Jeonju Nambu Night Market [남부시장]

Friday, 30 September 2016

When people say Jeonju, everyone always thinks about the Hanok Village (Link). The chance to wear a Hanbok (Traditional Korean Costume), walk around the entire village, eat great street food and pretend you're living in the era where everyone dressed like that. True enough, the Hanok Village is Jeonju's pride and pearl, the thing that people actually travel to Jeonju for. But just a short 15 minutes walk away from Jeonju is the Nambu Market, which is extremely amazing, especially at night.

전주라는 곳을 딱 들을 때 생각 나는 것이 바로 전주한옥마을이다. 한옥마을에서 한복도 입을 체험도 있고 맛있는 먹을거리도 많다. 전주한옥마을은 전주의 특징이 맞긴 맞는데 15분의 걷기에는 전주 남부 시장이 있다. 특히 밤에 간다면 인상깊은 추억을 만들 수 있다.

So after you're done walking through the Hanok Village, just follow the map for a short walk to the Nambu market. There's actually a normal market in the day but it's selling the usual vegetables, fish and food products so if you're interested in buying that or you would like to have a look at a little bit of culture, you're welcome to head there in the day. However, the real party begins after 7pm, when the night market comes to life.

남부시장은 낮에도 하는데 보통 야채, 생선 같은 걸 팔고 관심이 있거나 사고 싶어하면 갈 수도 있고 근데 완전 재미있는 것은 밤에 시작하는 것이다.

So for those of you who can understand Korean, it says ya shi jang (야시장), which means night market. So apparently the normal market is outdoors and the night market is indoors. Now, this place serves some of the best food I've ever eaten. Not to mention they were really interesting and different from the usual street food you see in Korea. If you're up to experience a little nightlife that's not in clubs or bars with amazing food (that you might have to queue up for a while for), this is the place to be.

시장은 밖에 하는 거고 야시장은 실내에서 운행하는 것이다. 내가 먹었던 음식중에 제일 맛있는 음식을 여기서 먹었던 것이다. 그리고 한국의 일반적인 길거리음식이랑 완전 다른 느낌이 있다. 만약에 전주에 와서 전주시민의 밤생활 어떤지 경험하고 싶으면 꼭 와야 한다.

The moment you walk in, you'll be dazzled by the array of lights and amazing smells. Frankly speaking, I actually found the night market more interesting to be at than the Hanok Village itself. I guess it's just how different people look for different things when it comes to holidays and trips. The entire place was so energetic and mesmerizing. People were walking in all different directions, vendors were practicing their trade, customers doing what they do best. It was just all a lot to take in and a very worthwhile experience in my opinion.

딱 들어가면 음식의 향기에 빠진다. 사실은 나의 생각에는 남부야시장은 한옥마을보다 재미있다고 한다. 내가 여행할 때 찾아가는 것은 바로 음식이다. 그래서 야시장으로 오게돼서 재밌었다.

Some of their stalls had a huge snaking queue and it was probably because the food was amazing. This particular one was selling some type of beef served on rice with asparagus and some other vegetables with sauce. The interesting thing here was that they used torches to cook the beef while having it on a hot plate. This provided a feast not only for the palate but for the eyes as well. 

In the middle of it all, there was even a little show where the host was singing. After which, he actually had people from the audience come up to sing a short verse + chorus of the songs they wanted. Apparently, most of the people here were from different parts of Korea as they mentioned it when they were introducing themselves before they sang. 

음식뿐만 아니라 연주도 있었다. 너무 재밌었고 한국노래를 못 알아들어도 즐겨들었다.

The entire place was so lively that it was a sight to behold. We ended up queuing for one of the dishes that we really liked, the grilled prawns. They weren't exactly the best experience I've had with prawns but they were definitely tasty. The annoying thing about street food was that you had to stand and eat while people around you were bumping into you. But nonetheless, the food was good, minus the heat of summer, and the atmosphere was great.

줄이 얼마나 길어도 줄을 섰다 ㅎㅎㅎ 새우 먹고 싶어한 엄마랑 30분이나 줄을 서서 결국 사서 먹었다. 너무 이쁘지 새우는. 음식이 너무 맛있었는데 문제는 줄을 서는 시간이다. 사람이 많은 가게에 기다리면 막 30분~1시간까지 걸릴 수도 있으니 잘 생각해보고 줄서라.

Spent another 30 minutes queuing for the ice-cream which they used the metal scrapes to make using cream, fruits and the ice plate. It was quite an interesting process to watch and I can't help but feel sorry for the people working because it seemed like they had worked for a few hours straight and had to continue till the night market ended. 

It was an extremely fun experience, and one of the more fun markets I've been to in the whole of Korea. 10/10 points to this excellent place and it's definitely one of the hot spots that you need to visit should you be in Jeonju. It's not as fun to stick to the Hanok Village all the way but you really should check out the market as well. Till next time!

전주남부야시장은 완전 재밌었고 전주에 돌아온다면 꼬오오옦! 다시 걸건데. 전주한옥마을도 볼거리랑 먹을거리도 있고 밤에 돼서 볼 게 없으면 남부야시장 가보세요!


  1. Hi, is the night market only opened on Fri and Sat nights? How is it different from the market in the day time? We are considering if we should arrive Jeonju 1 night earlier in order not to miss the night market.

    1. I'm so sorry for the late reply.. blogger doesn't notify when I get comments here. I believe from what I heard from the people there, they open on select nights, but usually Friday and Saturday nights.. You'd have probably gone on your trip already.. Good luck!