Whenever you can’t find something in a regular store or just want to see a little bit of Korean Culture, it will all be found at the Gyeongdong Market. Gyeongdong may seem like a busy, loud, and crowded place, but that’s what gives it its unique atmosphere, which is truly one of a kind. All the stuff is mixed around, and some things you’ll find will be really unexpected. The market is mainly focused on medicinal herbs, but it still has tons of meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, sweets, and others. You can also learn about many of the things they sell, in the museum, which is just close by. Well, let’s get going!
About the things that are there… well, there’s too many, I couldn’t list them on this page! Many of the alleys consist of oriental medicine, such as teas, oils, and powders you can make out of different spices, mushrooms, and flowers. It almost seems like you’re buying items sold from the silk road! There are also just normal foods, but prepared in a traditional, Korean way. There are so many different styles of everything, that you’re probably learning about more Korean foods than from a Korean restaurant! Which reminds me, where can you eat? Well, there of course! The market has many tiny restaurants, where you sit on small stools, and eat whatever they give you. The huge variety of the market helps with that too. You can eat anythings, or everything! Some of their items are really weird, too. For example, they will sell you duck eggs, gigantic cinnamon sticks, deer horns, and tons of others. I really could go on!
Next, how about a visit to the museum? The herbal medicine museum is great, as it explains everything sold at the market, and how to use it. For example, if you often have a migraine, you would find a herb that would help you with that, and research how to use it. Then, you would go to the market and find it, and your health would, hopefully, improve! Also the museum shows you how the medicines are made, and how they used to make them here in Korea. They also have tablets, so you can research the herbs in more detail, figure out what will help your health, and what type of digestive system you have, which will tell you what foods are good for you, and which ones aren’t. The museum is awesome and informative, but you might want to take a little break before you leave. Right next to the museum is a tea house, where you can test out medicinal teas that will do you good. Beware though, some of them are very bitter! Fortunately, many of them are also sweet and fruity. It’s a beautiful place, and actually lets you know what many of the medicines the museum talks about are really like. Have fun!
Even if the market and museum are in the middle of Seoul, they are full of authenticity, and it’s a really great place to see some Korean culture, whether you’ve lived in Korea for ages, or have newly arrived. It’s not only fun for the whole family, but beautiful and authentic. The market and museum are truly a treat!
How to get there:
Jegi-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 2. The market is directly accessible from the exit.
Written by Mia Marce (Co-writer of Korean Getaways: As Seen By Kids)