Jagalchi Fish Market, Busan

Oh Busan, how much did I enjoy you? Thisssssssssssss much. And that’s a lot. Located at the Southern tip of South Korea, Busan is the second largest city in South Korea and one of the largest ports in the world. It’s modern, bustling, shiny, coastal, impressive, and home to the largest single department store in the world known as Shinsegae.  As a retail veteran I find this very important, ya know. And if you’re a shopper you’ll feel as if you’ve died and gone to heaven. But you’ll certainly want to visit Shinsegae’s food court which apparently is so beautiful and grand that I was mesmerized and forgot to grab my camera for photos. BAD PHOTOGRAPHER, BAD! But hey, I had my iphone! But it’s right on par with Harrod’s in London and Le Bon Marche in Paris, if not a bit more orderly and pristine.

If you want it you’ll find it here. There were beautiful wood-fired pizzas, hamburgers, gorgeous pastries, wines, coffee, dumplings, cakes and just about everything else. We sat at a juice bar and had fresh-squeezed juices while doing some amazing people watching. It was faaaannnncyyyy!!!!

All that shopping really took it out of me so we headed back to the Paradise hotel for an evening of rest. The next day I went on an early morning walk once I realized we were right next to the beach. The buildings are so tall, so sparkly, so modern that it’s easy to forget what’s immediately behind them.

I felt like the luckiest man alive as I strolled along the empty beach snapping photos. Blessed with warm soft light and cool temperatures, I shared the path with early morning joggers and bike riders.  I knew I needed my exercise and strength to get me through an afternoon stroll of Jagalchi Fish Market. This is Korea’s largest fish market and I’m not exaggerating when I say it goes on forever. I don’t think we even saw every single stall. It was next to impossible. Located right on the water, Jagalchi is stall after stall of fresh and dried fish with small food stands tucked away between them every few yards. Manned mostly by women, the stalls sold fish I have never seen before, piles of creatures whose names will forever escape me. I tasted things exotic and fishy, sweet and spicy, with a few pieces of shark cartilage through in for good measure. And rather than even try to name all the other things at the market I think it’s best to let the photos speak for themselves.

Next up: Matt makes kimchi! And gets in trouble.


  1. Matt says

    Allison, HAHAHA! you just made me laugh! They are Sea Cucumbers and well, if you saw them in action….I’ll shut up now.

  2. says

    Ok, I’m glad Allison asked, because I was hemming and hawwing over how appropriate it was to ask about dicks in a comment. And I’ll echo everyone else… the photos are amazing, Matt. Also, that’s a proper food court if I’ve ever seen one.

  3. Audrey says

    Matt, I am loving your posts on S. Korea! Definitely going to check out the fish market in Busan when I visit next.

  4. says

    beautiful pic’s! I’m Korean-American and have often visited family living there and I feel like i’ve seeing it in a whole new light.
    thanks, Matt!

    btw- huge fan!
    keep up the beautiful work

  5. Renee says

    The beach looks amazing and the seafood market- wow! So many creatures I have never seen before! The red prickly things look really cool, as do the bat like lobsters/crabs (?) I was wondering what those other things were- so glad you cleared it up. I never would have asked! haha!

    What an awesome trip!

  6. says

    wow, that outdoor fish market looks insane :) Must put it on my list of places to visit… which is getting progressively longer… sigh.. will I ever be able to see all these places in this lifetime! I hope so! On another note.. have you ever tasted sea cucumbers? I was just in SF and in Chinatown they had dried ones. Not the most pleasant and appetizing looking, haha ew

  7. DannyC says

    Great photos in the fish market. They really are amazing places. I feel like markets like that one offer so much inspiration, it’s sad that many smaller ones are dying out.

    Kitchenbeard, Renee – the red/orange prickly things are sea squirts – or mongae in Korean. They are simply chopped up and served raw along with the sea cucumbers. They taste really sea watery, in a pleasant way :)


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