Tongbok Traditional Market (if you open it with Google Chrome, you can translate the page) is a famous market in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.
You can also just punch it in Naver or Kakao maps and be on your merry little way.
On one of my last days in South Korea, I had to give Tongbok a chance, I had only driven by it on the bus at least 50 times. Every single time I’d drive by it to go to AK Plaza I thought to myself “Ahhhh I have to go there before I leave!”
It’s kind of close to Camp Humphreys, which is the largest US military base outside of the country. and just one stop away from AK Plaza. So, if you are close by, or ever visit Pyeongtaek, I’d recommend going to it. I was in and out in less than fifteen minutes. I’m sure you can spend more time there but I just wanted to take a quick gander.
Tongbok Traditional Market has something for everyone. It has a little bit of everything you need. There are numerous street vendors. I went on a weekday so there weren’t too many people there. I did almost get hit by a motorbike though. Always fun almost getting hit by one of those things. I’m used to it because in Thailand it’s much worse LOL.
From what I saw, Tongbok Market had a few entrances and a few exits. You could walk all the way through.
Walking into the main entrance I saw some fresh fish being delivered in a pickup truck.
Walking deeper into the market, I was able to wrap back around and go out the same when I went in. I walked slowly around the market and came across the many things that are sold there- clothes, fresh produce, fish, meat, cleaning supplies, donuts. There were even some restaurants. I don’t have too many good pictures but I did make a few TikToks: Tongbok Market #1 & Tongbok Market #2
I ended up stopping at this donut vendor when I was looping back to the entrance. I tried ordering in my broken Korean. The lady was sweet and ended up speaking fluent English. Of course, she asked if I was in the military. I got asked that a lot since Camp Humphreys is in Pyeongtaek and a few stops away from the market. We had some small talk while she was preparing the donuts. She threw the donuts into a little sugar and tossed them in a bag. I paid and started my way towards the exit.
I ended up coming across these strawberries that looked delicious. They were only ₩3,000 for one quart. Fresh strawberries are always mouth-watering AND they were cheap- I had to. While I was rummaging through my purse trying to find my wallet, the lady asked if I was from the USA. I said yes and then she smiled. She asked me a few questions. We talked for a few minutes and then I had to hurry to the bus.
I waited a few minutes for the 80 bus to go back to Anjung and started sweating.
It was a hot day. I was told that the summers in Korea we rough. I also sweat a lot.
The smell of the freshly cooked donuts made my mouth water on the bus ride home. I was anxiously waiting to try my treats.
Once I got home, I tried the one that had sweet potato (left picture) on the inside…. Interesting.
The other ones (to the right) had red beans inside. Although they weren’t amazing, the sweet potato one was definitely better.
Tongbok Traditional Market is perfect for a pit stop. Check it out!