Daejeon City: Silicon Valley of Asia
I guess anybody who has been to Korea, would have basic knowledge of the big cities, Seoul and Busan. But another city, is the Techno Hub and Transportation of the whole country which iscalled Daejeon. Full of wide expansive land and valleys, Daejeon, from the old Korean term, hanbat or big land, had started with a small population. However, With train lines connecting Seoul to Busan and likewise, an in between rest station in Daejeon was made. Furthermore, a railway station was also made from Mokpo and to other main cities in the whole Korean peninsula, making it the transfers and transportation hub for the whole country.
The land mass of Daejeon is not the same as that of Seoul. Regions and districts are not miles apart. Because of the flat geography of Daejeon from the west and to the east of the whole city can be seen. Also, since the city is found in the middle and mostly all Korean National offices are now all in Seoul, the government has transferred some of the National offices to Daejeon. That is why the Korean National Government Complex was made in Dunsan-dong, west of the city. Four large buildings houses 9 national offices. This is why the second seat of power in South Korea can be found in Daejeon.
The Silicon Valley of Asia
Another mindful fact about this city is that it is the Silicon Valley of Asia. Korea being one of the pioneer countries in fast internet connection and technological development. Daejeon is actually the base for Korea’s leading Science and research based university, called KAIST (Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). According to Asiaweek, The university ranks as one of the leading lights when it comes to Science and Technology. Also a few more science and technology noteworthy schools and universities are also in the area.
A certain district is even called a Techno-Hub as R&D facilities of different big companies are situated in the area. Samsung, LG and other conglomerate companies in Korea, have all relocated their research centers to Daejeon, as it is accessible from any point in South Korea.
Daejeon is not just the place for geeks and nerds. Like Seoul and Busan thriving with life and a great atmosphere, Daejeon has certain places too that anyone can enjoy. And truthfully the Jjimjjilbangs of Daejeon are big and not crowded making one’s experience comfortable and memorable.
Districts such as Dunsan-dong, is a place where both business and normal life interconnects. Since the city’s main government buildings are in this area plus an array of Apartment complexes, anybody can work without worrying about time and traffic jams as the area is also a community. And because of this, a lot of restaurants, ranging from family, international cuisines and buffets can be found around this area. Also a big Lotte department store can be found in this area.
Another subset is Eunhaeng-dong, an area for the young and young at heart. This is the Hongdae/Myeongdong/Gangnam of Daejeon, where shopping and eating and having fun are all wrapped into one area. The basement shopping center is I feel the largest one that I have gone. A range of cheap to expensive clothes and accessories are sold. Also certain activities like Taro-reading, Tteokbokki houses and waffle places are also in this place. Also Daiso can be found on one of the wings of the Basement. The center sometimes host little art exhibits and almost all beauty stores are in the center, when every time I went, there a discount sale. The famous bread store Sungsim-dang which can on be found here in Eunhaeng-dong. And a few meters from this shopping area is actually the Daejeon Station and the KORAIL main office. So, if you just want to hit and run Daejeon, the place you can visit and enjoy is Eunhaeng-dong.
Yuseong district is also a familiar name in Daejeon, as this valley is the techno-hub of the city and also a sightseeing area. Museums and centers can be found in this place, that is why it is used as a base for local and international tourists. I’ve heard the Yuseong Spa is definitely the biggest and the best jjimjjilbang in Korea.
Other than these familiar places, Daejeon has other areas that anyone can come and visit. There are a lot of universities in the city and also has two Bus Terminals, one of which is the Daejeon Bukhap Terminal, where all the Bus transfers and Bus rides from different districts and cities in Korea can be found.
Another fact is that, a lot of foreigners work and study in Daejeon as well. Since, it’s the next big city, only 50-minutes (by KTX) from Seoul, expats work as teachers and employees of some company as well. Also, it’s the middle ground for some friends who lives separately around Korea and want to meet up. Going to Seoul causes a lot of hussle and trouble, so Daejeon is the next best place to meet up.
Also, KAIST and Chungnam University has a lot of foreign scholars as well, so you won’t find yourself out of place if you decide to live in Daejeon. Though unlike Seoul, where some Korean locals can converse in English. The Daejeon locals are still quite shy and would prefer totalk comfortably in Korean than talk in English even if they know how too. And since, Daejeon is a place where everybody meets, the Korean dialect of this area is a bit of the Seoul accent and the strong Satori from different areas of the country.
So next time, don’t forget to come visit Daejon when you are in Korea. It’s also city life, but much more convenient, clean and less on the hussle and bussle of Seoul.