I love the smell of fake genuine goods.... And now moving from Gukje market to Gupo market, this is where you will find some true Korean uniqueness!
Gupo market is a traditional market that it a stones throw away from Katie’s apartment. Every day they have a variety of fresh fish and other foodstuffs for sale. This market is where you can get a real feel for what Korean life is like, since it is not a tourist spot and so makes a great visit! As you get further into the market you start to find kitchenware, woodwork and some clothing as well.
Anyone living in the nearby area should definitely visit because you can save yourself a pretty penny by buying some household items here, and things like cheap detergent and toiletries. You even have specialised stalls that may only sell one thing.
The old classic garlic stall. Korea eats more garlic per person than any other country in the world so I guess it’s not that shocking. After you emerge from the bustling and slightly mad Korean market stalls and exit via the back entrance, we get to the slightly more seedy side of Gupo Market. The side that has made it (in)famous.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS ARE EXTREMELY GRAPHIC AND ANIMAL LOVERS SHOULD VIEW THEM WITH CAUTION!
This seedy street is where they house the animal produce. You have your everyday chickens and pigs, with a few goats thrown in, but then you come across a strange sight. This photo is the best I could get (they don't let you take photos) of the different animals they have here for sale.
Starting at the back we have DOGS, then MORE DOGS on the middle left, and then RABBITS on middle right. On the bottom row, we have TURTLES in the yellow box with CATS next door to them and PUPPIES in the next cage. What a unique and bizarre sight!
You are soon overwhelmed by the rather distinctive and disturbing smell of wet dog and you come across dozens of cages with lots of hounds crammed in.
Anyone that read this blog will know that I have no qualms with eating dog or breeding dogs for food. In my opinion they are like any other animal that we eat and you have to remember that these dogs are not your pets. They have been specifically bred for the purpose of eating. I would also like to point out that the majority of Koreans DO NOT AGREE with eating dog. It is mainly the older generation who eat it and it is very traditional and embedded in their culture.
And as with a lot of traditions, it is morally ambiguous. For instance, who amongst you believes that Kosher / Halal meat should be sold? I imagine the majority, yet it has been banned for sale in New Zealand and Holland due to the fact that you kill the animal without first stunning it. This causes unnecessary pain to the animal and therefore this traditional method has been banned in a handful of countries. My point being is that traditions are difficult to outlaw and always a touchy subject.
What I feel uncomfortable about here are the conditions that the animals in Gupo Market are kept in - it's quite appalling. Especially when you see the pet stores on the opposite side of the street. How bizarre!
This final picture is really quite disturbing so I give you another warning before reading. As well as there being live dogs, there are equally as many dogs that have been butchered, ready to be cooked.
That is graphic so sorry to any dog lovers out there. Please also note that Koreans are trying to stop the eating of dog but as with stopping any tradition, it comes with great outrage from people who believe that dog is just a meat like any other, so why shouldn’t we eat it?