Songtan in Osan is one of my favorite shopping areas to visit outside of Seoul. This small lovely place is much less crowded than Seoul and much less expensive. These two reasons alone make Songtan the perfect one day or weekend escape for me. However, there are many reasons why I go to Songtan so regularly.
I normally go to Songtan about once a month or once every few months. I go there specifically for pedicures and shopping. I have had one pedicure in Gangnam, and it was so horrendous and expensive that I vowed to never get a pedicure in Gangnam again. I have had a decent pedicure in Itaewon, but Itaewon is almost as far as Osan on the subway or bus, and the pedicures are more expensive there.
The pedicures that I got before in Itaewon and Gangnam cost me 60k won each. In Osan, I only pay 30k won, and the nail techs there do a fantastic job. The technicians are extremely thorough, kind and experienced. Half price and better service!!! Can’t beat that!! ;) I have always been satisfied with the nail service there, and I have been going there for the past 4 years. The best shop in Songtan now is called “Nail Holic”. In the past, I would go to a shop called “Escape” — which is no longer in operation. Once I find a store, shop or restaurant that I like, I am normally an extremely devoted and loyal customer.
I also go shopping in Songtan. Since it’s near a military base, the prices are awesome and you can find things that are more difficult or impossible to find in Seoul. It’s also much more relaxing and much easier to get around in Songtan. Shopping areas like Myeondong, Coex, Sinsa and Dongdaemoon are extremely exhausting and overwhelming to me. I often don’t like the clothes there, and the crowds are annoying.
There are also a few really good foreign shops in Songtan where you can buy American toothpaste, deodorant, and other essential products that you can’t find in those other shopping areas. I typically like to do all of my shopping at once, so this is much more convenient for me. Lots of foreigners make separate trips to Costco. However, I would prefer to just get everything in one place in Songtan.
Many foreigners also have a hard time finding clothes that fit well in South Korea. However, I have found that if you stay away from the “typical” shopping areas, you have better luck with finding nice clothes that fit well. I typically don’t shop at big chains like H&M or Zara. I prefer to shop at boutiques or in stores that are not filled with the same repetitive stuff and dull styles.
In the summer, I always go to Songtan for the swimming pool. There is a roof top pool at the Young Chon hotel that is like a little paradise. The pool is never too crowded, and you can pay 20k won per day just to visit the pool if you don’t stay at the hotel. I normally stay at the hotel though, which typically costs 70k won per night. I’m not sure if the hotel and the pool are still in operation. Many things tend to change over the years in South Korea. Therefore, I can’t promise that the pool will still be there. The Young Chon hotel is right behind Baskin Robbins on the main strip, so go check it out when you are there.
The clubs and restaurants in Songtan are also nice. If you are craving some good food and some time on the dance floor, Songtan is a great place to fill your tummy and get loose. There are several clubs, bars and restaurants from which to chose.
Songtan is not the most fancy or upscale area to visit. However, it’s the perfect place for a one day or weekend escape for good food, shopping, clubbing and spa time. You can use American dollars or won, and some vendors are willing to negotiate their prices — especially if you are a regular shopper. You can buy anything from luggage, to hand bags to blankets and tailor made clothing. It’s a cool little place to go when you need to get stuff done in a more relaxing and affordable atmosphere. To escape the busy shopping crowds in Seoul, or just to experience a new area, visit Songtan in Osan. ;) ;) 😊 ☺
To get there >>>>> From Gangnam: Take the red bus #5300 from the main Gangnam strip in front of ZARA. (Take the subway to Gangnam Station — green line — #2. Exit at #10 and walk straight. Walk for about 5 minutes until you see the ZARA clothing store on your left. The bus stop for bus #5300 is right in front of ZARA.) Ride the bus for one hour and exit the bus at Osan station. Take a taxi to “Songtan” — “Air force Base” Main gate. To return — taxi back to Osan station. Have the driver make two immediate rights and catch the bus #5300 back to Seoul on the left side of the street. (The return bus does not pick up at Osan station — it picks up across the street). The bus runs back and forth to Gangnam about every 20 minutes until about 11pm. The taxi ride from Osan station will cost you about 7k won. Expect to pay about 20k won for all ur transportation fees to and from Songtan.
From the Seoul Express Bus Terminal (or other areas) >>>>> Take the bus directly to Osan Station. Take a taxi to “Songtan” — “Air force Base” Main gate. You can take the bus directly back to the Seoul Express Bus Terminal from Osan Station. ***Please note that these buses do not run as frequently, so be aware of bus times. You can check the bus schedule at: http://www.kobus.co.kr
You can also take the subway directly to Songtan. However, the subway ride is very long and exhausting in my personal opinion. And — the walk to the main gate of the Songtan entrance is also long from the subway station. Therefore, you should still take a taxi to “Songtan” — “Air force base” Main gate from the subway station.