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Which teachers were allowed to participate in this tour was decided upon by lottery, so not everyone got to take this tour. Still, the fact that outside of our teacher orientation, EPIK continues to help us to bridge our teaching experience with learning about Korean culture is one of the many reasons why I love being an EPIK teacher.
A trip out to Daegu countryside
It’s hard to believe that Daegu has a countryside, because it’s Korea’s third largest city (next to Seoul and Busan) and is the equivalent of a Korean concrete jungle. But just 20 minutes outside of downtown, you’ll find a countryside of farms, rolling hills and small village communities.
Taking the Daegu Farm Tour with EPIK
This farm tour was by far my favorite part, because Daegu is a grey city bubbling with cars and business and the farm tour required going out of that into Daegu’s more country area. We drove out to an organic farm at the base of Mount Palgongsan.
Traditional basket weaving
Korea is a very learning-based country. Children here are learning all the time, even in amusement areas and festivals as there’s a lot of interactive activities. So we learned to weave Korean straw baskets (kinda not easy- mine looked like funk) as a server came around to give us homemade duk (aka glutinous rice).In historical Korea, straw was used a lot for baskets and occasionally for village huts. We took some publicity photos (“Oh look, there are foreigners here at our farm and in our city..“) and had a delicious traditional Korean meal.
Picking organic tomatoes
Tomatoes are considered fruits, technically. But in Korea, they’re considered desserts. I got to walk away with a basket of freshly picked organic tomatoes, which I thought rocked… especially as in Korea, vegetables can occasionally be expensive. We each got a container and got to fill it to our heart’s content!
Herb Hills Amusement Park
Herb Hills Amusement Park is an amusement park which revolves around the idea of nature and herbs. There’s a few amusement rides, interactive classes in soap making (absolutely fun to do… learning again!), a petting zoo and a beautifully manicured park to saunter through and feel romantic in.
Herb Wellness Museum
Winding down to the end of the day, we visited the Herb Wellness Museum in Daegu city’s herb district to learn a bit about Korean herbal tradition. The neighborhood has a lot of herb shops so you’ll notice a faint herbal musk in the air.
Historically, herbs were used as Korean medicine and they still use them for health options today. Ginseng is a popular herb you’ll find in markets and bathhouses and jjimjilbangs almost always offer some type of herbal bath(s) to soak in.
It was a full day of interactive fun with the Daegu Farm Tour! Much of the activities we did are on the Daegu Bus Theme Tour (costs under $10) but this interactive experience is only offered seasonally! If anyone gets the opportunity to do this or take the city bus theme tour, it’s worthwhile for adults and families.