GWANGJANG TRADITIONAL MARKET
Shopping is a must if you are around town in Seoul. So we decided to spend the whole day walking around town and make some damages to our wallet. Most probably. The first destination of the day is definitely the local market. We always find that the traditional local market is the best place for us to get closer with locals and also to those who are eager to see what makes the nation and culture unique. So, here we go. Gwangjang Traditional Market it is!
Gwangjang Traditional Market is the first nation market in Seoul with 100 years of history. When we first steps into the market, we didn’t expect that there are more than 5000 independent shops where it it not only limited to fresh vegetables, seafood, local sweets and desserts, local delicacies but you also find line of bed sheet and even custom made Hanbok. Basically, you can find EVERYTHING here. Almost EVERYTHING.
The first view that we saw in Gwangjang Market
Rice Donuts – something like Cakoi
Clothing and household areas.
Fresh seafood. We got attracted seeing the kind of octopus that they have here in Korea. If you’re into bizarre kind of foods just like Andrew Zimmern, you might one give it a try by eating a whole live of octopus or they called it as ‘Sannakji’. If you ask us, it’s a big big big NO!
Various kind of traditional fermented Korean side dish. One tip that we’ve learned from our sister is that instead of calling all the ladies as Ahjumma, we called them as Unnie and they were sooo happy. With that, it was way easier for us to shoot them spontaneously. They keep smiling and posing for us.
Local sweet and desserts
Did we mentioned that the central area of the ground level was dominated by a large numbers of food stalls. ‘Bindaetteok’, a Korean style pancake made from ground mung beans, with green onions, kimchi or peppers are commonly found here. Once we uploaded this picture of the food junction at the market, our friends commented that this is exactly where one of the Running Man episode shoot was taken.
The famous Korean bed sheet
And this is also where you can get your custom made Hanbok
Not to forget, fresh fruits and flowers too
The last shot of the market. We very much hope that this Seoul’s traditional market will still be holding on in this modernization era.
How to get here: Jongno 5-ga Station (Subway Line 1) – Exit 8 or Euljiro 4-ga Station (Subway Line 2 & 5) – Exit 4.
We then headed to Namdaemun Market where the main modus operandi is to get hold with the famous and quality handmade brooch for everyone back home at E-Lendang. It is easier to spot the orange green building from Hoehyeon Station (Line 4) – Exit 5. Being Malaysian, we went straight to the famous Ahjumma Brooch Stall No. 209 (Chung Cho) and to locate the stall, check out the floor layout at the staircase. If not, you will get lost among hundreds of brooch stall. Just remember that you have been warned!
Being the largest traditional market in town which located next to the ‘Great South Gate’ or the main southern gate to the old city, this is definitely the best place to get an inexpensive kind of clothing wear, housewares, accessories and many others. But as for tourist, this is a place where you can get a wide selection of very affordable and cheap souvenirs. You can get 3 no’s of plain Korea’s shirt for a price of KRW 10,000 and a set of fridge magnet (4 no’s) at an average of KRW 5,000 to 10,000.
Most shops will offer their customer hot coffee or their famous cultured milk drink, Yakult.
Locals playing Korean Chess or what they called as ‘Janggi’. FF’s started a conversation with that uncle and found that he’s a lapel pin collector as seen on his flat cap. Hence, FF’s handed him over the Malaysia flag lapel pin as a gift and he got excited. He then pulled us over to another corner just to find out that he actually owned a souvenir shop nearby and quickly grab a Korean flag lapel pin in exchange. It came to our surprised that his daughter could actually verse in ‘Bahasa Melayu’ too. Impressive! And the rest is all history where we ended up buying a number of souvenirs at the shop at a very cheap price.
The other view of Namdaemun Market
How to get here: Hoehyeon Station (Subway Line 4) – Exit 2 or 3.
With just a minutes walk away, we then headed to Myeongdong where this area is basically a home to roughly hundreds of cosmetic shops and skin care stores clustered around the central street. Name like Etude House, Nature Republic, Missha, Skin Foods, The Face Shop, Tony Moly and many others are commonly found here. FF’s waited as I just got excited buying dozens of face mask and lotion.
Cosmetic and skin care stores on both sides.
2 anchor department stores which is Lotte and Shinsegae are located here too and there’s also a number of large shopping malls lie along the streets of Myeongdong.
How to get here: Myeongdong Station (Subway Line 4) – Exit 5, 6, 7 & 8.
EWHA WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY
They said it wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t shop here as Ewha Womans University area is one of the most popular shopping districts in Seoul. It is also called as Ewha Women’s University Fashion Street. It features number of stalls lining the street selling fashion items from shoes, clothes, accessories and all the young woman needs. Everything here are so affordable and cheap!
How to get here: Ewha Womans University Station (Subway Line 2) Exit 2 or 3.
The choice is all yours!
We will continue our journey on Halal Food in Seoul Korea.
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma