Namdaemun Market
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Namdaemun Market
a working lunch, middle of the market
Corner in the Market
Tucked Behind the Skyscrapers: Namdaemun Market
Namdaemun Market
a working lunch, middle of the market
Corner in the Market
Tucked Behind the Skyscrapers: Namdaemun Market
Tucked Behind the Skyscrapers: Namdaemun Market
Among the biggest and most chaotic markets in Korea, Seoul's Namdaemun Market is the capital's oldest, dating to the 1400s. Today you can find ANYthing here, if you're willing to brave the crowded alleyways tucked in behind skyscrapers: cellphones, fried fish cakes, ginseng liqueurs, bulk stockings, cosmetics, lacquerware, underwear, noodles, squid, seaweed... Street snacks abound, along with the occasional street musician. Watch out for the motorcycle stacked 10 feet high with you-name-it (pantyhose?calculators?), weaving its way through the sea of pedestrians. And don't forget to haggle. To get here via subway: Hoehyon station, Line 4, Exit 5.
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Corner in the Market
Tastes may evolve and colors change, but commerce never goes out of style in Seoul's Namdaemun Market, entering its seventh century of buying and selling. Even while taking a break in the shade, this salesman's outfit is definitely eye-catching. Of the many markets in South Korea's capital, Namdaemun is one of the largest and oldest, in business since the 1390s. If you're willing to brave the crowds and haggle, you can get almost anything here—lacquerware, underwear, squid, seaweed, cellphones... It's also a great place for street food. Around the corner from the über-chic international-designer-filled Shinsegae department store, across the street from the venerable colonial-era Bank of Korea, tucked in behind skyscrapers, this maze of alleyways still has a medieval atmosphere... To get there via subway: Hoehyon station, Line 4, Exit 5.
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a working lunch, middle of the market
"Bah-leep-bah-lee!" (Korean for 'hurry hurry') may well be the mantra for life in Seoul. This is especially the case in the labyrinth of Namdaemun-shi-jang, one of the city's oldest markets; it's been a hub of commerce since the 1300's--the action never stops! And merchants don't go out to lunch; lunch comes to them. In the middle of an alleyway overflowing with clothes for sale, these two "shi-jang a-jeu-mah" ('market aunties') caught my eye. Sharing a quick working lunch of buckwheat noodles and a bubbling mini-cauldron of kimchi tofu stew, they were content to chat and slurp as crowds milled around them. Be willing to brave the crowded alleyways tucked in behind skyscrapers, and you'll find almost anything: from seaweed to cellphones, lacquerware to underwear... Snacks abound, along with the occasional street musician. Watch out for the motorcycle stacked 10 feet high with you-name-it (pantyhose?calculators?), weaving its way through the sea of pedestrians. And don't forget to haggle. To get there via subway: Hoehyon station, Line 4, Exit 5. For more information: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SH/SH_EN_7_2_4_1.jsp
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Namdaemun Market

Once upon a time, Seoul’s Namdaemun was one of the eight gates into the city. Now it’s the site of one of South Korea’s largest markets. Essentially, if a Seoulite needs something, it’s in the market somewhere. Stuff is generally grouped—women’s clothes in one area, arts and crafts in another, food in still another—so wandering is required. The market is probably the best place to buy ginseng products—the finest ginseng in the world is grown here. Go with a pocket full of won and a willingness to be in a crowd.

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