Today was a bit overcast and gloomy, however that wasn’t going to stop me from getting out and about. It’s Saturday! Our weekends have been pretty jam-packed lately. I only have a few more days to get my act together before needing to ship out family and friends Christmas gifts.
I woke up, met my friend, and we headed to Namdaemun. This was the first time that either of us had the opportunity to check the place out, so we were both really excited for a new adventure!
For those of you who may not know what Namdaemun is, it’s Korea’s largest and oldest wholesale marketplace that spans over 10 acres. It’s located near downtown Seoul and is filled with over 1,000 vendors, stalls, and retailers. This place has everything! You can find adult/children clothing, shoes, material, cook-ware, fruits, vegetables, flowers, toys, jewelry, purses, cosmetic items, the list is just endless.
Namdaemun is a great place to work your bargaining techniques! After moving to Korean we learned very quickly that Koreans want and expect you to bargain for a good price. We scored some pretty awesomely priced items after working our skills. Word to the wise, don’t give up.. if you find something you like and the price just isn’t right after trying to bargain, walk away. We were really lucky in finding exactly what we were after at various places for better prices.
There are plenty of places to eat within the marketplace. We actually stumbled into an alley-way that had many options. We opted for soup to warm us up. Many of the restaurant owners would try to get us to come in and eat what they were serving by saying, “We have English and picture menu”. HA-HA! What a riot! We both settled on 육개장 yook-gae-jang, Korean spicy beef soup. Yum! Major emphasis on the spice part as well. Of course the meal was served with a few traditional sides and bop (rice).
We wondered our way around the marketplace for hours. It was starting to get dark so we both decided to call it a day and catch the train back home. We had a blast! I think you will too if you get a chance to check the marketplace out.
Directions to Namdaemun by Subway: We took line 1 to Chang-dong where we transfered to line 4 and got off at Hoehyeon Station. Follow the signs to exit 5 – Namdaemun Market it will bring you out right at an entrance into the market area. Simple!