So… I skipped 2 or 5(?) blog posts about travelling in Korea so I have a few things in store for you guys. I have been to places here and there the past few weeks and I am excited to share about these experiences with all of you. Let’s approach this in order of events. First up! I would like to introduce you to Gwangjang Market.
Gwangjang Market is one of those places in Seoul I would like to visit more often but always fail to do so. It has everything you want and need, from fabrics to food. It is somewhat like the Pyeonghwa (Peace) Market in Dongdaemun. BUT the Gwangjang Market is more famous for its variety of food, especially the stalls’ 빈대떡 (Bin-dae-tteok, mung-bean pancake). Trust me, it’s really good. Especially if you pair it with 막걸리 (Makgeolli, Korean rice wine). It’s a killer.
If you are looking for things other than food, be sure to make time during the afternoon for the stores close up pretty early.
I heard that the Gwangjang Market has become more famous over the years after appearing in CNN and other food travel blogs. Many tourists visit the place because of its affordable prices and (as I’ve mentioned before) the variety of food as well as for food-type of souvenirs.
Gwangjang market has to be one of the most accessible places in Seoul. It is situated below Jongro-5ga station (line 1, come out of exit 11), on the east side of Jongro-3ga station (lines 1, 3 and 5, come out of exit 12), northern side of Euljiro-4ga station (lines 2 and 5 come out of exit 4) and northeast of Euljiro-3ga station (lines 2 and 3, come out of exit 5). There are also multiple buses that stop near the station, so if you are familiar with buses in Seoul, the walking distance will be significantly lesser than of riding the subway.
There is also the Cheonggye Stream on the southern part of the market so you can take a nice walk along the stream after filling up your tummy with scrumptious food.
Which store to eat Mung-bean Pancakes?
This is the hardest question I face whenever I visit a market with its own specialty.
My best advice is, follow your gut feeling. Especially when you have experience travelling and you yourself is a foodie. There is a very famous place but for me, it’s really similar to the place I actually ate in. (Sorry, no picture or name of the store. All I know it was a small place in the corner and it was good.) BUT! If you do want to try it, the name of store is, “순희네 빈대떡” (Soon-heui-ne bean-dae-tteok). store 61 . Go for it!
I also heard from a foreigner passing by telling his companions that he tried the place that appeared in CNN but there was nothing particularly special about the place. He, my friend and I were on the same page on that so we moved along.
What else can we eat?
One of my favorite Korean dishes has to be 육회 (yook-hwe, raw beef). Before some of you say, “Ew.” Try it.
I’m a picky eater and I’m not very keen on trying new kinds of food even in Korea and the Philippines but this is one dish that I would highly recommend. Aside from the Mung-bean pancakes, the market is also famous for Yook-hwe as well. Good news is, Yook-hwe is also a great match with Makguli. LOL. It is seasoned with sauce, a bit of sesame seeds and is served with sliced pear. Some restaurants serve it with a raw egg yolk, some don’t. If you prefer yours with it, you can ask the servers.
How to eat it? Mix the egg yolk (or not, depends on your preference) with the Yook-hwe and eat it together with a few (2 or 3?) slices of pear. It’s really good.
Anything interesting to be found in the market aside from food?
Yes. It was my first time to actually see “taffy vendors”. You’ll be like, what really? But if you see the picture below, these taffy vendors dress up funny like clowns and they sing and dance as they go along the market selling taffy. I took a few pictures of them, got caught and was given no choice but to buy taffy. Oh well. My dad loves taffy anyway. LOL.
Of course, like I mentioned above, you can walk at the Cheonggye Stream after eating at the market and just chat away while you walk. It was summer, going to autumn when I went there so the weather was relatively nice.
This is my lovely friend who is a professional photographer and has been coaching me on tips in photography.
One of my best encourage-ers! 😀 Check out her Instagram account below!
Many friends have been asking about when to visit and about the seasons here in Korea. Follow this link if you are also curious!
So with more food and fun, just keep walking. 🙂