Daejeon Expo Park
Daejeon’s Expo Park was made back in 1993 and spookily has not been changed since. The rides in the
theme-park section are dangerously antiquated (which makes for a more thrill-seeking ride) and the science
centre and observatory are a little bit less than state-of-the-art. It can make for an amusing half-day,
especially if you run into the “mascots” who look like slightly wacked-out Teletubbies and are often holding
“fake” bottles of booze. It does make for a good picture, however.
The city is home to two sports teams: Daejeon Citizen (football/soccer) and the Hanwha Eagles
(baseball). The purple DC were established in 1996 and play at the World Cup Stadium which is also the
site of Korea’s 2002 victory against Italy in the last sixteen of the Korea Japan World Cup. Daejeon
Citizen has a loyal fan-base despite being a bottom-table team, expect drumming and flares from the
South Stand at home games. The orange-clad Hanwha Eagles were founded in 1986 and play on the East side
of city. Their games are well-attended despite the similar lack of success in recent years, what with
most of the star players moving on to a flashier lifestyle in Japan or the USA.
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If you’re living in Daejeon, you will come to absolutely love the efficiency of the public transport system.
BUT it can be a huge pain to try and navigate yourself around town. Your best bet is to get yourself a map from City
Hall or any other local Tourist Information Booth.
The city’s metro has only the one line, running from North-West to South East with a section running
parallel to the Gapcheon River. Fare is typically 1000 won for a token with a 100 won surcharge on destinations
that exceed ten stops. Scanner-card passes (available as cards or phone/key fobs) offer a small discount on
every journey, worthwhile if you travel every day. These cards also have the added benefit of providing free
transfer between subway and bus within two hours of exit-scanning, useful for long trips and a thrifty way to
see the city.
Korail’s KTX train runs through Daejeon and is useful for getting to both Seoul and Busan quickly.
Have a look on the Korail website
for times and purchasing tickets
Daejeon Bus Routes can be found in PDF format on this
Deajeon government webiste.
Koreans play Monopoly in Meca
As a place to live, one can enjoy a huge variety of restaurants and bars within the city’s two
The Jungangno district is home to the Old Downtown near the train station and boasts the city’s
oldest bakery and patisserie in Sung Sim Dang. A huge dearth of cakes, pastries and a sit-in café
make for a very enjoyable meal or take-out when walking around shopping or en route to the train station.
Flying Pan, Flying Pizza and Frypan
Some other notable places in this end of town are the delightfully named Flying Pan Italian
Restaurant where the diner can take advantage of relatively affordable wine and a very decent
Linguine - the Flying Pizza is also not to be missed!
For those with a less sophisticated palate, The Frypan offers mountains of fried chicken and a
near limitless supply of beer. The staff are especially friendly and the prices very reasonable,
a good pre-session dinner if ever there was one.
Dunsan Dong, which is located near the Timeworld Galleria Department Store in City Hall,
is the place you’ll find Western fast-food in abundance.
Holy Cross Coffee & Burger House
Looking for a little slice or sip of heaven? Then look no further than Holy Cross Coffee &
Burger House, just behind Time World Galleria...The sign post is on the side of the big building
by Zara. Its on the 7th floor, so catch the lift up, or even better get some exercise in to
work away the calories you'll consume. They have a vast array of coffees, lattes, hot
chocolates and of course their speciality… WAFFLES! Their burger bagel is also yummy, and
highly recommended is the bacon and chocolate waffle! Each sells for about 7 000 won, but once
you order and pay, you get coupons that give you discounts on all sorts of goodies! Free
wireless internet and comfy couches make this the perfect place for a relaxing afternoon
Burger from "Play Burger"
Play Burger is a burger restaurant and is right next to Yurim Park, which is in Wolpyong,
opposite HomePlus. Just cross the bridge after Yurim Park and turn right, it's about 10
metres down the road...about 20 metres before KAIST. The biggest, most delicous burgers
EVER, and at only 7000 won, they’re a steal... as well as free refillable drinks, a must
if you are in the area. Even if you’re not, these burgers are worth the trip!!
Indy Restaurant is another favourite place for Indian food. Curries ranging from
15,000 won – 17,000 won. It's quite a pricy meal, but most definitely worth it. And the
naan...heavenly. Personal recommendations include the 'Lamb Sag Ghost' and the 'Chicken
Tikka Masala'....yummy yummy yummy. Indy is just opposite the E-Mart near the Government
Complex subway exit. By Subway, get off at Government Complex and walk towards Emart.
Its on the other side of the road to Emart, next door to another great Italian Restaurant,
La Stella. (Near to a T.G.I.F.). Here is the exact address: #102, B-Dong, Nexusvalley
1369, Dunsan-dong, Seo-gu, Daejeon. Telephone number: (you never know when you might need
to make a reservation...get a Korean friend to help!) 042 471 7052.
Moroccan and Halal Food
Off the beaten track there are some particularly interesting places to eat, if you are
willing to make the effort to do so. A place that has to be mentioned is a Moroccan restaurant
and Halal-shop fusion in the sleepy section of Yuseong-gu called Gumdong (or Gungdong),
located not far from Chungnam National University. Mouth-watering lamb and chicken curries
can be eaten for 7000 won, and all produce is prepared freshly on-site - not a bad place to
pick up spices, too.
Japanese Noodle Restaurant
Japanese Noodle Restaurant
If you're taking the bus, then take the 704, 706 or 115 towards Yuseoung, get off at
HongIn Hotel (the name is announced in English). Hop off and walk about 200m towards the
big bridge, cross the road and turn right just before the bridge. It’s next door to the
If you're taking the subway, get out at Yuseoung Spa, headings towards the Chugnam University.
Once you get to the big bridge (it’s about 500m) cross the road and turn right. It’s next to
the music shop, with red lanterns hanging outside.
It does look a bit suspect from the outside...but it’s truly worth the mission once you
taste their noodles!
'In Pasta' Italian Restaurant
The pizza is ok, not the best in the world (very thin pastry base with no tomato base
sauce, but still a nice change from the usual kimbab!) The starters are really yummy too -
the bruchetta is out of this world!!! And at only 3000 won a pop... who could resist
treating themselves to two helpings?
Dunsan Dong & Yellow Taxi
One thing not to be missed in Daejeon is the booming nightlife-hub of Dunsan Dong which
is located near the Timeworld Galleria Department Store in City Hall. Bars are aplenty and
the pick of them has to be Yellow Taxi, located on the fourth floor across from the club
Cocoon. With darts, pool, very friendly staff and excellent live music on the weekends,
Yellow Taxi is a great place to socialise and meet Westerners and Koreans alike.
Those of you looking for a more Westernised experience can find it down the road at
Sponge-Bar; not a personal favourite due to the somewhat unfriendly nature of the staff and
usually a very long wait for service.
Cocoon & Robot
Clubs Cocoon and Robot are usually a decent experience for anyone who wants to go
dancing. There is a cover charge after 10pm and sometimes this includes a free drink.
This area is also home to the Ethnic Bar where a party can hire a shisha pipe
with many eclectic flavours of tobacco and sit in a faux-Kasbah underground.
Gumdong (or Gungdong), the sleepy section of Yuseong-gu, located not far from Chungnam
National University is home to a few bars also.
Howl at the Moon
Howl at the Moon Bar in Gungdong
There is a fabulously funky bar with loads of character, called ‘Howl at the Moon’here.
This is located right across the street from MECA board game cafe, so you can either make
your way to the Shisha House (see below) and walk up the road, or get to Chugnam University
The Shisha House
The Shisha House is a very funky hubbly/hooka/shisha bar owned by the friendly Frenchman,
Frederic... Prices for hubbly range from 7,000 won – 10,000 won, and they have a VAST
selection of beers. When they say that some of their flavours are *strong*, be warned...
they mean *STRONG*. If you’re looking for more of kick, watermelon is the one to try. They
also have milder flavours like peach melon.
From the Santa Claus bar (see below), it’s just a 1 min walk up the street. Here are directions
from Fred himself: “My bar is located in Kungdong, Yuseong-gu, near ‘Santa Claus’. The closest
subway is the Yuseong Spa. Then you walk toward Chungnam University. You pass the language
center on your right, and go through the parking lot. Turn right from the university side
gate then the first left. Then go straight til the end of the street. However I recommend
you to take the cab from the subway station and ask for Kungdong Teigeuk ankyongwon
(궁동 태극안경원).” One side of the entrance is 'bricked up' so could be hard to spot at night
- just keep your eye open for the blue sign on the side of the building.
Santa Claus Pub
Nestled in the heart of Yuseoung, a short walk from Chugnam University, lies Santa Claus:
pub/bar/restaurant/pool lounge/chill spot. It doesn’t claim to be anything fancy, as it's
not...but it's a great place to watch soccer games, have a beer, hang out and play pool
with your friends. The owner is really friendly, and they serve yummy Western food (a bit
pricey - W10 000 for a burger and tiny Coke) but good nonetheless. They also have loads of
Western alcoholic drinks, so you don’t have to fork out for a whole bottle of vodka when u
just want a double and Coke. There are 2 for 1 specials on most nights till 11pm for guys
and till closing for girls. Santa Claus is near Chugnam University,but is not that close a
walk. So the best way to get there is to go by bus. Numbers 105, 109 and 115 all stop right
outside Santa Claus, the stop is called Hanbit Apartment (it's announced in English). You
can actually walk all the way from Yuseoung Spa Subway station (it takes about 30 mins), or
if you come by subway and don’t want to walk, get out at exit 7 and then transfer to bus 105,
109 or 115, as it goes straight past...its about a 5 min bus ride from there.
Oryong is home to Costco, for any homesick Americans, and near Gapcheon is an extremely large Homeplus.
There is great clothes shopping in Daejeon. As in most cities in Korea, nearly every girl looks like
she has just stepped off the runway. The best thing about most of the stores is that they are cheap!
Obviously the bigger brand names are expensive, more so than in the West sometimes(!), but you could
lose yourself for days in the smaller boutiques.
One of the best places to go shopping in Daejeon is the Old Downtown (Eunheng-dong area). There are
two places here, one underground, and the other above ground. The underground shopping has hundreds of
cute and unique stalls, while above ground has some of the bigger stores like the Apple Store and Zara,
and a whole bunch of sporty shoe shops. And of course, a million coffee shops/ restaurants, bars and clubs.
To get there by subway, get off at Jungang-no Station (number 105 just before Daejeon Station), and then
just follow the hoards of people! You can go above ground any time by going up the stairs situated along
the walkway at different places.
By bus, head to Jungang-no Subway Station by bus numbers 1, 101, 103, 201, 201, 317, 511, 613, 615 or 701
(then just go underground via the big green stairs in front of you).
By bus to the Downtown 'above ground' area, take bus numbers 2, 103, 107, 201, 311, 313, 514, 603, 612, 615 or 701.
Shoppers can also head to Timeworld for designer goods - more thrifty tourists/residents would
benefit by heading to Tanbang (accessible by subway/bus) where the Rodeo Shopping centre is.
Gung-dong, the very student centred area surrounding Chugnam University, is jam-packed with restaurants,
coffee shops, Nori Bangs (karaoke bars) and bars, as well as the usual knick knack shops. ‘MECA’ is a f
abulous board game coffee shop, where you pay a very small fee (1000 won), choose from the endless supply
of board/card games, and play to your hearts content. Apparently, these board game havens were really
popular about 6-8 years ago and used to occupy every corner! But now the craze has died down, and just a
handful are left...such a pity. The 115 and 109 bus stop right outside the Santa Claus bar in this area,
but bus numbers 48, 101, 104, 105, 106, 108, 109, 113, 114, 115, 119, 121, and 706 stop at the University
Front (Western) Gates - from there you just take a stroll into the bustling streets to Gung-Dong...
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