When it comes to Asia, despite the fact that their primary purpose is not ever related to tourism, markets are always one of the main tourist attractions in every city, you’d ever go to. Chuncheon is not an exception and has to offer even more than a regular person would ever expect. In addition to its normal markets scattered all around the city, there is also a Chuncheon Folk Flea Market (kor. 춘천 풍물시장 ), which was created by over 80 street sellers from Chuncheon’s main commercial district and has become one of the most interesting, liveliest markets within the city
As for this day, about 140 merchants run their temporarily constructed stores there. The market is usually held in a regular market day; 2nd, 7th, 12th, 17th, 22th and 27th days of every month as well as on the weekends. Items that can be found in the market include clothes, fishery, daily goods, kitchen tools, shoes, agricultural products, fruits, etc.
It is important to mention that, full, but unofficial name of this market is 흥겨운 춘천풍물시장, which can be literally translated as “a flea market which is going to make your mood better”. I think one of the main reasons for it is that this market also serves home to a great number of beautiful murals, brightening up visitors’ day and telling them numerous stories of the rural life in Korea.
Aren’t they just gorgeous? My favorite would definitely be either the girl with flowers or a couple during the harvest. They just unintentionally remind you, that people in the past were just the same as us – young, wanting romance and enjoying little things. We might not notice that looking at the elderly right now, but those murals actually do tell their life stories and this is definitely a priceless thing, which people often tend to forget very easily.
Mural paintings were actually my actual purpose of the visit to this market. Even though most locals don’t seem to even notice them and come to the market for regular reasons – buying food and household items, I intended looking into its deeper layers and try to breathe in the vibe it radiates.
One more thing which excludes Chuncheon folk flea market from its counterparts is that in addition to it being a market place, it is also an area for locals to gather and sometimes – even have performances. In the beginning area of the market, right under the Namchuncheon station, there is a performance space, where many uprising artists can come up for their busking performances and enjoy the encouragement of the merchants and markets visitors.
In conclusion, I would recommend Chuncheon Folk Flea Market not only to those who enjoy visiting different market places all around Korea but also to those who enjoy art and are able to see the beauty of the little things.
Place: Chuncheon Folk Flea Market
Address: Onui-dong Chuncheon-si Gangwon-do / Get off at Namchuncheon Station
Entrance fee: Free
Admission: Everyday (Merchants working hours might vary)