Portraits of Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market is one of my favourite traditional markets in Seoul. Not a fortnight goes by that I don’t visit. There are quite a number of reasons as to why I frequent it so often. You can buy anything here – from jewelry and accessories, to kitchen appliances, fresh flowers, and plastic ones too, clothes, Korean trinkets and souvenirs, oh and did I mention the shoes. It is the largest traditional market in South Korea and there are also streets within the market that sell only cameras, or spectacles, or watches, which allows for a lot of variety. Not only that, but you can also have your trousers tailored or your shoes mended. Unlike at a department store, it’s acceptable, in fact almost expected, to bargain at markets. There are also streets and streets of Korean food stalls and restaurants. Namdaemun Market is particularly known for its steamed dumpling stands although all kinds of Korean cuisine can be bought here. It is also popular for Sannakji (live small octopus that has been cut into small pieces and seasoned with soya sauce and sesame seeds).

For a photographer the most fascinating aspect of Namdaemun Market are the vendors, as I have found on my many visits.

How to get to Namdaemun Market: Hoehyeon Station (Subway Line 4, exit 5).

Namdaemun Market website

Iga Motylska

Iga Motylska is a Johannesburg-based freelance writer, photojournalist, sub-editor and blogger. She is published in numerous local and international publications, including: Forbes Africa, Forbes Woman Africa, Forbes Life Africa, CNBC Africa, Ventures Africa, Marie Claire, Sawubona, AA Traveller, Fastjet inflight magazine and Seoul Magazine among numerous others. Her editorial interests range from documenting the entrepreneurial spirit to women's and human rights issues, environmental affairs and of course travel writing.

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