DAEGU (대구) is Korea’s fourth largest city by population, and a major centre of business. The core of town is effectively one large shopping mall, the department stores supplemented by a lattice of streets devoted to particular products. Herbal Medicine Street is the best known, as the city has for centuries been a centre of herbal medicine, but you could also head to Steamed Rib Meat Street or Rice Cake Street if you’re hungry, Shoe Street or Sock Street if your feet need clothing, or Washing Machine Appliance Street if, well, your washing machine needs maintenance.
For all this, it has to be said that Daegu as a city is not particularly attractive. However, in a country obsessed with appearance, it’s hard to talk to a Korean about Daegu without being told how beautiful its women are; the city is based in a geological bowl, which makes for very hot summers, very cold winters and very delicious apples – this fruit that pops out of the surrounding countryside is said to keep the skin pimple-free, as well as providing the blanching effect that Korean girls crave. There are few notable sights in central Daegu, but it’s a pleasant place to shop, or to catch up on your partying if you’ve been trawling the Gyeongsang countryside. Outside the city boundaries Palgongsan is a wonderful park to the north of town, while Haeinsa is one of Korea’s best-known temples, and just a bus ride to the west.