When you start getting comfortable in Seoul, you find that the amount of coffee shops you visit goes up, and the amount of cultural attractions you visit goes wayyyy down. But thankfully, it's never too late to start it up again.
Now, Seoul is getting hot. And uncomfortably hot... the humidity just kind of screams at you most of the day. So after some friends and I caught a movie in a nicely-air conditioned theater, and were getting hungry... and we thought - why not go for some seafood? But though summer and seafood go so well together, the problem is that so much of the seafood you see at restaurants... you don't really know where they come from or how fresh it is.
The solution: go to the source. We decided to hit up Noryangjin Wholesale Fisheries Market - a market that gets in tons of fresh seafood every day. I'd been here before years ago at 3 in the morning (the prime time for the wholesale auctions to start!) but had never been there during "regular people hours." See the difference! Below is the market at 3 in the morning.
And here is it at around 8 in the evening:
But the seafood was still fresh and plentiful. Oysters, mussels, flounder, crabs, bass... you name it, they had it.
The difference this time around was that we picked and paid for our food and they took us down a dark and sketchy alley... to a full-on, packed restaurant! They cut up your fish that you bought and cook it however you like.
We got our shrimp grilled, and our fish cut up into sashimi - delicious!
Overall, it was really a refreshing experience - and bonus, you knew exactly where your seafood was from and knew that you were helping out the local fishermen. Highly recommended - it's definitely a bit overwhelming on a sensory level if you go early in the morning, but to go around 8-9pm, it was fairly quiet and really an enjoyable time.
To go to Noryangjin Market, head to Noryangjin Station (line 1 or 9), Exit 1. Walk about 100 yards over the bridge and the market is there!