Tag Archives: Namdaemun Market

Yeouido Hangang Riverside Park 여의도 한강공원

I feel like TOMS and potbingsu pretty much sums up a spring or summertime dream here in Korea.

You know, I’ve been thinking about friendships again lately. With life, friendships come and go. In an expat community this is rather typical and pretty much the norm. One of the best parts about being an expat with a new-found friendship is that you have another connection to a different world. A world that you might not be familiar with and luckily you get to experience that little piece of the world through your friend.

What about you, do you think that each of our friendships with individuals represents a world in us, a world still forming or possibly not even born until they arrive?

This past weekend I met Kelsey at Namdamun Market. Unfortunately it was Sunday and I failed to realize that the buildings where we really wanted to go were closed. Oops… sorry Kelsey.

It wasn’t a total bust, we picked up some kumquat, watermelon and Ya-chae Ho-tteok stuffed full of jap-chae noodles. After walking around the market a bit, we headed to Myeongdong because it was so close to walk to. Kelsey showed me a few little boutiques that she visited the week prior and wanted to share, and then I shared the Artbox store with Kelsey. The Artbox is a cute little store with all sorts of stationary and wacky little gifts. Kelsey was on the hunt for a hot water tea kettle and she was able to pick one up in the Artbox for only 11,000W practically $11US Dollars. Score!

After visiting the markets, Kelsey asked if I wanted to check out a park that she also went to the prior week with a friend. The sun was shining and the day was absolutely gorgeous, so of course we went! We ended up at Yeouido Hangang Riverside Park 여의도 한강공원. Also known as Korea’s Manhattan, or the financial district. A very clean well-groomed part of Seoul. It was very easy to see why this area is so popular with its lush parks and attractive riverfront area.

We grabbed drinks and a potbingsu to go at a local convenience store/cafe. We found a nice quiet spot where we kicked back, slipped of our TOMS, dipped our feet in the cool water, took photos, talked and people watched (prime people watching territory… check out all of the couples wearing matching outfits, or riding tandem bikes!). All ranking high on my top list of things to do! We’ve made plans for a near future picnic too, now all I need is to locate a good picnic basket. Guess you will have to stay tuned in until next time.



Namdaemun Market
49, Namchang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Subway Line 4 at Seoul Station → Exit No. 5 in Hoehyeon Station
Closes every Sunday/Open 09:00 ~ 19:00
Namdaemun Market Tourist Information ☎ 02-752-1913

Myeongdong Market
Transfer to Subway Line 4 at Seoul Station → Exit No. 2 in Myeongdong Station
Myeongdong Tourist Information ☎ 02-774-3238

Yeouido Hangang Park
330, Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 영등포구 여의동로 330 (여의도동)
Yeouinaru Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 2 or 3.

Day 2 of R&S Invade South Korea

We all woke up around 8ish-9ish this morning. We didn’t have a real plan in place. We wanted to keep the decisions of what to do up to Rebecca and how she was feeling. Mr. B whipped up some south western egg whites and I cut up a nice fresh Korean watermelon for breakfast.

Eventually we formulated a plan to see all the marketplaces in Seoul. We got everything together and were out the door around 11:30 with the GPS set to direct us to Seoul.

Please disregard the worst farmers tan ever that I’m sporting in my photos. Come on folks, I’m trusting you now!

We hit Namdaemun Market, Dongdaemun Market, Myeongdong, Cheonggyecheon Stream, and walked down the center of Seoul as the sun went down outside of Gyeongbokgung Palace.

We spent the afternoon lunching on street vendor food, shopping, exploring a bit, snapping photos, and soaking up the sunlight. The weather was gorgeous, we traipsed our little butts about 8 miles around the city.

As the sun went down, Rebecca said the city started to really take on a different vibe. We agreed, we love Seoul during the day, but really love Seoul light up shining brightly at night too.

Even after being here for over a year, we still get the same feelings of excitement while wondering around Seoul. Needless to say we were all thoroughly enchanted.

We ended our Seoul Backpack Bees tour in Itaewon over a delightful Thai dinner. We never ate at the restaurant, My Thai, it turned out to be rather delicious! We ordered pineapple fried rice, a spicy Thai noodle dish, and pad thai with shrimp.

It was getting late, we still had to drive home, we were all pretty exhausted. An hour and a half later we arrived home at midnight and all decided to retire to bed.

What an amazing day! Can this week not ever end, pretty please?!

2012_06_16-24 Rebecca's Visit

2012_06_16-24 Rebecca's VisitJun 15, 2012Photos: 95

Happy December!

Ah! We are already well into the first weekend in December. Yikes! That means only 21 days left until Christmas.

Saturday afternoon we headed down to Seoul for Mrs. B’s work Christmas party. We made reservations at a nearby hotel, so that we could take the rest of the day and night to finish up our Christmas gift shopping.

We ate a nice meal with Mrs. B’s co-workers that consisted of a nice dinner buffet spread. We had a fabulous time chatting with everyone and getting to put some faces with the voice that had been on the other end of the line. You must to know that when any sort of party is planned in Korea, karaoke is an absolute must. What a sight to see! Many of Mrs. B’s co-workers had excellent voices! Mr. B hid from the microphone, saying that he had already flexed his pipes and filled his quota already this year.

While we were there a Korean women working the party at the restaurant approached Mrs. B wanting to see the back of her haircut. After chatting for only a brief moment she immediately grabbed her side and kept saying how thin and tall she was. This led right into the question, “how often do you go to the bathroom?”. Baffled we both had to have had this look on our faces, did she really just ask that?? Mrs. B, trying not to laugh and be rude, answered the best way possible, “I think as much as a normal person goes”. Something’s like this experience truly remind us were not in the US anymore…it’s Korea.. there is no personal or private questions here. She continued well into the next 10 minutes with probing questions about eating habits and using the bathroom. Yikes!

After the party we headed to our hotel, checked in, dropped off our overnight bags, caught a cab and started our shopping adventures. The first stop was to the Namdaemun marketplace where Mrs. B’s had visited the weekend prior. Mrs. B was super excited to share the experience again with someone new.

We haggled, shopped and met some very interesting characters, ha ha ha! You have to check out the photos if you haven’t already done so.

After the marketplace we headed off to Hello Kitty to pick up A good friends daughter something little. Mrs. B was in absolute hello kitty heaven!

Walking back to the marketplace we came across a street vendor selling egg bread known as, Gyeran Bbang 계란 빵, that Mrs. B had been looking for. It was soo yummy! With the cooler weather setting in you will find more and more of these warm treats being served up by the street vendors. So how can we describe Gyeran Bbang? Well, it sort of reminds you of french toast but with more egg. There is a slight sweet taste to this street snack but it’s very light. Yey! Another item to cross of her Korea to do list.

We decided to try to hail a cab to head back to the hotel to drop off our bags. We weren’t very successful at first we decided to take a break after being totally passed over by various impatient Koreans. We spotted Holly’s Coffee. The beans were pretty strong, just enough to pep us up and go back outside and give it a go again.

Much better this time. We got a cab! We headed back to the hotel and dropped off the bags. While Mrs. B waited on Mr. B, she played around with her camera and took various shots of the Seoul tower at night. We had a breathtaking view from our hotel of the tower light up.

The Greek souvlaki restaurant, known as Santorini is located in the alley behind Hamilton Hotel. Santorini is just a tiny piece of Greece located in the middle of Seoul. The owner is Greek and offers a traditional Greek menu.

Mr. B ordered the pork souvlaki (YUM!) and Mrs. B ordered the Moussaka. Appetizers cost between 8,000 to 15,000 Won, meat souvlaki dishes cost around 18,000 to 20,000.

Contact: 02-790-3474

Directions: From the Itaewon subway station exit #1, Look for KFC on your right, Make a right, walk uphill and make a left at Bliss. While walking keep looking for Santorini on your left, it’s located on the 2nd floor. It’s very easy to locate!

After dinner we were both pretty beat from the adventurous day. We originally had plans to grab some drinks at the various pubs and eat “the most amazing hot dogs ever”. However, our bodies suggested otherwise.

We walked back to the hotel. Along the way we saw some very interesting advertisements. Yes! Only acceptable in a foreign country, Ha ha! Check out our attached photos to see what we talking about.

We got back to the hotel and had to snap some cheesy Christmas photos in the hotel lobby. You know, just because! Besides, the lobby was decorated so beautifully and we Bee’s decided not to have a tree this year because we were not going be home to actually enjoy and admire it.

Lying in bed we started to talk about the holidays and how different it would be this year because we were both abroad. Mr. B is quite used to being away from family. Mrs. B on the other hand has never had these experiences. With that being said Mrs. B decided that Christmas does not have to mean a trillion lights and over-organized parties, or spending until your wallet cries out (unless, of course, you want to…that’s fine too). No, Christmas and the holidays should be about starting your own sort of traditions, your own ways of celebrating the way you want and that includes with the people you want to celebrate it with. It should be the time of year when you give everyone an extra hug, or tip the waiters more than usual, or spend quality time with your loved ones and close friends during the weekends, just because! Whatever you end up doing during the holiday season, do it with joy in your heart and everyone around you will brighter because they are in the presence of a joyful person.

Happy December everyone!

Namdaemun Market

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.

Happy shopping!

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!