Gwangjang Market Tour

M. Janakavi, Namakkal, Tamilnadu

Gwangjang Market was earlier called Dongdaemun Market. It’s a traditional street market located exactly in Jongno-gu, Seoul. This market is one of the oldest and largest traditional markets in South Korea, with more than 5000 shops. Approximately 65,000 people visit this market each day and including foreigners too. Let’s look around for more interesting facts about this market.

Picture Credits: Wikimedia

History of Gwanjang Market

Earlier around the 1900’s many private investors and merchants from wealthy backgrounds created this market and they used combined funds for creating the Gwangjang Corporation on 5 July 1905, and named the purchased land Dongdaemun Market and it became the first permanent market in South Korea that opens all day. There are no holidays even for Special occasions, hence it’s called the busiest market. The market was renamed Gwangjang Market in 1960. The name of the market comes from the two bridges it was built between the Gwangkyo (meaning “wide bridge”) and Jangkyo (meaning “long bridge”).

Picture Credits: Wikimedia

Shops in Gwanjang Market

Asian food is all about culinary skills and beauty; in the same way, Gwangjang Market is an awesome place for sight-viewing culinary skills. There are wide varieties of food, where people can eat and enjoy their food in every direction of the market. We can also come across many sections of the market and sighting the stalls selling clothes, fresh vegetables, and some other market goods.

According to many food reviewers, the main section of the market is dedicated to prepared street food, and the owners of the food stalls set up an indoor street food court, where people can able to sit and comfortably have their meals. When it comes to the Korean street food at the market, after stalling around for a while, you’ll get to see there are a few different types of stalls were they sell a similar assortment of dishes and the shop owners will give you a lot of choices to pick the food which is the most exciting things to do in the market.

Picture Credits: Wikimedia

Famous Food in Gwanjang Market

When you are in Korea, especially in Seoul, then the first and most important thing that you need to do is experience the street food of Korea. And, foreigners who always crave ramen or ramyeon by watching anime such as Naruto, One Piece, and K-Dramas, etc. Hence, the handmade noodle stall in Gwangjang Market is a perfect place for ramen lovers. In Gwangjang Market, well some of South Korea’s beloved old favourites are available there, from soy-marinated crabs to knife-cut noodles. It is the oldest and largest traditional market in South Korea and people say it’s a heaven for Korean cuisine. It’s the perfect spot to try and indulge in a wide variety of authentic dishes like tteokbokki, Maya kimbap, and many more dishes recommended by food journalists and famous food reviewers from YouTube channels.

Cho Yon-soon is an owner of the Hand cut noodles stall and was filmed in the popular Netflix show ‘Street Food,’ episode No: 6. She serves her special kalguksu (Korean knife-cut noodles) with a broth that is extremely rich and flavorful. The noodles are chewy and easy to slurp. According to Daniel Gray, a food journalist and restaurateur said that her kimchi was “sublime” and “Her dumplings melt in your mouth.”

Soondae (Blood Sausage) is a combination of fresh mung bean sprouts, sticky rice, and herbs altogether. Most Koreans eat soondae with perilla leaf and also some shop owners feed you a bit in Gwanjang market, it’s a kind of welcoming foreigners and customers to their shops.

Gimbap/Kimbap is one of the essential snacks of Korean foods to eat, which is rice and a few sauteed veggies or sometimes crab, egg, or any meat packed into seaweed, rolled up, and sliced into bite-sized pieces. Gwangjang Market is famous throughout Korea for vendors that sell Mayak Gimbap which means narcotic rice rolls (literally). The reason they are called narcotic rice rolls is not because they contain any narcotics substances but because they have an addictive taste.

There’s a lane within Gwangjang Market where you can get all sorts of fresh seafood including “Hwareo hoe”, it’s a Korean version of sliced raw fish similar to Japanese sashimi, an assortment of exquisitely fresh and raw seafood, and the live octopus.

Lastly, the Gwangjang Market is particularly famous for the mung bean pancakes known as Bindaetteok.” The shop owners will assist you in slicing up the pancake with a pair of scissors and serve the dish along with a side of sauce and a bowl of kimchi.

Picture Credits: Wikimedia

There are lots of things to do when you’re in Seoul, but if you’re a food lover or love to try exotic food varieties, Gwangjang Market should be at the top of your priority. When you go, make sure to spend all day there trying new things and exploring the culture of authentic Asia.

Would you like to visit here? What all dishes you would like to try out? Tell us in the comments!

55 Comments Add yours

  1. interesting article 👏🏼👏🏼

  2. I’d definitely want to visit here and try Kalguksu

Leave a Reply