After waking up at some ungodly hour the first Saturday we were in Seoul, we managed to drag ourselves up on our second week (seriously, what are we doing not sleeping at night?) to visit the Hongdae Flea Market at Hongik University. It is also known as Hongdae, for short.
The place wasn’t too difficult to find – we got off at Hongik University Station (Line 2, Exit 9) walked a fair bit battling the cold wind once again while following the majority of the crowd, and eventually found ourselves in the midst of a modest number of booths and other makeshift stalls. But though the place is small, it was incredibly packed!
See the amount of people walking around? It was pretty troublesome trying to contain my eagerness to run around and shop and take pictures at the same time because I was sure I was going to bump into someone.
I’m habitually fond of flea markets because my parents have been taking part in them for as long as I can remember, so I was really intrigued by what Hongdae’s was like, and I pretty much love it! The flea markets and bazaars in Singapore have gotten rather similar lately, in the sense that the products are usually no longer handmade and instead are mass-produced to cater to the mainstream market. Things like blogshop clothing, cellphone accessories and bags are a dime a dozen, so it’s a refreshing change to see the abundance of self-created items here.
Most of the stall owners are art students or local designers, so you can expect a certain amount of creativity in their handmade goods.
I love how neat the displays are!
Porcelain egg-shaped pin cushions that the owners made themselves. Aren’t they adorable!! I wanted to buy one home but it would probably break by the time I got back.
Hand-sewn pouches, clutches and bags. Chong Aik bought one as a birthday present for his friend. Is she using it??
Was tempted to buy one of these to add to my growing collection of pouches (I didn’t).
Spot the graffiti all around? I love how Hongdae literally has it…everywhere! On cars, cafes, sidewalks, walls…but none of them are vulgar or graphic, they’re just all amazingly pretty.
The things at the flea market range from a variety of prices, but most of them are worth the money. I mean, how often can you buy one-of-a-kind unique products from Seoul, right? The picture above are the accessories made by a stylish Korean lady (you can see her patterned sleeve in the picture) we met, and they are so pretty! Mel and I both bought quite a number of things from here. Check out the iphone dock accessories she has – bet you haven’t seen anything like that in Singapore yet.
I thought that the flea market was really quite tiny but it’s most definitely a must-visit. It’s not difficult getting there, check out a comprehensive guide over here. It also tells you the other flea markets in Seoul to check out. Terribly miss Seoul, can’t wait to head back!