The start of Dongdaemun Fashion Town
Foreigners who visit Dongdaemun Fashion Town for the first time are surprised at more than thirty large shopping centers lined up so close. Many shops run 24-hours straight so you can't miss the city lights of Dongdaemun and the surrounding skyscrapers. When talking about Dongdaemun Fashion Town, you can't miss this out; the start of Dongdaemun Fashion Town, the Peace Market.
Peace Market was first formed by the refugees who came south during the Korean war. The poor people started selling clothes made of blankets and uniforms the U.S. soldiers threw away around the Chungye stream area. At first, the market was called "ChungyeChun Market" but after building a third-floored site in 1962, they called it Peace Market. Its name has the hopes the people had right after war. It was a major producer of the clothing industry along with Tongil Market and Donghwa Market taking up 70% of ready-to-wear fashion but now sales has been decreasing due to many shopping centers entering the region, such as Doota, Migliore, etc.
Here you see a packer delivering clothes walking down the second and third floor hallway.
It's one of the most common sceneries of Dongdaemun Market back in the day, but motorbikes are replacing the packers now.
They usually work before dawn, being the main customers of the night food market.
The inside of the Peace Market.
The fashion of the Peace Market has grown old as much as its history.
Colorful flower dresses, bold colored t-shirts, and a quite old-fashioned plaid shirt.
But the Peace Market is still keeping its place. If you passby the hallway where clothes are piled up, you can see people who live with the Peace Market. Jang grandpa who's been in business for thirty years, a young twenty-something year old CEO, and those who keep complimenting the grandmas who came shopping, it's always fulfilling to witness all the people make the Peace Market.
The Old Allies That's Been with the Peace Market
Motorbikes pass by with heavily packed luggage, and people carry on loads of packages even on their heads, while something good smells around. Those who know the early mornings of Dongdaemun realize this part of the day has its own 'scent.' Merchants who are always hungry for starting the day early than others come to this rally where grilled fish and chicken pots are famous. If you want to taste more of Korea's food and culture, it's a must-stop-by place.
Crispy on Fire, Fish Grilling Ally
On the other side of the Peace Market, over the JunTaeil bridge into a narrow ally, you will first notice the smell of fish grilling up. As soon as you walk in, you can see juicy fish being grilled on briquettes.
From granny's busy hands fanning the smoke, you'll see what's been leading you into the ally. The nostalgia of the thirty-year-old buildings is just more to enjoy.
Before it used to sell various stews and soups along with Korean pancakes, but since the 90s, grilled fish has become a huge hit. Everybody started selling grilled fish and now fourteen houses keep their own tradition. If you want to taste a crisp, golden dish of grilled fish, come between 6 am to 9 pm. On Sundays, it's less populated so how about treating yourself with grilled fish and a Sujaebi dish for dinner this weekend.
Soul Satisfying Meal, One Chicken Ally
The 'One Chicken' Ally is less popular than the grilled fish ally but it's been widely known overseas so even foreign tourists visit often. 'One Chicken' is a simple meal that literally has one chicken in it. In a huge bucket of steel, you boil up the broth with chicken and that's it. If the chicken is done, eat it with sauce and if you're done eating it, put in some noodles into the broth and boil it more for a soul-fulfilling meal. Try some spicy paste or kimchi for a hot stingy taste if you like. Stop by between 10 am to 10:30 pm if you want to visit 'Jinokhwa Halmae One Chicken', where 'One Chicken' originates.
This place has been formed since the 1980s and started by serving a simple soup of noodles with chicken. You can still see some signs that have 'Dak Kalguksu(Chicken Noodles)' as you walk down the ally.