Saturday was a drizzly day in Seoul. An interview brought me to Cheongnyangi and upon finishing I found myself with an open afternoon and decided to wander around the labyrinth that makes up Cheongnyangni market. It continues to amaze me that in the hustle and bustle of this forever advancing city such tradition still remains. You can easily get a glimpse at an older Korea right in the heart of Seoul. The market is virtually tourist free. During my visit I found myself to be the only westerner wandering the stalls.
As I entered the market Ajimas pushed past me carrying sacks of groceries on their backs while merchants cried out their daily specials. I found myself initially in the fish section and had to hoist up my pants to avoid the puddles of fishy water that ran along the walkway. Being in Korea for about a year now the hustle and bustle is finally starting to feel like just another part of my new home. I can get past the chaos that makes up a Saturday market and enjoy seeking out some perfect produce.
Cheongnyangi’s had some of the best prices I have found at markets in Seoul. A great part about shopping here was, unlike many markets in the city, prices were marked, making it easy to seek out bargains no Hangul required!
Cheongnyangi is known for their fruits and vegetable market but has a variety of products including fish, meat, dried goods, medicine and much much more! The massive assortment of stalls are sure to house something for everyone. A favorite site of the afternoon was an egg stand that sold varieties ranging from goose to quail. The eggs were sold both raw and cooked and piles of shells lined the floors where locals enjoyed a curb side snack while shopping.
The fish section is elaborate and has a large range of seafood products. Several of the stands offered on the spot grilling of white fish for the affordable price of 2,000 won (About $1.75) for a kg. There are also many other shops throughout the market that serve cheaply priced Korean food.
To get an example of prices, my other purchases included:
- A bag of red, yellow and green peppers 1,000 won
- 2 Kg sweet potatoes 3,000 won
- A bag of sunflower seeds 2,000 won
- A bag of dried banana chips 2,000 won
- 5 eggplants 2,000 won
- 1 bag cherry tomatoes 2,000 won
- 1 Kg Mussels 2,000 won
Directions: Cheongnyangni Station Line 1: Exit 1 and 2 When you exit the subway station you will see the large gates for the sections of the market surrounding you. The market is covered but many vendors extend to the streets and parking lot which is exposed.