Every January 1 of the New Year is an opportunity for New Promises to Self for fresh Opportunities & beneficial Improvement! Let Daegu facilitate these goals! Beautiful watercolor is by fellow Colorful Daegu Citizen Reporter Paula Mercado.
1. ADVENTURE: See a Sunrise on a Mountain, (Apsan) Parking at 440-1, Apsansunhwan-ro, Nam-gu, Daegu
2. CHALLENGE: Do an Escape Room, (Code Escape) 2552 Dalgubeol-daero, Beomeo 4(sa)-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu
3. HEALTH: Drink Tea at a Traditional Tea House, (Da Cheon San Bang) 93, Sejin-ro, Suseong-gu, Daegu
4. RELAX: Have a Spa Day, (SEOK Refresh), Novotel Ambassador Daegu, 7F, 611 Gukchaebosang-ro, Munhwa-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu
5. EXPLORE: Listen to Live Music, (Club Old Blue), 34 Daeseong-ro, Samdeog-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu
1. ADVENTURE: See a Sunrise on a Mountain
Watching a sunrise on the beach is a romantic and soul-soothing practice for many couples or solo individuals in the USA. In Daegu, I have learned that climbing a mountain-top well before dawn to watch a sunrise with a crowd of people can be fun too!
Safety is always a concern when someone mentions night hiking. It’s hard enough to ensure stable footing in the light of day! Take a lamppost path…take it slow…one step at a time.
The Observation Deck at the top of Apsan is a beacon of hope indicating your steep ascent is almost finished.
Now we wait. It is on special occasions like New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year’s Day, and during the Chuseok holiday that the Apsan cable car will sometimes run as early as 4 am to ferry up (or down) tourists and locals in time for sunrise (weather dependent).
A break in the darkness!
Witnessing the promise of a new day as soon as it happens is truly inspirational. It is not something though that can be done without deliberate planning: to wake up early, to travel to the mountain, and to catch the moment!
Dress in multiple layers!! Hiking up gets you sweaty, but waiting at the top for the sun can get chilly. The USB powered hand warmers are much better than the sachet disposable ones (the packets simply take too long to activate). Wear hats that cover your ears. Hot tea in a quality thermos boosts morale.
2. CHALLENGE: Do an Escape Room
Our favorite escape room suddenly closed at Suseong Lake, so we were thrilled to find another facility offering puzzle rooms to solve. It is best for English speakers to call to reserve a room because only certain rooms can be configured using English only.
I have personally completed the Prison Break and Virus rooms. Geisha room is confirmed not configurable in English. No worries! Stalker and Kidnapped sound compelling.
Just like all typical escape rooms, no phones are not allowed (lockers are provided at no extra cost), the rooms tend to be small and windowless, and HINTS can be provided for a time penalty (60-minute limit to solve the room). 2-5 people per room. Maxing out the team will give you the best price (44,000 – 90,000 won per room. When paying, mentioning if it is your first escape room experience with them (often results in a generous discount).
There is a souvenir mini polaroid taken that stays at the facility. Escape Rooms are a great way to exercise your brain and get your heart rate pumping without being in any real danger!
3. HEALTH: Drink Tea at a Traditional Tea House
Teas are available at most cafés, but there are additional spiritual benefits to unplugging from the branded fast paced atmosphere of quick caffeine and reconnecting into timeless traditions, the roots of a culture, and experiencing unsurpassable depth flavors.
The Tea House owners do not demonstrate or teach the etiquette portion of traditional tea ceremonies, but they do provide all that is needed so you could invite a Korean friend to show you something special! There are no tea bags here. Have a free schedule so that you may relax and enjoy the process.
There are many rice cakes offered throughout Daegu, but THESE were my favorite. With the texture of wheat bread, I savored every sip of tea and every bite of rice cake.
This cold berry tea will be ready to drink by the time the ice cube is completely melted. Until then, the other tea in the course will have a first, second, and third “steeping” of the same batch of tea leaves. And each “steep” tastes different!
4. RELAX: Have a Spa Day
There are many massage options in Daegu. Select one where you feel comfortable and safe in the surroundings, and especially where you can communicate your pain thresholds clearly.
It is okay to splurge on luxury occasionally if the budget allows. It could be a mini-vacation moment without having to leave the city.
The benefits of massage are the obvious relief of muscle tensions caused by stress and/or intense physical activities, a mental & physical break from the day, and even stimulating blood circulation. Some Spa services can be purchased ala carte, but the SET OPTIONS always seem to fill the 60 to 90-minute time slots with a complete pampering experience! Prices vary.
5. EXPLORE: Listen to Live Music
I had no idea American Jazz could be found in Daegu without attending a special exhibition at a concert hall.
Local venue websites will have calendar of upcoming live performance. Pick a genre you prefer.
Expect a cover charge during the live performance hour (varies), but this keeps the venue from getting too crowded! Peruse the drink menu, soak in the chill vibe, and enjoy the show.
You don’t need to make official RESOLUTIONS to have adventures, be challenged, improve your health, relax, or explore! But they sure give you excellent goals and good ideas! I definitely want to READ MORE, EAT HEALTHY, and continue to LEARN about Daegu. Whatever your plans for 2019, REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN! Happy New Year!