Friday, September 28, 2018

October Festivals in Daegu | Make a lot of fun in October!

October Festivals in Daegu

■ Geumho River Baramsori-gil Festival

- Date: Oct 6(Sat) ~ Oct 7(Sun)
- Location: Around Geumho River
- Admission: Free
- Homepage:
- Contact: +82-53-320-5120

This is one of the representative Festivals of Buk-gu, which takes place around the Geumho River every October.
Combined with small and medium-sized festivals hosted by each Dong, this festival was first held in 2015 around Sangyeok Bridge of the Geumho River, which was a great success with over 100,000 man-days for 3 days.
It features art performances of different genres and experiencing events with a beautiful natural view and wind sounds from the Geumho River in the background.

■ Palgongsan Mountain Marketplace Seungsi Festival

- Date: Oct 6(Sat) ~ Oct 9(Tue)
- Location: Donghwasa Temple, Palgongsan (1, Donghwasa 1-gil, Dong-gu, Daegu)
- Admission: Free
- Homepage:
- Contact: +82-53-980-7956~7

Seungsi is Buddhist monks’ marketplace. Seungsi, Buddhist monks’ marketplace, has a significance as a cultivation place for them beyond a mere market for goods transaction. Also, Seungsi is a place where we can share Buddhist monks’ culture and lifestyle in mountain life.
It would be an opportunity for us to see, feel, and experience simple and humble life of Buddhist monks, while we are living in abundant modern life.

■ Daegu International Fashion Culture Festival

- Date: Oct 12(Fri) ~ Oct 14(Sun)
- Location: Daegu Samsung Creative Campus (51, Hoam-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu)
- Admission: Free
- Homepage:
- Contact: +82-53-721-7438

Daegu Samsung Creative Campus, where the fashion history of Daegu thrives, will host the greatest fashion showroom in Korea.
Daegu International Fashion Culture Festival is a festival where citizens can enthusiastically participate based on the contents of fashion and culture.
Join the Daegu International Fashion Culture Festival, which will feature the autumn of Daegu, the city of fashion culture and art.

■ Daegu Pet Show

- Date: Oct 12(Fri) ~ Oct 14(Sun)
- Location: EXCO (10, Exco-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu)
- Admission: Adult  KRW \ 6,000
Free admission
  - Age 6 or less
For discount information and pre-registration visit
- Homepage:
- Contact: +82-53-601-5395, 5084

The Daegu Pet Show is a notable exhibition hosting the greatest number of pet show events in Korea.
There are various events such as feeds, snacks, pet training and health care service booths for our lovely pets. Exhibitors present the latest products available for all kinds of pets.
Their efforts led to more than 43,000 buyers attending Daegu Pet Show in 2017. With the growth of the Korean pet industry, Daegu Pet Show will be held twice a year starting in 2018.

■ Auto Festivals in Daegu

Daegu Street Motor Festival 2018
- Date: Oct 6(Sat) ~ Oct 7(Sun)
- Location: Namsan Automotive Parts Street (Myeongnyungeori ~ Myeongdeokro / Namsan-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu)
- Admission: Free

It is a festival that offers free admission for various motor shows in Korea.
Since 2010, Daegu Street Motor Festival has been held annually, when visitors get a chance to see luxury cars from countries around the world. Also, it offers a variety of experiential programs, managed by MRL and Morris to entertain visitors to the festival.

Daegu Tuningcar Racing
- Date: Oct 14(Sun)
- Location: Daegu drive testing ground at KIAPI (201, Gukgasandanseo-ro, Guji-myeon, Dalseong-gun, Daegu)
- Admission: Free
- Homepage:
- Contact: +82-53-670-7825

The first iteration of the drag racing competition was held in 2014 in the hopes that the increased profile of motor sports would lead to increased consumer interest in car tuning.
Races consist of driving on a 400-meter long straight road. As the rules are simple, the event is a good opportunity for amateurs and hobbyists to rub shoulders with professional drivers.
To offer more enjoyable contents to visitors, side events such as tuning expo, moving motor show, DJing party and kids zone will take place at the event venue.

Daegu EV Eco Rally
- Date: Oct 20(Sat)
- Location: Daegu Culture and Art Center ~ The whole downtown of Daegu ~ Daegu Culture and Art Center
- Admission: Free
- Homepage:
- Contact: +82-53-670-7949

Daegu EV Echo Rally is an event which participants perform mission games while driving electronic cars economically. Anyone over 19 years old has a driver's license and rides an electric car can participate.
This year, it has also prepared eco-rally special courses for ultra-small electric cars as well as general electric cars, so that more people can participate.

Daegu International Future Auto Expo
- Date: Nov 1(Thu) ~ Nov 4(Sun)
- Location: EXCO (10, Exco-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu)
- Admission: Adult  KRW \ 8,000
Free admission
  - Preschool child (Age 7 or less) and elders over the age of 65 or more
For discount information and pre-registration visit
- Homepage:
- Contact: +82-53-601-5373

˝Asia’s leading Future Automotive EXPO˝
˝Everything about Future Automotive! ˝
Daegu International Future Auto EXPO is Korea’s first Future Automotive Exhibition, spearheading the imminent automobile industry what is to be the core of the 4th industrial revolution.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Daegu Photo Biennale 2018 : Finding the Best Shot in Life

Daegu Photo Biennale 2018

(Source : Daegu Photo Biennale 2018/ 

Home to museums that hold artworks with priceless value to Korean culture, a number of international performance art festivals, and numerous art galleries, Daegu stands apart as place where the arts and culture flourish. In such a town that values artistic beauty, it is no surprise to learn that Daegu is the photography capital of South Korea. In celebration, the Daegu Arts and Culture Center host one of South Korea’s largest photography events in the country, the Daegu Photo Biennale.

The Daegu Photo Biennale first began in 2006 with the purpose of enriching the public about the world of contemporary photography. The center the exhibition is being held at, the Daegu Arts and Culture Center opened in 1990 with one of the center’s missions being developing the city of Daegu for cultural enjoyment for its citizens. The center is continuously hosting other exhibitions throughout the year and many of them are also free of charge.

This year’s theme is Frame Freely. It features a collection of photos from  recognizable artists  working in South Korea and abroad. Admission to the event is 7,000 won though you can view select artwork outside of the center for free.

The exhibit spans across two floors of the building and host both general and special exhibition rooms. This year's main exhibition is called Role Playing, Rewriting Mythologies with the purpose of uncovering the role of photographers in the modern area.

 This special event only happens once a year and is a must visit for anyone interested in photography or art in general. For more information about the event check out the website here

*The artwork at this exhibit features some nudity.

[Event Information]
Dates: September 7th- October 16th
Price: 7,000 won
Where: Daegu Art and Culture Center

Daegu Arts Center, #201 Gongwonsunhwan-ro, Dalseo-gu, Daegu

Take Subway Line 1 to Seongdangmot Exit 1. 
From there it is about a 10 minute walk to the Daegu Arts and Culture Center Center

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Fighting Homesickness with a Cozier Home

10 Tips for Making Your Daegu Apartment Feel Cozier

Maybe if you are reading this, you are a foreigner living in Daegu. Maybe you only plan to live here a couple years. Maybe you don't really have a plan but you aren't ready to commit to long term. So you end up neglecting your apartment, your potential oasis in this host city of yours, because you don't want to invest in too many nice things as you may have to pack up and leave someday soon. 

Well here's a case for putting a little effort into curating an extra cozy space. You will feel homesick until your home feels like a home. And your home won't feel like a home unto you add elements of coziness, comfort, and relaxation into you living space.

Spending some time personalizing your space and creating a peaceful zone can be a great remedy to those homesickness blues. It's not too hard and it's not too expensive, but the payoff is quite high. 

Check out these tips for creating a more zen space to dwell in in the city without spending an arm and a leg.

Tip 1: No Bare Walls

There's nothing as discouraging as being surrounded by off white walls everywhere you turn. My older villa came with the cream wallpaper and vast, blank walls begging to be adorned.

If you're an artist, it's time to get to work! Even if you aren't, you can buy paint and create non-objective or abstract pieces. Anything to add some color or personality! You can easily get photographs printed as well.

There are art shops all around the city where you can buy canvases and paint and Daiso has a great selection of frames. A wall filled up with interesting things to look at can add so much to a space.

Tip 2: Lighting is Everything

For some reason, all the apartments in the city seem to come with incredibly bright, cold fluorescent lighting, similar to what you may find in a hospital’s surgery ward. While convenient for cleaning or finding tiny things you dropped on the ground, it can be unpleasant to spend time in.

Lamps are an important investment for your fluorescent-lit pad in Korea. Consider adding string lights, the battery powered variety is becoming more and more common and can turn your hideous massive air conditioning unit into something actually nice to look at.

Check out this before and after of my living room:

Nice and BRIGHT!

Dimmer, warmer lights are just generally more relaxing and give a cozy vibe to a space. In the before photo, there are three overhead white LED lights on. In the after, the is a lamp off-camera to the right and smaller light sources visible in the picture, varying from string lights to candles.

Why not pretty lighting in the kitchen too?

Tip 3: You Need Candles

If you didn't know, now you do. You absolutely need candles in your home if you want to create a chill and relaxing space. Come home, ignite some flames, and watch as the stress of city life melts away. The more candles, the better.

Tip 4: Greenery is Soothing

Keeping plants alive is too difficult for some people (including the author). While a lush indoor botanical collection would be ideal, feel free to settle for Daiso’s plastic offerings, just be sure to get plenty. If you're feeling confident, you can find lots of potted plants including succulents (easier to care for) at Chilseong Flower Market. And if you get there and change your mind, they do have a bounty of artificial stock on the third floor.

Tip 5: Pillows

Technically there is such a thing as too many pillows, but don't worry. You probably won't get there. You can add more to your bed, sofa, anywhere! Just put pillows on top of your pillows. No one will complain. Daiso and Jaju (usually inside Emarts like the Chimsan location) have lovely and affordable pillow offerings.

Tip 6: Treasure from Trash

The chipped vase pictured above was found in a pile of dirt. I find great things on the street sometimes. Keep your eyes peeled! Trash-picking certainly seems less common in Korea than in the States where it's a pastime for some, but you can find some gems and it is always free.

Just be careful about taking larger items with official looking (usually yellow) papers taped to them, those were specifically paid for to be picked up and you may want to let them be.

I found this part of a dresser or vanity with a mirror and cleaned and repainted it for my entrance.
These large wooden frames were found on the curb holding some glamour portraits shot in the early 2000s.
I ending up just painting right over the photographs and popping the frame back together for a very expensive looking outcome.

Tip 7: Good Smells

If you have a favorite scent that reminds you of home, say Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the fall, then consider carrying a candle back with you that smells like nostalgia next time you get a chance. Coupang also has lots of imported candle options. You are likely to find, however, as ambient as candles can be they do not spread their scent well enough.

If you really want to generate some aromatherapy, try a diffuser. These are also marketed as humidifiers and really common in Korea. You just need to add a couple drops of any essential oil you like and your whole apartment will smell amazing.

Tip 8: Create an Outdoor Space

If you are lucky enough to have a porch space, don't neglect it. Adding a table and chairs is one of the pricier fixes on this list, but a place to privately sip your morning coffee and soak in fresh air (Daegu has had very clean air lately!) will only bring more peace to your day.

Pillows: check, candles: check, battery powered lights: check. All you need is cup of tea. Or a glass of wine, depending on what time it is.

Tip 9: Tchotchkes

Little knick knacks. Souvenirs from a special trip. Handmade gifts you'd never part with. It's nice to have these personal touches around your space.

Tchotchkes can add personality but have the capacity to be a bit of an eyesore. Just keep in mind it is easy to go overboard and less really is more in this case.

If you have a lot of special things to display, consider rotating them out seasonally so your shelves don't get too cluttered.

Tip 10: Furry Babies

The ultimate way I've made my house happier and made myself less homesick was taking in two street kitties. It's endlessly rewarding to rescue a pet and it's easier than many think to bring pets back home to most countries. Not everyone is able to take on the responsibility and financial burden of a pet, but I couldn't ignore this option on a list of ways to make yourself less homesick.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Cooking Japchae: My Secret to Forget About Being Homesick in Daegu During Chuseok!

My Secret to Forget About Being Homesick in Daegu During Chuseok!

             It’s almost Chuseok! Chuseok is the longest and one of the most important holidays in South Korea. For those of you who don’t  know about Chuseok, it is most commonly referred to as the Korean thanksgiving day or Hangawi (한가위). To Koreans, Chuseok is a festivity to celebrate good harvest and abundance. For some, it may look like a big family reunion commemorating their ancestors who have passed on.

             In tradition, Koreans visit their hometowns to spend quality time with their family and friends. In the morning, they all wear a hanbok and visit the graves of their ancestors to give thanks. This ceremony is called charye (차례). After the Charye, they sit down together and eat a lot of homemade Korean food usually made by the women of the household. Also, they play different folk games or watch entertaining performances such as yeot (four wooden sticks), samulnori (traditional percussion quartette), talchum (mask dance), ganggangsullae (Korean circle dance), and ssireum (traditional Korean wrestling). For non-Koreans, Chuseok is a great way to learn more about Korean culture.

This year, Chuseok falls on 23rd ~ 26th of September. Usually, I go back to my home country - Philippines. But for this year, I decided to stay in Daegu. It can be a bit depressing and lonely to just stay at home for the holidays, so I thought of cooking Japchae to forget homesickness. My mother and I used to cook this Korean dish together as our family loves the Korean cuisine. Japchae is a Korean dish made from glass noodles with mixed vegetables and normally served as one of the side dishes in a Korean restaurant. It is also one of the most common local dishes served during Chuseok.

Although making Japchae is time consuming, it is very easy to do it by yourself. It is going to be worth it when it’s done. I would like to share with you a step by step guide on how to cook Japchae:


- 3 medium carrots
- 2 medium onions
- 1 pack dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 bundles green onions or onion leeks
- 1 cup bell peppers of different colors (optional)
- 4 eggs
- 2 bundles of spinach
- 1 pack sweet potato glass noodles (called dangmyeon 당면)
- garlic powder or minced garlic
- sugar
- salt
- black pepper
- sesame seed oil
- sesame seeds
- soy sauce
- vegetable or olive oil
* You can buy all the ingredients in any local grocery stores or local markets.

For the vegetables:

1.          Soak and dry shiitake mushrooms for about 2-3 hours.

2.          Cut the bell pepper, carrots and onion into strips.

3.          Add oil to a frying pan, stir-fry the vegetables strips separately for 3-4 minutes and add a pinch of salt. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.

TIP: To give your Japchae more life, use different colors of bell peppers for added beauty and flavor.

4.          Boil water in a saucepan and add the spinach. They can cook easily so you can just turn off the heat after 5 minutes as it will continue to cook. When it’s done cooking, put the spinach in a cold water. Squeeze out the liquid from it and chop it into 2 inches.

5.          Mix the spinach with garlic powder or minced garlic, sesame seed oil, sesame seeds, and soy sauce. Then, add the mixed to the vegetables strips.
6.          Rinse the shitake mushrooms and cut them into strips.
7.          Cut the green onions into sections of 2 inches.

8.          Stir-fry the shiitake mushrooms for 2-3 minutes and add a pinch of salt. Then, add the green onions and fry for another 2 minutes. Set aside with the vegetables strips.

For the egg:

9.  In a small bowl, beat 4 eggs, add a pinch of salt. In a frying pan, add enough oil to cover the whole pan and put the egg mixture to fry.
10. Spread eggs around the pan to make a circle and cook for about 2 minutes. Then flip over and cook for another 1 min. THE CHALLENGE: Try not to break the circle egg!
11.         Lastly, roll the egg cut into strips and then set aside.

For the noodles:

12.  In a large saucepan of boiling water, add the glass noodles and cook for 7-10 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse in a cold water. You may also roughly cut the noodles, if you prefer to eat shorter noodles.

13. In the same large saucepan, add 1 tsp of oil, 3-4 tsp of soy sauce and 3 tsp of water. Add the glass noodles and mix them.

14.        Then, on a separate frying pan, fry the mixed glass noodles for about 2-3 minutes. This is important to fry the noodles to another pan so that they would not get burned easily.

15.        After frying the mixed glass noodles, add them to the vegetable mixture.

16.        In a large bowl with everything set aside and mixed, add another 1/2 cup sesame seed oil, lots of sesame seeds and chia seeds, 4 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and 1 tsp soy sauce. MIX, MIX, MIX!
17.        Lastly, top it with the egg strips.

18.        To add more flavor, you may add more sesame seeds and chia seeds on top. Voila! Enjoy your Japchae!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Sharing is Caring: Different Gifts for Chuseok Holiday

Sharing is Caring: Different Gifts for Chuseok Holiday

Have you ever been invited by your Korean friend to celebrate Chuseok with their family? Are you stressing on what kind of gift you can bring for this important occasion? Back in the days, if you are an expat or a visitor spending Chuseok with a Korean family, they don’t expect you to give them gifts. But in modern-day Korea, gift giving is accepted. South Koreans visit their immediate relatives, friends and colleagues and give them fancy gifts while others present customary gifts to extend their gratitude. Here are some of the ideal gifts to give this Chuseok:

1.          Fruit Basket

             Since Chuseok is a festival to commemorate the beginning of harvest, fruits in season such as pears, persimmons, tangerines, and apples are the best options for your fruit basket. Fruit basket is a traditional way to present gifts to Korean families.

Where to buy: Department stores such as Hyundai and Shinsaege for gift sets or supermarkets such as E-mart and Homeplus.

TIP: Buy fruits in local markets for bare fruits and much cheaper. You can buy gift wrappers and ribbons in Daiso to wrap them.

2.          Rice Cakes

             Another ideal gift for Chuseok would be rice cakes. Vendors of rice cakes have become more competitive by designing the rice cakes into a buffet like cuisine. Rice cakes is another gift that can be presented to Korean families because it is one of the meals that is served during Chuseok.

Where to buy: Local markets for cheaper ones and department stores for expensive ones.

3.          Cooking oil and Spam Package

             Cooking oil and spam gift sets are the most popular gifts for Chuseok. Their presence is supermarkets can be widely spotted as it is displayed in their entrance.

Where to buy: Supermarkets usually have a huge sale before the week of Chuseok.

4.          Cosmetics or Toiletries Package

             Hygiene gift sets or cosmetic products are gifts that can be presented to your close Korean friends but NEVER to your boss! (It might mean that you think they do not take care of their hygiene.) These gift sets are probably the cheapest one compared to the gifts mentioned above. These gifts are widely available to the market, in addition, Korean cosmetics and skin care products have limitless options.

Where to buy: Supermarkets for cheaper ones and department stores for expensive ones.

5.          Ginseng and Honey

             Ginseng and honey are considered as well-being gift set in South Korea. These are best gifts to present to your boss or the elders during Chuseok. Giving these packages is almost as good as wishing them longevity of life, to be healthy and prosperous in life.

Where to buy: Yangyeongsi Herbal alley for ginseng and supermarkets for honey.

6.          Korean snacks, cookies, chocolates or candies

             If you are a teacher in South Korea, the students traditionally give you a present and it is not necessarily for you to reciprocate it. However, if you really want to give presents to your students, the safest gift would be korean snacks, cookies, chocolates or candies.

Where to buy: Convenience store, supermarkets and Daiso.

             These are only my personal suggestions as a foreigner living in South Korea. You can also go for tea, wines, dried fruits, or other small gifts that you can afford. As the famous saying goes, it is the thought that counts. Koreans are very kind and humble. They do not really expect for us to give them presents during Chuseok and if we do, they are much appreciated.

             Also, if you cannot attend to the invitation of the Korean family or your co-worker, you can send them gifts via online shopping malls or just order online and fill in the shipping address of the host that invited you for Chuseok.