See & Do
Banghak Dokkaebi Market is famous for its “Dokkaebi sale” held three times a week. The market sells various agricultural and marine products, including fruits and vegetables at low prices, attracting many shoppers. In particular, the market offers great value bargains in sales leading up to New Year's Day and Chuseok (Korean harvest festival). The market has 87 stores and 13 street vendors equipped with modern facilities, making it a convenient place to browse.
The origin of the market dates back to 1982 when unlicensed street vendors began gathering here one by one, selling their goods in the evenings to avoid police patrols. Whenever officers came to the market to crack down, the vendors would disappear in an instant, earning the nickname “Dokkaebi”. Dokkaebi is a mythical being that appears in many old Korean folktales and is similar to a hobgoblin. During the early 2000s, the market faced crisis and risk of closure when a number of major discount supermarkets opened. In spite of this, since the market was renovated in 2004 it has grown to become one of the busiest traditional markets.
Many items in Banghak Dokkaebi Market are priced 30 to 40 percent cheaper than in the major supermarkets. In the middle of the market, displays of the most popular items can be found in every shop at 20 to 30 percent cheaper. The market also holds huge bargain sales before the festive seasons.
Traditional Korean “Banchan” (side dishes) can be purchased at very reasonable prices in Banchan stores. It is very common to see overseas visitors in the market buying different types of Banchan. These include Kimchi and Tteok, traditional Korean cakes.The market also has sections for fruit and vegetables, seafood and meat. Cosmetics and confectionery are also sold in the market at cheap prices. Seafood and meat are delivered directly from their place of origin, so customers can be sure they are buying fresh produce.