Korean Markets | The Good, The Weird and The Ugly

Monday Travel Memories: Korean Markets | The Good, The Weird and The Ugly

Welcome to the series on my blog called Monday Travel Memories where I flip through old travel photos and memories from the last 10 years. I’ll talk a bit about the location (or what I can remember) and share some tips.

Stay tuned for the next Monday Travel Memories post. See you on Monday but not every Monday.

Korean Markets: The Good, The Weird and The Ugly

Korean markets are one of those things you simply can’t miss when you visit the Land of the Morning Calm.

You have to visit; even if it is just to observe and to get jostled by an ajumma (a senior Korean woman) as she unapologetically  makes her way – or rather pushes her way – through the crowd dragging a bright purple shopping trolley behind her just to get a good ol’ cabbage to make some kimchi. 

A visit to a traditional market will take all your senses on a journey as you make your way through the labyrinth of stalls, ranging from pots and pans to fish, herbal medicine, travel bags and even traditional Korean wedding dresses (hanbok).

Another good reason to visit Korean markets is to get your hands on street food and other dishes (click here to read more about Korean street food). Whether you want breakfast, lunch or dinner, morning till night, the majority of these markets are open 7 days a week. 

And socks! 

You will find a sea of socks with prints difficult to resist – of KPop stars, brand logos, Korean sayings, poop faces, fruit, flags, ducks, dogs, the sun and everything under the sun – for as little as R15 ($1) a pair. 

If you visit South Korea, be sure to stop at the following markets in Seoul for a meal, a souvenir, a pair of socks or just go to experience something different:
Namdaemun Market,
Dongdaemun Market, and
Gwangjang Market.

If you are in Busan, the Jagalchi Fish Market is Korea’s largest fish market. If you can’t stand the smell of fish, this might push you over the edge.

A Visual Journey through Korea’s Markets

Korean Markets

Pohang Downtown Market.


Korean Market 9

Green things.


Korean Market 12

Side dishes for days.

Get all your greens.

Korean Market 20

Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Korean Market 21

Pots, pans, bakkies and kakkies.


Clothing and household goods.


korean market 24

Pak choi for anyone?

Korean Market 23

Sew many to choose from…


korean market 22

Ginseng; the SUPER root!

Korean Market 11

No, these are not actual fish and prawns but rice cakes shaped like sea creatures.


The Fishy Side of Korean Markets

You might want to look away if you are squeamish or get grossed out by raw fish.

Korean Market 4

What’s for dinner?


Fish on display: like a moth to a flame, like a fly to a market.

Mmm salty.



Just hanging out with some octopuses. 

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