Alien creatures? Or Seoul fish market?

Last month when I was in Seoul, I made sure to visit the city’s Noryangjin Fish Market. I wasn’t quite sure where it was when I exited the Noryangjin subway station, but a quick sniff of the air told me exactly the direction I should go.

This massive warehouse is a completely surreal experience. Hundreds of water-filled bins contain some of the most bizarre aquatic creatures I’ve ever seen. And every single one is there to be eaten.

I spent more than an hour watching the fish mongers hawking their trade, slicing up their catch, and even wrestling with octopi. I never quite got used to the smell and, in fact, it lingered in my nasal passages for pretty much the rest of the day, long enough to completely eliminate the possibility of eating fish for dinner.

Nonetheless, the fish market remained one of my personal favorite highlights in Seoul. Sure, there are plenty of cultural sights and fascinating museums throughout the South Korean capital, but nothing, in my opinion, was quite as mesmerizing as an afternoon spent with the oddball denizens of the deep.