Fodor's Expert Review Namdaemun Market
Seoul's oldest and second largest market is easily its most accessible and interesting for visitors to the city. Filled with vendors selling everything from clothing to cameras to food, this sprawling indoor and outdoor market is not only an interesting place to shop, but makes a fascinating sightseeing destination in its own right. An estimated 500,000 people come to Namdaemun daily, making for an energetic and crowded but manageable spectacle. Established in 1414, the market has been destroyed any number of times, most recently after the Korean War, and again in 1968 and 1975. Yet after each setback, this market has rebuilt and prospered. To a traveler's eye, the market's turbulent past in many ways mirrors Korea's own ups and downs, While there is still much history to be found in Namdaemun, to see it now is to get a glimpse of the dynamism and spirit that has propelled Korea onto the world stage.