This is where my mom used to walk as a little girl with her mom and now with me. It’s comforting to know that my grandmother used to take the bus for 30 minutes to Dongdaemun Market and walk on these same streets to run errands 42 years ago. After all this time, we rested at a place to have a bowl of spicy cold noodle soup / Bibim Naengmyeon just as she had years then.

Along the streets in Dongdaemun market, you can find the sights and smell of Korea in alleys covered in silk, naturally dyed fabric, handmade trinkets and food. You can sit and share a meal in a communal area where everyone’s there to enjoy a snack / a quick meal / to be fascinated.

My favorite place to snack is a few steps away from where I took this picture, where on the right you’ll see people stone-grinding mung bean pancakes and frying them on the spot. Then again, when you get there, you’ll see that there are several places selling mung bean pancakes! Well, it’s hard to say which one (there, there, the one in the corner!) – but do look for long lines and be ready to wait 5-10 minutes in a covered market.

 

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