills, and enduring efforts in the daytime so the wall exhibits can maintain our focus against the beckoning challenge of the stairs.
The smart tourist will start on Cheongna Hill to catch the concerts, street musicians, and free guided tours (every 15 minutes lasting 1 hour each) and finish at the Yangnyeongsi area (where we decided to start from). Our climb UP was exhilarating as posted Korean Flags waved us on to victory! At the top we spied the side of the First Presbyterian Church of Daegu, and peered at illuminated Missionary Houses before starting our trek home to Nam-gu.
Cheongna Hill, 2029, Dalgubeol-daero, Jung-gu, Daegu (missionaries brought the famous Daegu apples!)
3.1 Independence Movement Road (bottom), 261 Dongsan-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu (Daegu actually “marched” on 8 Mar)
First Presbyterian Church of Daegu, 50 Gukchaebosang-ro, 102-gil, Jung-gu, Daegu (the “New” Jeil Church)

Programmed Daegu Heritage Night Landmarks we did not get a chance to visit this August:
Gyesan Yega: Modern Culture Experience Center, 6-1 Seoseong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu, normal business hours: 10am-6pm daily (closed Seollal & Chuseok). Traditional Hanbok Rental (less than 20,000 won for 2 hrs; less than 10,000 for 30 min with photo taking). Last rental at 3pm!
Old Houses of Lee Sang-hwa & Seo Sang-don, vicinity Gyesan Yega, normal business hours: 10am-6pm(during summer), but technically always open – no visiting during Lunar New Year’s Day and Cheseok.

The Daegu Heritage Night sparked a curiosity and hunger to learn more about this wonderful city. Not every metropolitan modernizes while still keeping its roots intact. I am impressed and honored to have a couple of years to explore it all at my leisure. I may not be “from” Daegu, but I had fun briefly “living” some of its history. It is in a special way a part of me now. I can’t WAIT for the September program!!