Hot springs and ALL of the wine: a weekend in Daejeon!

Ahh, Korea. As if there weren’t enough excuses to drink, two weekends ago a long weekend and the Daejeon Wine and Food Festival convinced me to hop on a train for an hour and a half and go sample some vino and liquor from all around the world, mm!

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A wine glass in hand always adds at least 10% extra class.

That’s getting ahead of things, though. I met up with a fellow teacher named Brandi in Suwon, and we caught a train to Daejeon, 1 1/2 hours south, for around 11 000 won each.  After struggling to find her sister Ashley and eventually succeeding, the three of us took Daejeon’s only subway line to Yuseong spa station, to wander around the area and check out the famous naturally-sourced hot spring.

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A persimmon tree.

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Yuseong hot spring area.

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A park near the hot spring.


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Finally, we stopped at the spring itself. This is a really great little area- a park was established around a natural hot spring source, and it is open to the public, free of charge. Just make sure to wash your feet under the taps located at the end before entering the waters, or you may be subjected to the wrath of the ajummas!

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Ahhh, lovely.

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Before heading to the more hoppin’ parts of Daejeon, we ate at a British pub. I’m not sure how traditional this croque monsieur was, but it was damn tasty.

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And look, salad! Healthy!

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Hof essentially just refers to a drinking establishment. So basically, this is a place where locals go to get drunk on soju, throw some darts and talk about their feelings, or whatever most appeals to them at the time.

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We visited a wonderful stationery/knickknack store- Artbox, I believe it was called. They had everything you could dream up, including a-

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BANANAPHONE!

IMG_0101This car could have been parked in the appropriate spot, if parking behind the sign was permissible- but I choose to believe the driver thought ‘fuck the police’ and parked anyway.

IMG_0110The next day, Ashley, Brandi and I journeyed to the Convention Centre for the Wine Festival. For 7000 won, we got our own keepsake wine glass, and had access to a huge range of samples. We sampled tried ginseng liquor, harsh soju, smooth makgeolli, fruity tangerine wine from Jeju Island, apple wine, and potato tea, among others :)Not a bad deal at all!

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A ginseng root liquor. Not appallingly harsh, but strong enough.

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Not sure what these costumed marauders were up to!

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Can anyone help me out?


IMG_0103 Far from merely being an excuse to get rip-roaringly drunk, the festival also had a few food samples- marinated meats, crisp chips and crackers, and these lovely puffy rice cookies I can’t recall the name of. Finally, I returned home to this cozy place- lovely!

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One bonus photo- a while ago, I met up with the wonderful Ms. Sarah, who I do not get to see nearly enough, and some of her friends! That was a fun night in Hongdae, with street hip-hop battles, cocktails in a bag, Mexican food, and late night soup with one of her Korean friends. That was a good night, certainly.

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