Things to do in Daejeon – Nature and Technology in Harmony Sue Nguyen Travel Located in the center of the South Korean peninsula, Daejeon became a transportation hub and serves as a crossroad of major transport routes for buses, Korail, and more. It’s about 50 minutes away from the capital, Seoul, by KTX (20.000 won) and 2 hours by bus (10.000 won). Therefore, it’s quite convenient and a low-priced opportunity if you want to escape the oftentimes hectic city life for a weekend away from the bustling streets of Seoul. Even though Daejeon is the fifth largest city, it’s still very small and you can easily get from one place to another by taxi at a reasonable cost. This city of 1.5 million people has been established as a city of technology and science and is even dubbed the “Korean Silicon Valley”. Another notable fact about Daejeon is the astonishing collection of universities and institutions that provide world-class research in applied sciences. For residents and travelers alike, Daejeon provides a tranquil environment filled with a variety of lush green parks, surrounded by undulating mountains on the horizon, and more. The following outlines some must sees and things to do in Daejeon. Places to go to: Dunsan Grand Park Dunsan Grand Park was founded on June 7, 1991 as a neighborhood park. This 569,340.6㎡ area includes the Daejeon Culture & Arts Center, Pyeongsong Youth Cultural Center, Daejeon Museum of Art, and Ungno Lee Museum of Art, and serves as a hub for culture and art. The Daejeon Culture & Art Center has 1,546 seats with a large stage where opera, ballet, musicals and other performances are held, while the Museum of Art (located right next to the Culture 6 Art Center) has numerous exhibitions on display pertaining to contemporary art. Culture & Art Center / Performing Art Center The park also features an arboretum, which is known as the largest urban arboretum at this region. It’s Korea’s largest artificial arboretum located within the city and offers numerous gardens to observe. The venue serves multiple purposes, such as a reservoir of genetically diverse foliage, an eco learning center for students as well as a recreational area where residents can relax and enjoy nature. Hanbat Arboretum Daejeon Expo Bridge After the great success of the Daejeon Expo ’93 the government decided to build the Expo Park in order to convey the understanding of the role of science and technology. The bridge was built as part of the Expo Park and displays a twin arch bridge over a small river in front of the complex. The twin arch bridge itself has a main span of 100m. The bridge lights up at night with beautiful city lights and nighttime landscape in the background. KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) KAIST is a public research University in Daejeon, which was established in 1971. It is considered the best Korean institution for science and technological studies. Another notable fact about the KAIST is that the university ranked 60th globally and 12th in Asia in the QS World Rankings. In April 2014 a total of 10,146 students enrolled in KAIST with an average of 600 international students making it one of the most ethnically diverse universities in South Korea. In general, Daejeon might not be as much fun as Seoul, but once you visit these places you will be impressed by its peaceful, yet vibrant spirit. There are a lot of things to do and to see in this small city since it contains plenty of relaxing spots. Consider renting a bike and exploring the trails of parks and mountains, or basking at one of Korea’s oldest hot spring resorts, the Yuseong Hot Spring, which is famous for its natural hot springs. Another attraction is Daejeon O World, a theme park that includes former Daejeon Zoo, Joy Land amusement park, and a newly created area called Flower Land. In short, Daejeon is a perfect place for a short weekend trip allowing you to experience a different pace of Korean lifestyle.