Looking at how we usually behave when we hit up our local city, you’d think the title of the post didn’t have a lot of truth. However, a recent trip showed us that there are actually things to do in Daegu other than drink cheap beers in Travellers.
Our frequent jaunts into Daegu are always based around visiting friends, as so many of the people we met at orientation live there. This is generally why our time in town consists of little more than eating, drinking and general hanging out. But after a wonderful Valentines spent at home, Oli and I decided to get our culture on and visit the Daegu Art Museum. We had been meaning to go for months but never quite got around to it. We were a little worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype we’d built in our heads after so many ‘next times’, but it did.
Located outside of central Daegu, we were instantly impressed when we were able to get a free public bus to it from the subway. It’s not too impressive from the outside, but it’s location offers amazing views of Palgonsan Provincial Park, the beautiful mountain we would hike following day.
We got a little lost on entry to the museum and almost stumbled into a wedding that was being held next door, but soon bought our tickets and stepped into the incredibly weird and wonderful entrance exhibit:
The galleries are constantly changing and it seemed the two main themes at the time we visited were nature and cartoons. The cartoon-esque art was pretty cool, ranging from make-you-sick cute to what-the-fuck- weird, but it was the nature inspired stuff that really made our day.
In some really unique and inspiring ways, the selected artists presented stunning perspectives of nature. Nature has come to be a pretty big focus of our time here in Korea, from the numerous hikes we’ve taken to experiencing the country’s beautiful autumn. It was really cool to have that theme mirrored back to us in the museum. Neo-Sansu was our favourite, using incredible photo-shop skills to create images within images within images, of wildlife, waterfalls and foliage, that you could spend ages studying.
It’s a pretty small gallery, so we had seen every picture within the hour. This was nice for our first venture to an art museum together as no one wants to feel uncultured by getting bored halfway through and spending the rest of the day in the coffee shop.
The ease of getting to the museum and it’s changing galleries will definitely have us heading back there during our time in Korea, it makes for a really great afternoon.
After all the culture of the day, we partied hard with friends later.
Nursing our slightly hungover heads, we very, very slowly made our way to Palgonsan Provincial park for a days’ hiking. The park isn’t that far from downtown Daegu by public bus, but we still didn’t start the hike until 2:00pm that day, meaning we did um-and-ah over whether we would make it to one of the peaks at all. I’m so glad we did. Not only did we have an awesome hike up, but we made it down again before sunset, which considering the icy state of the rocky trail was quite a feat.
Palgonsan is a must-visit for any ramblers in the Daegu area, it’s not too strenuous, incredibly beautiful and offers awesome views of the city between layers of misty mountains. Venturing there in December meant that as we climbed, the smattering of snow left from days before became thicker and thicker. Something about the tall old trees, the almost silent atmosphere and the rocky stairs covered in snow, made us all feel like we were in Lord of the Rings. Meaning the hike was totally awesome and stands as being one of our favourites in Korea.
So expats, Korean University students, and anyone else reading this blog…. Next time you’re in Daegu, drag yourself away from your gogo bag and the downtown area, and do some exploring. Or you could always do it the Korean way, and drink whilst hiking – the choice is yours. Let us know if you head up the mountain, and be sure to post back with your thoughts and photos on the art gallery too.