This article is about the city of Osan, Republic of Korea. See Osan Air Base for the U.S. base.
Osan is a city in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, approximately 35 km south of Seoul. The population of the city is around 120,000. The local economy is supported by a mix of agricultural and industrial enterprises.
It is famous for having one of the largest markets in South Korea, Osan Market, which has been in continuous operation since 1792. The city was the scene of brutal battles with communist forces during the Korean War in 1950 (see Battle of Osan), before being liberated by American forces soon afterwards; there is a statue dedicated to UN forces on the outskirts of the city.
The United States Air Force base named after the city, Osan AB, is not actually located in the city, but is instead 8 km (5 mi) south, in the Songtan section (formerly a separate city) of Pyeongtaek.
The city is divided by the Osan River and home to Osan University. There is a population of Southeast Asians large enough to support several restaurants. Osan Air Base, home to many US soldiers, is actually located in nearby Songtan, about 15 minutes away by car. It's also home to the Gyeonggido Arboretum.
Osan came to be called by its current name in 1914, at the time of a general reorganization of local governments under Japanese rule. At that time it became Osan-myeon, part of Suwon. This name in turn was taken from that of a local stream, the Osancheon. However, prior to the Japanese occupation, the name had been rendered in hanja as 鰲山, meaning "soft-shelled turtle mountain." Because of the complexity of the 鰲 ("o") character, and because crows were abundant in the area, the Japanese changed the name to 烏山, meaning "bird mountain." This name has been retained to this day.
The largest hospital in Osan is Seoul General Hospital located across the street from Lotte Mart.
Osan was the location of the first engagement between US and North Korean forces during the Korean War, and on the outskirts of the city there is a statue dedicated to the UN soldiers who fought in the war.
|Population: || 115,160
|Deaths per day: || 1.0
|Marriages per day: || 3.0
|Divorces per day: || 0.9
|Fires per day: || 3.9
|Students per teacher: || 33.4
|Number of cars: || 33,843
Restaurants and Bars
Although Osan has some good selection of cuisine and nightlife, the bulk of foreigner dining and drinking is usually done in nearby Songtan, in the Camp Town located outside of Osan Air Base.
There are several Dunkin Donuts, a Baskin Robbins, and a large Kentucky Fried Chicken; there is also a McDonald's next to what used to be Too Mart. There are several Japanese restaurants, most of which specialize in sushi. There at least three (heavily Koreanized) Italian restaurants, including a Sorrento and one in the local Hana Mart called Howard & Mario's. There are also at least two restaurants, both near Osan Station, which cater to the local Southeast Asian population.
As the average Korean, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants are in abundance throughout Korea and are easy for foreigners to find, the following restaurants reflect a sampling of restaurants considered to be either popular or are western-friendly choices and other ethnic foods.
A popular hang-out spot for Western foreigners is the local Wa Bar. There are a few nightclubs but they are not frequented by westerners.
Osan is connected to the Seoul Subway Line 1 via Osan Station. There is also the Osan Bus Terminal.