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Title Get the Feel and Taste of Korea at one of the Traditional Markets of Seoul
Name 시드니지사 Date 04/04/2013 Hit 5733

When travelling there’s no better place to go to get a taste of local life than visiting the local market.  This is true in the Korean capital of Seoul where you can discover the real life of Koreans – the older generations manning their stands, ajummas (middle-aged Korean women) hunting for bargains, and groups of young ladies giggling and having fun.

The biggest and most popular markets in Seoul are the Dongdaemun Market visited mostly by the young and fashionable and Namdaemun Market which has an almost overwhelming variety of goods.  Also worth a visit are the Gwangjang Market popular for its ‘food market’ and the Gyeongdong Market which is full of medicinal herbs.

For the true Korean market connoisseur, there’s also the large Noryangjin Fish Market and the 24-hour Garak Market, bustling with vendors and customers all year round. Whether you need to do some serious shopping or just want to look around, a visit to one of these Korean marketplaces is a lot of fun.

With a history of 600 years, Namdaemun Market is a well-established market that offers over 1,700 different kinds of products including clothes, ceramics, household goods, accessories, jewelry, kitchen items, electronic goods, wedding goods, stationery, regional specialties and imported products. Though the market is generally lauded for its vast selection and affordable prices, it is particularly well-known for its traditional crafts (which make great souvenirs) and its eyeglasses district. At the glasses section of the Namdaemun Market customers can find a wide selection of eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses sold at half the price of those in other retail stores.

Dongdaemun Market started long ago as a traditional open-air market. In the 1970s, the market became the heart of the Korean textile industry that drove the country's economic growth.  In subsequent years,  it further developed to become the centre of Korea's wholesale and retail fashion industries. In recent years it has attracted a number of large-scale fashion shopping malls that have further transformed Dongdaemun into a major shopping area.

The market is a must-visit destination for anyone who has a keen interest in fashion and/or dreams of making it big in the Korean or international fashion world. In addition to international name brands, you’ll be able to purchase unique creations from today’s Korean fashion leaders and young designers on their way up. Though the market is open throughout the day, the night market is particularly popular with people coming from all over the country to shop from late evening to early morning. If you’re lucky enough, you may even be able to catch one of the various fashion shows and festivals held in the market area.

Gwangjang Market was selected by visitors to Korea as their favourite market.  Gwangjang Market was the first permanent market established in Korea back in 1905 and is popular today with Koreans and visitors alike.  Besides its traditional Korean dress (hanbok shops) it is very well known for its ‘food market’.   The endless line of food vendors all along the market pathways is quite unique and Koreans and visitors line up waiting to experience each vendor’s mouthwatering delights. The market serves popular comfort foods like bindaetteok (Korean-style pancake made of ground mung beans, pork or beef, and kimchi).

The Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market is the nation's largest wholesale fish market and boasts a history of more than eighty years. Though the market is open and busy 24 hours a day, the already bustling marketplace really picks up around dawn when the fish auctions begin. The market is connected to Noryangjin Station (subway line 1) by a bridge, meaning that even first-time visitors to Seoul shouldn’t have any trouble finding their way around.

So, the next time you visit Seoul make sure you spend some time in one of the traditional markets of Seoul to enjoy a real feel and taste of traditional Korea.  Further information on the traditional markets of Seoul and around the country can be found on the official tourism website for Korea:

Dated:  26 March, 2013

Further information:   Jennifer Doherty, PR/Marketing Manager, Korea Tourism Org. Sydney

Contact Email:   Phone:  02)9252-4147/8