On our second day in Korea, we headed over to Dongdaemun Market (동대문시장), now called Gwangjang Market (광장시장), which is Korea’s largest wholesale and retail shopping district.
It’s famous for having anything you can think of wanting to purchase. Literally everything. And it’s open 24hrs!
Dongdaemun Market is separated by a major street, dividing it into two sections, one featuring mainly retail shops and the other featuring mainly wholesale shops.
In addition to that, there are large shopping malls, cinemas, and an outdoor concert hall that hosts various types of events.
We first checked out Dongdaemun Shopping Complex, which was ridiculous.
In this building, there were floors and floors of fabric. Any kind of fabric you can think of and every kind of fabric you could ever want.
The downside is that most retailers only have samples to look at, then you must order from them, which doesn’t bode well for tourists like us who only wants a meter or two of cute fabric for a home project that we may have not even thought of yet.
The fifth floor is filled with craft supplies. Like super cute shit. Beads of all kinds. And everything is sold for a super reasonable price.
I’d imagine this place is heaven for aspiring designers. My cousin makes super cute jewelry so she bought some supplies there.
Check out her insta guys: @oceanalchemy
The real star of Gwangjang Market is the traditional korean food market, Meokja Golmok (먹자 골목). THIS PLACE IS HEAVEN for a foodie, like me.
It’s ridiculous. This place is my number one recommendation to go to for some super noms, super inexpensive Korean food.
From mandu, to kimbap, to bibimbap, to everything else. They have everything.
All of the ahjummas are super enthusiastic to have you sit down at their table (they want your money!!), but it was super difficult deciding on what to eat and what ahjumma to get it from.
When we finally sat down, we got kalmandu/갈만두 (like kalkoosu/갈국수, with mandu in it) and I think it was naengmyun/냉면 (I may be mistaken, though).
Kalmandu is a hot broth with knife-cut wheat flour noodles and other various ingredients in it. Naengmyun is a cold noodle dish made from long and thin handmade noodles. And of course, kimchi came with it!
Up to that point of our trip, I’d say it was our best meal. And with two dishes between the two of us, we were STUFFED. Serving size is definitely not a problem in Korea (not similar to Japan).
There’s a cute little river in Dongdaemun, named Cheonggyecheon (청계천) River, and of course, I had to have a looksie.
Directions to Dongdaemun:
Take the metro to Dongdaemun station (line 1 or 4), and pretty much any exit.
Exit 8 and 9 may be the best exits to take to see the cool shit.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Korea, check out Airbnb! They have great listings that are often less expensive than staying at a hotel and that offer a unique experience. Get ¥3,664 (or the equivalent in your country’s currency) off your first booking by clicking here and using my referral code. 🙂