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Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Daegu - Fast fashion
Haeinsa Temple
Haeinsa Temple - a national treasure
Daegu is a place people tend to pass through - unless they are fans of fabrics, fashion, pharmaceuticals and females.

The capital of the Gyeongsangbuk-do province is a wealthy but unattractive city - conservative and fashionable.

Korea's third city was at the heart of the region's post-war development and is now responsible for 40% of all the textiles produced in the country.

Daegu's central shopping district is an exhibition of all the latest Korean fashions.

Area facts
Population: 2.5m
Province: Gyeongsangbuk-do
Location: South-east central plain
Local team: n/a
Sights: Yasigolmok

Brothels incorporating the name "Texas" are a throwback to American influences such as the "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas"
Yasigolmok is home to all the best shops and is a thriving warren of streets, be it at day, when people are buying the latest trends, or at night, when they are wearing them.

The city has recently attempted to recreate Yasigolmok's nightlife four kilometres out of town at Deurangil.

The quality of the restaurants and hotels on offer are unquestionable, but the area lacks atmosphere.

Daegu has a ready made recuperation if the excesses of life in Yasigolmok prove too much.

Yangnyeong Sijang, the Herbal Medicine Market which has been in existence for 344 years, is a myriad of lotions and potions for all eventualities - "Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog".

Daegu is also one of the "big three" red light districts in the country.

But, unlike Amsterdam in the Netherlands, or London's Soho, it is free of fetid lechery and lasciviousness.

Festival fun
Textile & Fashion Festival
The twice yearly event in May and October includes sewing competitions
Behind glass-fronted shops, women in traditional Korean costume sit waiting to be selected by passer-bys.

Their beauty is rumoured to come from a healthy diet of apples.

However, the real interest and beauty of Daegu, is beyond the city limits.

The city is known as the Holy Land of Korean Buddhism with famous temples like Donghwa and Pagye and numerous Buddhist statues.

To the east, even greater majesty is found in Gyeongju - the capital of the Silla period for 1,000 years until 935 AD.

Following the death of the dynasty, Gyeongju was pillaged and ransacked over the centuries but still holds many secrets of the past to delight visitors.

And to the west lies one of the country's most famous temple-monastery complexes, Haeinsa in Gayasan National Park.


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