CONTRIBUTED BY JANVIKA SHAH
Although Palgongsan Mountain receives more attention for the auspicious Gatwabi statue, Apsan’s national park is not to be overlooked.
Apsan Park is Daegu’s largest park and is the result of a 10-year project that began in 1970. The dense forest offers a nice cool refuge in the summer, beautiful foliage in the fall, flowers in the spring and an opportunity to exercise in the winter.
Out of the four peaks in the park: Mt. Apsan (658m,) Mt. Sanseong (653m,) Mt. Daedok (584m,) and Mt Chongryong (794m,) the latter is my favorite peak. Mt. Cheongryong is closer to West Daegu but can still be accessed through any of the park entrances. Being the highest peak, Mt. Cheongryong offers a breathtaking view of Daegu with the Dowon reservoir in sight. Furthermore, the peak is along a trail that forks several times, offering an opportunity to hike along the ridge for several picturesque views. Lastly, if you’re looking for some solitude, you won’t find as many people on the trail connected to this peak as on the trail to Mt. Apsan.
Within the park, you can find exercise machines, memorials, temples, museums, a restaurant, an observatory deck and even a spring with fresh water. The maps at the park entrances are extensive and written in English in addition to Korean.
For those who aren’t interested in hiking at all, you may take a cable car to a lookout point so you’re not missing out on the best view of a 2.5 million population city. The cable car climbs all the way up to 790 meters and is open from 10am to sunset. It costs 10,000 won for a return trip for adults and 7,000 won for children. The observation deck is open at night too for a stunning view of the city at night. The transformation of the sky at dusk washed with pink and orange hues to the sky at night flickering with city lights is absolutely beautiful.
To get to Aspan Park:
Subway- Take Daegu’s red subway line 1 to Anjirang Station. Leave the station at exit 3 and make a right to head toward the mountain.
*The Apsan Ringway also offers multiple chances to access the park. If you live in Sangin, head to the big road titled Sanghwaro and head East toward the park. Veer right before going through the tunnel and you’ll bump into a dead end and several trailheads.