Buzzing Bangsan Market

Today Sarah headed to Seoul with some friends to check out Bangsan Market. The Bangsan Market consist of between 25 to 30 baking product shops, each shop offering more than 3,000 items, meaning that you can find everything and anything you want for baking here!

That’s right I mean everything! Everything you need to bake cakes, pies, cookies, muffins, brownies, tortes, and tarts. You can purchase all sorts of cookie cutter shapes, baking utensils and tools, pans, molds, anything to make molded chocolates including the chocolate disks, baking ingredients, all sorts of cute sprinkle shapes, decorative boxes, cellophane, ribbons and stickers, and much more!

So where is Bangsan located? Glad you asked! Bangsan Shijang (방산시장) is in Dongdaemun area but is really about 1 ½ blocks from Dongdaemun station. The closest station sitting to the market is Jongno 5-ga. You are looking for a sign that reads “박스” this is at the entrance to the baking district alley. The closest subway station is Ulchiro-4-ga exit #6 (을지로4가역 6번 출구). Now prepare yourself you are going to think at first you are not in the right area… but really you are! As you walk you will take notice to all the little shops hidden within the busy alley and that this trip really was worth your while.

Bangsan is an awesome find! We plan to head back when more of our household goods arrive and we can whip up something good to share with our friends.

At lunch we decided to head into an open marketplace located almost directly across the river walk from the Bangsan market. This marketplace had tons of vendors and make shift little eateries serving up all sorts of yummy goodies! I was able to capture video on a HUGE pancake being made. It was incredibly tasty!

I ordered dukboki and I finally got to try out Chap chae also spelled Jab Chae (잡 채). Chap Chae consist of clear noodles made from sweet potato. The noodles are typically stir fried with sesame oil and served with thinly sliced carrots, onions, spinach, mushrooms. Sometimes the dish can be found served with beef or chicken or served cold or hot. This dish did not include meat and was served cold. It was delicious!

After eating lunch we decided to start heading back to catch the train. Along the way we checked out a few shops selling fur, umbrellas, bags, and toys. We checked out the Majeongyo underground shopping center. Here we found the typical shops selling shoes, bags, clothing, art, etc.

Walking into one of the shops with a friend I learned about the traditional Korean wedding gift. Are you ready for this? The gift is a pair of hand carved wooden ducks. Yes, ducks! These ducks symbolize both partners in marriage. What really got me was the female duck has cords wrapped around her beak. The cords were to represent that the wife to keep silent and support her husband…. Hmmmm….

At the Korea wedding the groom’s mother tosses the duck to the bride and if she catches it the couple’s first born will be a son. If when the duck is tossed and she misses of course it will be a daughter (less desirable).

After the marriage ceremony, the ducks are placed in the couples household on display. The ducks positions will tell what the relationship status currently is. When the ducks are facing each other beak to beak everything is going fine in the marriage. When the ducks are turned away tail to tail there is trouble in paradise. I found the ducks to be very interesting and thought I should share.

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