[This article is written by a JDC Junior Journalist. The JDC Junior Journalist program is an educational project sponsored by Jeju Free International City Development Corporation (JDC). JDC Junior Journalist articles are only briefly edited by mentors before publishing.]
Jeju City’s Traditional 5 Days Market has been being in existence since December 1968 . It is one of the largest markets in Korea with the size of over 67,000 square meters. It is not like other daily markets, as it's name indicates, the market opens only 5 days a month, and only on days of the 2nd, 7th, 12th, 17th, 22nd, 27th of the month.
On a typical autumn day in Jeju, the weather is cool, clear and sunny and good for outdoor activities and a great time to visit the market. It is usually busy and noisy and the crowd can make it difficult to move around easily. Sign board are clearly visible introducing people to what is for sale. There are many products sold at the market like fish, fruit, vegetable, fast food, toys and pets. The place is conveniently divided into several sections so the customers can easily find what they are looking for. Fresh fish and local, seasonal fruits and vegetables are easily found at low prices. Jeju is famous for its tangerines, hairtail fish, mackerels, and cabbage. Since the flow of the currency stays within Jeju, it helps the local economy as well, while most of major brands supermarkets take profits to the mainland. The market gives visitors and locals these benefit but there is also some improvement.
Park Sungbum, a local merchant, sells natural clothes and started his business in June 2013. He wants to see the market promoted and supported by Jeju provincial assemblies.
Another long time merchant who sells dishes and bowls express his gratitude for long return customers. He said "It is good that most of main customers here have been continuously buying from us for a long time."
The market has both the feel of the past and present. Products are displayed in an old fashion manner appealing to at least 3 generations. Such old fashion display can make one feel more comfortable while browsing. Walking along the aisles listening to some lively 70's folks songs on high quality earphones, can create the feeling of journeying back to the past when our great grand parents probably enjoyed the days of shopping spree time.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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