Home to well over 1.5 million people, Daejeon is a major metropolis in South Korea. After Seoul, Busan, Incheon and Daegu, the dynamic capital of Chungnam province (Chungcheongnam-do) is next in line. All the more impressive when you consider that a century ago, Daejeon was little more than a small village. ... Read more »
In the second half of the 20th century, however, Daejeon became a major transport and commercial hub and, as a result, a vital actor in the period the country proudly refers to as the “Miracle on the Han River”. Current economic gloom aside, the fruits of this epic age of elastic GDP growth shimmer everwhere in Daejeon, from the Daedeok Innopolis (Daedok Science Town) to the National Science Museum of South Korea.
Indeed, this “Silicon Valley of Asia” is a fast-paced high-tech polestar with corporate and academic campuses galore. A cursory list unearths the likes of LG, Samsung, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Korea Aerospace Research Institute and National Institute for Mathematical Sciences. While the bulk of Daejeon’s research and development activity clusters in a titanic technopark in Yuseong district, the city as a whole seems to buzz with forward-thinkers eager to build a brighter future for South Korea. For culture, diversion and recreation, look no further than the Daejeon Museum of Art, Daejeon Observatory, famed Eight Sights of Sikjangsan and a feverish festival scene.
Daejeon’s top 10
10. Eight Sights of Sikjangsan comprise a stellar octect of natural and cultural gems: Sikjangsan Mountain Forest, Mount Bomunsan, Mount Gubongsan, Mount Jangtaesan, Mount Yuseong, Expo Science Park, Daecheonghosu Lake, and Mount Gyejoksan.
5. Daejeon Space Observatory See the stars in style at one of the best astronomy landmarks in Asia.
9. Uam Historical Park is a furtive and lush place for a hike.
4. Jakwangsa Temple is a venerable sanctuary and place of pilgrimage.
8. Geumsan is a world hub for ginseng.
3. Daedeok Innopolis is one of the foremost research and development capitals of East Asia.
7. Daedunsan Provincial Park is perfect for picnics and repose.
2. National Science Museum is a bellwether and emphatic exemplar of Daejeon’s identity within South Korea. The magnificent, world class facility caters to all visitors.
6. Gyeryongsan National Park is small but one of the most important in South Korea for wildlife conservation.
1. Daejeon Museum of Art is a behemoth of a gallery with a fine sculpture park to boot.
- Dunsan Prehistoric Settlement Site – Discovered in the early ’90s when excavations were being done for Dunsan new town.
- Mount Yuseong Spa – This place in Daejeon has drawn many dignitaries and famous people over the years to the healing waters.
- Mount Gyejoksan – Site of the Gejok Mountain Fortress, with walking and biking trails.
- National Cemetery – This is the national cemetery for the country’s patriots and war heroes and includes lovely landscaping.
- Ppuri Park – Found on the outskirts of town, this is more than just a simple park; one of the hills is covered with stone statues that local families visit to read their family lineages listed on the statues.
Daejeon Art & Culture
- Daejeon Museum of Art – Focuses on the merging of art and technology with many seasonal contemporary art exhibits.
- Daejeon Culture and Arts Centre – Home to the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Mount EXPO Park – Features exhibits and halls covering the areas of science and technology among others.
- National Science Museum in Daejeon – Exhibit halls with Korean folk music instruments and weapons, outdoor space display, theatre, planetarium and more.
- Korea Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources – The first of its kind in Korea with exhibits of geological specimens, including minerals and fossils.
- Jung-ang Shijang – A large traditional market in Daejeon that brings in large crowds each day.
- Hanbok Street – A traditional Korean clothing street and offers everything from wholesale and retail clothing to local outfits, Korean handicrafts and more.
- Hanbat Furniture Street – Though too large to take home with you, this is a fun place to browse and window shop.
- Herbal Medicine Street – This place specializes in herbal medicine, with more than 100 shops in the area.
- Galleria Dongbaek – Not only a large department store, but also offers contests, events and concerts.
Gay & Lesbian Daejeon
- Bean Pole – Friendly bar that fills up on Saturday nights.
- SF – Fun karaoke bar.
- The Blue World – Brings in a mixed crowd.
- Sam Yang Tel – Local sauna in Daejeon.
- LA – Serves drinks and snacks.
- Sikjangsan Mountain Forest – Offers local temples that are open to the public and lovely walking trails.
- Mount Bomunsan – Features recreation facilities, an observatory, trail routes and important historical sites at the top.
- Mount Gubongsan – This mountain in Daejeon has nine peaks and many walking trails.
- Mount Jangtaesan – Features deer farms, a fish farm, forests, a sky tower, 12km of trails and rest and picnic areas.
- Daecheonghosu Lake – This lake was created in 1980 and is a gorgeous area to visit.
- The World Cup Kyeonggijang Stadium hosts soccer games with the Daejeon Citizen team.
- Daejeon offers wonderful outdoor sporting activities, including hiking and mountain climbing.
- For local baseball games with the Hanwa Eagles, stop by the Hanbat Sports Complex.
- Taekwondo is a one of the most popular martial arts in the country.
- The Daejeon Hanbat Stadium offers numerous sports, including tennis, track, wrestling and swimming.
Hanbat Seonbi Cultural Festival commemorates all the venerable rites of passage that made a seonbi, or “virtuous scholar”, in the Joseon Dynasty. Late September to October.
Uam Cultural Festival celebrates the life of a famous Joseon Dynasty academic.
Sintanjin Cherry Blossom Festival is Daejeon’s annual spring bash in April.
Yuseong Bio and Beauty Festival is a prominent showcase for one of South Korea’s best spa resorts.
Daejeon World Cup Stadium plays host to a number of big concerts and events throughout the year.
Daejeon Baseball Stadium is home to the Hanwha Eagles of Korea Professional Baseball.
When To Go
Daejeon has a humid continental/subtropical climate and four distinct seasons. Cold winters diverge from very muggy, rainy summers, with a mean annual temperature of 55°F (13°C).
Summers produce well over 40 in (1,000 mm) of rain and temperatures from 61°F (16°C) to 86°F (30°C). Humidity regularly tops 80% in both July and August.
The most comfortable months in Daejeon are April and October. Temperatures are moderate, sunshine abundant and precipitation at a minimum.
As a major hub in South Korea, visitors seldom encounter obstacles on the way to Daejeon. Cheongju International Airport is thirty minutes away and links with the likes of Jeju, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Cebu, Osaka-Kansai, Hainan and Hangzhou.
The dominant city rail terminal is on the Seoul-Busan line, with optional express or semi-express service. Daejeon also has three inter-city bus terminals.
Daejeon is rather big and difficult to navigate efficiently on foot. A modest subway system helps and will improve in time as it extends to five lines.« Hide