Looking for a feel of a traditional market in Seoul? Namdaemun Market is just the place for you.

It has quite a bit of history, dating back as far as the 15th century – they’d have you believe, though the various wars throughout the years have left little history to observe. It does remain, however, a blooming area of trade.


So, what’s to do as a tourist in a traditional market? I’m glad you asked…


First thing’s first. Local food!

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This charming lady was the host for my breakfast in a very busy side alley near the market entrance. The result?


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Don’t know how that looks to you, but it was absolutely fantastic and unbelievably affordable. I could live on this stuff.


And there are lots of lovely ladies making delicious things…

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More food? no problem, endless options throughout the market…

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Damn, hungry now.


Time has a good review of the market :

The Namdaemun market is seemingly open round-the-clock (though a few retailers close on Sunday) and is a fantastic place to pick up inexpensive clothing, housewares, fabrics, jewelry, accessories, toys, food, flowers, stationery and appliances. But it’s easy to get turned around here, as there are thousands of shops located in the 30 or so multistory buildings, not to mention an endless sprawl of street-vendor stalls. This market is seriously crowded, so be prepared to get bumped around. If you feel peckish, take the opportunity to graze at the dozens of food stalls; try mandu gook, a simple and savory dumpling soup, or bindae duk, a skillet-fried mung-bean pancake. To get to Namdaemun market, take subway line 4 to Hoehyeon Station. The market also has a tourist information line: 02-752-1913.It’s also good fun to wonder around the market and look at the local folks doing their thing…



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A bit more from the market scene :

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If you need instructions on how to get there see Visit Korea.

Tags: food; food stalls; Korea; Korean food; Namdaemun Market; seoul; traditional market;

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I think what you had for your breakfast is kal-gook-soo (or kal-guk-su) judged from the way the “charming lady” was making the noodles and your pictures : ) yummy with the spicy seasonings (my preference). I do miss Korea sometimes. Hope you had fun and Korea treated you well : )


I think Yuri is right about the Kalguksu. And the young man in the red shirt is serving hotteok, hot cakes with a syrup-y filling inside.

PS – I totally missed this blog post and am finally seeing it now. Young people usually don’t go to Namdaemun, they prefer fashionable Myeongdong next door, but I’m so glad you got to go and take these awesome pictures. Thank you!

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