Every wednesday I teach a half day so my work day doesn’t start until 6pm. I usually try and get out and take some type of adventure in the morning and this Wednesday I chose to spend my morning wandering around the Chilseong Market (칠성시장). I believe it is second to Seomun Market in terms of size and popularity but I actually found it to be far more interesting. I took the Daegu Subway to the Chilseong Market station, walked through exit 1, and found myself surrounded by fruit and veggie stands that stretch along the street for what seemed like miles. I walked past stand after stand after stand filled with apples, bananas, clementines, grapes and every type of potato or greens you can imagine. I was starting to get a little hungry so I sat down at one of the many lunch stands which turned out to be a bi mi bap buffet!!! It was amazing, for only 3500won (abt. 3.5$) I could sit there and refill my bowl with veggies, rice, tofu and fish as many times as I wanted. The women working the stand as well as the people eating there were very helpful showing me what to do, although there was a serious language barrier.
After lunch I wandered across the street to the used furniture market, purused for a bit and then found myself in the seafood section of the market. Every time I wander past a fish shop here in Korea I am blown away by the variety of some of the creatures they have for sale. One of the things I am going to miss most when I leave KOrea is the diversity of their food, especially the seafood. When I arrived at the end of the fish row I took a right down another section of carts, not knowing what I would find and I had suddenly arrived in pig alley!!! I was surrounded by pig heads on stands, pig skin hanging from the ceiling, vendors blow torching pig feet and every other part of the body you could imagine. I was pretty grossed out but way more interested so I walked all the way to the end of the row taking in some of the equally delicious and disgusting sights and smells. Unfortunaley at the end of this row I happened upon puppy alley. Yes, they do eat dogs here in Korea, and the Chilseong Market is one of the places you can go to find dog meat. Unlike the pig alley, I could not stomach a walk down puppy alley so I turned around and high tailed it back to the subway.
I didn’t buy much, I left the market with a single banana and a package of kimchi mandu (which I made for dinner last night and were AMAZING), but Im definitely going to go back soon. I feel like the Chilseong Market has hundreds of hidden alleys and secrets that would take me a lifetime to discover them all!