The Korea Herald


[Weekender] Spring in full bloom at open-air markets

By Lee Sun-young

Published : April 26, 2019 - 09:54

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It is the best season for outdoor markets right now -- whether they are flea markets, farmers’ markets or art markets.

On weekends, stalls sprout up on streets and in parks, beckoning visitors to come enjoy a pleasant spring day at a lively marketplace.

Some of them draw larger crowds, as they have made a name for themselves via word of mouth and social media. These markets have their home turf, but they also tour. They put up notices about upcoming dates and locations on social media, then shoppers -- who are also their followers -- just turn up. 

“Since it’s an outdoor event, there can be some unforeseen conditions that lead to abrupt cancellations. So please check out our official social media account before you head out,” advise organizers of Jeju Island’s well-known Bellong Market.

Here are three of the most popular pop-up markets to check out this spring.

Munhori River Market, Yangpyeong 

A highly sought-after market along a river in Yangpyeong, east of Seoul, Munhori River Market is a place for families and couples looking for a blend of shopping and picnicking.

It boasts a diverse selection of merchants from those that sell local farm produce to antiques and art. 

At the center of the market, there is an inviting green lawn with romantic canopies, tea tables, benches and a tree-top house for kids.

“It’s nice for visitors to come out here. It’s nice for vendors too,” said Lee Hyung-ho, who sells handmade puff dolls there, on Sunday.

The market started five years ago with a small number of stalls run by artists from the neighborhood. Now, it has grown into a major weekend market that opens in Gonjiam, Yang Yang in Gangwon Province, Munhori, Yangpyeong, and Jarasum, with new locations occasionally added.

“This coming weekend (April 27-28), we will be on Jarasum. Hopefully, the weather is as good as today,” Lee said.

For more information, visit 

Market OOOM, Busan 

In the southern city of Busan, marketgoers love everything about Market OOOM.

“It’s possible that you’ve never come to Market OOOM. But it’s impossible that you come only once,” says its organizer Son Ji-min.

Started in 2015 with about 20 stalls, it has become one of the biggest pop-up markets in Busan, with an eclectic selection of stalls, food trucks and a lively atmosphere.

Market OOOM has 26,600 followers on Instagram and, when it opens, draws tens of thousands of visitors.

This weekend, it will take place at the beach front yard of the Ananti Cove Resort, Busan.

“Bring a picnic mat and enjoy the season,” reads the Instagram notice for the upcoming event. For more information, visit 

Bellong Market, Jeju 

Word has it that only the luckiest travelers can experience Bellong Market of Jeju, an art-centric market that springs up on the beautiful shore of Sehwa on certain Saturdays and disappears like nothing happened in just two hours.

This market is famous among tourists and locals for its artsy ambience and unique items on sale, which derives from the fact that only those with their own creations are invited to join as sellers.

Bellong Market, which in Jeju dialect means a market that twinkles, also moves around. In late March, when canola flowers were in full bloom in Gasiri, Seogwipo, its sellers had gathered near the yellow field of early spring flowers. In peak summer, the market also changes its opening hours to early evening.

This coming Saturday, Bellong Market will be at its home turf of Sehwa. Organizers strongly advise visitors to check their official social media accounts for a last-minute change of location or even cancellation, depending on weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

For more information, visit

By Lee Sun-young (