On my very first day in Daegu, I made a trip to the Daegu National Museum. This museum is quick and easy to tour. A majority of the signs have English translation.
The highlights include Buddhist relics and statues, jewelry, and traditional clothes. I especially liked the seventh century Buddha statues. How did they make those? They’re so detailed and well-preserved. There is also an extensive children’ area with interactive games and exhibits.
Did I mention that it’s free? An easy stop in and out site – you can likely see all that you want to see in thirty minutes.
Iden Baghdahchi, a fellow American and traveler who I met in our guesthouse, invited Chris and I to a puppy cafe. Chris had never heard of this concept, so when he heard the words “puppy” and “cafe” in the same sentence, he immediately wanted to know more. When it was explained as a cafe where you can play with his puppies, he was not only in but also ecstatic.
The Bau House is located within walking distance of Hongik Station near Hapjeong Station on a street parallel to the main road. On Sundays, they open at 12:30. Here’s the Bau House Address: 서울특별시 마포구 서교동 394-44 제일빌딩 후면 1층 ( 394-44 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul). We walked from our hostel, the Seoulwise Guesthouse, which is located south of Hongik Station in Hongdae. It was a quick walk and not too hard to find.
I walked in and was immediately welcomed by the pet store smell but less heavy on the treats and more heavy on the urine and dog fur. It wasn’t a deterrent. If anything, it got me ready for what I was about to experience: a lot of dogs. At the front of the cafe, the right wall is lined with a booth style seating. There are five small round tables with chairs. This is the small dog area, and you guessed it: this is where the small dogs are. I’d estimate that there are about 12 small dogs in this area including an oddly skinny miniature greyhound and my personal favorite a Cavalier King Charlies Spaniel.
We opted to walk past the adorable little pups into the next section of the cafe, the big dog area. Divided by a gate, the big dog area is about five times bigger than the small dog area. The walls are lined with roughly 11 booths where you can sit and enjoy the action. And there was a lot of action happening. I immediately had a smile on my face. I found that watching 20 dogs play together is mesmerizing. There were all sorts of breeds and sizes all mingling and playing together. There was a feisty boxer who was fighting with the bigger dogs, some three times his size. The Bau House was an incredibly welcoming place full of families and young people. The staff are all young Koreans who seem to love dogs so much. Why else would they work there?
My heart melted when I saw a Korean child playing with the dogs. Their entire face lit up when a dog would come close. Chris, too, was in his element. He and Iden bought some treats and had a blast feeding it to the dogs. The dogs went nuts, but I never felt threatened or as if they were out of control. Now there was, of course, moments of pee and poop, but the staff did an excellent job cleaning it up quickly and thoroughly using some speed and disinfectant spray.
The cafe is FREE to visit, but they, of course, expect you to buy a drink. The drinks range from 5,000 Won to 8,000 Won (roughly $5 to $8). While seven dollars was a bit steep for a mediocre cafe latte, it was well worth it to see the dog cafe. Also, I thought I’d feel unsanitary, but oddly, it didn’t bother me that there were dogs jumping in and on the booths and tables. At one point, I had a pup in my lap while sipping my iced latte. There was very little to complain about.
Now, I have a confession. I have one flaw. (Being humble not being it). I regretfully admit that I am not a dog person. Unlike people who say they are not cat people, I do not hate dogs. How could I hate dogs? Come on. I’m human. I just simply have never owned a dog. Thus, I am not a dog person.
I like to explain it this way: we all people who do not know how to act around babies. Maybe you’re that person. You’re asked if you want to “hold him” when you meet a friend’s newborn. Out of respect, you don’t yell out, “God, no!” although that’s your first instinct. You hold the child at arm’s length making everyone in the room uncomfortable. It is obvious you do not have a clue what you’re doing. Yeah…that’s how I feel around dogs. It all started when I once was asked to dog-sit a friend’s little white dog, and he bit me. Drawing blood, I might add. I don’t hold it against him. But it is like being pooped on or spit up on by a baby that isn’t yours. You don’t really want that happen again any time soon.
As I grow up, I realize dogs are lovely creatures. They have personalities and offer great companionship. I have babysat for families who have incredibly kind and likable dogs, too. I was a dog sitter for the sweetest old lab in Florida. It was then that I realized that I want to own a dog someday given that my husband knows how to care for a dog properly. And technically it starts off as his dog so that I have a way out in case I decide I am not a dog person after all.
I rarely find myself homesick, but one thing that is guaranteed to make me yearn for home is the mention of Kansas City barbecue. The Daily Meal posted an article “America’s 25 Best Ribs” highlights the best barbecue joints. To no surprise, three of the Top Four are Kansas City favorites. The four Kansas City joints to make the list the are Oklahoma Joe’s, Arthur Bryant’s, Gates Bar B-Q, and Fiorella’s Jack Stack.
My personal favorite is Oklahoma Joe’s. Last time I visited Kansas City, my dad took me straight to the original location from the airport. And yes, the best barbecue in Kansas City started in a gas station, where it still remains today. I recommend stopping in Oklahoma Joe’s original location for a Z-man or a pulled pork sandwich every chance you get. My mouth is salivating just thinking about it.
Sigma’s “Nobody to Love,” reminds me of some of the incredible road trips I have been lucky enough to embark on. What’s the best road trip you’ve ever done?
“I’m going to marry this girl eventually,” Jack Hyer wrote in his travel journal in September 2010 after taking Becca on their first date. While traveling the world, he compiled this video in hopes of proposing to Becca with it someday. That day has come. Here’s the epic video that features some incredible travel and a man who really loves a women.
via Jack Hyer’s Youtube
Matador Travel Network posted Jack Hyer’s video this week. If you don’t already follow Matador Network, join their community today. They post relevant travel articles, and the community allows you to connect with fellow travel enthusiasts from around the world.
I am really looking forward to seeing Empire of the Sun and M.I.A. Hopefully upping my coolness factor considering that I never put music on my iPod and I’m just plain not cool when it comes to music.
Then there’s this badass video to pump you up.
Less than 50km from the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the Great Unification Buddha sits outside Sinheungsa temple near the entrance in Seoraksan National Park (설악산). This 62-foot tall Buddha statue, also called Tongil Daebul, cost $4.1 million to construct and represents the Koreans wish to unify the peninsula.
Chris and I took a moment to be silent. I am really grateful for an opportunity to hike Seoraksan. Also, I couldn’t ask for a better travel partner. Yet another wonderful bucket list item: check.