Spring in Daegu is a beautiful month! If you are lucky enough to be here during this time, there are tons of outdoor things to do and see. Don’t know where to start? Then you have come to the right place! If spending a spring weekend in Daegu, you can hike Palgongsan mountain, explore downtown Daegu and take a swan boat around Susong Lake, just to name a few ideas. Here is my compiled list of how to spend your weekend in Daegu, during the spring, regardless of if you have cash to spend or not!
1. Palgongsan Mountain and the Gatbawi statue
Once you are over the shock of how long it takes to get to Palgongsan Mountain, it really is a beautiful place to explore. You can take a local bus from downtown Daegu all the way out here, and it will only cost you around 1,600 KRW (1 USD) You have a couple options when visiting Palgongsan from an easy walking hike, to an intense workout and everything in between. Many locals come here to enjoy the outdoors, get in some exercise and just relax in the quiet forest, for the day.
Many Koreans flock to Palgongsan during hard times because they climb the ‘stairs of death’ to pray to the Gatbawi statue. The famous Gatbawi statue is a statue of Buddha that is on a rocky cliff, very high above sea level. The name ‘Gatbawi’ comes from the fact that the Buddha has a flat rock or 'bawi’ on its head that looks like a Korean traditional hat, called a ‘gat’. Many historical gurus have said this Buddha statue is one of the most sophisticated statues of the 9th Century. Korean myth says that the statue grants wishes and has healing properties. Many parents and families will climb up here during their children’s exams to pray for their children’s success.
Now on to the stairs of death. Probably one of the most intense thigh workouts around, if you make it, (which tons of people do, so don’t worry) you can see the Gatbawi statue in all its glory. If you are not into climbing about 1,000 stairs - I understand! There are plenty of places to stop and rest and nature to take in, every step of the way. The best thing to do is to bring a picnic lunch and head up the mountain for a half-day trip. You can easily stay up there all day if you take your time walking up the stairs, and hanging out at the Gatbawi statue for a while. Keep in mind, if it is a windy day, it will be even windier on the top of the mountain, and it could be cold and unpleasant, so be sure to pack all the essentials: a windbreaker, small umbrella or poncho, water and a high protein snack. There is nowhere to buy most of these things on the top of the mountain, however there are a couple of handicraft stores, selling different homemade jewelry and other crafts.
The easiest way to get to Palgongsan: Leaving from metro station: Dong Daegu, take Bus 401 or Express Bus 1 and get off at the entrance of Donghwasa Temple (동화사입구 in Korean)
Palgongsan Mountain & Gatbawi statue
Website: Visit Korea
2. Downtown Daegu
Downtown Daegu is another beautiful place in the spring. Mostly because all of the flowers blooming, people out and about and outdoor cafes and restaurants opening their doors to bring in the enjoyable weather. Our favorite things to do downtown in the spring are hit the newly opened cafes, people watch, shop in the underground and enjoy the local park right in the center.
Don’t know how to get here? Simply take the metro to ‘Bawoldang’, Exit 13.
Just got downtown and need a coffee? Head to 30 mL Espresso, on the corner of ‘cafe street.’ It’s one of the best local coffee shops in the area, with Owl Pipe and Ryu coffee falling right behind. Both are a couple of doors down from 30 mL. You can sit here and enjoy their atmosphere, have a delicious homemade tiramisu (a personal favorite) and people watch. If you take your coffee to go, you can head a couple of blocks down to the underground shopping entrance, which is always having sales when the seasons change. Hello bargains! Tons of clothes, socks, accessories, shoes and makeup will be for sale here. Be sure to shop around-as these locals can get competitive with pricing.
After you are all shopped out why not head to the local park? In spring it will be blooming and a great place to relax and enjoy some of your afternoon. Here you can sometimes catch free local music, people singing karaoke or just people watching. Why not take advantage of the weather before it gets too hot?
3. Susong Lake
Susong Lake is one of the most underrated places to go for a day in the spring. This area is great for sightseeing and walking around grabbing some food. It is also very peaceful here and easily accessed by the metro so you are never too far from the downtown area. Simply take the yellow metro line to the stop ‘Susongmot’. In Korean this means 'Susong Lake’ and from the exit, follow the signs posted all along the way right to the lake. It is about a 10-minute walk from the metro to the lake if you walk casually.
The whole area around the lake can easily be walked in about 2 hours, or you could also spend a day here, wandering around, getting a coffee, brunch or BBQ and enjoying the view you can see in this photo! As you can see, there are swan boats, which for 20,000 KRW (16 USD), up to four people can get inside and take a boat ride around the lake, for an hour. What a relaxing afternoon!
Springtime really doesn’t get any better than in Daegu. After a long day of hiking beautiful Gatbawi, taking a boat around Susong lake and drinking in downtown Daegu, you are sure to be tired from an unforgettable experience!
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