The fact that the capital of South Korea – Seoul, knows every student who more or less regularly attends geography classes. But after the war between the North and the South and the division of the country, the main city of the latter found itself practically on the border with an unpredictable neighbor. The authorities seriously considered moving the capital from Seoul to Daejeon. It had (and still has) an excellent location in the center of the country at the intersection of major transport arteries. Thanks to its rich university tradition, it has become a key scientific and industrial center and even received the title of “Korean Silicon Valley”. The research centers of Samsung, LG and other technological giants of the Land of the Morning Calm are open here. Check jibin123 for customs regulations and visa requirements of South Korea.
How to get to Daejeon
The air harbor of the city, Cheongju International Airport, unfortunately, is not particularly suitable for passengers from Moscow or St. Petersburg – you will have to make at least two transfers. Much easier and faster to fly to Seoul. Aeroflot and Korean Air operate flights every day, the flight time is 8.5 hours.
Buses run directly from Incheon Airport to Daejeon every 20-40 minutes, spending about 3 hours on the way. The stop is located at Exit No. 10. You can also go to Seoul by train (45 minutes), and from there, from the Central Station, Soul Yeok, take a train to Daejeon in 50 minutes. You can check the train schedule and buy a ticket at the office. carrier’s website (in English).
Daejeon’s bus network is very extensive, but ground transportation is quite slow. Red, blue and green buses run around the city. The first ones have only 3 routes (Nos. 1, 2 and 3), they are high-speed and stop only at key stops. The blue ones connect the city center and the suburbs, while the green ones connect the surrounding villages.
A trip around the city by taxi will cost 13,000 KRW.
There are often traffic jams in the evening, so it’s better to use the metro first (so far only one line is in operation), leaving the taxi to take delivery. Bicycle fans will be pleased – Daejeon has a developed rental system, you can rent a bike at a symbolic price. Parking in the city is mostly paid, but almost always there is no charge for the first 15-30 minutes.
Daejeon is a city of students, so there is a huge selection of affordable housing. The cheapest option is suitable for extreme sportsmen and those who just need to “turn over” for one night. This, of course, is about the famous Korean spas, or “chimchilbang”. By paying a fixed amount of 9000 KRW, you can wash and steam there as much as you like. It is better to find out about the possibility of spending the night before visiting – some “chimchilbans” forbid their guests to use the spa as a hotel. A bed in a hostel costs about the same – 8000-10,000 KRW. Prices on the page are for July 2021.
A double room in a full-fledged two- or three-star hotel will cost 80,000-100,000 KRW, and the same option, only in a 4 * business hotel costs already 150,000 KRW.
Cuisine and restaurants
The most popular in Daejeon are Korean restaurants and Koreanized “izakai” – Japanese pubs where you can drink beer or sake with small snacks. To figure out how the chosen dish will look like, pictures on the menu or plastic dummies will help. They don’t cook any frills in local eateries: here, just like everywhere else in Korea, they love “kimchi” (sauerkraut with vegetables) and “kimbap” (a local version of Japanese rolls, only without vinegar and raw fish).
In the central part of the city, there are many small markets with stalls where you can intercept “teokbokki” – rice dumplings with meat and vegetables in red sauce. You need to pay after the end of the meal.
The city began to develop actively only at the beginning of the last century, and before that there was a small village in its place. Therefore, there are no ancient monuments to be found here. But nature did not disappoint. The city is surrounded by numerous mountains (Jangtaesan, Pomunsan, Gubongsan, Sikchansan, Gyejoksan, Yuseong), and almost every one of them is a popular pastime for the townspeople.
Mount Sikjansan (GPS coordinates: 36.295360, 127.480019), the highest (623 m) in the city, enjoys special love. Its slopes are covered with forests that are part of a protected natural area. At the foot of Sikjansan are several medieval temples, notably Gosansa and Gaesimsa. Near their walls, locals like to have picnics and enjoy the flowering of cherry orchards.
In 1993, Daejeon hosted the EXPO world exhibition, which left the city with numerous pavilions and the most popular recreation areas – Expo Park, Expo Bridge, Daetok Science Center, Hanbit Tower, National Science Museum and the world’s largest IMAX cinema. The Expo area is located in the northwestern part of the city.
Another must-see place is Yuseong Hot Springs (574 Bongmyong-dong Street). These thermal springs were discovered many centuries ago by soldiers who noticed that after bathing their wounds healed very quickly. The springs not only contain high amounts of calcium and sodium, but also have a therapeutic effect that helps keep the skin in good condition. Yuseong is popular with both young people and the elderly, especially during the winter season, when whole families come here to soak their feet. An evening bath in a hot spring will quickly relieve fatigue after a day filled with walks.