My name is John & I have been teaching English in South Korea just over five weeks now. I teach in Wolbae, Daegu. Where is Daegu you ask? Well....This blog will explain all. When I got my contract for Daegu – I thought great, I have my contract I’m ready to go. My second thought was where is Daegu? All I knew was it wasn’t Seoul and it wasn’t Busan.
Turns out Daegu is the 3rd largest City in South Korea and is only 40mins away from Busan by train. In fact it’s so close to Busan you can visit the ‘beach city’ on weekends. But I have to admit I am finding it hard to leave Daegu as there is so much you can do here. From Hiking to climbing, white-water rafting, to its incredible night life – Daegu sure is an amazing City.
In the five weeks that I’ve been in Daegu I have gone to the cinema, visited Apsan park (the views are amazing), hiked, visited many Korean BBQ’s and sampled some of the great nightlife Daegu has to offer. The fact that Daegu has its own subway makes getting around this HUGE city a breeze.
My neighbourhood even has a huge market that’s open seven days a week, Monday – Sunday 10am – Late; where you can get everything from groceries, to fresh Kimchi to household items. Even if you don’t need anything it’s work a walk through.
As I mentioned at the beginning there are plenty of outdoor activities you can do here on the weekends. This is because Daegu is surrounded by mountains; everywhere you look there are mountains – which mean no matter where your apartment is, you are sure to have an incredible view.
Apsan Park Gondola Ride (Come on, as if I was going to walk ALL the way to the top)
Daegu has many parks; Apsan Park is one of them and is only a 5 minute cab ride from my neighbourhood, costing around $5 each way. This park is littered with temples and monuments; one of them is pictured below:
The hiking trails are also amazing, so if you fancy doing some light or even some heavy hiking, Daegu is well worth a visit. You are sure to find a trail that will suit your level as there are hundreds of them around. So like me, if you want to take a Gondola ride to the top and then stroll around you can, or you can take the ‘scenic’ route and hike all the way up. (Did I mention that because of the mountains surrounding Daegu – it gets pretty hot here, in fact Daegu is the HOTTEST place in Korea. So if you don’t want to take the gondola, enjoy!!)
After you’ve spend your day either hiking up a mountain or walking through one of the many markets its time to head downtown (via subway) and sample the night life!!! Maybe start with a Korean BBQ, where you and your new co-workers sit around talking about the night before and plan the night ahead.... Then hit one of the MANY bars and clubs Daegu has to offer:
Downtown, whether it is a Korean bar or a western style bar filled with other English teachers from around the world, you are sure to find a regular hangout spot. And you are certainly going to have fun finding the right one ;-)
Speaking of social activities, there is this magazine, its a monthly edition call “The Daegu Compass” which can be found at most bars downtown for Free. It is targeted at westerners and contains everything you could ever need from food both Korean and western to cool activities to do in the surrounding areas. There are even maps and transportation tips – it’s defiantly worth a read.
Now the question I ask myself is: how come I’ve never heard of Daegu before?
John May grew up in Dublin, Ireland where he is from & went to Trinity College – one of Irelands best known universities. He graduated from here in November 2012 with a B.A. (Mod) in Geography & Sociology. John has always had a passion for travelling having been to most of Europe, he decided to explore Asia after Uni. He had always wanted to teach and thought what
better way to travel than teaching English on the way. John is currently teaching English for CDI in Daegu, South Korea a position he found through Aclipse; and loves every minute of it!