I’m now working on a documentation project on traditional markets in Africa, Asia and Europe in partnership with GoUNESCO, a UNESCO New Delhi initiative to “help promote awareness of and provide tools for laypersons to engage with heritage.” For the next 12 months I’ll be featuring markets in these regions, with a brief guide on the “must-knows” when visiting. The nitty-gritty socio-cultural details will be featured on a future publication. Join me as we tour around bazaars of the world! 🙂
Name of market: K/Gwangjang Market; K/Gwangjang Sijang (광장 시장)
Address: 88 Changgyeonggung-ro Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Operating days and times: All 7 days of the week. 8:30 AM – 6 PM (shops); 8:30 AM – 12 MN (food stalls)
How to get there: via subway, Jongno-5-Ga Station (Line 1, Exit 8)
Website: http://www.kwangjangmarket.co.kr (in Korean only)
- Korea’s first permanent market
- Over 100 years old; founded in 1905
- Coincides with the establishment of the Gwangjang Corporation in 1905
- Famous for vintage clothing, home furnishings, street food, and traditional fresh and packaged foods
- Wear comfortable shoes. The market is huge and it can take 10 minutes to get from the entrance to the street food area smacked in the middle of the market.
- There are market maps plastered outside every gate, right beside subway exits. They can help tremendously especially when you’re looking for specific items, or a specific shop.
- South Korea now has an information hotline for tourists, operating 24/7. You can call the office at 1330 (when calling within Korea), or +82 1330 (when calling from outside Korea). Four languages are currently supported: English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
Get lost and find yourself. Happy travels!
P.S. The keys to sustainable travels are universal: take public transportation | stay in accommodations where cooking is allowed (private or shared, it doesn’t matter) | walk as much as you can | wake up early | stay away from guidebooks | immerse yourself in local language, culture and history | visit local cafés | know that the possibilities are endless | listen to your gut