Sangnam Market is a mainstay of Changwon life. Days ending in 4 and 9, the market comes to life with vendors selling fresh produce, fish and other meats, as well as household goods. Highlights include cheaper nuts, exotic looking sea creatures, and an occasional escaped octupus trying to make his/her getaway.
What many people don’t realize is that within this market’s walls are some real treasures, open almost everyday. The first of which is the “secret store.” Most likely this is a restaurant supply store, but it is open to the public, if you can find it. Numerous twists and turns, stalls and restaurants make up the innards of Sangnam market. The simplest way to to get to it is to use the door between the Mandu Takeout place and the Car Key store.
Once inside, one can find large packages of frozen tortillas (large and small), frozen fruits, chicken breasts, and salmon. The also have produce, which is competitive or cheaper than the larger chains. Because it is for restaurants, things like spices (oregano is called Gregano) can be found but in large containers.
Another hidden gem is the yarn store located on the opposite corner of the internal. The place is full of yarns in every weight and color, with samples overflowing from the shops open doors. The woman inside speaks no English, but is enthusiastic and warm. Her grandaughter is sometimes around and can help with simple questions, but feel free to walk around and check out all the different options. The woman helped me find some wonderful heavy yarn and threw in knitting needles as a service.
Second hand clothing stores are probably the easiest shops to find in the Sangnam Market’s innards. These shops are really cheap. It can take a lot of careful searching but many great gems exist here and when the total for 5 shirts equals 5,000 won, how can you really complain?
In the basement of Sangnam market are many grocery stores with your basic supermarket fare. There is also a few butchers and a lot of fish. The smell takes a lot of bravery to get over, but its worth it for the adventure.
The upper levels have a few restaurants which are not much to look at but serve amazing foods. Included are a Dak Galbi Place and a restaurant called SangNam ShikDong which serves delicious Jukgetang (Spicy Beef Soup).