I could have spent the entire day at Namdaemun Market in Seoul. Want a knock-off Moncler vest? What about dollar socks? You'll find it all here.
It's SO much fun to wander around since there's so much to see (and eat).
I have no idea how big the market is since it just seems endless with new things to see around each corner. The market is always bustling with both locals and tourists and everything from eyeglasses to shoes can be purchased here.
My friend Claire led me around since I was completely lost and overwhelmed. I was like a kid in a candy store. And like a kid in a candy store, I wanted EVERYTHING. Even down to the silicone hair brushes in this one stall that sold all things silicone -- I WANTED IT ALLLLLLL.
We first went down to this underground market, filled with stalls.
The stalls are small, so they fill it completely from floor to ceiling. There were a few stalls that sold dried fruits and vegetables and I left with a bag of dried garlic and another of dried sliced squash. They were crunchy and flavorful.
I was getting hungry, so we stopped in to get lunch inside the same underground market. This place was something between a fish market and a food stall -- hard to explain. I believe they have only one thing on the menu, which is a raw fish salad, a spicy fish soup, and a bowl of rice.
Just look at the size of the bowls! Claire and I shared one order, which goes for just $7. Yes, $7! The raw fish salad was just ok, but the spicy fish soup was really good. We were both stuffed.
We ventured back outside and looked at the stalls and shops like this one for stationery. Three floors that make up a crafter's dream. Art and craft supplies galore.
Before heading back to the hotel, we walked through an alley that was filled with small restaurants where each one specialized in one dish. The kitchen was on the outside so you can see what each place was cooking. And everything was RED. Spicy red. And bubbling on these giant stoves.
My next visit to Namdaemun Market will be to have one of these spicy hot, bubbling stews.
INFO: Namdaemun Market | 21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu | Seoul, South Korea