[Jeju Market] Seomun Market – reborn as a cultural and tourism market 60 years on

An important note on Jeju’s updated bus system and this blog post

From August 2017, Jeju Island implemented a new city and intercity bus system. It increased the number of buses in service, while simplifying the routes, fees and numbering system.

Consequently, the contents of this previously published blog post may have changed. We therefore would kindly request that you consult this page for new bus maps in English on VisitJeju.net,  and this page on our blog for a chart of the old and new bus route numbers.

If you read Korean, then the province’s official bus system website is a useful and up-to-date resource. We hope you’ll enjoy your travels on Jeju Island!

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September 26, 2013, saw Seomun Market reborn.

Reborn and designated a cultural tourism market.

Consturction has already begun on a canopy to keep the rain away, so things are a little untidy. This will completed in January 2014.

Visitors will be able to experience 60 years of Jeju market history in a more comfortable setting even if weather conditions are unfavorable.

Seomun Market can once again join with Dongmun Market and the Five Day Market in Sin Jeju to complete the city’s troupe of three leading markets.

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Established in 1954 Seomun Market was originally on the site of Yongdam Gas Station.

This was also a bustling area of the city with many people coming and going due to a bus terminal and red cross building.

Yet times changed and buildings like the bus terminal moved elsewhere. Adjoining government buildings and schools also moved elsewhere in the 1980s due to a modernization push.

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The underground shopping mall opened up. Nearby Tapdong saw a big supermarket move in.

Seomun Market decreased in size slipping into a long recession.

That recession may be over in 2013.

Merchants joined together, formed a business plan, and applied for development funding.

Their business plan was picked.

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Actually the seeds of Seomun Market’s rebirth also lie in a decision going back three years. People could buy meat at one of three butchers shops then take it to a nearby market restaurant. For 10,000 won (four people) the restaurant would provide side dishes. The customer did the cooking.

Now there are 15 restaurants, some pictured above, offering this service.

The black pork and beef is all Jeju sourced.

Four new directions will be perused after the successful selection of the merchant’s business development plan.

One direction will see cultural performances up on the market’s main building.

The so called Sky Garden will showcase performances to both merchants and customers.

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The performers sometimes come down to street level too.

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But to get up to the garden you’ll need to use the entrance pictured below and go up to the third floor meeting room. After this take the door to the roof.

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Every Sunday the roof is used for an art market.

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The third floor meeting room is also put to use as well. A movie is shown every Saturday with a discussion session afterwards for both merchants and customers.

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These culture, society, and recreation programs were implemented in hope of encouraging more merchants to join the business plan.

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Another direction will include the development of small snack tents on the market roads. However the traffic laws need to amended before this can go ahead.

So if you go to Seomun Market now construction is on going.

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Yet the hustle and bustle is returning.

Seomun Market will once again join Dongmun Market and the Five Day Market as one of Jeju City’s best markets.

* The Korean language version of this story appeared on Daum’s front page, which is a leading web portal and search engine in South Korea. Here we have a screen shot from our Facebook page showing this.

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