Seoul Mangwon Market [망원시장]

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Another hidden gem stowed away and lost to foreign eyes is Mangwon Market. Located just on the outskirts of Hongdae, this place is rumored to serve some the best Sweet Crispy Chicken or Dakkanjeong (닭간정) that you can find in Seoul. Mangwon Market is really special in a sense where you would hardly meet any foreigners nor youths, and the people all around are at least old enough to be my mother.

서울이 발달해질수록 이런 특별한 전통시장은 점점 사라진다. 한국의 소중한 문화와 시장 생화을 지키기 위해서 취재하러 갔었다. 홍대의 근처에 있는 망원시장에서는 제일 맛있는 닭간정이 있다는 소문을 들어서 찾아갔다. 시장 하나의 재미있는 점이 주변에 외국인이나 젊은이는 한명도 없는 것이다. 봤던 아줌마 아쩌시들이 내 엄마 아빠 될 수도.. ㅎㅎㅎ

Take a train to Mangwon Station over on line 6 and come out from Exit 2. Once you're out take a right, make a U-turn and head straight down the path till you see the entrance next to Nature Republic. (Picture below) You should see a lot of people selling things like fish, meat, clothing, kitchenware and you'll know you're at the right place.

지하철 타면 6호선 망원역에서 내리고 2번출구로 나가면 된다. 왼쪽으로 가고 쭈우우욱 가면 망원시장이라는 입구가 보인다. 

One of the first things you'll realize the moment you step inside is that the place smells wonderful. If you look around you'll see many different kinds of food being prepared and sitting outside on the countertop waiting for you to purchase them. If you're looking for some street food to satisfy your craving, go for the cup chicken. They come in small (3,000W), medium (4,000W) and also in boxes (10,000W and 15,000W). I just got a small cup so that I can continue walking around and taking photos.

시장에 들어가고 나서 제일 인상깊었던 건 바로 향기다. 맛있는 족발, 반찬, 닭간정, 그로케 등등 팔아 있고 먹고 싶어하면 사서 먹으면 된다. 길거리음식에 땡기면 컵닭간정도 있구 3천원은 제일 작은 컵이구 부족하면 4천원짜리도 있다. 

If you keep walking till the end you'll see the entrance of the World Cup Market. I did not venture further there but stayed in Mangwon and had croquettes! There were so many flavors and the lady selling them was so nice to let us try them first. The croquettes were crispy on the outside and really soft and warm on the inside. I got the japchae one but I kinda regretted because it tasted a little bland. The people who went with me got other flavors like vegetable and red bean and said they were good.

망원시장 끝까지 걸어가면 월드컵시장이 보인다. 저기에 안 갔고 그로케 사러 갔었다. 맛이 여러가지 있는데 결국 잡채맛 샀다. 그로케 껍질이 바삭바삭하고 안에 너무 구뜰하다. 그래도 내가 잘못골랐을 수고 있는데 잡채맛이 싱겁다. 친구들이 딴 맛으로 먹었다니 맛있다고 했다.

There were many things on sale and people were buying many different things. It looked like a very vibrant market and a very exuberant lifestyle. I would not be able to imagine how Korea would have become what it is today without the backbone of its people working hard and making a living. As Korea continues to develop and become a finer first world country, I would wonder what might happen in the future when the next generation prefers the indoor world to outdoor labor.

The crispy cup chicken was so good that I had to go back for a second round. Went back and got the special flavors "White cream" and "Cheese mustard". I felt the flavors were a little too strong and I got bored of it pretty quickly even though I ordered a small cup. Ended up sharing with some of my group mates.

닭간정이 너무 맛있더라 다시 먹으러 돌아갔었다. 근데 더 특별한 맛으로 먹어보고 싶어서 화이트크림이랑 치즈머스터드를 골랐다. 맛이 좀 강해 가지고 많이 못 먹어서 친구랑 나눠먹었다. 

This time round we went around the market as a group together with other reporters. It was an interesting experience but the tough part was setting a time and date where everyone could make it. As everyone was having their own holiday plans it was tough to be able to set a time where everyone could make it. We all met up fine in the end and went around the market eating different food and talking. 

이번에 조별로 취재하러 가니까 좀 귀찮았지만 재미있었다. 방학이라서 다들 다른 방학 계획이 있어 가지고 만나는 시간이랑 날짜를 짜는 게 좀 어려웠다. 그래도 결국 만났고 즐거운 시간이었다. 


All in all, Mangwon Market is definitely a place that you should visit when you're in Seoul for some chicken and croquettes. It's also a great place to see the lifestyles of people who work in the market and those who patronize the market as well. Especially for us Singaporeans, this is something that you would probably never ever see in Singapore.

망원시장은 괜찮은 곳이라서 서울에 온다면 꼭! 가보세요. 특히 싱가포르친구들이 싱가포르에서 못볼 수도 있으니 이런 좋은 기회를 놓치지 마시고 해보면 좋을 것 같다. 

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