Friday, May 27, 2016

Cheonggyesa, a hidden gem

Cheonggyesa, a tiny jewel box temple in Daegu, is a little-known find that’s nestled in a peaceful nook of Mt. Daedeok.  

Visiting this beautiful temple is a worthwhile afternoon’s walk, starting from the park behind Daegu Stadium.

The road leading to Cheonggyesa offers some lovely surprises, and it’s no wonder that the area is a favorite among locals who want to escape the city’s bustle and enjoy the outdoors.

You’ll begin your walk up the mountain from Daegu Stadium’s park. The Cine World Cup drive-in movie theater (씨네월드컵) will be on your right. About half-way to the temple, you’ll reach a stunning reservoir, which is a perfect place to pause for photos and refreshments. Depending on the season, you might spy some wildlife — the author caught sight of a pair of Eurasian kestrels overhead.

During Buddha’s birthday, colorful lanterns adorn the path all the way up to the temple.  In warm weather, you’ll likely see groups of people camping and picnicking along the creek that runs parallel to the road.

Climbing gets a bit more steep as you come closer to Cheonggyesa.  You’ll know you’re nearly there when you see a well-kept, terraced garden appear to the right. You might even start to hear the hollow tapping of the mok-tak, the wooden percussion instrument played during sutra chants.

A smiling Buddha figure will greet you at the narrow front entrance to the temple grounds.  Continue in and have a look around! The resident monks are welcoming.  Explore the temple, see the pagoda, and look for a metal footbridge at the far end of the property.  In fine weather, you’ll have plenty of photo opportunities.

- Directionsto Cheonggyesa:
1. Bus : 403, 609 or 939 → Get off at Daegu stadium → 30 min walk to Cheonggyesa.
2. Walking: At the park behind Daegu Stadium, find the signs toward Cheonggyesa. As you walk along the path, you will pass Cine World Cup drive-in movie theater on the right.  The road will get a little more steep as you approach the temple.

Address : 626, Daeheung-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu, Korea

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Colorful Daegu Welcome Festival 2016 - Press Article II

“Colorful Daegu Welcome Festival”

There were performances, information, food, games, face painting, fingernail art, photo opportunities and costumes to try on. The Police were playing with kids, and the Fire Department was offering safety advice. It was an international event for all!

The ever popular face and body painting is a crowd favorite.  My daughter Min Hee, usually  goes for a face painting.  This time she chose a little arm painting.  I saw another young girl having the Korean flag put on her cheek.

There were over 80 different tents or booths with information, foods to sample and freebies as well as games to play and photo opportunities with costumes from around the world or different animated characters.

Many of the booths offered both information on social issues or topics people may not be aware of.  All sorts of topics were covered from educational issues and child abuse awareness to health information and safety awareness guides. Several of the booths handed out refreshments to visitors along with information.

One station that occupied my daughter was a table with games from around the world.  She was very interested in the spinning tops and a bird whose beak is also the center of gravity and can balance on a finger tip or even your nose!

There were several bi-lingual members of the Daegu Metropolitan Police on hand to offer advice on how to be safe.  The information was provided in at least five different languages.  It was also nice to see them interacting with young kids.  They were using some of the international toys/games and playing in the grass.  I thought that was very kind of them.

A local university had almost two dozen volunteers serving free cups with curry and rice.  They were all smiles, and in the heat and serving hot food, that was very nice.  You could see the happiness on their faces as they greeted the international visitors at the festival, in a welcoming way.

It is always important to sign in at booths with sign in sheets and sometimes it is good to ask if there is a sign in place.  The reason is so the community groups and agencies can see the number of people they have reached or interacted with.  This helps them prepare for upcoming events and also helps them understand who is visiting and what languages are needed by staff or volunteers.

Colorful Daegu Welcome Festival 2016 - Press Article I

 " Colorful Day in Colorful Daegu " 

This annual festival welcomes all walks of life and cultures to it’s gates to celebrate the diversity of Deagu and enjoy it’s eclectic society. Located in the Memorial Park, the festival was in full swing Saturday 21st with the sun shining bright and not a cloud to be seen.There were families, friends, locals and expats alike coming together to enjoy the education, entertainment, and to have some ice cream in the beating sun. With opportunities to learn about different cultures there was a real sense of community at the festival, encouraging you to dive in and take part in all that was on offer.

There were copious amounts of stations with an array of activity in each one. There were art and crafts, traditional clothing and customs from many different countries on show. People were trying calligraphy, fan painting, make a key chains, and much more. There was plenty of stations with information on various counselling and classes, as well as safety first aid training and abuse centers.

The best part of the festival for me was the impressive performances from all walks of life, providing a unique taste of their own traditions. There was such colour and energy on the stage, with people of all ages uniting to put on a show. It was refreshing to see such diversity coming together with everyone having a smile from ear to ear.

The sun was belting and as it shone brightly on us all, the festival also had a brightness to it. The energy of the park was happy and relaxed. The infectious smiles of the people you walk passed made for a great day out, with positive vibes, helpful information, art culture and laughter.

If you are interested in getting to know the variety of Deagu and it’s people, learn about a new culture, find information as a foreigner in Korea or simply to have a fun day out the Deagu Welcome Festival is one for the list. It’s free, it’s fun and it’s well worth it!

Elaina writes an adventure travel blog here in Korea, you can catch her on her websiteNomadVenturahere!
Twitter - @nomadventura_
IG - @nomadventura

Daegu Exco Pet Show

Exco Pet Show
This weekend (28th ~29th) there is going to be a huge pet show at the Exco. Over 90 companies from all over the world will be holding booths to show off their work.
There are 550 booths over the weekend every single one of them has something to offer. There is going to be pet competitions, dog shows and cat shows.
There is going to be more then 1,600 breeds of dogs, cats other animals, some very rare ones will  be there so this is a chance to check them out. World known pet stylist will be there showing off their creations. If you are a animal lover this event will blow you away and you won't be able to handle the cuteness.

There is an entry fee, which is 6,000 KRW a person. Looks like it is going to be a lot of fun and I hope to see you there, maybe with your pet also :)

From downtown Yangnyeongsi the 503 bus go straight there. for more info type in Exco Daegu in to google maps and it should give you more details.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Apsan Clothes Washing Event

Each year at the end of April or the start of May, The Daedeok Festival is held in the area south of Daemyoung Subway Station. It is a rather large festival that holds an awards ceremony to recognize contributions of residents of all ages.  While we were there Min Hee was surprised that there were so many children her age receiving awards and prizes for actions in the community.  Some of the highlights of the festival are over one Kilometer of vendors along the road below the Apsan Beltway. Food and handmade crafts were in the majority! 

Min Hee was very interested in the clothes washing event. She had seen event posters, flyers and mock-clotheslines with colorful children’s clothing several times, in the area, as we take the bus to go hiking, and asked what it was for.

In the past, well before the need for modern roads and drainage systems, there was a stream and man-made well in the area that is now a park.  This was a popular area for residents to come and wash their clothing. Now, that near every house in the area has a washing machine, this type of work is no longer done outside. To show the younger generations how it was done this event is held during  the Daedeok Festival.

Several wash and rinse stations were set up so that participants could have a hands-on experience in washing clothes the old fashioned way.
“Is that for making kimchi, mommy?”

“Oh, NO!”

“So Yoonah!”
While we were learning about the event, Min Hee bumped into her friend.  Hello.  Hugs. I missed you.  ( even though it was yesterday that they saw each other….. lol ) Then, goodbyes!

Min Hee thought there were some strange looking things at the wash-stations. She has seen her mom use a washboard at home and a bar of soap to wash clothes, but mom’s is blue and made of plastic. Here there was a large basin, wooden washboard, clothes, and the strange thing to Min Hee, was a rather ( to her, at least. ) large piece of wood.  This is used to beat the soap in and dirt out of the clothes.  We don’t have anything like that at home!

We had a prior engagement with Min Hee, so we were unable to stay for the actual hands on although we really wanted to!

There were local vendors on hand with some items for sale.  All items appeared to be handmade!  We have actually seen lots of local vendors appearing at festivals more often than in the past.

If you would like to see more of Min Hee’s adventures, feel free to visit her very own facebook page, “Where In Daegu is Min Hee?”

As always, if you happen to see us out and about, please say hi.