For the most part Songtan isn’t the prettiest place to visit in the ROK. It’s a military town with the local economy completely driven by the personnel stationed at Osan AB. Which means most things are over priced, and some shopping is inconsistently priced based on what the vendor thinks they can get from you. For example I just bought a basic baseball cap to wear when running and exercising. When I picked it up the vendor said 10,000 when there was a price tag under the bill stating 8,000.
Songtan is also dirty looking. Korean construction is all about the fastest way to fix the problem that will last for a little while. I find it ridiculous since this leads to fixing things over again a little while later. And some of it is very obvious or simple fixes to me. For example at work the door handle to the storage unit was loose and wobbly. When we called maintenance to tell them about it they came with a hammer, banging away at the hinges and door for a good 5 minutes accomplishing nothing. It was a little firmer in place for a day and now is loose again. All they needed was a screw driver to tighten the facets, or at most to move the handle up or down a bit into fresh wood. Aside from construction all of Korea has a trash problem because trash bins are scarce and no one really cares because there’s not much else you can do with it. Trash is piled on surfaces, curbs, blown down the gutters….
But Songtan has it’s moments when you forget all that. Away from the base you have farms and fields, and the city out away from the base doesn’t look as dirty. The area out by my apartment has been overall very enjoyable. Green rice fields, trees, some hills, and the surrounding mountains can be seen on a clear day. And at night the lights draw you in to eat, drink and be social. And with the military presence there is a plethora of bars and different cuisine to choose from, unlike much of the country where you are most likely to have traditional Korean Cuisine or a Chicken and Hoff pub or chain restaurants to choose from.
This is the view from my rooftop.