Jeju Dongmun Traditional Market

We dropped off at this stop on our bus tour because we had never been to a traditional market in Korea before, so we thought why not?

Jeju Dongmun Traditional Market was established after the liberation in 1945. Due to a big fire that broke out in March 1954, the whole market and the nearby area was reduced to ashes. The market then moved to its current location and kept the original name. As one of the most popular traditional markets in Jeju, Dongmun has served countless customers, selling diverse items at inexpensive prices.

This is actually new information to me as well (I checked this up on the KTO website).

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This market is pretty big, with a few different gates to go in from. We went in from Gate 3 as it was the nearest gate to the bus stop at which we alighted.


Jeju is famous for a few things, and the tangerine is one that you’ll see everywhere. There are two types of tangerines in Jeju – gamgyul and hallabong.

Hallabong are larger in size and has a bump on the top which is similar to the peaks of Mt. Hallasan. They are usually sweet and juicy. Hallabong are priced depending on the quality and thus can be quite expensive.

Gamgyul are smaller in size and they are more similar to mandarin oranges. It can be grown outdoor (noji) for winter or cultivated in greenhouses for summer. Gamgyul is a cheaper alternative but it is sweet and better than the normal oranges.

Information taken from Hoonie’s Home

I think gamgyuls are quite similar to the gam (Mandarin orange) that Chinese usually give during Chinese New Year, while hallabongs are more unique to Jeju. If you’re looking to try one, you’re in luck, because Dongmun Market is abundant with tangerines.

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I had the chance to try this hallabong juice in the market. It was pretty expensive (5000 won, if I recall correctly), but tasted really good, and made for a refreshing drink in the summer heat. You can see that the colour is slightly lighter than that of the usual original juice, and that they juice real tangerines (from the pulp in the bottle).

Besides tangerines, one specialty good that you have to buy as a souvenir in Jeju is tangerine chocolates. I’m not sure how true this is, but my tour guide last year told us that the prices of all these chocolates are standardized throughout the island in order to ensure fair competition. I was pretty skeptical until I saw for myself that all the chocolates sold here were really priced exactly the same! This was actually the same for the chocolates that were sold in the hotel that we were staying in, so I’m starting to think that there may be some truth to what my tour guide said.

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look at all the tangerines on sale ~

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The market also sold a lot of foods such as octopi, kebabs, and other traditional snacks, which looked pretty delicious, as well as household goods and clothes.

The market was quite crowded during our time there, partly because it was the summer holidays and a weekend when Koreans are likely to go to Jeju for a short getaway. I would suggest going on a weekday if you are not keen on crowds, but I think the weekend crowds are quite okay, and even adds to the lively atmosphere you’d want to see in a market.

Dongmun Market is one stop you’d definitely want to make during your trip to Jeju – just don’t get too overwhelmed by all the tangerines.


DIRECTIONS

Address: 20, Gwandeok-ro 14-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 제주시 관덕로14길 20 (이도일동)

[Bus]
Regular Bus No. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, or 17
Express City Bus No. 10, 28, 36, 37, 87, 92, 100, or 500
– Get off at Dongmun Traditional Market Bus Stop (about 20-min from Jeju International Airport).

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