Chilseong Market and Furniture Shopping
If you haven’t spent any time in a traditional market in Korea, you probably don’t know what you’re missing. The (usually) open air markets are crowded with vendors, oftentimes more are set up on the streets, clogging pedestrian traffic and creating a ceiling of umbrellas.
★Find more information about traditional markets in Daegu
-Introducing Daegu’s Traditional Markets (1): http://globaldaegu.blogspot.kr/2012/04/lifeshopping-introducing-daegus.html
-Introducing Daegu’s Traditional Markets (2): http://globaldaegu.blogspot.kr/2012/05/lifeshopping-introducing-daegus.html
-Introducing Daegu’s Traditional Markets (3): http://globaldaegu.blogspot.kr/2012/05/lifeshopping-introducing-daegus_13.html
-Introducing Daegu’s Traditional Markets (4): http://globaldaegu.blogspot.kr/2012/05/lifeshopping-introducing-daegus_20.html
-Daegu Siji Thursday Market: http://globaldaegu.blogspot.kr/2014/10/livingpress-article-korean-local.html
Men and women will be there all day, sorting produce, butchering meat, washing vegetables, and meticulously preparing weighted bowls of fruit. It is a place to spend the afternoon wandering, slowly examining each booths selection and pondering which unknown produce was in your last meal. It is a place to run through on the way home from work, buying just enough to make a fresh, healthy meal. I’ve been lucky to live near three different markets in Daegu, but my favorite by far is Chilseong.
As markets go, this one is fairly large. There is a flower market that is part of Chilseong behind Daegu Station and it runs all the way past Chilseong Station, so the area puts most markets to shame. In addition to the rows of produce, meat, seafood (live, frozen, and dried); there are shops selling tools, household goods, farming equipment, flowers, and most importantly to me, furniture!
To find the furniture, I suggest taking the subway to Chilseong Market Station on the red line. You will see a sign instructing you to take exit three (see the picture).
When you come out you will see this (see the picture). You can cross the street and walk down that main street. There are rows of vendors though. Make sure to look through the smaller streets and alleyways, as the stores on the main road are generally more expensive.
Most of the stores will negotiate or haggle with you over prices. Be sure to ask about delivery, since it is often included in the price. If you live fairly close to the market, they may give you a better deal. And the delivery is well worth it – they even carried the furniture up the steps and into the house, making sure it was set up where we wanted it. I can tell you from experience; it’s much easier than bringing furniture onto the bus or in a taxi!
As far as prices go, Chilseong is significantly cheaper than most places. I realized my shelving unit from a major supermarket cost me 45,000 won, and then watched my friend buy a much bigger and nicer one for 25,000. I got a suspension rod hanging closet for 20,000, as opposed to the supermarket price of 50,000. Even the drying racks to hang up wet laundry are significantly cheaper at Chilseong. Whatever furniture needs your apartment has, I suggest looking at a market first.
There is also an array of shops selling dishes, pots, pans, silverware, and so on. You can get some traditional Korean place settings or even a set of western butter knives and forks. Not only are these things in better variety at Chilseong Market, they are also much cheaper. The shops often give discounts if you ask nicely and buy more than a couple things. You may be surprised how far a smile and a few words in Korean get you!
I suggest bringing cash to the markets as opposed to using a card. One reason is that smaller vendors may not have a machine to accept debit or credit cards. Another reason is the miscommunication or language barrier. I have a friend who didn’t realize that when a woman selling seafood said, “five” she meant “fifty thousand won.” It’s much easier to just hand over the money in cash than get a surprising receipt!
Be aware that many vendors will have set amounts of produce for sale, and they may not be interested in selling you a smaller portion. You can always ask, because some will do so gladly, but don’t be surprised if they refuse.
* How to get there?
Since the market is large, there are many ways to get there. Take the red line to Chilseong Station; come out exit two for the general market, three for the furniture market. Or, walk behind Daegu Station for the flower market.