Categorized | Daegu, Korea, Korea, Travel

The Forgotten City?

When people start to plan a trip to South Korea they look toward Seoul or Busan and rightfully so.  However, there is another place that should be given strong consideration, and it happens to be on the way from Seoul to Busan, Daegu.

Daegu gets overlooked at times when it comes to South Korea, but the city  provides so much history and natural beauty that will peak the interest of any traveler.  From picturesque mountain views to temples that you could only imagine in your dreams, the often forgotten city will open your eyes to a new world.  So here are just a few reasons to give Daegu a second and maybe a third look when you are planning your next trip.

Grounds at Haeinsa Temple

1. Haeinsa Temple –

One of the best know Buddhist Monasteries in Korea is a short bus ride outside of the city.  Haeinsa Temple contains some of Korea’s important cultural relics.   Most notably it is the home of Tripitaka Koreana, a complete composition of Buddhist scriptures carved onto 81,258 wooden printing blocks.  This treasure has elevated Haeinsa to UNESCO world heritage rank status.  It is more than simply a monastery on display.  It has been an active center of practicing Buddhist for more than 1200 years.  Along with the historic aspect of the temple, one of the most impressive parts is the surroundings.  Haeinsa is located up in the mountains that surround Daegu.  The views and peacefulness of the area are quite impressive.  It is a place that transcends time, and it will show you the peaceful side of life in Korea.  Even if you do not believe or understand Buddhism, Haeinsa will provide you with a tranquil environment where you can enjoy some much needed peace from your busy day to day world.

Gatbawi Statue

2. Gatbawi Statue –

A must see Buddhist statue located a short ride outside the city in Mt. Palgongsan Park.   Standing 4m high with a 15cm thick stone hat, Gatbawi is a Buddhist treasure.  People from all over the country travel here to pray.  The story is Buddha will grant one wish to those who pray with their whole heart.  So people come from all over to pray for boys when they are pregnant, their kids to do well on high school entrance exams, or for sick loved ones.  Even if you aren’t a practicing Buddhist, the views alone are worth the trip.  The statue sits at the peak of the 850 meter high mountain.   Look one way and you will see Daegu off in the distance, and the other way you will see hills, valleys, and the countryside of South Korea.  The hike up the mountain is not an easy one and on average is roughly 2 hours round trip, but it’s worth every step.

Seomun Market

3. Daegu Itself –

The city itself has many wonders to be seen.  One of the oldest markets in the country serves Daegu in Seomun Market.  Hundreds of vendors selling just about anything you can imagine are there everyday.  Daegu also offers a wide range of activities from sports teams (the origin of baseball in Korea is credited to Daegu), museums, art galleries, great food, great shopping, lots of hiking trails in the surrounding mountains, and beautiful historic temples.  Plus mere minutes away is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, Tongil-daebul Buddha Statue.  Daegu is the conservative hub of South Korea and that in itself gives you a much different experience from Seoul.  Throw in hostels, five-star hotels, and everything in between and Daegu offers accommodations for any travel style.

So whether you are just passing through on your way to Seoul or Busan or you are looking for a place to settle down in Korea, don’t forget to give Daegu a look.  You just might be surprised what you will find.

This is my first assignment for Matador U.  I hope it was informative and somewhat interesting.  I am hoping this program will allow me to expand my writing capabilities.   Comments and constructive criticism is welcomed.



Potential Publications

1. Boots n All Travel Articles

2. Go Nomad

3. Matador

4. World Hum

About Eric Bynum
I taught ESL for three years in South Korea and now I am looking to set out on a new journey after just finishing my teaching certification in the US. I hope to continue teaching and traveling and you can follow his journeys here.

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7 Responses to “The Forgotten City?”

  1. Mary R says:

    I linked over from MatadorU. Good job on your first assignment. I always like when travel writers cover places off the the beaten track and you did a nice job of explaining why we should visit there. The only thing I noticed when I read it over is that there is some redundancy in your word choices (peace and peacefullness in your first section), and perhaps places where you could cut out words to be concise. That said, it was easy to read and understand. looking forward to reading more
    .-= Mary R´s last blog ..Amazing Race Parody =-.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks for the feedback Mary. I wasn’t aware of redundancy. That’s why I need fresh eyes to look over my writing. I’ll look back over it and see where I could cut down, and some other words to use so I am not redundant. Thanks again.

  3. Candice says:

    Hey Eric, sweet piece, enjoyed hearing about Daegu! You’re right, it does seem overlooked. I think it’s awesome you’ve been there a short time and really know your stuff.

    A few grammatical things to consider…some of the transitions between sentences are a little off. For example:

    “It is more than simply a monastery on display. It has been an active center of practicing Buddhist for more than 1200 years. ”

    You could rewrite so that it’s more like:

    “More than simply a monastery on display, the temple has been an active center of practicing Buddhists for more than 1200 years.”

    Also, beware of cliches like “must-see”!

    I suggest submitting an assignment to one of the labs for review. 🙂 You always make me regret my decision not to teach in SK.
    .-= Candice´s last blog ..A Toast to Some Travellers: People to Stalk =-.

  4. admin says:

    Thanks for the feedback Candice. Those are the things, transitions, which I don’t think of, and a huge reason I joined this program. Plus I think I was a little nervous to have my writing scrutinized since most of what I write will never be read. 🙂
    I am really enjoying it so far though, and look forward to the next assignment. I don’t think I can submit to the labs until I finish the 3rd assignment, but I will as soon as I can.
    As for regretting your decision, you are still young. Who knows, one day you might still make it here. I didn’t ’till I was much older than you are now. Even if you don’t make it to teach, don’t forget to put SK on your list of places to visit. I love it.

  5. Heather says:

    Nice to see your first assignment. I really like how you included photos with each attraction and some interesting facts.

    My feedback is similar to Mary’s and Candice’s – try to tighten up the wording, avoid cliches like “it’s worth every step” and “you just might be surprised.”

    I also think the piece would be stronger if you started with the second paragraph, directly drawing the reader into the city.

    Hope to see more of your work and learn more about SK!

  6. Heather says:

    Just noticed a typo in the second paragraph: “will peak the interest” instead of “will pique the interest”

  7. admin says:

    Thanks for the feedback. I have been really struggling of late with writing. I can’t seem to get what I want on paper so my 2nd lesson is coming very slowly.


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