Ask anyone from Daejeon the question, “Where in your hometown would you recommend a fun night out?” I would bet that nine out of ten people would probably say something along the lines of, “There is nowhere to go to in Daejeon.” And while Daejeon is home to a number of tourist spots, not too many come to mind when trying to recommend one to an outsider, but there is this one spot that is overlooked easily - the Galleria Timeworld department store and its vicinity. We “Daejeoners” sometimes take its existence for granted and forget how much of a good time one can have there.
You could take a cab to get there, but you could also ride bus line 104 towards Tanbang Station and enjoy the ride. It runs every 13 minutes or so, and the bus route is fairly direct. The department store is the biggest in the region, being 12 storeys high. It houses just about every clothing or sporting equipment brand one could possibly imagine. While one could enjoy a shopping spree inside, why not we focus on the area around Galleria Timeworld. Although I cannot give an extensive outline of the whole area in this article alone, I will instead point out some things to do when you are there.
First of all, there are a lot of places to eat. If you want to eat some generic Korean dishes such as pork chops or stew, it is there. If you like to enjoy a Chinese course or some sushi from a conveyor-belt sushi house, it is there. Looking for something a bit out of the ordinary? It is easy to find establishments serving Indian, Italian, or some other exotic cuisine; you could visit any one of the numerous family restaurants and feast on a nice juicy steak. While there were a lot of restaurants that attracted my attention, a small diner called “Italy Guksi” caught my eye. By fusing Italian and Korean culinary arts, the establishment aims to create a new kind of pasta by using Korean ingredients. Many of the dishes have won prizes in various culinary competitions around the world, and the prices range from 9,000 to 16,000 KRW during lunch. The dish I tried, after consulting the helpful waitress, was a spicy seafood dish called “nurungji guksi”, and it was simply delightful with just the right amount of spiciness - not too bland but not too hot either. The thin pasta noodles blended extremely well with the thick soup, and the nurungji on the bottom of the dish was the perfect finisher. With a modern dining atmosphere and innovative dishes, this diner is one that I highly recommend for anyone who wants to try something unique.
However, nobody would go to Timeworld Galleria merely to eat, right? There are so many things to do after dinner. Why not enjoy a cup of coffee or a cool beverage at one of the many coffee shops and bistros spread throughout the area? Twosome Place, Starbucks, Smoothie King – it is probably there. Also, as the entertainment center of the area, the Galleria is a host to many facilities for the enrichment of Homo Ludens. There are your regular Internet cafes, karaoke bars, video arcades, and billiard rooms. If you are more of a physical person, try out the batting cage, which only costs 2,000 KRW for 20 pitches. I tried it out and it was the best stress reliever I had in weeks. Imagine each pitched ball being some kind of nasty problem you have in your mind, and the next thing you know you are swinging the bat in a state of euphoria.
You could also take the same bus route in the other direction and drop by at Lotte Cinema near the Daejeon Government Complex. One of the bigger multiplexes in Daejeon with 10 theaters and a total seating capacity of 1,600, following up with a movie after a nice dinner near Galleria Timeworld is a great way to end the night out.
So rather than restricting yourself to the boundaries of KAIST, go out to Galleria Timeworld every once in a while, either alone or with company. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the lively city, and you will soon find yourself enjoying the energetic and young atmosphere.