Hongdae Free Market

It’s easy to forget that Hongdae has more to offer than a crazy nightlife. I admittedly had several late nights in its bars and clubs when I moved to Korea. Since I have slowed down a bit, and so have the trips to Hongdae. But I’m a huge fan of college towns, and have been feeling the urge to return. And in addition to the party after dark, artistic fun and expression is easy to locate in the light of day.

A little park across the street from Hongik University transforms into a marketplace for arts and crafts on the weekends. My friend the internet reveals that it’s called the Free Market on Saturdays and the Hope Market on Sundays. The Free version is said to focus on artwork, accessories and clothing, and the Hope version on arts a crafts, however a little bit of everything can be found at both.

We had a great experience there on a Saturday. The street bordering the park on one side is lined with mapogu licensed vendor stalls, mostly selling jewelry and accessories. Once you enter the park you will find everything from hats and beads, paintings, hand dyed t-shirts, hand bags and purses, picture frames, notebooks, wallets, hand painted zippos… to name a few. There were artists doing portraits and caricatures. And on the back side there was a band pumping out acoustic and plugged in jams.

Enhancing my wonderful afternoon were 3 things. The pomegranate smoothie endorsed by Kim Yu-na at Smoothie King. Is it me, or is she catching LeBron James in endorsement contracts? The delicious meat pie at Bob’s Barbie. And seeing my girl so excited over the decision to buy a beautiful painting from an artists named U-noh Lee, website found here.

This market is a place I will return to for my gift purchases in the future. These items hand crafted in Korea, sold by the person that created them. beat the heck out of the same old repetitive things you’ll find in every shop around Itaewon and Insadong, that were probably made in China anyway.

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~ by ripcitytoseoul on June 1, 2010.

One Response to “Hongdae Free Market”

  1. […] for a quick snack before heading home after an afternoon at the Hongdae Saturday Market, I ran into Bob’s Barbie, a little street food stand located across from the imposing gate to […]

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