“You have GOT to go to Osan” is what I have heard since I arrived in Korea. I’m not sure why it took me so long, but I finally made it there for the July Fourth weekend with Charlene. We had no solid plans and no real expectations. We weren’t sure if we would end up crashing a pool party or a cook-out, but we were excited to be going with completely “independent” spirits.
Turns out that EVERYTHING we could ever want, need, desire and/or imagine is in Osan. The area is located right next to an Air Force base, so Osan is filled with bargain shops, American goods, great restaurants and a great mix of people. Osan is like having a small piece of “Americanized” Seoul closer to Jeonju – it’s about a 2.5 hour bus ride away. We saw many military families roaming the streets, all of the people spoke ENGLISH there and most of the shops took U.S. dollars and won currency. I would greet the store owners in Korean, and they would reply with “Hello – how can I help you?”
We saw a fantastic outdoor pool on top of one of the hotels there, but we didn’t get a chance to go swimming, because it was another rainy, overcast weekend. We did, however, try the Dr. Fish treatment at a nail shop, which was very cool. We also had some WONDERFUL Brazilian food at a restaurant right across from our hotel.
The Dr. Fish treatment was one of the highlights of the weekend. The concept sounds pretty gross, but it was a very interesting experience. For those of you who have never heard of such a thing, the “fish treatment” involves soaking your feet in a tub of water while small fish suck the dead skin off you. HAA!!!!!! Disgusting, Right? Yeah – well – this procedure leaves your skin silky smooth and is a perfect precursor to a pedicure. Though I didn’t enjoy the fish nibbling on my ankles, the rest of the sucking was quite comfortable and amusing. Men, women and children all waited to have their 10-15 minutes with the fish. A few people were a little scared to dip their feet into the water, but we would eventually hear laughter and screams of delight (or shock) once they finally gave in.
A few questions we had about the fish:
Q: Ummmm – don’t they ever get tired or full from eating all that skin??
A: They get large and must be replaced after a few weeks
Q: How many fish are in the tub?
A: Between 700 – 800
Q: Where exactly are these fish from?
A: From Turkey
The fish frenzy was followed by a very thorough pedicure, and I must say that I was totally impressed with the results and the excellent service. If you ever want to try the “Dr. Fish Treatment,” I would highly recommend that you visit this shop in Osan.
The Nail Shop is called: ESCAPE – 031 – 665 – 9751 – The staff members speak fluent English and are extremely helpful and professional. They also have tanning, waxing and other services available at VERY reasonable prices.
I must also mention in this post that “Juicy Bars” are alive and well all over Korea. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this terminology, a “Juicy Bar” is a place where men can go and PAY to have drinks with a female “escort” who will sit down and “entertain” him. Instead of a man meeting a stranger in the bar who may walk away, the bars are staffed with “Juicy Girls” who will spend time with men and not reject them as long as they keep paying for expensive drinks and/or “quality time”. Of course, there are also some ”Juicy Girls” and Juicy Clubs/Bars that offer more than just “bar company”. I have heard of them since I arrived, but I just thought I would mention them in this post, since we clearly walked inside quite a few of them while in Osan. I overheard a man talking to his friend about how he spent over $200 within 10 minutes at a Juicy Bar. (I promise I wasn’t eavesdropping.) He was speaking very loudly at a table next to us, so I could not ignore the comment. I think the term “Juicy Girl” may have come from the fact that the women drink “Juice” or watered down alcohol (to remain sober), while the clients hand over their money and drink alcoholic beverages. For more information on this lifestyle, click below and scroll down to “Juicy Girls”.
If nothing else, I would highly recommend going to Osan for some AMAZING discount shopping opportunities. You can stay away from the fish and Juicy bars if you want, but don’t miss the great deals and delicious restaurants there!!!!!!!!!!!!
More Info on the Dr. Fish Treatment: