Shopping at Namdaemun Market in Seoul Korea Life in Korea

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Aug. 22, 2013

In this travel video we visit the bustling Namdaemun Market located in the heart of the North side of Seoul. Known as the oldest continually operating market in all of Seoul and South Korea, its narrow alleys offer a glimpse into the past. One reason we were very excited to visit this market was to sample a wide variety of Korean street food. In fact, it's one of the top places in all of Seoul to sample the diverse kinds of Korean street stall food. First we tried eating Hotteok (Hotteok is a variety of filled Korean pancake, and is a popular street food of South Korea.) which was absolutely delicious. After we had deep fried battered foods that included hot dogs, rice cakes, and lobster rolls. We stopped by a rice cookie stall where a talented Korean man showed us how he made the cookies from scratch using malt and rice flower. From all the walking around we did having this street food available was certainly a blessing. It's late fall in Korea and there were lots of Halloween costumes and masks on display. Although Halloween is not a traditional Korean holiday, it's certainly caught on with the children here. I think part of that has to do with the fact foreigner English teachers often celebrate it with the children in the classroom. The rest of the video shows us wandering through the crowds and some random events such as a Korean man wearing a green wig singing and performing with passion on the streets. Sometimes it's those random encounters that make for the most memorable of events.Namdaemun Market is a large traditional market in Seoul, South Korea. The market is located next to Namdaemun, the "Great South Gate," which was the main southern gate to the old city. 1 It is the oldest and largest market in Korea.Namdaemun Market is one of the oldest continually running markets in South Korea, and one of the largest retail markets in Seoul.6 The streets in which the market is located were built in a time when cars were not prevalent, so the market itself is not accessible by car. The main methods of transporting goods into and out of the market are by motorcycle and hand-drawn carts. It occupies many city blocks, which are blocked off from most car traffic due to the prevalence of parking congestion in the area. The market can be accessed by subway or bus the location is within a 10 minute walk from Seoul metropolitan station and is even closer to the subway Hoehyeon Station, Line 4. Much of the market is outside, but there are also many stores which line the streets. Many retailers buy their items, particularly clothing, at wholesale prices at Namdaemun, to resell in their own stores in other cities. Namdaemun is a popular tourist attraction.3 The Market is on the Seoul list of Asia's 10 greatest street food cities for the hotteok.