Visiting Traditional Markets in Korea is a unique experience in itself. It offers a glimpse of what are the usual food and other things that a Korean household needs in day-to-day basis. Moreover, it also provides livelihood for many Koreans. With the rise of departments stores and big supermarkets in the country, some people would prefer going there instead of going to traditional markets. However, traditional markets have become an essential part of the daily lives of the people who live in Korea and it is part of their rich history thus, they still visit these traditional markets. In fact, one of the oldest traditional market in Korea was opened to the public during the Joseon Dynasty. It is called Bupyeong Kkangtong Market (부평시장(깡통시장) and it is located in the city of Busan.
About Bupyeong Kkangtong Market
Bupyeong Kkangtong Market was formed in 1910s by a voluntary gathering of the market merchants. This market has over a hundred years of history and it continues to serve the local people of Busan. Its name Kkangtong literally means “tin can”. It is because the market had a variety of imported canned goods from the United States. These goods were primarily for the US forces stationed in Korea during the war. It was used to be the main source of all foreign products in the country such as imported liquor, clothes, ornaments, accessories, fashion items and electronic goods.
What to see in Bupyeong Kkangtong Market?
Currently, there are about 1,600 merchants in the market selling variety of merchandise such as food, clothes and even medicines. It is just beside the Gukje Market which also sells variety of products. But their notable difference is that Bupyeong Kkangtong Market specializes in selling seafood, fruits and vegetables, grains, and side dishes.
From the ally’s entrance you can already smell the inviting delicious aroma of the fresh food and snacks that they sell at Bupyeong Kkangtong Market. Most of the market vendors even offer free taste of their products such as Tteokbokki (Korean rice cake) and Eomuk (Korean fish cake). Almost every store that sells eomuk gives free taste to the market visitors and they come in different forms and shapes.
In addition, since Busan is surrounded by bodies of water, you can also find variety of seafood and seafood-based side dishes and pastes in the market. Market vendors sell traditional Korean food and snacks that are perfect for gifts.
If you want to cook your own dishes, then you can buy fresh ingredients from Bupyeong Kkangtong Market. You can also learn how to cook authentic Busan cuisine from Busan Cooking Class which is just a few walking distance from the market.
Bupyeong Kkangtong Night Market
Furthermore, Bupyeong Kkangtong has a Night Market too where sellers showcase their various food products, unique accessories and drawings. The Night Market starts from 7:00 in the evening until 11:30 PM. It is also a venue for multicultural families to exhibit their country’s traditional food including those from Japan, China, Thailand and Indonesia among others. You can enjoy a variety of foods from all over the world at reasonable prices ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 Korean won. Aside from that, there are also the folk play and performance programs that tourists can enjoy.
How To Get There
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