Tuesday, March 26, 2013

South Korea Day 5: Gwangjang Market

After a good lunch, we needed to satisfy our sight and touch (shopping). We took Line 5 to Jongno5(o)-ga, deposited our bags in lockers and headed out of Exit 8.

Lockers are available at subway stations so you don't need to carry your load around.

Lockers are priced accordingly to sizes and time. We got the smallest for less than 4 hours slot at 2000won.
If you need the lockers for longer, just top up accordingly.

Once you have exited from Exit 8, just walk straight and you would see Gwangjang Market. We were immediately overwhelmed by the rustic aroma of the traditional Korean market. Everywhere we turned, we would see ahjummas cooking Korean dishes and guests sitting on wooden benches eating, right in the middle of the walking paths. By the sides, products ranging from dried goods to red ginseng could be seen arranged all over the stores.

Handmade Gochujang - the Korean chili paste

Just in case you are wondering what the kids were staring at

Pajon - Korean pancakes

You can get all sort of fermented dishes here

Love being in the midst of all the action

Within Gwangjang Market houses the Gwangjang Hanbok Market (on the second floor of Gwangjang Market)) where one can get relatively cheaper hanboks as compared to places like Insadong. All the hanboks looked so pretty but Mummy had to resist the temptation of buying. She wouldn't have any opportunity to wear it back in Singapore. The hot weather doesn't help either. However, she was looking forward to getting for the girls. We came to a store and Mummy started inquiring on colors, sizes and needless to say, put her bargaining skills to use. After a long while, we finally settled on our pieces. At S$30 each piece (a 50% reduction in price), Mummy was pleased with the bargain, especially since the material is of a more superior quality compared to another hanbok of the same price. She learnt the art of tying the ribbon from the ahjumma and the girls were happy to get new dresses. Daddy was just glad the shopping was over.

The final piece selected for the girls

When we came to the first floor, owners were setting up stalls in the middle of the market. The number of people had increased and everyone was getting ready for the busy dinner crowd. It was good that we were there before the crowd so we could move around more comfortably with the children. Definitely a must visit again, this time, we would go with empty stomachs.


  1. just would like to double check, what is the biggest size of locker in most of Seoul subway station? is it big enough to store around 24 inch suitcase?
    Thank you

    1. Hi. We cannot recall the exact dimensions, but at Seoul Station in particular, they do have very large storage spaces big enough for most luggage bags.

  2. Chance upon your blog when doing "Homework" for my upcoming Korea trip. Im travelling to Seoul & Jeju end coming end March with 3kids. How is the weather like in end March and what would would you suggest for the kids of clothings to bring for the kids?

    1. Hi Aizhen. Spring in March has very nice weather. We have a few trip reports from that time of the year on this blog. However, early to mid March can still be very unpredictable, with temperatures last year falling to zero in the early mornings. End March can still be chilly for young children. I recommend a base layer long-johns with a mid-layer t-shirt with an outer jacket layer you can take off indoors. Jeans and normal covered shoes with socks seemed to be fine. Jeju might be colder than Seoul if you're touring the coast, so be prepared with gloves and perhaps a head cover like a beanie.