Ja-galchi Fish Market
Ja-galchi Market is a lively seafood marketplace in Busan’s waterfront. Whether you’re window shopping or preparing for a feast, the market is an exciting cultural and social destination. Wandering the many levels of the market is a bit like visiting an aquarium, only the octopi are in buckets and escaped fish flip around on the footpath. All the creatures at Ja-galchi Market, however, are destined for someone’s plate. Put aside an afternoon to fully explore its enormous indoor market hall and outdoor section along the city port.
See fresh seafood arrive daily from Nampo Port, next door. Stand by the port and watch fishing boats bring in fresh hauls of octopus and cod. Wander along the stalls to see the diverse range of fish and sea creatures, the likes of which you might never have seen before.
A large number of stands will give out samples, so try some seafood before you buy. Be adventurous and try some new things that don’t look particularly tasty or familiar; some types of seafood are traditional Korean delicacies. If you like what you try, the storeowner can skillfully prepare your purchase.
The majority of the sellers are women, as the Korean War claimed the lives of many men who worked in these industries. The married women are known as Ja-galchi ajumas and are exceptionally skillful at slicing and preparing seafood. Beware of haggling with these storeowners; their sales skills are as sharp as their knives.
Ja-galchi Market is open every day from the early morning until late at night. The markets are closed on the last Tuesday of each month. Opening times can vary from stand to stand.
The market is situated on the south central Busan waterfront, close to Yeongdodaegyo Bridge. It can be reached by bus or subway and parking is available for a fee.