Busan, Nampo-dong, PIFF Square & Gukje Sijang | 부산 남포동 PIFF광장 + 국제시장

Winter in Busan - Day 2
From Jagalchi Fish Market main entrance, we walk across the main road to opposite where the PIFF Square is. Both Jagalchi Sijang & PIFF Square has an arch with names on it marked as their main entrance, and they are facing each other across the road. 

PIFF stands for "Pusan International Film Festival". It was built in 1996 to held the First "International Film Festival" in Korea, that's how the square got the name. Up to date, a total 15th of International Film Festival has been held at here every year.

PIFF also known as "Movie Theater Street" in Busan - because there are many famous cinema chains such as CGV, Megabox and etc are gather around in PIFF square. Local busan especially youngsters love to came here for latest movies. And because of that, street foods, cafes, restaurant chains, fashion streets etc are blooming and make PIFF Square become one of the famous tourist spots in Busan.

As soon as we step into the PIFF Square, we can see food carts selling street food lining up along the street! We weren't hungry but we just don't want to miss out those delicious street food. So we had Odeng (fish cakes in skewers) and Odeng-guk (free flow fish cake broth) to warm up our body a bit in this chilly winter. We also stuffed our stomach with Hotteok - a Korean brown sugar pancake with seeds filling inside! Hotteok immediately became one of my favourite street food in Korea after I try it for the first time! 

Don't forget to look down while you walking on the street in PIFF Square. You can find not only local Korean but also overseas film-makers's hand-prints along street - just like the Hollywood Walk of Frame. The 428 meter-long "Walk of Fame" are line up from Star Street (Buyeong Theater @ Nampo-dong) to Festival Street (the overpass @ Chungmu-dong). And I found Zhang Yi-Mou's Hand-print. 

Besides food stalls, Pojangmacha are line up along middle of the road in PIFF Square as well. Pojangmacha (포장마차) is a food stall with a tent operates from late evening onwards till late night - a popular place for drinking and supper among Koreans. 

We continue walk straight to Gukje-sijang, and pass by this Bupyeong-dong Jokbal Golmok (부평동족발골목) which is on our left hand side (located in Gwangbok-ro). A street famous with many restaurant selling Jokbal - Braised Pig's Trotters with soy sauce and spices. 

Gukje Sijang 국제시장
Gukje Market or Nampodong International Market is one of the largest market in Korea located in Sinchang-dong. Gukje Sijang is connected with Bupyeong Market, Kkangtong Market and some other smaller scale markets, each alley is crowded with shops and stalls, therefore it become one of the Korea's largest market in Busan. The markets offer a wide variety of goods, visitor can find almost everything their need right here : households, stationary, clothing, cosmetics, foods, local agricultural products, electronics items also specialty shops such as eye-glass shop. Just like Namdaemun in Seoul. I bought Korean culinary set (stainless steel chopsticks and spoons) for my parents here. 

We stop by and had tteokbokki and odeng at this Matjib that running for business more than 30 years. A gimbap specialty shop but famous with fish cake skewer & tteokbokki at affordable price. Odeng (fish cake skewers) at different variety different price starts from 500won to 1000won each. Tteokbokki (spicy rice cake) @ 1000won with generous portion! The fish cake broth is free-flow and here we drink it using the orange color spoon that looks like a cup. (Update in 2012: This Matjib became even more famous after Lee Seung Gi visited the shop and had their fish cake skewer in "2 days 1 night" programme). 

Chungmu Myeongmyul Gimbap Sesang (충무명물김밥세상) 
Address: 24-1 Jung gu-ro, Sinchang-dong 1-ga, 13-1, Jung-gu, Busan 
                부산시 중구 신창동1가 13-1 중구로 30 번길 24-1
Phone: 051-243-7521

From Gukje Sijang we return to Jagalchi subway Station to go home. On the way we stop by the Gwangbok-ro Cultural & Fashion Street and did a quick browse. Filled with shops selling fashions, cosmetics from local to oversea brand, Gwangbok-ro Cultural & Fashion street decorated with splendid lighting, flowers and exquisite sculptures. More like a mini Myeong-dong for me. Another good place for shopping besides department stores & university area.  

What to see in Nampo-dong Map:
So far we cover Jagalchi Fish Market, PIFF Square, Bupyeong-dong Jokbal Golmok, Gukje Market, Gwangbok-ro Cultural & Fashion Street in 2 hours. Look forward to visit Nampo-dong again in future for Yongdusan Park (Busan Tower) and Ggangtong Market (where you able to find some rare imported goods from overseas). 

How to get here (PIFF Square):
[Subway] Jagalchi Station (Busan Metro Line 1) - Exit 7
- Walk straight and turn left at the junction (between PIFF Zone high rise building & Loterria)