Before the days of discount supermarkets and department stores, markets were the primary locales for shopping, trading, and gossiping in Korea’s major cities. Sadly, due to rapid modernization and an increase in more convenient shopping facilities over the past few decades, traditional markets have continuously lost patronage and are quickly diminishing in size and number. While efforts are being made to preserve them, citizens predict that they will cease to exist in the next twenty years.
Although Seoul is abundant with must-see destinations and attractions, few of them provide an authentic glimpse into Korean culture as well as the city’s traditional markets. Recently, I went on a self-guided walking tour through the maze of markets in Euljiro, central Seoul, for an insightful look into the daily lives of the Korean working class.
Palaces in Seoul are not the only way to explore a slice of Korean Culture and History. If you want to immerse yourself into the local culture of Korea then you should visit one of the traditional markets in Korea. Unlike the glitzy modern malls and supermarkets, Seoul’s traditional markets retain a special charm and should be included on your list of places to see. The markets are not only an important part of the local fabric, but also a tourist attraction in Korea.
The third in our series on Photography Spots in Korea, we have Colin Roohan from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a photographer, writer, and teacher who has been exploring the globe in search of creative inspiration. In this series we will follow him, through his pictures, in the traditional markets of Korea.
UPDATE: This Saturday night only (June 4th), check out the night dining tour for a discount if you're an expat teacher. Contact Daniel Gray at seouleats at gmail dot com or 010-6661-7769.