Jalgalchi Fish Market is one of the most famous fresh fish markets in Korea. Early every morning, the fishermen bring in their catches of the day and supply the market with hundreds of thousands of creatures from the sea. It had an extremely pungent odor (of course) so we decided to go while the weather was still cool. Can't imagine what the smells would be like mid-summer...
Here is a panoramic view of the live fish market (click the play button to show this clip).
There are rows and rows of tanks filled with any and every type of sea creature you can imagine. Here are some muscles....not sure what the ones on the far left are, but Koreans say they are "very healthy" for you.
Here is an example of how most of the market transactions went down. Notice at the bottom of the screen, a fish escapes, falls on the floor and the man casually picks him up and throws him back into his tank.
A tank full of zebra fish!
Some really beautiful striped shrimp.
Of course they were many octopus (pi) for sale.
An octopus was trying to be friendly...but I think we scared him. It was a really funny feeling when he grabbed on to your finger.
Some Adjumas (older, married women) hacking away at the fresh catches. It seemed like the majority of workers here in the market were older women...where were all the men? Maybe out catching fish...?
This video pans from a cute little girl, to an Adjuma stripping the skin from sea worms (like eels). Notice how they are still alive and squirming when she throws their naked bodies into the bucket. Warning!! If you have a weak stomach, you may not want to watch this. It is quite disgusting.
Here is a huge hunk of shark meat! It took the woman a while to identify what type of fish this was in English ("chalk"). While we visited Jalgalchi for the purpose of experiencing the hectic and smelly sea creatures, most people actually purchase dinner here. It was interesting to see the bartering and buying that happened in this fish market.
Outside of Jalgalchi, in the streets, they also sell fish and other sea creatures. You can chose your meat of choice and they will fillet it and cook it (or make sushi) for you right there!
This is the port right outside of the market, where the fishermen bring in their success (or failure).
Drying fish on the railing for "fish jerkey". We sampled this at the market...it tasted about like you would expect.
Above the ground-level, live fish market was a dried fish market. They sold all different types of dehydrated sea creatures, as well as fruit and other, unidentifiable items. Yes, those are dried octopus (pi) hanging above the products.
These are bins full of dried anchovies (bottom left). Whitney, Lauren and Loren....excited and ready to tried the fish samples!
On the second floor of the market, there are also many small restaurants. They overlook the port (awesome view) and they will also cook the meal of your choice, or the meat you bring to them from the market downstairs. The man standing on the left is a Buddhist monk; he went from table to table beating a wooden box with a stick. The people at the table didn't seem to mind, or even acknowledge him.
Loren holds a Sting Ray!!