(yonhap feature) token payment adds to pleasure of tongin market visitors

SEOUL, Dec. Noodles and company workday 2 (Yonhap) — On a cold November morning, Huang Yen, a tourist from Taiwan, takes a cab with her family to the Tongin Market in central Seoul to buy Korean side dishes before leaving South Korea.

On her arrival, Huang, who has visited South Korea 10 times before, nimbly wanders into a small alley packed with dozens of food vendors, and in particular, pungent but delicious smells, to browse for what she wants to eat.

Huang Yen (L), a Taiwanese tourist, waits while a food vendor packs kimchi for her at the Tongin Market in Seoul on Nov. Noodles and company zona rosa 24, 2016. Noodles and company monroeville pa The traditional market is about 500 meters from Exit 2 of Gyeongbokgung Subway Station on Line 3. Noodles & company catering (Yonhap)

The 22-year-old Taiwanese girl stops by one of the food shops that dots the corridor and looks at an array of banchans, or side dishes in Korean.

Noodles and company madison She finally decides to select some kimchi, Korea’s traditional pickled side dish, and a few other dishes. Noodles n company hours Then she asks the prices in Korean. Noodles hours Even though she is not fluent, she definitely knows how to drive a hard bargain at the market.

“Because I visited here several times, I know how things go on here. Xian noodles menu And this time, I came here to buy food to eat at my home in Taiwan,” she said. Noodles and company waukesha “What’s more important for me is to provide my dad and mom with a hands-on experience of Korea’s traditional market. Noodles and company schaumburg This place is not lively like in other marketplaces in Seoul, but it is cozy and provides a unique experience.”

Nestled in a residential area with the background of mountains and close to Gyeongbok Palace, the Tongin Market started as a small street market in 1941 when the country was under Japanese colonial rule.

But as times went on, the market soon sprawled into every corner, becoming one of the famous traditional markets in central Seoul, housing dozens of food vendors selling a variety of Korean foods.

The current picture of the market was designed years ago to help compete with its larger competitors such as E-Mart, Homeplus and other big retailers by offering a flurry of street foods and side dishes to visitors. Noodles and company breach Now, it becomes one of Seoul’s tourist destination spots for foreign visitors who want to taste the country’s traditional market in a clean, cozy and convenient mode.

The main item for visitors to this market is “Dosirak” cafe, a kind of build-your-own food box which provides them with the unique experience of selecting what they want to eat and pay for it with ancient Korean coins, called “yeopjeon.”

“Currently, there are some 80 shops in the alley, and about 600 people visit the Dosirak cafe on a daily basis. About noodles and company On weekends, the number tops 1,500,” said Shim Gye-sun, an official of the market’s vendor association. Noodles and company lone tree “We floated the idea to attract more visitors and provide something unique, and it turned out to be a success.”

The Dosirak cafe idea was very helpful in attracting more visitors because they are enthralled to experience the chores of selecting foods by themselves, according to Shim.

“This market is very popular on Facebook, and that’s why I introduced this place to my friends, although this time I could not buy yeopjeon because I am very busy.”

Visitors stand in line on the second floor of the Tongin Market Customer Service Center to buy a string of yeopjeon for their lunch boxes on Nov. Noodles and company nutrition 24, 2016. Menu at noodles and company (Yonhap)

The first step to use the Dosirak cafe is to buy a string of yeopjeon at the three-story Customer Service Center building located in the center of the corridor, along with a plastic food tray. Noodles of the world locations The basic fare for the food trip starts at 5,000 won.

Then, you should take a stroll into the alley to browse for what you want to eat, and pay the vendors with the coins. Noodles and company rochester After your tray is filled with assorted foods, the next step is to just sit down at the table on the second floor of the Center and enjoy your lunch set. Noodles and company frankfort But on weekends, especially during lunch time, the dinning room on the second floor is fully packed and you may be in hurry to find yourself in a seat on the third floor. Noodles and company ames Fork and chopsticks are ready for use on the second floor with purified water also being served.

“It’s really fun to use the coins, an awesome experience for visitors,” said Huang. Noodles and company orem She explained that picking up foods from dozens of stalls is a rare opportunity and she claimed that another attractive thing is their affordable prices.

But the coins are not used at every food vendor or shop in the market. Www noodles You can use the coins at stores with a sign that reads “dosirak cafe gamaengjeom,” which means that the shop accepts the coins as payment.

One food popular with visitors is “gireum tteokbokki,” pan-fried tteokbokki, rice cake in a spicy sauce called gochujang. Noodles and company bangkok curry The gireum tteokbokki comes in two versions — a non-spicy one mostly for kids and a spicy one for adults and those who dare to experience the spicy recipe.

“I came here with my friends after (I) saw it on the Internet,” says Akiko Yamaguchi, a 50-something woman from Japan who is among foreign tourists to the Tongin Market to try delicious street foods.

“This market’s foods are very delicious and the spicy one is really what I want,” Yamaguchi says. Noodles and company loveland “In Japan, spicy foods are rare and I and my friends wanted a taste.”

Akiko Yamaguchi (R) enjoys Korean foods with her friends at the dining room of the Tongin Market Customer Service Center on Nov. Menu noodles and company 24, 2016. Noodles and company tulsa (Yonhap)

Street food vendors here also offer various tasty snacks, such as mung bean pancakes called “bindaetteok” or “nokdu jeon”; dumplings; “japchae,” stir-fried glass noodles with vegetables; and mini “mayak” gimbap, rice rolled in seaweed with other vegetables inside. Noodles and company layton “Mayak,” which literally means drugs in Korean, roughly means that you can’t help eating it again because of its addictive taste. Noodles and company reviews It shows some South Koreans’ tendency to use hyperbole.

Kim Sun-ok, a 40-something housewife, visited the market to buy pork and cabbages for dinner. All about noodles “The prices of vegetables are cheap compared to other retail markets. Noodles shop I come to this place two times a week.”

Actually, the market is smaller in size compared to other traditional markets, but its easy access and many tourist attractions near the market are appealing as well.

If you have free time, take a walk to the nearby tourist attractions. Noodles and company boulder Just one block away is Gyeongbok Palace, and 15 minutes away is Gwanghwamun Square.