Daegu is a city just an hour away from my new home in Changwon. This city has a population similar to half of Scotland and that made me curious to check it out. The previous night I was watching my beloved Heart of Midlothian smash Celtic in their own backyard. The game was sensational and had me up until 2AM to see that glorious final whistle. Because of this I woke up at 9 the next morning and had to figure out how to get to Daegu.
My First Time Using Korail
For a very long time, I had been looking forward to taking the train in Korea. Despite being a relatively small country, Korea has high-speed trains known as KTX. This instantly puts anything in the UK to shame as HS2 can’t even be built!
I first had to take a 10 minute bus journey over to Changwon Jungang station and then I proceeded to buy a ticket. Bizarrely, you can’t buy a ticket on the machine unless you have a domestic card. This meant I had to go up to the ticket booth and awkwardly ask for a ticket in my terrible Korean. The journey from Changwon to Daegu only takes an hour on the KTX, which prompting my reasoning to make the trip.
My ticket cost just 9800 won which comes to just about 6 quid. That’s a fair price considering an hour rail journey in the UK can normally be more than double the price. Changwon’s station is very well-kept and even has a Krispy Kreme. I headed up to the platform and there was a heated waiting room in which was crowded as everyone wanted to escape from how freezing it was that day.
My train arrived on time and on my ticket, I was given a seat in the back carriage. The seats on the train were very comfortable and the interior of the train felt very futuristic. The hour over to Daegu felt like it went very quickly and once I arrived I found myself in a crowded station.
Being unfamiliar with this place, I felt very lost among the crowds. However, I knew where I was supposed to go and headed into the metro station.
The Incredible Daegu Metro
I’ve been on many metro systems in my life. I’ve of course been on the Seoul one, the amazing Glasgow one and endured the one in Mexico City. However, this one in Daegu certainly has its own character. Much like the one in Seoul, it feels innovative and has screens everywhere with information.
I switched lines and instead of being underground, it was on a monorail. While riding on the train, I looked out the window to get an impression of the city. Because this city has so many people, I meant that the trains were crowded, even on a Sunday.
Wandering Around Seomun Market
When in Korea, it’s common to see these kinds of markets. Seomun Market is the biggest in Daegu and the place is absolutely massive. Walking through this place, it felt like it was easy to get lost. Most of the places here are selling different kinds of clothes and textiles. However, the main reason I came here was try the street food.
While looking around for street food in the market, I found a place where you could sit right in front of the servers making the food. I sat myself down, pointed to the tteokbokki and said “Juseyo.” Tteokbokki is a Korean street food made of rice and I was given a plate of it lathered in a spicy sauce. Having it in a truly authentic setting was a delicious experience.
I also found another stall with some food that I had never seen before and don’t know the name of. Once again, I was amazed at the quality of the food and I even paid just less than £4 for both of these dishes.
Finding Cheongna Hill
After spending enough time at Seomun Market, I headed off aimlessly and ended up at a place called Cheongna Hill. Interestingly enough, this was a place were Christian missionaries from America lived 100 years ago.
The houses these missionaries lived in are still standing to this day which is surprising as it has meant they survived all the trying events of the 20th century. These houses are also probably one of the very few buildings of their kind they are original western-style houses.
The Top of the Daegu 83 Tower
I managed to find my way over to the Daegu 83 Tower which is similar to the Seoul N Tower. What makes this place notable is that it’s actually taller than the one in the capital. It costs 10000 won to visit the tower which is a fair price and although it was a Sunday, there were hardly any other tourists.
Once at the top, I was given some incredible views of the city. We need to remember that this city is bigger than both Glasgow and Edinburgh combined. Because of this, the city has a high number of high rise apartment blocks. Looking south towards where Changwon is, I could see mountains in the background. What I’d also say about Daegu is that it’s also a very dense city, but I suppose that all cities in Korea look like this.
After that, I headed to the metro station to get back to the train station. I needed to catch the train back to Changwon at 6 and I arrived at the train station quite early. I’m sure I should go back to Daegu with more time as there are many places here I did not have the time to check out.