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Jeju Folk 5-day Market (제주시민속오일시장)_The Oldest and Biggest ...

 

These days, many tourists can be seen heading to “Dongmun Traditional Market” for food, or to grab any last minute souvenirs before leaving the island; however, the iconic market of Jeju is ‘Jeju Folk 5-day Market’, the largest and the oldest, which opens only 6 times a month.
The market dates back to the early 20th century. Back then, it was still small but now there are about 1,300 stalls in 11 sections filled to the brim with almost everything, drawing an average of 40,000 visitors on market days. The start of the market was simple just like many other 5-day markets in Korea; Bobusang, or peddler merchants, started to trade their home-grown or home-made goods.

 


  

 

One feature that indeed makes the market a special place might be ‘Halmang Jangteo’, the first section you will encounter. ‘Halmang Jangeo’ means ‘Grandma Market’ where anyone over the age of 65 can sell their own crops, herbs or seafood with no rental fees.
“No way! It’s not from any other countries, I got those from my own ‘Wooyoungpat Songki!’ this morning!” A tourist is slightly puzzled right after asking the origin of the vegetables at ‘Halmang Jangteo’. ‘Wooyongpat Songki?’ What on earth does that mean? Even I, a Korean, could not catch the meaning at all. I could only guess that the origin would not be any other country. ‘Wooyoungpat Songki’ is a Jeju word meaning ‘home-grown vegetables’. Until recently, almost all Jeju locals have had their small ‘Wooyoungpat’, or vegetable garden, in their backyard for self-sufficiency of ‘songki’ or vegetables, and those ‘Halmangs’ still have them in their houses. Those grandmas constantly beckon people to their stalls using their lovely island words.

 



 

After passing the ‘Halmang Jangteo’, other sections follow; plants, agricultural products, fisheries, miscellaneous goods, foods, traditional blacksmith, medicinal herbs, onggi (potteries), and pets. If you happen to get a bit hungry while shopping, the market also has plenty of restaurants and food stalls selling local dishes. In the blacksmith section, you can have a closer look how the farming tools such as sickles and hoes are made. They have it all!

The location is also superb, around 10 minutes from Jeju airport and 20 minutes from Jeju bus terminal, but if you take a bus, you need to walk for about 400 meters. (You might be exhausted during the hot summer.)

 

  

 


  What to eat

 


① Omegi Tteok & Bing Tteok: are Jeju’s unique traditional snacks, which are mainly found at traditional markets. Omegi Tteok is a round shaped rice cake based on a glutinous millet dough mixed with mugwort, with adzuki bean paste inside, covered with sweetened boiled adzuki beans. 5,000 won for six pieces. Meanwhile, Bingtteok is a Jeju style buckwheat pancake with a filling of chopped radishes, carrots, and small green onions. It is markedly less oily, salty or sweet with no strong flavors, while being just as moreishly addictive! It costs 1,000 won a piece.


② Bibimbap or Kimchi stew: At the restaurant section, you may find some eateries with crowds and queues almost at any moment. Do not hesitate to be a part of them, if you want to stick to the tried-and-tested ones. Diners will find everything from Bibimbap and Kimchi stew to Korean pancake and pork noodle soup. They are not only cheap, but also worth the 20-minute wait, and have many frequent visitors. They are only open on market days, though. Meal prices are around 7000 won. Pippi’s recommendation is ‘Oki Imo (옥이이모)’.


③ Typical Korean street foods: It’s impossible to avoid street food in the market, where some peddlers in different 5-day markets operate on a fixed rotation. Served simply but expertly, there’s fried food selections, nostalgic twisted bread sticks, sweet black pork skewers, croquettes, and boiled corn … Your pick should be twisted bread sticks when at a 5-day market. It’s not just a snack, it’s an experience!


 

   

  What to buy

 

The orange colored Taewak, a buoy, or net bags of Jeju Haenyeo could be happy memories of your trip to the island. Of course the real ones used by Haenyeos are big, but here, you can find cute and sweet miniatures along with Haenyeo dolls made of fabric. There are not many stalls selling those items though, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.
One of the charms of the traditional market is to buy fresh fruits at a cheap price. With just 10,000 won you can buy enough fruits to fill an arm-load. Mandarins? Taste first, buy later!


 

  

  Other things to do

 

Ihotewoo Beach, with 2 iconic lighthouses in the shape of a pony, is situated for tourists within a 6-minute (2km) distance. The beach is a part of the night Jeju city tour course with its gorgeous night view (The city bus runs only in summer). At low tide, ‘wondam (원담)’, a traditional fishing method that uses stone walls to trap fish when the water ebbs, become exposed. If you’re lucky, you can catch some fish inside the wondam. The coastal road to the airport from the beach will lead you to Jeju Café Street, one of favorites of both foreign and domestic travelers.

 

 

    [Travel Information]

    · Products availableAgricultural, fisheries, livestock products, miscellaneous items, food, plants, medicinal herbs,

      blacksmith, Onngi (potteries), and restaurants
    · No. of stalls: Approx. 1340

    · Open: 2nd, 7th, 12th, 17th, 22 nd, 27th of each month. (09:00~18:00)

    · Location: 26, Oiljangseo-gil, Jeju-si

    · Contact: 064-743-5985


    How to get here

    [From Jeju Bus Terminal] Take buses 202 or 292 & stop at ‘Jeju Folk 5-Day Market’ (8 stops, 13 mins.) → walk for about 5 mins. (462m)

    [From Seogwipo Bus Terminal] Take bus no. 182 (express) & stop at ‘Halla Hospital’ (8 stops, 58 mins.) → transfer to buses 202, 325,

    326, 355, 356, 357, 445 or 455 & stop at 'Wollang Elementary School' (2 stops, 3 mins.) → walk for about 7 mins. (441m)


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