For three days that I stayed in Busan there is one place that I visited everyday and that was the infamous Jagalchi Market (자갈치시장). I just love the atmosphere of this historic landmark of Busan. As soon as you step on the soaked pavement you can smell the sea and feel the story of every merchant.
There are two opinions about where the name of Korea’s biggest seafood market come from. Some say the name “Jagalchi” was originated from the word “jagal” (pebble) as the neighborhood is filled with plenty of pebbles. The others say that the name came from “galchi”, a popular edible fish in Korea.
We drove over Gwangandaegyo (광안대교: Gwangan Bridge) to get to Jagalchi Market from Haeundae.
Busan Galmaegi (부산갈매기: Busan Seagull) is a famous old K-pop song. I found the stars of the song flying over the dock behind the market.
Day & Night
Dried fish can be preserved longer. They will also develop unique flavor and texture while being dried under cool sea breeze.
The red lumps are fresh sea squirts. They are split in half and you eat the inside – normally dipped in chogochujang (Korean chili paste mixed with vinegar) sauce.
The new, modern structure purposely built to attract foreign visitors failed to grab my interest. I did not go inside.
Inside the older building where I had my amazing dinner. I was blown away to find a washroom stall dedicated to foreigners. Do they check our passport for this?
Another option for a great dinner could be on the street filled with grilled fish shops. I did not get a chance to try it this time but surely this is on my list. The smell of pan-fried daily catch was so irresistible!
Jagalchi Market’s catch phrase is Oiso, boiso, saiso! (오이소, 보이소, 사이소!). Sounds a bit like Japanese but this is actually Busan dialect meaning “come, see, and buy”. Jagalchi is definitely a fun-filled place and a must-visit tourist attraction for everyone traveling to Busan.