Traditional markets are filled with local history and culture and they are must-visit spots when travelling to new places. There are many traditional markets in Seoul as well. This article shares two special markets in the heart of Seoul. First one is Tongin Market located in Jong-Ro, the heart of Seoul where Changdeokgung Palace is nearby. After visiting the royal garden of ‘Huwon’ reflecting the genuine beauty of nature, it is a good idea to stop at Tongin Market which is only located in a walking distance. It is a typical Seoul-style local wet market.
Introduced in 1941 when Korea was occupied by Japan, a lunch-box called ‘Tong’ has been a popular local attraction ever since. Now visitors can indulge on favorites Korean menus in buffet style at this outdoor food-stands. Tokens, called Yopjeon (imitation of old Korean currency) are a common form of currency to buy food inside the market, which can be exchanged from the dispenser. The market specialty, ‘oil-based rice cake’ is good to try.
1. Twisted bread sticks, one of Koreans’ favorite snacks
2. The ‘oil rice cake’ is the speciality of Tongin Market
3. Tokens used at the lunch box café
Should you wish to experience more modern style eatery of Korea, you should visit Dognimmun Yeongcheon Market. The market is next to the Gyeong-gyojang (the last residence where the father of Korea independent movement Mr. Kim-Gu had lived), the History Museum of Seodaemun Prison and Seoul Museum of History. Yeongcheon Market was established during Chosun Dynasty and it is famous for twisted bread sticks and rice cakes, traditional Korean snacks. Recently the market also introduced the lunch box buffet that offers with affordable price of 5,000 KRW(about US$4.5), ‘Goru Goru’ of which ingredients are all sourced from healthy and fresh produces from the market.
4. Lunch box café user manual
5. Freshly fried donuts are must-try in ‘Yeongcheon market’
How to go
Tongin Market : Subway Line 3 Gyeongbokgung Station Exit 2
Dongimmun Yeongcheon Market : Subway Line 3 Dongimmun Station Exit 4