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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Moran Market, Seongnam JungWon-gu, Gyeonggi Province: The Biggest 5-day market in Korea


The Moran Folk Market or simply known as Moran Market (Hanja: 牡丹市場 or 牡丹民俗場) opened every five days when the last digit of the date is 4 or 9, is one of the biggest folk markets in South Korea, gathering approximately 50,000 visitors a day. It is located at 79 Dunchon Boulevard/Dunchon-daero, Seongnam-dong 4190-beonji, Seongnam JungWon-gu, Gyeonggi Province.

Though first appeared in 1962, the Moran Folk Market has become famous as it is since the early 1980s. As it was a traditional market, rarely seen in the metropolitan area, it could grow itself and attract more visitors. Visitors can buy flowers, cereals, herbs, general merchandise, fishes, freshwater fishes, pet dogs, foods, and so on in this traditional market filed with lively atmosphere and warm-heartedness.

The market takes place on the 4th, 9th, 14th, 19th, 24th, 29th day of every month (except for every February in non-leaping year). This market takes place on a vacant lot beside the Moran bus terminal and 1200 merchants comes from all over Korea to sell their goods. Although goods here are 20 ~ 30% cheaper than anywhere else, as the fun of traditional markets is to bargain, you can see this scene everywhere here.

The market is divided into 13 zones depending on the goods transacted at each. Located closest to the entrance is the flower zone, followed by the cereal, herb, clothing, shose, general merchandise, fish, and vegetable zones. The goods transacted here vary with seasons:a variety of flowers, seedlings and seeds are seen in spring while nutritious foods and seasonal delicacies like cold noodles attract visitors in summer. In fall, medicinal herbs for winter and crops just harvested fill the stands while the dried mackerel pike, another seasonal delicacy, is tasted here in winter.

When you go to the Moran market it is divided in sections so that it is easier for you to find what you want. The pet dog section where children and dog lovers can find puppies of all sorts and pedigree at all sorts of prices. The dogs are sold connected to the farm you can buy them without worries. In the domestic animal section you can find ducks, chickens, rabbits, cats, iguana etc.

In the herb section you can see many old merchants. It is to find Korean medical herbs. Since all the herbs are divided into imported herbs and Korean herbs. At the section you can find over 40 different types. The fun here is that you can find the Misukaru. Misukaru is Korean traditional powdered mixed grains that you can stir in water and drink. Right beside the grain section you can find the Peongtigi-men and here such loud noise. The noise comes from a black container with smoke coming out of it. This is a container that fries grains. This is similar to popcorn but instead of corn rice and other grains are used.

There are many kinds of shoes with famous brand names that are changed a little. There are no named brands but plenty of strong and different design shoes. The best thing here is that the prices of the shoes are so cheap, only around 10,000won. You can find so all sorts of beautiful flowers here that cost only around 2,000won.

Moran market is a place where you buy things but at the same time it's a place where you can meet fun people. You can meet all sorts of special people such as the man who sell clothes with a monkey, the taffy seller who dances to the drum rhythm, the man who writes with a leather belt etc.

One of the most popular is the Pumba taffy sellers. Two men who are dressed as women perform in turns. Its hard not to buy taffies after seeing the Pumbas who dance and sing so lively according to the drum beat.

After going around to buy and see things you will get quite hungry. Then you can go to the eating-place in the center of the market. On the day the market is on there are always customers here. It is quite interesting to see how fast the ladies move and to feel the noisy atmosphere where people drink, eat and enjoy themselves. If you go to the Moran market you should try the hand-made chopped noodle. The hand-made chopped noodle is made right at the place and the noodle is very chewy and the soup is very good. It costs only 3,000won.

Moran Market is accessible either by using SMRT Line 8 or KORAIL-Bundang Line to Station 826/K225: Moran Station