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Unique Market
Park Hye-ryeong Reporter  |  hrpark92@uos.ac.kr
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[0호] 승인 2011.04.10  
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Tongken Chicken was a hot issue last year. It was a chicken brand of Lotte Mart, which sold for only about 5,000 won while another chicken stores were selling it for about 13,000 won. The price of Lotte Mart’s chicken was so inexpensive that many consumers were waiting in huge lines to buy it. Although Lotte Mart closed down this chicken because of attacking small retailers, it clearly shows how major supermarkets such as Lotte mart and Homeplus threaten small merchants. It is unavoidably affecting traditional market merchants as well because ,these days, Super supermarket(SSM) is being built around village all over the country.

Despite these kinds of major distribution enterprises, unique and special markets in Korea attract many consumers. In this article, I will introduce character-rich markets; Yangjae Flower Market, Namdaemun Market and Bangsan Market. They are all in Seoul, so it might be easy for readers to approach.

Yangjae Flower Market

The long chilly wind and weather is finally over. Spring is coming and the thickness of our clothes is gradually becoming thinner and thinner. What do you think about when you hear the word “spring”? Maybe you think of flowers. Why don’t you experience a spring atmosphere by visiting Yangjae Flower Market? Whoever you go there with, it makes someone (friends or your lover) and you more intiamcy. However, I want to recommend you to go there with your family. Since you migh not have enough time to have a conservation with your family because of busy life, Yangjae flower market can form friendly atmosphere between you and your family. Also, you feel better thanks to good scent of flowers. (After visiting flower market, I felt refreshed and relieved my melancholy due to the hard assignments.)

There are various kinds of stores in the Flower Market. One of them is where merchants sell bouquet, bunches of flowers, and wreaths. Also, you can see onehundred roses for one’s lover and other roses made of soap - if you tore the petal of rose you can wash your hands with it. Although you do not purchase it, only going around to look flowers is very fun for most people. Another area in the Flower Market is where merchants sell flowers, trees, and so on that are in flower pots. There are vinyl greenhouses called Ga-Dong and Na-Dong. As soon as you go in these vinyl greenhouses, you can smell the fragrances of the flowers. You can see flowers such as hydrangeas, flesh plants, cactuses, and so on. Also, it will be interesting for you to haggle for a lower price with merchants.

Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market has been a very traditional market for a long period in Korea history. It began in 1414. It is surprising that it is about 600 years old! That place is so famous that there are usually many crowds there to buy products. Also, Namdaemun Market is a sightseeing location for foreigners. You can see not only Koreans but also other Asians or Westerners. The reason Namdaemun Market is popular is that the prices of the products there are very cheap and reasonable. Because its products are sold through a direct distribution course, expenses are alleviated.

I got off at Hoe-hyeon station gate 5(회현역) and walked along the road for about five minutes. I turned right and went into the road, it looks like a cave where treasures are hidden: treasures are stores. As soon as I went into the road, I could see many children’s clothes stores on both sides of the road. If you are a university student, you might do not care about children’s clothes. Do not get disappointed and simply go deeper into the street! There are eyeglasses, clothes and watches for adults. If you are interested in cameras, especially DSLRs, it would be useful to visit the area where camera stores are densely packed. Camera markets in Namdaemun Market are popular among camera maniacs. Because merchants also sell used products, you can buy a DSLR, who’s price might normally be burdensome to you, cheaper.

Also, since DSLRs are complicated to understand for entry-level users, off-line purchases would be better for them because merchants specifically translate the camera manuals. But, the thing consumers should be careful about is doubting and collecting price information before buying a camera to avoid dumping from merchants. When you are exhausted going around among the crowds, eat some street food or Galchijorim, which is a cutlassfish dish. Delicious dishes and snacks make Namdaemun Market famous, too. It can fill your hungry stomach.

Bangsan Market

There are so many markets in Jongno. Bangsan Market is like a gate or door between Gwangjang Market and Jungbu Market because by crossing the crosswalk I can get to each market from Gwangjang Market. But, for this article I’m only going to talk about Bangsan Market. Bangsan Market specializes in selling packaging such as boxes, baking instruments and so on. It is also famous for its chocolate ingredient stores. While walking past several stores along the alley, I came across alley which sells chocolate ingredients. Although it was hard to find, I forgot exhaustion as soon as I concentrated on seeing.

One store I dropped by sold chocolate particles, vivid sugar particles of various colors made for decoration. After buying some ingredients to make beautiful chocolate, I stopped by the present packaging store. Although most of the products are sold in bundles, they are inexpensive. Sum of the price of the chocolate ingredients might not be a burden to you considering the price of the brand chocolate. If you were disappointed on Valentine’s day, drop by with your gloomy heart. It is not too late! Unless you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, give somebody you usually wanted to express thankfulness a chocolate!

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