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Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Festival: For a sound mind and body

Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Festival
For a sound mind and body

Daegu is one of Korea’s major metropolitan cities. In addition to having a thriving population and a myriad of modern conveniences, the city is also well-known for an abundance of natural and historical sites. Though the city has many draws, it is primarily known for its textile and fashion industry, and for its herbal medicine and medical tourism.

One of the prime spots to experience Daegu’s rich medicinal culture is at the Daegu Yangnyeongsi Market. Established in 1658, the market spans a 700-meter stretch along Namseong-ro Road in the Jung-gu district. Also known as “Yakjeon Golmok” (alley of medicine stores), the street is home to a number of herbal medical clinics, medicinal restaurants, and shops selling herbal remedies. Every year in early May, the lively street becomes even more colorful with the opening of the Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Festival.

The Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Festival got its roots from the original grand opening event that took place when the Yangnyeong Market first opened back in the 17th century. The event was organized by local merchants who worked hard to welcome visitors with a festive mood. It was a huge success and drew people from all over the nation to the market to buy and sell medicinal ingredients. The Yangnyeongsi opening officially turned into a modern-day festival in 1978 and has been held annually ever since.

Recommended Programs

Hanbang (herbal medicine) experience

  • Slicing of Medicinal Herbs
    The ‘Slicing of Medicinal Herbs’ is a free program where one can learn how to cut medicinal herbs in the traditional way. Though it may look simple, cutting medicinal herbs takes strength and know-how!
  • Packaging of Medicinal Herbs
    The free ‘Packaging of Medicinal Herbs’ program is an event where one can learn how to make traditional herb packs using dried mandarin peel and white paper. The herb pack can then be taken home as a free souvenir and brewed to make tea.
  • Hanbang Foot Bath Experience
    Feeling tired after walking all day around the festival grounds? Then stop by the ‘Hanbang Foot Bath Experience’ in front of the Daegu Yangnyeongsi Oriental Medicine Cultural Center to soak your feet in a foot bath infused with medicinal herbs. The foot bath is free of charge.

Permanent exhibitions

  • Mystical Herb Tunnel
    The Mystical Herb Tunnel by the entrance of the festival grounds is a small tunnel leading into the venue that greets visitors with the aroma of medicinal herbs. Inside the tunnel are photos of the Daegyu Yangnyeongsi Market and skillfully placed herbal medicine pouches.
  • Medicinal Plant Park
    As you walk around the festival grounds, you’ll find gardens of medicinal plants (‘medicinal plant parks’) interspersed throughout the whole area. The gardens/parks are planted with about 70 types of local medicinal plants like ginseng, milk vetch root, and peonies.

Recommended food

  • Hanbang tea
    During the festival, snacks are sold all along Yangnyeongsi Street. The Hanbang tea, which is made with 10 herbal ingredients, tastes bitter but is highly recommended for its healing properties. The tea is said to be extremely effective in relieving fatigue.
  • Ginseng twigim (fried ginseng)
    Ginseng twigim (fried ginseng) is made by deep-frying whole ginseng roots and is a surprisingly healthy and delicious treat. At the festival you’ll also find fried deodeok (deodeok twigim), which is a mountain herb whose roots have restorative properties.
  • Hanbang samgyetang
    Along Yangnyeongsi Street, you’ll find many restaurants specializing in Hanbang samgyetang (chicken soup with ginseng and herbal ingredients). In particular, the restaurant ‘Yakjeon Samgyetang’ has a long history and is known for its clear broth, tender chicken meat and unique herbal seasonings. Yakjeon Samgyetang costs 11,000 won per person.

Recommended Tourist Sites

  • Yangnyeongsi Oriental Medicine Cultural Center

    The Daegu Yangnyeongsi Market has been a popular herbal medicine market ever since it first opened in the 17th century. In its heyday, the market drew crowds of people from as far as Japan and China! Discover the fascinating history of the Yangnyeongsi Market, the origin of Yakjeon Street, and fun facts about medicinal herbs with a visit to the Daegu Yangnyeongsi Oriental Medicine Cultural Center. The center even has a section where visitors can get health check-ups.
  • Jeil Church

    Located right in front of the Daegu Yangnyeongsi Oriental Medicine Cultural Center, Jeil Church is the institute that is credited with introducing the Protestant religion to the people of Daegu. The church was designated as Daegu Tangible Cultural Asset No. 30 by the city of Daegu in 1991 in recognition of its architectural, religious, and cultural significance.
  • Gyesan Catholic Church

    About a five-minute walk from Yangnyeongsi Market is Gyesan Catholic Church. The church was built in 1899 and was renovated into its current state in 1902. As the first Western-style structure built in Daegu, and the city’s first major Catholic presence, the church is also highly valued as the only building in the city to have been built in the early 20th century. In 1981, the church was designated as Tangible Cultural Asset No. 290 by the national government.
  • House of Yi Sang-hwa and House of Seo Sang-don

    Next to Gyesan Catholic Church stands the old residence of Yi Sang-hwa (1901-1943), a poet who expressed resistance against Japan’s imperialism through his poetry. In the same area is the old residence of Seo Sang-don (1851-1913), a nationalist who took a leading role in the National Debt Repayment Movement to decrease national debt and gain independence from Japan.

More Info

2014 Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Festival

Oct 1 to Oct 5, 2014
Yangnyeongsi Yakjeon Golmok (Street) and nearby areas in Jung-gu, Daegu-si
☞Admission fee:
Free of charge (Fees apply for participation in some programs)
☞Festival website: (Korean)
☞Accommodations: (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞Related Columns
*Recommended Travel in Daegu Parks, Fashion, History, and Local Foods
*Daegu, Cheongdo, and Miryang in Gyeongsang-do
*Daegu a city packed with flavor!
☞Daegu Tourism Website: (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞1330 Korea Travel Hotline:
+82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Date 09/29/2014

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