A Day Trip to DaeJeon

on the ktx to daejeondeajeon / 대전 / koraildeajeon / 대전 / muk restaurant

first time I’ve had green onion pancakes made with acorn flour

deajeon / 대전

our gracious host + sly

deajeon / 대전 // bingsu

Patbingsu or bingsu is a shaved is a korean shaved ice dessert — somewhat related to a hawaiian snow cone. This particular bingsu was made with shaved ice milk (snow ice) instead of regular shaved ice. So good. One of my fave Korean desserts.

deajeon / 대전 // ktx

I don’t know much about Daejeon — still don’t, really, as we weren’t there long enough to really get to know the city. It’s somewhere in the center of Korea, not too far from Seoul, about a 45 min KTX ride from Daegu. There are mountains, like most Korean cities. There’s a street known for its hanbok shops, a lot of industry and research companies, and, according to a mug I saw in Starbucks, somehow hot air balloons are symbolic of the city*

We took a day trip to meet up with one of Sly’s buddies from their Academy days. Our train left at 11:06 am. We left the house just before 10am, walked a few blocks to the wrong bus stop, realized our error, then walked another 10 blocks or so in the opposite direction to the real bus stop. We watched two buses pass us as we waited to cross the street. At around 10:25 the bus finally arrived. Sloooowwly it made it’s way through the city, hitting traffic and what seemed like every single light. At 10:55 we arrived at the train station, bolted off the bus, up two flights of stairs, across a bridge and then waited in line to pick up the tickets we purchased online. At 11 am Sly was still waiting in line while I looked up the train number to determine our track. It was then that I discovered our train would be arriving three minutes early. Awesome.

At 11:01 we finally had our tickets. We raced down the escalator, weaving around people that were standing still, taking up both ‘lanes’ of the escalator. The train had just come to a stop. But we had to be at the front of the train because we bought first class tickets. The thing about trains in Korea — the ones that make multiple stops (which I think it like all of them) is that the trains don’t stop for very long. You need to be ready to board or de-board because there is no waiting around for anyone.

We scrambled towards the front of the train, deciding to board a couple cars down and walk through the train to our seats in case the train decided to take off. At least then we’d be on the train.

We barely made it.

All of this in a pencil skirt and wobbly heeled shoes that had yet been tested for things like frantically running around train stations..

The rest of the day was (thankfully) less dramatic. Sly’s buddy, who he hasn’t seen since he left the US, came with his wife to pick us up at the train station. We ate at a Korean restaurant that served dishes made from the local specialty — acorn, or “muk.” Muk dishes are made from acorn starch, which on its own doesn’t have much of a flavor. We ate acorn jelly dipped in soy sauce and chili paste, acorn soup with acorn flour noodles, chewy acorn flour balls made mixed with sweet potatoes in a kind of sweet potato salad, and my favorite: acorn pajeon, (green onion pancakes) . After our huge lunch we groaned that we couldn’t eat another bite. Then we went to a nearby dessert cafe and ate a huge bingsu — shaved milk ice topped with fruit, ice cream, and a shot of condensed milk. We left off the condensed milk, you know, because we were too full.

* I conducted a google search to determine why there were hot air balloons on a Daejeon coffee mug that was sold at Starbucks. Turns out the city holds an annual hot air balloon festival.!

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  • funnelcloud rachel
    May 19, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Woohoo, another festival! You have to go! One of these days when I catch up on my blogging I will write about my biggest travel disappointment/failure yet – attempting to attend the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta last fall…

  • veronika
    May 19, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    I def want to go! There are sooo many festivals here…think I need to start making a festival calendar/list!

    Always was curious about the one in NM – can’t wait to hear about it (and the rest of your Acadia trip)!

  • Karen
    May 20, 2015 at 3:42 am

    You two should be on the Amazing Race!!

  • Karen
    May 20, 2015 at 3:47 am

    Rachel – she inspired me to look up festivals in NC! I have been to some of the bigger ones, but some I have never heard of. NC has a Hot Air Balloon fest – maybe I will blog about it sometime soon, but of course, it is NOTHING like the one in New Mexico!

  • veronika
    May 20, 2015 at 11:10 am

    I wish! Though think we might kill each other if we were on that show.

  • veronika
    May 20, 2015 at 11:17 am

    I doubt the hot air balloon fest here is all that big… prob like 3 balloons.

  • funnelcloud rachel
    May 20, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    OMG, Karen is right! You guys would be awesome on a The Amazing Race!!!

  • funnelcloud rachel
    May 20, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    The one is NM is only good if the balloons actually take off!

  • veronika
    May 25, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Omg, maybe I should take a video (not edited to hipster music) of us on trips. We are good when I can OCD over every last detail but otherwise…there have been some tense travel moments. Add to that lack of sleep, my type A competitive personality, multiple language barriers, and my uncanny ability to always find myself in a Lucy and Ethel predicament = disaster. But, it probably would make for good tv. I’m sure I’d be edited to be the bitchy whiny wife or the dunce (or both) for the season.