Bupyeong Kkangtong Night Market has been growing into a landmark tourism site four years after opening, captivating foreign tourists’ palates. Enjoying Busan does not end with the sunset — the fun continues in diverse settings when night falls.
Bupyeong Kkangtong Night Market opened at the end of October, 2013 and is the nation’s first permanent night market.
In the meantime, it has established itself as an iconic night tourism spot in Busan as well as a national landmark. The market is visited by 2,000-3,000 people on average during the week and 5,000-7,000 people on the weekend.
Well-known bloggers who visited the night market bombarded the Internet with pictures of scrumptious food and exotic scenery, resulting in it gaining a following among foreigners as well.
In short, Bupyeong Night Market has made it onto the bucket list of tourists visiting Busan.
Thirty or so mobile stalls line the night market’s alley, which stretches about 110 meters (360.9 feet).
Even during the week, a slew of people mill about on every corner of the night market, which opens at around 6:30 p.m. The most popular venue is, of course, the area that sells food native to Busan. Starting with stand No. 1, which sells Busan’s iconic seed hotteok (sweet pancake with nuts), a bevy of stalls supply Busan’s seafood bread, sweet red bean porridge and yubu jeongol (fried tofu stew).
In particular, seed hotteok is catching on among local and foreign tourists. Its sinfully sweet taste has people lining up in front of the stall for a bite.
Southeast Asian food is also much sought after.
Southeast Asian night markets are already well known, but Bupyeong Night Market offers particular delicacies such as crispy Philippines-style fried sweet potato and banana and Indonesian fried noodles, or mi goring. Both Busan citizens and tourists can’t get enough of them.
Among these ethnic foods, Vietnamese fried dumplings, or cha gio, are flying out of their stall. Fans of this food do not mind waiting more than 20 minutes for it.
In fact, the daily sales of some popular stalls exceed 900,000 won ($834). One Japanese tourist in her 40s said, “This is my third time in Busan. So far my tourism was limited to getting massages and visiting spas. But now that the night market has opened, I have more fun eating exotic food and sightseeing.”
During July, a group of around 900 Chinese tourists from a cruise liner visited the night market. It is no longer unusual to see packs of foreign tourists from Japan or Taiwan sightseeing in the venue. Busan City is planning to expand Bupyeong Night Market by adding more stalls.
Bupyeong Kkangtong Night Market showcases the ultimate charm of a Korean traditional market, hence being much loved as a global tourism hot spot. The night market is open 6 p.m. to midnight.
How to get there: Walk 10-15 minutes from Jagalchi Station or Nampo-dong Station (Metro Line 1)