Wednesday, May 28, 2014

From the East to the West – exploring Daegu’s colourful Seomun Markets and peaceful Buy the Book Café

With the cold weather gone and spring well and truly upon us, why not spend a morning at Daegu’s famous Seomun Markets? The Seomun Markets are the largest traditional markets in Deagu, home to over 4,000 shops selling everything from fresh fruit to beautiful handmade hanbok (Korean traditional dress). These markets are a true testament to the expanding nature of Deagu’s fashion industry, while at the same time providing a great escape for tourists and locals alike! 

While perusing the many colourful stalls and stands, look out for some hotteok – a Korean deep fried donut filled with cinnamon, sugar and nuts - made fresh in front of you. But be warned, this is a snack more common in the winter, so get in fast before they stop selling them! This, among many other delicious Korean snacks can be found at the Seomun markets for cheap and affordable prices.

Once you’ve purchased all the souvenirs you can carry and eaten all the amazing Korean food you can possibly stomach, wander over to the Deagu downtown area (dongseong-ro) – a leisurely 20 minute or so walk away. Here you will find the charming Buy the Book Café – Daegu’s only second hand English book café that sells healthy and wholesome Western food. With a menu that boasts such items as pulled pork poutine (a Canadian classic!), vegan and vegetarian lasagna and an array of delicious teas, coffees, smoothies and cocktails – there is something for all tastes!

If you happen to be too full from your morning at Seomun Markets, have no fear! Buy the Book is also home to a wide range of those cherished snack food items you miss so much from home. Choose a comfortable couch, curl up with your favorite second hand book and wile away the hours reading and munching on the Reeses Pieces, Pop Tarts and candy available at the counter.  

All in all a morning at the Seomun Markets followed by an afternoon at Buy the Book café is sure to show Daegu for the vibrant and diverse city that it truly is. 

Useful points

Seomun Markets

Entrance fee: No fee

Good for: Souvenir shopping, fresh fruit and vegetable shopping, Korean food and snacks, linen shopping, clothes shopping and general market exploration.
Getting there: Conveniently located near a number of bus stops and a subway station – the markets are easily accessible to all those in the surrounding areas.

Buy the Book Café

Entrance fee: No Fee

Getting there: Take a bus or subway to Banwoldang Station in downtown Deagu (dongseong-ro). Head towards the main stage area and with the stage behind you and Debec Plaza on your left continue walking until you reach the intersection with Angel-In-Us on the corner. Turn right and walk past Holly’s Coffee. Continue walking until you see a Starbucks. Turn left into the little street just before Starbucks and you will see a Mr Pizza store. Buy the Book is on the 4th floor of that complex.

Good for:  Some healthy Western food (a good number of vegan and vegetarian options available) and snacks, and a quiet, relaxing space to read or exchange second hand English books.

Reminder: Only open on Saturday and Sunday 12-8pm. The last Sunday of every month is dedicated to Buy the Book Farmers Markets where delicious baked goods or handmade crafts are sold – with funds often going towards charity.  Buy the Book is Cash Only

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