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"Short stories and travel reports from my life adventures around the globe".

Travel Report: Suseong Lake, Daegu.

Suseong Lake Daegu.

Suseong Lake, Daegu.

April 2019. It was a brilliantly sunny afternoon in Daegu and we’d just finished an enlightening morning learning about one of South Korea’s most beloved singers at Kim Kwang-seok Memorial Street. Now, with hopes of discovering a perfect dinner spot, we’d arrived at Suseong Lake. This is undoubtedly central Daegu’s most picturesque neighbourhood and, some say, the finest city lake in the country.

Suseong Lake.

Suseong Lake, Daegu.

Suseong Lake is a manmade reservoir created for agricultural use as part of Daegu’s ongoing green initiative efforts. In recent years it’s become more and more of a tourist attraction, with the introduction of duck-themed paddle boats, an amusement park, bike trails and a pedestrianised boardwalk.

Suseong Lake, Daegu.

Suseong Lake in Daegu.

Suseong Lake.

On the lookout for dinner, we made our way around the lake. In the hour leading up to sunset we’d expected the area to be much busier. Especially as the weather was fine and  we’d come on a Saturday. But hey, we certainly weren’t complaining.

Pungmul performance Daegu South Korea.

Live Pungmul at Suseong Lake.

A small park with a large, open square runs along the side of Suseong Lake. As luck would have it, we’d arrived just in time for a traditional drumming performance, known as Pungmul. This was my second Pungmul experience following a live performance I caught in the city of Busan back in 2015. 

Wonderboy, Cory, Kaley and I settled down on some benches and watched some of the performers putting on their multicoloured robes and flowery headdresses. A short while later the show was underway, a rhythmic, tribal drumming set to dramatic, modern orchestral music.

The female drummers, dressed in uniform blue and white dresses, were really impressive. Their drumming was perfectly synchronised and powerful. In between the beats, they twirled their drumsticks and spun themselves around in circles. I later discovered that Pungmul is a tradition rooted in ancient farming culture. It also stands as a form of pro-democracy protest.

Hoban Restaurant.

Hoban Restaurant Suseong Lake Daegu.

Hoban Restaurant, Suseong Lake.

I wanted a special feast that night on Suseong Lake. I hadn’t seen my brother in two and a half years and I’d only just met his fiancee Kaley. Moreover, neither had met Wonderboy. Thus it felt like a proper celebration was in order. Happily, I found exactly what we were looking for with Hoban Restaurant, a lakeside eatery with outdoor decking.

Beautiful Suseong Lake.

Hoban Restaurant.

“No smoking, no kids” exclaimed Wonderboy, reading the entrance sign. “This is my kinda place!”  Bypassing the uninspiring interior, we entered the garden terrace, immediately drinking in its lovely lakeside views. Furthermore, the zero kids and nicotine policy seemed to ensure the place wasn’t heaving with people. Perfect.

Visit Daegu Hoban Restaurant.

NOT all the food we ate.

A truly ridiculous amount of food found its way onto the table that evening. Chiefly because we’d underestimated the size of each dish, which could’ve easily served two people. In any case we dug into the communal spread, a hearty feast of cheesy pizza, pork cutlets, fried chicken and chopped salad. Naturally washed down with several rounds of draft beer.

Hoban Restaurant Daegu.

One of the chicken plates.

Suseong Lake, Daegu.

Finally, admitting defeat, we took an entire bag of chicken back to our apartment. “A dirty breakfast!” declared Wonderboy. But alas, it ended up in the trash the following morning when all we desired was coffee. Nevertheless, we had a great night and our visit to Suseong Lake remains a defining memory of my adventures in Daegu.

Sunset at Suseong Lake Daegu.

Sunset at Suseong Lake.

For more on what to see and do in this hugely underrated city, check out my travel reports from Daegu.

Like this? Take a look at more of my pieces from around South Korea.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

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8 Comments

  • Zoewiezoe

    Two strapping young lads!
    (Cause there’s a lot of straps…in the featured image, gettit? Pun intended 🤭🤐)
    Lovely post and trip!

    October 25, 2020 - 9:13 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Boom boom! Thanks for reading 🙂

      October 25, 2020 - 9:15 am Reply
  • Memo

    I was hoping for more pictures of food. Still, I loved the duck boats and the drumming was intoxicating.

    October 25, 2020 - 5:51 pm Reply
  • Rebecca

    What a tranquil lake! Reminds me of Kunming Lake in Beijing. That meal of beer and fried chicken sounds like the perfect way to enjoy the views, ideally in warmer weather! PS Is that your brother with the plate of fried chicken? I see a huge resemblance between you two!

    October 26, 2020 - 3:10 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Yup, that’s my brother. 18 years younger than me! Thanks for reading 🙂

      October 26, 2020 - 8:03 am Reply
  • Jyothi

    Suseong Lake looks stunning! Thanks!

    October 26, 2020 - 3:27 pm Reply
  • Stephen Schuit

    I lived in Daegu twice in my life: 1973-75 and 2012-2017. It easily became my 2nd home. One great way to spend a lovely and invigorating day is to take the subway to the far western edge of Daegu and get off near the Arc, where the intersection of the 4-Rivers is located. Bring your own bike or rent one and take the bike path easterly back to the center of Daegu, or beyond, to Gyeongsan. It is some of the nicest biking you could ever do.

    November 2, 2020 - 10:43 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Stephen, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. The bike trail sounds like a great hidden secret! Cheers for the tip.

      November 3, 2020 - 8:34 am Reply

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