This post is Part 2 of my Seoul City Walking Tour of a couple of weeks ago when we visited Yangnyeong Market and Gyeongdong Market. If you missed Part 1, check it out here. Welcome to week 321 (3/16/2017) of Travel Photo Thursday. Come along, as we visit these two traditional markets located in the Dongdaemun area of Seoul.
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You can purchase the herbs in small quantities from these large bags, or many have been prepackaged into smaller sizes. If there’s a herb, you’re looking for it’s probably for sale in Yangnyeong Market. However, you’ll need to have the name translated into Korean and written in Hangul ( Korean characters). Another thing to be aware of is many herbs are now imported from China. Most vendors write the origin on the cards you see here in the photo. (Korea (한국)/China (중국). The herbs that originate from China are usually cheaper, but personally, I would pay a bit more and purchase the Korean varieties.
The Koreans are very proud of their ginseng, and particularly for males, it’s thought to cure just about anything. Ginseng is harvested between one and eight years. The older it is, the more expensive. Ginseng continues to grow wild in the mountains, and because harvesting the mountain ginseng is no easy task, it is considered the best and therefore the most expensive. If you ever get to travel in rural Korea, you will see it growing the fields. When you see rows covered with black cloth that is ginseng. The root dislikes the sun.
The two markets gradually blend. When you begin to see a lot more produce, you’ll know that you are no longer in Yangnyeong Market. If you’re interested in buying ginseng or ginseng products like candy and tea, head for gate 3. A few steps inside the gate on the left you’ll see a building with stairs going up to a second level. All of the ginseng products sold here are supposed to be from Korea (nothing Chinese). My Dad loves the ginseng candy, especially the jellies.
Ninety-five percent of the product sold in these second-floor shops is made from ginseng. Korean honey is also for sale and very expensive.
Downstairs you’ll find homemade Korean condiments for sale. One of the reds is gochujang, and the other is chili paste. I don’t know what the difference is. They are both hot. I think the brownish condiment is made from soybean and it is not hot.
The Koreans love their dried anchovies.
Hard at work.
You’ll find any part of a pig or cow imaginable, (and maybe unimaginable!). The long piece in the center of this photo is a cow’s tail! At another meat stall, I saw dog meat for sale. That was my first time, and hopefully my last. My eyes almost fell out of my head, and I got out of there as fast as my legs could carry me.
Sheets of dried seaweed, which is called kim. Sheets this size are used to make kimbap. Think California roll. (I’m sure that kimbap has been around much longer.)
It’s not all food. This lady was selling lovely wooden spoons and ladles. I almost bought a ladle, but they were expensive. I know I can buy the same thing in Thailand for about a dollar each versus seven dollars here.
I highly recommend a visit to both markets when you’re in Seoul. Yangnyeong Market is open daily from 9 am to 7 pm. Gyeongdong Market is open daily from 4 am to 7 pm. The best to arrive at the markets is via subway; Jegi Dong Station (Line 1) and go out through Exit 2.
As I mentioned in my previous post, there are 21 free tours to choose from and no tipping expected. Seoul City Walking Tours
What do you think? Would you visit these markets when you’re in Seoul? Let us know in the comments.
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