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Namdaemun Markets - Seoul

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Another crisp morning and we decided to visit the Namdaemun Markets. We left the hotel at about 09:30 and confidently walked in the general direction using the underground shopping centre to traverse across two of the major roads. We arrived at Gate 4 of the Market and wandered down a number of the more significant streets.

On the map of the Market we found that the streets are indicated by what the majority stall holders sell. Examples are "Children's Clothes St", "Watch & Jewelry St", "Food Alley" and "Chopped Noodle St" to name a few. In addition to these named streets there are numerous small alleyways barely wide enough to fit a fat Aussie tourist.

Through all this an arctic wind blew and stall-holders were well rugged up. Some were sitting in front of electric heaters and only reluctantly moved to make a sale. i watched one get up, discuss something with a local, turn away and sit down again looking not well pleased.

I managed to buy some 'snacks' of unknown content but that turned out to be quite edible. One woman had the price of her item at 2,000 SKW but when I wanted to buy it she insisted on 3,000 SKW- that US$2 vs US$3. I refused and found similar for 1,500 SKW at another stall no more than 20 paces along

We whiled away some time and later found refuge in one of the many underground malls as the aboveground winds were proving a bit too much. The mall was crammed with stalls and certainly no room to swing a cat. One row had over 20 camera sellers from small 'Point & Shoot' to impressive branded lenses and camcorders. When we resurfaced the weather had turned quite ugly with snow flakes added to the mix. Stall-holders were busy covering their stock and we decided to head back to the hotel.

Given more favourable weather conditions I think I'd have happily spent many more hours in that place. The variety and quantity of good in these tiny stalls is totally fascinating and a few world of Korean would be an advantage too.

We ducked down into another underground shopping mall and were surprised that the sun was shining when we surfaced at the Central Post Office building. From there we quickly found our way back to the hotel as the wind had picked up again and it just wasn't pleasant to dawdle.

Back at the hotel I've spent some time researching the layout of the airport for tomorrow's departure as we will be spending quite a few hours there.

We will be in transit for the next three days so I don't know when I'll have a chance to post again.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link. Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 23:01 Archived in South Korea

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