Day 7, Sunday March 17

Jagalchi Fish Market

Again, given the weekend, instead of company visits, today we toured a bit of Busan, before heading to the airport to continue on to Jeju Island.  We started with a visit to the quaint Gamcheon Village, with the delightful view of the colorful homes in the area.  We then waked through the Jagalchi Fish Market and the Gukje Market. (And thanks for the excellent sashimi lunch with Sol!).  We ended the day with the brief flight and arrived in Jeju with all of our bags (including Waldo’s that arrived special delivery).  What most impressed you about the visits and sights from this day’s activities?


32 Responses to “Day 7, Sunday March 17”

  1. Nikki Says:

    Gamcheon Village reminded me of “Cinque Terre” in Italy with the water views and colorful houses on a hill, except that it also gave a vibe that i might have been a very well laid out tourist spot in Busan. It was very beautiful and artistic. I bought the tiniest canvas hand painted magnet from one of the souvenir stores in this village – by far the most exciting purchase. Given the fact that the weather was perfect on this day, this place was even more delightful to walk around.

  2. Leili Says:

    Walking through the fish market was enlightening — especially seeing how many varieties of fish exist, and are in fact consumed. In the States we are very particular about the type of fish that is served and is consumed, when it seemed as though Koreans don’t discriminate.

  3. Chase Says:

    What a fun day! I loved seeing the fish market – women shucking sea anemones, families picking out their fresh seafood, and a lively fish or two doing their best to escape their plastic carton. The fish market was so different from our typical food shopping in the U.S.

  4. Chandler Moody Says:

    This day was a great opportunity to experience the food of Korea and compare it to our food in the US. The street food in the markets was some of the best food we ate all trip. We loved the fried seed pancakes and the dumplings. One thing we noticed about Korean food is that soy sauce is not extremely common, however when the US markets Asian food it is almost always served with a ton of soy sauce.

  5. Nicholas Says:

    Our meal at the Jagalchi Fish Market was one of the best of the trip! I have never eaten such fresh sashimi and sea urchins before. Our hosts at the restaurant were very friendly and they prepared an unforgettable meal for us.

  6. Jackie Margol Lewis Says:

    I loved this day! The fish market was remarkable. I wondered how “regulars” decided from whom to purchase, because many vendors looked like they sold the same things. The international market was so cool. One thing that struck me was that there was almost anything you could imagine. I was less surprised by the food stalls, clothing, accessories, and touristy trinkets, but very surprised that there were entire sections that sold housewares, lighting fixtures, and other larger household items.

  7. Jackie Margol Lewis Says:

    Looks like my first post didn’t go through – apologies if this shows up later as a double entry.

    I loved this day! The fish market was remarkable. I wondered how “regulars” decided from whom to buy, because it looked like many vendors were selling the same things. The international market was so cool! I had bulgogi nigiri and dumplings for lunch – which were amazing. One thing that struck me about the market was the extensive inventory. I was less surprised by the food stalls, clothing, and touristy trinkets, but very surprised by the entire sections selling lighting fixtures, dishware, and other basic household items.

  8. Margaret Mauel Says:

    Gamcheon Village was absolutely fascinating to me. I am currently studying real estate finance and will work in real estate investment after graduation, so from a real estate perspective this visit was incredible. It was so interesting that the government granted the Saha District money to turn it into a “culture hub” and attract tourism in order to revitalize the area, and by merely painting all of the buildings bright colors, it became one of the biggest tourist attractions in Busan! It made me think of the power of social media in industries that you wouldn’t ordinarily think are impacted by things like instagram (like real estate!). I also started thinking about the efficiency of capital heavy revitalization initiatives- I wonder if creating these “instagrammable” experiences might be a more cost effective revitalization solution that could be implemented elsewhere.

  9. Rachel Compton Says:

    The scenes at the fish market were some of my favorite of the trip: the mystifying, unidentifiable sea creatures, tubs of water teeming with eels, the octopus escaping its cage. Yet, I am still a bit scarred by how aggressively the shop owners handled the fish, simply grabbing one straight out of the bin and then chopping off its head in one swift motion. Note to self: don’t wear suede boots to a fish market.

  10. Emma Blumstein Says:

    Kat and I explored Gukje Market and ate just about everything we could find. Almost all the food was extremely foreign to us but one dish in particular really stood out. It looked like some type of ground beef wrapped in bacon and we were told there was egg in it as well. I guess we figured it would be a meatloaf-type dish wrapped in bacon. We were very wrong. After ordering it, we watched in horror as the vendor covered our bacon-wrapped meat puck in sweetened condensed milk and topped it off with a strawberry. To make matters worse, we then found out that inside our bacon-wrapped meat puck was an entire hard-boiled egg.

    This was just one of many Korean food items where we discovered an odd combination of salty + sweet that you wouldn’t find in the states!

  11. Paula M Says:

    The Gamcheon Village use to be a shanty town that the government painted for revitalization. It seemed to be working? There were so many tourists there….and it was visually pleasing // perfect for photos.

    The fish market was a sight to see – with octopi trying to escape left and right. You are getting fresh, sustainable seafood — so they are definitely on to something! However, I kept wondering…how do you pick which stall to go to?

    The traditional market was fun to get lost in and try local foods. We had flame-charred wagyu beef on rice which was delicious and more dumpling of course!

  12. Anna Edelman Says:

    Touring the fish market was like nothing I have ever seen. While I love seafood, seeing all of those animals alive and trapped in tanks made me lose my appetite.

    I was shocked by how crowded the streets of the Gukje market was! It was crazy to see how many vendors sold counterfeits without any law enforcement cracking down on them.

  13. Laura Greissing Says:

    Touring the fish market was an experience to remember. Koreans have such a diverse diet in seafood! The sea cucumbers look like something you’d find in space. The market was incredible as well–so many things/types of foods for sale that you would never see here!

  14. Anika Urfi Says:

    Jagalchi Market was really exciting and I enjoyed seeing the fresh fish and crustaceans and other kinds of seafood. I really regret not trying some of the freshly prepared food with some of our classmates. But I ventured the Gukje Market with Sneha and had a an incredible time trying the different foods from the stalls and shopping. We wandered a little further away and down a few different streets and the stores we walked past just got so much more interesting and more unique! I wish we had spent more time here.

  15. Cecile Cosby Says:

    Walking through the streets in order to get a good snapshot of the Gamcheon Village was a lot of fun. It was interesting to get a coffee and shop in the little shops, I came away with a lot of socks. I also was fascinated by the fish market, especially when we saw that octopus escape from it’s water bowl! It was a great day to wrap up our lovely time in Busan.

  16. Amanda Wilson Says:

    I was most impressed by the volume of fish at the fish market! I wished we had the chance to talk to a fisherman or business owner because I had so many questions about the nature of the business.

  17. Bryant Buraruk Says:

    If I recall correctly, Helen mentioned that Gamcheon Village was comprised of mainly lower income families. I found it pretty spectacular how I would never consider that village lower income based on its appearance and the amount of tourism it receives.

  18. Molly Pfister Says:

    Smells, shopping, and Supreme is how I would summarize day 7. The fish market was unlike anything I’ve ever seen or smelled. Giant fish, exotic fish, fish I wasn’t even sure were fish, all laid out before my eyes and my nose. I still laugh when I think about how Rachel Compton turned to me at the end of the fish market and said “Next time I won’t wear my Stuart Weitzman boots.”

    After the fish market, we hit up the shopping market just down the street. I never knew a group of MBA students who embraced shopping so much and really grasped Korean street culture (aka buying excess amounts of knock-off Supreme apparel).

  19. Grace Ferguson Says:

    The food on this day was my favorite part. We had the opportunity to try so many different types of street food. My absolute favorite was the seed pancake, I have never tasted anything like it. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I also enjoyed trying out dumplings, chicken skewers, strawberries, sushi and giant soft serve. I didn’t have the stomach for fish this day after visiting the fish market but it was cool to see where all the fish come from and how many different types there are.

  20. Jeffrey Ochfeld Says:

    Gamcheon Village was a highlight of my Korea trip. The drive from our hotel to the village allowed us to take in some very pretty views from around Busan, including that cable car that traveled over the water with glass floors. The village itself was a spectacular sight, and it was fun seeing everyone’s excitement as we walked around, took pictures, tried some interesting foods and bought souvenirs for friends and family back home.

  21. Waldo Arreola Says:

    I was a massive fan of the Jagalchi Fish Market, especially considering that I opted to join a small group led by Sol that made its way to a restaurant offering the FRESHEST of fish. We had Koreans’ take on sashimi, which was really good and had a different texture than Japanese sashimi. The did not waste the fish bones, but used them to make an amazing spicy fish soup, which was a great way to end the meal.
    The colorful home in Gamcheon Village were super cool to experience in person. Nick and I were surprised how we were pulled aside by other Asian tourists to take pictures in the village.

  22. Blake Schwartz Says:

    The Jagalchi Fish Market was a reminder of how unique food culture is across the world. I’ve been to the fish market in San Fransisco, as well as the fish market in Santiago, Chile. Each market is extremely different, not only in the types of fish available, but also with how the vendors interact with visitors. A trip to any major food market in a foreign country is sure to be a unique experience.

  23. Kat Robinson Says:

    The fish market was a wild experience, and not one that I loved. I was fascinated by all the different sea creatures, but also generally wondering “why are there so many!” and curious about the supply vs. demand dynamics of this onslaught of fish, and rows upon rows of sellers (do they do this every day? who buys the sea squirts?) The rest of the day was great because I loved the time to just wander and explore. See above for Emma’s details of our culinary mishap. We ate a lot of good things that day (dumplings with these delicious glass noodles inside; matcha soft serve) and a lot of curious, not as good things. What an adventure!

  24. Ramon Cordova Says:

    I love the ocean and all its mysteries, and I was undoubtedly excited to visit a Korean seaside market to see what curious critters were on offer. From giant crabs jailbreaking out of plastic bins, to slimy eels, to gross-looking squid splayed out on carts, there were a lot of different sights and smells to take in all at once. Given the popularity of sharkfin soup in Japan, I was surprised that they didn’t have any larger sharks there. Sharks are my favorite in the animal kingdom, and I would rather have them alive than dead, but I was a little disappointed not to see any up close. On the other hand, the street food (mainly land-dwelling animals this time) was amazing. I had some fried chicken that was unbelievably tasty, as well as some chicken on a skewer. Gamcheon Village was a surprisingly bustling district, and was one of my favorite places to wander in Korea.

    Perhaps one of the greatest cultural disparities I experienced in Korea occurred in Jeju Island. After arriving the first night, a few of us wandered the streets looking for some dinner. We’d been warned by Kim that hardly anybody besides young people speaks English on Jeju, so it was a challenge to find a spot that seemed to have familiar(ish) food. We stumbled across a Korean barbecue place, but when we walked in we were surprised to find that not even the young waiters, who were probably in their late teens, did not understand a single word of English that we spoke slowly to them. We were greeted with blank stares and ushered to a table, then brought a variety of things that we didn’t order. It goes without saying that WE are the strangers, WE are the intruders on their quiet island, so it is our responsibility to be able to blend in and speak some Korean. Nonetheless, it was one of the only times in my life that I couldn’t get by at all with language. Luckily we ordered and the food was beyond delicious, but it reminded me that I’m just a tourist and should make a greater effort to try to understand other cultures and not assume that everyone knows about my own American culture.

  25. Clare Lanaux Says:

    I enjoyed seeing the fish market but I also did not have interest in staying inside of the market long. Seeing so may fish crammed into tiny tanks as well as octopus trying to escape their tanks made me want to give up fish. But it also made me think of American culture, where we consume so much meat, but would never display the way it’s prepared. It’s also interesting that “farm-to-table” has become so trendy in the Untied States, when in other countries, this is not a fad but a way of life.

  26. M. Ku Says:

    What a fun day! Having zero knowledge about Busan beforehand, I was surprised by just how much variety and activity the city offers, from historic local villages to crowded urban areas where they sell faux Supreme next to freshly caught fish. It was really a wonderful juxtaposition to witness.

  27. Jaey Li Says:

    Gamcheon Village was really an unique and interesting idea, and I had wished that we could spent more time exploring the area. It showed us that those who may have a less fortunate background could still make a beautiful life. I wish we could do that in our inner cities here in America.

    Jeju was a huge surprise. It was by far the most touristy location out of the three that we visited, and I found it easier to navigate using Chinese than English, due to the amount of Chinese tourists on the island. We joined Sol to this restaurant with an amazing (and extremely spicy) small octopus dish. It was definitely something that we would not find without having a real Korean on our team. The restaurant had a very relaxed atmosphere which made it easier for everyone to enjoy the already very spicy food. People were gulping down drinks and wiping off sweats as they consumed the food but still all really enjoyed this experience.

    • Jaey Li Says:

      Forgot to mention that the fish market was perhaps one of my favorite things on the trip. We circled back to the restaurant at the beginning where a huge variety of seafood were displayed and where many of us were too scared to go in. We had the seafood hotpot which was beyond amazing. Those in the market seems unfazed by the amount of foreign tourists walking through and many were actually quite friendly and let us try out their products (some soup/tea?).

  28. Garrett Arras Says:

    Gamcheon Village was my favorite stop on the trip! Even though it was a short stop, it was one that many of our group enjoyed. The small shops, the views over the city and water, and the street food made this visit an awesome one! I love how they supported their local artists by selling their art in one of their shops, and I purchased a small print which will be hanging up in my room soon!

  29. jolene wang Says:

    The fish market was great. For people who enjoy seafood like me, it would be a dream come true to be able to have access to such a market. After lunch, we found a nice little cafe just one block away from the very traditional market. It was a nice combination of traditional market scene and western influenced modern life.

  30. Blair Madole Says:

    The fish market was amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a huge variety of seafood, especially some of the live offerings. It was a little intimidating to be crowded onto that small street, but was also interesting to see the difference between the somewhat wild and outdoor version of a Korean fish market versus the more sterile and pre-filleted versions you get in America.

  31. Neomi S Says:

    The best weather we had in Busan! Great views of the harbor. Gamcheon village was a unique visit – loved walking through the tiny alleys between houses – very European. Finally tried some of the red bean fish pastries and another traditional Korean dessert. The visit to the fish market was cool too (and another reminder of why I am vegetarian)! It was cleaner and more well-lit than I expected and I liked seeing the variety of fish there.

    I value efficiency and so do the Koreans! At the airport later that day, I loved how the airline employee just collected all our passports together to check us in. I thought the whole trip was very well-organized and was impressed that we had a separate cargo for our bags at many instances.

    As Ramon mentioned above, we encountered our fist completely NO english speaking restaurant in Jeju that night. It was a humbling experience that made us feel helpless and silly. Despite the language barrier, they got our vegetarian order 100% correct – a clear indication of how far you can get with gestures and non-verbal communication 🙂

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