Korea 2023 Day 2 - Gwangjang Market

Nov 14, 2023 5 min read

Day 2 continued.

After having climbed a mountain, we’re ready for dinner.


Back across the river.

Sure are a lot of lighting shops.

A lot of sewing machine shops too.

Is this the lightbulb capital or something? Who’s buying all this? It’s endless.

Wow, it’s like I’m in Japan.

Oh hey, it’s the Seoul Tower.

Gwangjang Market

We thought we were in the wrong place at first. Most of the shops were closed, and while there were a few food stalls around, it didn’t seem to be as bustling as we were expecting. We eventually ran into these tourist guides (cute uniforms) who pointed us in the right direction.

Ohhh, this is where everybody was. Guess we entered through the back or something.

This market has a history going back over a 100 years apparently.

Finally, the food court.

So this is where all those lightbulbs end up.

This guy was eating some tentacles that were still moving. No thanks.

This stall seemed popular. They were featured in a Netflix documentary apparently.

We sat down wherever there were free seats. What do they serve? It’ll be a surprise, I guess.


Looks like it’s dumplings and noodles. Perfect for the winter season πŸ˜‹
We ate quickly and left because the bench was heated and was burning our butts off.

Bindaetteok (mung bean “pancake”), and tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes).
All I taste is spicy.

I saw a lot of Samsung Flip phones in Korea. Samsung Folds (the big one) not so much.

Gordon Ramsay was here.

We got juice πŸ₯€

More free seats.

I forgot to take a picture of most of it but it was a lot of spicy chewy stuff.
Also these noodles and some more kimbap.

I was in the mood for custard so taiyaki I guess. It was cold though πŸ‘Ž

“The World’s Most Delicious Hot Dog”

I got the “half cheese, half dog” one.
Hotdog, not the other kind of dog, that’s illegal now.

I was expecting cheese and hotdog in each bite together but it’s literally just sausage in the bottom half, and then just cheese in the top half.

My dad wanted to go back to all the seafood we walked past on the way in.

Yangnyeom-gejang (spicy raw crab). Kkotge (Korean Flower crabs), specifically.
I’ve never heard of this crab before but its shell is soft enough to peel away and there’s a lot more meat inside than usual. The orange bits are roe.
It was too fishy for me but the stall owner spoke some Chinese and gave us Yakult.

That fish is not having a good time.

Fried jalapenos?

Uh, are those bugs?

Back to where we came in. There’s only locals over here. They made room and shared their drinks with us. Everybody was so nice 😒

My dad ordered all sorts of shellfish.
These portions are huge, and my dad’s the only one who wanted it. We got oysters the last time I was in London’s Borough Market and they gave us 5 whole oysters. Meanwhile this auntie scoops out a whole plate of it out of a bucket.
Everything was so fishy and salty 😬 I was desperately trying to dilute it all with the lettuce and gochujang sauce.

Looking back, I wasn’t too satisfied with our visit to the market. Felt like we didn’t really know what we were looking for. The usual teething problems when visiting a country for the first time.

These rentable phone chargers were everywhere, even in our hotel lobby.

We tried out the Uber app here. We saw ads for it in the airport so they seem to still be in the “start out cheap and kill the local taxi industry” phase.
And wew boy, are drivers aggressive here. Every time we were in a car this trip the driver was constantly weaving in and out of lanes every time he saw a gap. Nobody lets emergency vehicles through here either, ambulances have to push their way through.


Korea put its crossing lights on the ground because nobody will look up from their phones.*

* I made that up


Yoo, this is the biggest Daiso I’ve ever seen. Though Daiso Korea is apparently a separate company to Daiso Japan, they just license the name. You’ll see more stores like that in Korea.

The area sq footage of each floor isn’t that big but it’s just the right size for browsing.

Each sign has a history.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Hot chocolate, orange and mango juice, chamomile tea, blueberry bagel with cream cheese

We got back to our hotel but I didn’t feel ready to end the day, I still wanted something.
I didn’t have the energy to go hunting for another spot so I settled for the coffee shop right next door. It’s kinda uninspired, just a standard western-style coffee shop, but hey, it has self-service machines with english and they have non-dairy milk options.
To be fair, the drinks were actually pretty nice, but I thought they forgot the cream cheese so I was just eating a plain bagel that vaguely tasted like blueberries and didn’t notice the cream cheese was in a packet until the end.

Nine Tree Hotel

Got this big yogurt yakult-like drink and Crunky from Daiso. They were really nice.

Loot. The citrus mouthwash was neat, wish we had that here in the UK.

Household stuff.

Thought I’d try a face mask for the flight home since the plane air always dries me out.

Our room doesn’t have a bedside table so we made our own.

Starfield was quite the detour.

Tomorrow, we invade a castle (soonβ„’)