Gwangjang Market-Explore the Korean food and Clothes-Part 2

In Gwangjang Market-Explore the Korean food-Part 1 I wrote about the most famous food type, but in part 2 I will write more about my experience with the food I ate and also the clothes shopping tips. In Gwangjang market there are lots of the food markets and also the other types of the market which are selling the fabric, Korean traditional clothes…etc.

When I went to the Gywnagjang market, I first ate the Drug Kimbab(마약김밥) with the Korean fish cake(오뎅) and Tteok-bokki(떡볶이: Korean rice cake) for lunch. The good thing is it was in a one combination menu that I could taste the diverse food at a cheap price. I only paid 5000 Won(about 5 dollars).
The food taste was also good!

When I was eating the food at a street food place and I could see many people came and ordered the food that the drug Kimbab(마약김밥) all runout and they were making quickly again.


This was the street food place I ate the lunch. You see the picture you could see the chair is colored like the foil.

The good thing is heat ray was inside the chair that it was okay to eat food in cold winter even the restaurant is in outside.

After I ate lunch, I choose the Sweet Rice and Suger-filled Korean Pancake(호떡) for a dessert.

It was just cooked that the taste was so good! I walked around the market with eating the Korean pancake.


This is the daily supplies market.


There are many stores where selling the clothes and the fabric in a cheap price that people also visit the Gwangjang market for buying clothes. Normally, it is crowded on Saturday or on weekdays night that if you don’t like the crowds I recommend to go there on a weekday afternoon.

There are four tips to shop clothes in Gwangjang market.

First, decide the clothes you want to buy. Comparing the Korea department store such as Lotte, Hyundai, Shinsegae department,there are so many stores that if you don’t decide what to buy, you will be exhausted for looking all the clothes.

Second, bring the cash.

Normally, you can pay with credit card almost everywhere in Korea but not the Korea traditional market. If you try to pay with the credit card the store person doesn’t like and normally say “You have to pay 10% additional price because of the tax”. So bring the cash and pay with it.

Third, don’t accept the first price.

This will be same as the other countries market. It is possible to bargain the price and make the lower price.:) The store person might say “Basically the price is 30K won but I will give you in 10K won”.(30K KRW is about 30 USD). But don’t accept the first price and bargain the price. Then you might be able to buy at a more lower price! Also, remember the few Korean word such as “lower the price please(가격 깎아주세요)” or “It is expensive(너무 비싸요)”. The Gwangjang market’s store people are usually the old Korean that many of them can’t speak English.

If you like to know the basic Korean language which is useful for shopping click here.

The last tip is you have to know your clothes size well before starting shopping in Gwangjang market. Most of the clothes stores in the market are small that normally there is no fitting room inside the clothes stores. So it is hard to wear the clothes before purchasing that knowing your size will help you to buy the right size clothes.

Thanks for reading.:)

Gwangjang Market-Explore the Korean food-Part 1


My home is quite far from the Gwangjang market, but I had a chance to visit the north part of the Seoul to buy clothes, and on a way home I visited the Gwangjang Market.

This is the Seoul map and the Gwangjang market is in the red part. The arrow in the picture says Gwangjang market Korean pancake, raw beef, drug Kimbab(광장시장 전&육회&마약김밥).


After I entered the market I could see lots of people are in there.

After I passed the other market I finally went in the food market part! In Gwangjang market the below three foods are famous.

1. Drug Kimbab(마약김밥)

The reason why the drug is in the name is not it has the drug inside but it means the Kimbab is really tasty and is easy to be addicted to the drug. The size of Drug kimbab is smaller than other normal Korean Kimbab.

2. Bindaetteok(빈대떡)

Bindaetteok(빈대떡)is the mung-bean pancake and it is one of the famous traditional Korean pancakes.

3. Korean Style Raw Beef(육회)


The way of eating the Raw beef is first mix the raw beef with the egg and then eat! You can check the pictures of the step is in below.

Many people also eat the Raw Tartare Bibimbap(육회 비빔밥).

The difference of Raw tartare Bibimbap and the normal Korean Bibimbap is just the Raw Beef was added in ingredient.

-Gwangjang Market address: 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 창경궁로 88 (예지동)
-Gwangjang Market open hour: General stores: 08:30-18:00
Restaurants: 08:30-23:00
Clothing stores: 21:00-10:00 (Next day)

You can check the more Korean foods and the clothes shopping tips in Gwangjang Market-Explore the Korean food and clothes-Part 2 article which I will post in next week.

Thanks for reading:)

Is there Kimchi Refregirator in each Korea home?

The answer is YES. Kimchi is traditional Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings and eats Kimchi all the year. Until the mid-1990’s when the Gimjang(김장: making Kimchi) is done, each Korean home put the Kimchi in a crock pot and buried underground as the picture you can see in below.

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Korean take out the Kimchi little by little when want to eat.

Now, most of the Korean live in an apartment without a garden, people put Kimchi in the refrigerator. However, the Kimchi in regular refrigerator easily got too sour that people had to make Kimchi often. This is because usually, people open the refrigerator often as there are various food and beverage in there and then the refrigerator’s temperature changes. Is is not a good condition for Kimchi.

Meanwhile, Kimchi refrigerator is just for keeping Kimchi fresh and 85% of all Korea households have Kimchi refrigerator. The good thing is Korean already have the normal refrigerator that can prevent opening the Kimchi refrigerator often. It was first created in 1992, there was only the cover type’s Kimchi refrigerator.

Currently, Kimchi refrigerator has two types of its design.

1. Cover Type


This was the first type of Kimch. Currently, people does not use the cover type a lot, and most of people buy Stand type or Stand combination type.

2. Stand Type

The adventage of the stand type is it is easy to take out the Kimchi from the refregerator comparing the cover type.

3. Stand Combination Type


This is the type for putting both normal eating food and the Kimchi in one refrigerator.You might have a question of “what is a difference of the stand combination type and the stand type?”. In fact, Kimchi’s appropriate temperature is a little different with the normal food. Also, Kimchi needs time to be matured after the Kimchi is first made and putten in Kimchi refrigerator. When the Kimchi is in mature, the refrigerator temperature will be higher than for the normal food that if we put together the other food will go bad. Accordingly, the Kimchi and other food need to be in different part in the refrigerator.

After the Kimchi is matured, the Kimchi is kept in cooler temperature comparing the normal refrigerator and normally we don’t open the door often that many people put the veggies and fruit to Kimchi refrigerator to keep it fresh. My mom also do when has to keep the veggies and fruit for 5-8 days more in a home. When I eat the fruit, I can feel the fruit kept in Kimchi refrigerator is more fresh.

Thanks for reading.:)

4 unusual things about Korean culture

Each country has a different culture and the people habits are also different. Some of the Korea life cultures might be surprised to you. Today I will introduce 5 Korean common habits which I’ve heard it is wired from foreigners.

1. Leave the laptop on the table and go washroom

If you are in Korea, you might see many people leave the laptop when they go the washroom. I was in a coffee shop in Korea with US friend and she asked me “why people leave the laptop on the table? Aren’t people stole the laptop if it is on the table in public place?”
Before I’ve didn’t think seriously about my laptop could be stolen if I leave in public place. I think it is one of the cultures in Asia. Many people in Japan also leave their laptop on a table in a coffee shop and go the washroom. I saw some person leave a laptop on a cafe table, came back in 1 hour and it was still there.

2. Put Smart Phone or purse on table to save a seat


If you visit the restaurant and cafe you could see some people put the smartphone on a table to save a seat. I could see fewer people do than 3-5 years before, but still, there are few people who do put the smartphone on the table and leave there in few minutes. You could see in Japan too.

That doesn’t mean theft doesn’t exist in Korea. But the pickpockets and thieves are not high in Korea that people don’t worry for their stuff to be stolen.

2. Go toilet with friends

When I was in elementary school from fist grade to third grade, I could see many of the girl students went to the washroom together and even some of them went inside the toilet together.
This is because I assume young girl students thought going toilet together is one of the proof they could show to others as “WE ARE CLOSE FRIEND”.

When the students go to the upper grades in elementary school, fewer students go inside the toilet together, but many of them got the washroom together. I think it is one of the Korea friendship cultures.

3. Cross arm with the same sex

When you walk on the street in Korea you could easily see the girls and women walking with arms linked around the elbows, touching skin-on-skin. Or sometimes you could see the girls are holding hands with they are walking. I’ve heard there are other Asian countries where also has this similar culture. In Korea, cross arm with a friend is not mean the homosexual relationship. It is just the one of the expression that they are close.

4. Go clinic often

Much Korean go clinic(small private hospital) even with the little cold. Definitely, Korean go clinic goes often than American. But it does not mean Korean got cold more often than American.
Korea medical fee is much cheaper than the US. When people go clinic for cold in Korea it cost about $4 for a check-up and cost about $5 for the medicine. This is because every Korea citizen is registered in Korea national health insurance and much of them additionally registered in private health insurance. Accordingly, it does not cost a lot for going a clinic, especially with the light cold.

Thanks for reading:)

If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

How Korean make Kimchi in home?-Part 1 Shopping

Kimchi is one of the essential food for Korean and people eat it at nearly every meal. Now many Korean buy the packed Kimchi product but still lots of Korean families make Kimchi in a home. Today I will introduce about what I went shopping today for buying Kimchi making ingredients.

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This is the packed Kimchi. Making Kimchi is a hard work that many people buy packed Kimchi instead making it.

Kimjang(김장) is the traditional process of preparing cabbages for fermentation into Kimchi. Usually, cabbage for Kimchi is most delicious in November that Korean usually do the Kimjang between the end of the November and early December. My family planned to do the Kimjang in next Monday(Dec. 5th) that me and my mom went the big market for buying the ingredients.

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In above picture, it says ‘Kimjang vegetable collection'(김장채소 모음전). Currently, it is the Kimjang season in Korea that the market I went today made the new sell section only for selling the Kimjang ingredient.

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There are many kinds of Kimchi but broadly it is divided into cabbage kimchi and radish Kimchi. My mom decided to make the radish Kimchi which is called Kkakdugi(깍두기) in Korean that we bought the radish.

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It is my cart for Gimjang shopping. It got full of the radish and other Kimjang ingredients.

For making the Kimchi, first the cabbage needs to be salted. But it needs a lot of effort to put the salt in every cabbage leaf as you can see in below that many Korean buy the cabbage which is already salted.

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-6-23-43-pm Continue reading

Korean Street Food eating Habit-Bunsik part 2

I introduced in Bunsik part 1, how much Korean love eating street food with dipping the food in the sauce. Today I will introduce another Korean eating habit and good combination menu to order in Bunsik restaurant.

1. Crush a boiled egg in Ttobokki(떡볶이)

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Normally one or two boiled eggs are in Ttobokki. Some Korean like to crush a egg in Ttobokki and eat with the sauce.

2. Frying powder in Odeng-tang(오뎅탕/Fish cake soup) or in Tteok-bokki soup(국물 떡볶이)

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The left one is fish cake soup with frying powder, and right one is Ttobokki with frying powder.

3. Completely mix rice balls(Ju-Mok-Bap/주먹밥) in Tobokki

Some Korean who really love sauce even put the rice balls into the Ttobokki sauce and eat after mix.

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Right one is the picture rice balls mixed with Ttobokki sauce.

Some Korean Bunsik restaurant made new menu which already foods are dipped in Ttobokki sauce. I think this is because they found Korean like sauce.

The new menu with sauce is:

1. Fried food with Ttobokki sauce.

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This dish already has the sauce in it that people no need to additionally order Ttobokki for the sauce.

2. Fried rice with Ttobokki sauce.

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Thanks for reading. 🙂

Korean Street Food eating Habit-Bunsik part 1

Bunsik(분식) literally means “food made from flour” like Ramyeon, noodles, bread, but currently all the cheap food which sells in Bunsik restaurant are all include, such as Tteok-Bokki(떡볶이), Gimbap(김밥), Sundae(순대), Fish cake(어묵).

“Dip the food into the Sauce” is a typical Korean eating habit which you could easily see in Korea.

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This picture eating cucumber and pepper with red pepper paste(Gochujang).

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This is onion eating with chunjang(Back soybean). Many Korean eat like this in Korean Chinese restaurant.

Today I will introduce how Korean love eating street food with sauce. Korean use Ttokbokki or Rabokki’s soup for the souse and some people dipping almost all the food when eating.

1. Gimbap(김밥) in Ttokbokki

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2. Korean spring rolls in seaweed(Gimmari-김말이) in Ttokbokki(떡볶이)

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3. Sundae(순대) in Ttokbokki(떡볶이)

Sundae(순대) is originally made by steaming cow or pig’s intestines that are stuffed with various ingredients. It is similar with Sausages as it originally also made by stuffing an animal’s internal organs into its intestines.

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4. Chicken in Ttobokki

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5. Rice balls in Ttokbokki

Rice balls are traditional Korean and Japanese food. Not all but quite a lot of Korean Bunsik(분식) restaurant also have rice balls.

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6. Fried food in Ttokbokki

Normally there are various kinds of fired food in Korean Bunsik restaurants;veggies fried, squid fried, perilla leaves fried, pepper fried, shrimp fried, sweet potato fried…etc.

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Type of the fired food doesn’t matter. Many Korean prefer eating fried food after dipping in Ttokbokki sauce.

7. Odeng(fish cake) with Ttokbokki

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In next time I will introduce another Korean Bunsik eating habit.

Thanks for reading.:)

Cheong-gye-san mountain hiking story

Cheong-gye-san(청계산) mountain is extended from Seoul to Gyeonggi-do(경기도), and it is one of the popular mountains which many Korean visit. After the Cheonggyesan station opened on 2011, going to the Cheong-gye-san got more convenient. I hiked the Cheong-gye-san(청계산) mountains in weekend as it is easy to go the mountain if I take new Shinbundang Line.

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Take the gate 3 exit and walk through the road, you could see the Wonteogol(원터골) passageway. I’ve walked the below course which is about 1.86miles(3km) and it took about 1hr 30min. The Maebong peak is 1911ft(582.5m).

“Wonteogol Entrance->Wonteogol Yaksuteo(mineral spring)->Kkalttakgogae Ridge->Heliport->Maebong Peak.” If you like to know more about the Cheong-gye-san’s course click here.

If you keep walking you could find the Cheong-gye-san mountain’s entrance. The weather was good and it was weekend that I could see lots of people were hiking the mountain. If you hike the 청계산 you could see many huge rocks.

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One of the rock which you can see in below is called Door rock(돌문바위) as the rock has a open space like a opened door.

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In above picture’s sign it says ‘Receive the vital force of Mt. Cheong-gye'(청계산의 정기를 듬뿍 받아가세요). I could see many people are walking around the rock.

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This is just before the top of the mountain. The view was awesome and I could see the Jamsil-dong with lotte building.

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The road just before the top of the mountain is quite steep.

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This is the top of the mountain.

Thanks for reading.:)

Why Korean put cash into the pig mouth?

Last winter, I went to a Han River, riding a bicycle and saw the new opened water skiing shop. The first thing I saw in the shop was a pork head with cash in its mouth.

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In Korea, many people do the ritual blessing ceremony called Gosa when they are launching its own business, starting a business-related project and moving a new house. It contains many of the typical shamanist features, such as various food and alcohol offerings, burning incense, bowing, and especially the central place of a pig’s head offering. You can see the Korea opening ritual ceremony in below video.

Visitors stick cash what they prepared into the pig mouth or nose or ear. Then they kneel down and bow to the table. The big reason people put cash into the pig is pigs are a symbol of good luck and fortune in Korea.

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1. Pig has similar pronunciation with Money in Korean

Roughly more than 60% of the Korean vocabulary came from Chinese and Pig(돼지) word is in this case too. Pig(돼지) is written as 豚 Chinese character and it pronounces ‘Don’(돈) which is same pronunciation with Money(돈) in Korean.

2. Pigs symbol the fertility

Pig usually gives birth to about 10 piglets at once and one pig could give over 100 piglets for 5 years. Because of this reason pigs have been signed the fecundity and luck in Korea for a long time.

So people believe the pigs will help in thriving a business and that’s why they put cash into the pig. However, normally people prefer to stick the cash in pig’s mouth and even some people never stick it in pig nose or ear. They believe if you stick the cash in pig’s nose, the pig could not breath and will die. And if you stick the cash in pig’s ear, the pig could not hear when you make a wish. Meanwhile, the pig will bring money when you stick the cash in pig’s mouth.

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Good luck dreams

Also dreaming of a pig is interpreted as being extremely fortunate as the animal is symbol of good luck, wealth, and fortune in Korean culture. So many Korean buy lottery after the day they had a pig dream and believe it or not few people said they won the lottery which they bought after they had a pig dream.

Thanks for reading.:)

What does the North Korea leader drinks for a Hangover

You might have heard Kim il-song is the North Korea’s first supreme leader. Current North Korea’s leader is Kim jung-un, and his grandfather is Kim il-song. Today I will introduce about North Korea’s ‘Kim il-song hangover drink’ which leaders drank.

After many North Korean defectors came to South Korea, we could have more info. about North Korea and some TV programs started broadcasting the North Korea’s life and culture. “Kim il-song hangover drink”(김일성 해장차) was also broadcasted in South Korea cable channel.

There is Live Long Lab in North Korea just for the North Korea leader health care, and this lab regularly made hangover drink to Kim il-song and Kim il-song.

1. Potato peel tea

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The North Korea leaders usually had the potato peel tea in the morning after drinking. Gardenia seeds are included only in above Potato peel tea and you could check the above and below picture’s Potato peel tea has different color.

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The way of making it is first dry the potato peel which is washed. If you use a microwave, you can dry the peel more easily. And then fry the potato peel in a pan. After that there are two ways of making a tea. First way is just boil the dried peel with water. Second way is grind the peel into powder and put it in warm water.

2. Burdock, Milk Vetch Root tea

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Burdock and Milk vetch root are common oriental medicine ingredient. North Korea leaders also had this tea in the morning after drinking. The way of making ‘Burdock, milk vetch root tea’ is similar with Potato peel tea. First dry the ingredients and then boil the water with dried burdock and milk vetch root.

In South Korea we have different kinds of hangover food and drink. In fact, even I lived my whole life in South Korea, I’ve never heard these kinds of North Korea’s hangover drinks before.

Next time I will introduce South Korea’s hangover food.

Thanks for reading.:)