SEOUL, South Korea /Travel Market/ –The Gyeonggi Tourism Corporation, which serves as a tourist information center for Gyeonggi Province, announced on November 28 the recommended travel spots for December with the theme of ‘Alley’. The alleyway is a narrow lane that is connected with other places including main roads and markets.The five ‘hot’ spots announced by the Gyeonggi Tourism Corporation are places visitors should visit in December.
King Sejong’s Hangul Alley ‘Yeoju Hangul Market Mural Alley’
There is a special principle in the Hangul market in Yeoju, Gyeonggi Province. Along with name of the ‘Hangul Market’, every single sign of all shops are in Hangul. Unlike other places, the franchise ice cream shop and cosmetic shops that people are familiar with also have signs in Hangul, which is invented by King Sejong.
The Hangul market is constantly open, and on the 5th and 10th day of every month, visitors can have more active experiences. King Sejong’s tomb is located in Yeoju. He invented Hangul because of his love for the people. Therefore, the market is based on ‘Hangul’ and it is impressive that such a small market is operated so actively.
‘Suwon Haenglidangil’, the Cultural Street Next to the Castle
Haenglidangil is the hottest spot in Suwon. It is located in Haeng-gungdong, nearby Hwaseong Haenggung, Hwaseomun (West Gate) and Janganmun (North Gate) of Suwon Hwaseong Fortress. As there are many unique new cafes in this area, people started calling this place Haenglidangil or Haeng-gungdong Cafe Street.
From the beginning of 2018, as some cafes were featured on SNS, young people started to come to this alley that used to be quiet. This is how the area began to attract attention. Since then, plenty of cafes opened and now about 90 cafes are operating. Some people are worried about gentrification due to the opening of too many cafes.
However, new restaurants with brilliant ideas also opened in Haenglidangi, where there were mainly cafes. Now, this area has emerged as a lively cultural street in Suwon.
One thing to note about Haenglidangil is that it is not a gorgeous mall but an alley leading to Suwon Hwaseong Fortress. The alley is a place where memories of many people have been dissolved, but traditional aspects and modernity coexist. Visitors can see old walls and houses built with red bricks. While watching Hwaseong — the world cultural heritage in the alleyway — with a coffee aroma, visitors can listen to the story of Haenggung-dong.
Feel the Kindness of Neighbors at ‘Yangpyeong Market Road’
The most interesting alley of all is the market alley. There are so many things to see, buy and eat. A place full of people’s kindness and joy even during noisy bargaining. The market alley, where visitors can hear a great deal of stories from everyone they meet, is splendidly beautiful in the winter.
The Yangpyeong Market Alley in Yangpyeong is also an alleyway full of people. Especially, on the 3rd and 8th of every month, when the Yangpyeong Oil Market is held, it is a festival where all villagers and the merchants come together. To get to the Yangpyeong market, after exiting Yangpyeong Station and walking over, the Market is on the left side.
The first scenery that stands out is the people preparing for the winter. Wearing thick coats, they are busy choosing warm gloves and hats. Passing by the markets of radishes and cabbages, visitors can smell the fragrant of deodeok and bellflower for kimchi and the spicy fragrance of buckwheat pancakes.
A piece of buckwheat pancake with cabbage is only KRW 1,000, which visitors cannot miss. The Yangpyeong Market, which has a long history and large scale, is the place where environment-friendly agricultural products are actively traded. Yangpyeong City announced it has become an ‘eco-friendly agricultural area’ for the first time in the nation. Now, the metropolitan subway is available and the city has emerged as a travel spot.
Enjoy Gourmet Food at the ‘Ansan Multicultural Food Street’
Won-gong-dong, on the other side of Ansan Station, is called a ‘village without borders’. It is a unique village where foreigners and naturalized Koreans from all over the world live together. About 60% of people walking on the streets and alleys are foreigners.
Foreign workers working in the industrial complex around here are extremely busy on weekdays. Therefore, banks and hospitals are open on weekends, which only happens in this area.
70% of the 400 foreign businesses in the area are restaurants. Along the street, visitors can see delicious food from all over the world including China, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, etc. Ansan City has referred to this area as a ‘special place for multicultural food’. It is a food street that appeals to foreigners who came to Ansan in search of a dream and who will enjoy the feeling of a nostalgia. Also, this place is developing into a global food town where local Koreans taste foreign food.
Recently, the Indonesian restaurant located in the inner alley has been attracting attention due to the travel program on TV. Especially mi goreng (stir-fried rice noodles) and nasi-goreng (fried rice noodles) are popular. At the shops in the alley, visitors can easily buy food ingredients from China and Southeast Asian countries.
‘Pyeongtaek International Central Market Shopping Street’ – the Itaewon of Gyeonggi Province
The Pyeongtaek International Central Market has developed into a unique shape due to the influence of US troops stationed nearby. Foreigners are enjoying holidays on the streets where the flags of Korea and the US are raised. It looks just like a shopping complex in a foreign resort.
In recent years, restaurants that sell food from various countries such as Turkey, Thailand and Vietnam have opened on alleys connected to ‘Shopping Street’, the main street market. It is also called the Itaewon of Gyeonggi Province, because many foreign tourists and Koreans visit this place. If visitors take a look at the alley slowly during a walk, visitors may discover unexpected treasures such as unusual patterns of clothing or military accessories.
Songtan, where the International Central Market in located, is famous for its special food culture. It is a combination of Western and Korean food under the influence of the US military.
Typical examples are the Songtan sausage stew and the Songtan hamburger. The sausage stew is very rich and spicy, and the ‘Songtan hamburger,’ a Korean-style hamburger, is Songtan’s special food that has been loved for many years. Between the thick pieces of bread, the Songtan hamburger is made with a meat patty, ham, fried egg, and plenty of fresh vegetables to create a rich taste, also comes with common sauces such as ketchup and mayonnaise. It tastes familiar but with a strong taste that’s distinctly different from other franchise hamburgers.
SOURCE Gyeonggi Tourism Organization