Every foreigner knows how it feels to find out about fantastic shops and places in Korea for much needed essentials and a few luxuries. In addition, basic services like finding a doctor, sorting out problems with electronics and finding clothes that fit can cause so much more stress than necessary. This page lists a variety of stores and services (from clothes to massages and English speaking doctors in Gunsan) that will hopefully prove useful to many a foreigner. These are all places that I can highly recommend.
Gunsan Medical Centre English Coordinator - Sarah 010 5388 0678. Phone Sarah for anything you need. She's great and always very helpful. The Medical Centre is open Mondays to Fridays 9:00 - 18:00 in Summer (1 April - 30 September) and 9:00 - 17:00 in Winter (1 October - 31 March).
ENT Doctor (Gunsan Medical Centre) - Dr. ChangJu Kim can communicate well in English. He's thorough and has a pleasant demeanour. He performed my surgery in June of 2013 at the GMC, and has done the follow up care. The pre-op consultations were extremely thorough and he takes his time in communicating and explaining information to ensure that you understand things. I can highly recommend him as an ENT.
Acupuncture (Oriental Medicine Doctor - a.k.a. cute doctor) - Dr Kim is a bit hesitant to speak English but is at the Gunsan Medical Centre where there is an International Coordinator who translates everything during the consultations. He's a very kind doctor who takes his time with treatments. The nurse in this department is also fantastic and speaks a bit of English. I can highly recommend him! The other doctor in this department (a woman) is also fantastic and speaks English very well.
Oriental Medicine and Chiropractor - I'm not sure what this doctor's name is but he's amazing! He speaks very little English but makes use of every means possible to communicate and understand. He's very practiced at what he does and can tell you a lot of information about your overall health. During your first consultation, he'll do an overall body check and tell you the cause for various symptoms before correcting them. He's located on the second floor (above the light shop) on Bar Street next to the NH Bank across from Yest Mall (across from the Naundong Starbucks and opposite Geumho Apts.).
Restaurants / Coffee Shops / 'Bars'
Casa di Lago - An Italian restaurant located along Eunpa Park. They're a bit pricey compared to some other Italian restaurants but their pizza is quite unique and definitely tasty (They only offer sweet pumpkin pizza and gorgonzola).
Paradiso Perduto - Next to Santa Rosa Coffee Shop (perhaps one of the most well known coffee shops in Gunsan), Paradiso is an Italian style restaurant overlooking Eunpa Park. Their brie and pastrami sandwiches are delicious as is their classic style pizza! It's the perfect place for relaxing on a balmy summer's day.
Solemio - Another Italian restaurant. It is on the second floor overlooking Lotte Mart on the main road. From the main entrance of Lotte Mart, cross the road towards the OZ phone shop next to the open parking lot. Walk towards the phone shop and continue past the Baskin Robbins for approximately 200m. Solemio is on the second floor. It's quite frilly and frou-frou in style but the food is good!
MokSal Galbi - A great galbi restaurant located on the second floor of Yest Mall and opposite The Gal-B. The food is good and cheap. It's part of a chain but you can't go wrong with this one.
Lemon Table - European style cafe with hamburgers to rival those back home. It's around the corner from Lotte mart in the direction of KEB and near the main road.
Crowne Café - Another European styled café with Panini sandwiches. They also do take-out. The bulgogi-and-eggplant Panini is to die for! From the side entrance of Lotte Mart, walk straight down the road for about four (4) blocks; it's on the corner to your left just before the next main road ahead of you.
Shabu Shabu - A Korean/Japanese fusion restaurant, Shabu Shabu is the perfect meal when you're really hungry on a cold night. It's basically a big melting pot of leafy vegetables, rice cake, and thinly shaved meat with second and third courses of noodles and mandu and a rice porridge at the end. At 9,000won+ per person, it's a good deal and a lot of food. There are several of them around, but the one I like most is in Naundong about halfway between Gran Piatta on the main road and Dasarang on Bar Street.
Ashley's Buffet - Forget about Barbie Day Buffet, this place has a good selection of western and Asian food. From Lotte Mart, head towards the KEB about two (2) blocks down and cross the main road at the next traffic light. It's one block down from that traffic light and on the second floor above a children's clothing store (across from Jeil Apts).
Angel-in-us - This is a franchised coffee shop that can be found all across South Korea. Even though it's commercialized, it's one of my favourites although it does seem to be particularly popular with couples. The Koreans pronounce the name as AngeLEEnus so this is what you will need to tell a taxi driver in order to get there. They're open until 23:50 daily but it's often quiet in the afternoon so it's a good place to sit and read or work. Don't forget to get a stamp coupon card - every 11th drink is free.
Café Bene (Sussongdong) - Although Café Bene is a large franchise, their coffee is not bad and they have really good cheesecake. This particular branch, on the main road from Lotte Mart and past Starbucks, offers discounts for foreign customers.
Hook.gah - A 'bar' with a good selection of ciders, coolers, beers and other assorted alcoholic drinks. It's a good place to hang out with friends and have a few drinks, and, unlike many other places, you get your drinks from the fridges yourself. From the side entrance of Lotte Mart, walk down the side road; it's on your right about two (2) blocks down and has a purple sign.
Real Sized Clothing
B & T Clothing - Located in Itaewon, Big and Tall has a good selection of proper sized clothing from a US size 10 and up. They stock jeans, slacks, skirts, blouses, suits and dresses and are located over a large shoe store on the main road. The woman who runs the store speaks good English and has an excellent eye for sizes and styles - you'll be amazed at how accurate she is with her guesses. B & T is across the road from the Outback Steakhouse in New World Plaza and on the second floor. Contact number 02 792 2951
www.yoursclothing.co.uk - If you'd prefer to do online shopping, I can highly recommend this UK based company. They have a good selection of clothing, shoes and accessories and constantly update their sales items. Delivery to Korea takes nine (9) days or less and costs GBP10 or US$17 (flat rate). They also run monthly specials, which sometimes include half-price international delivery. Typically, your order is despatched within less than 24 hours of paying. Their clothes are reasonably priced, they usually have lovely lingerie/underwear and the items are (mostly) good quality - I'm seldom disappointed in an item.
Healing Hands - For the most amazing massages ever, go to Healing Hands in Itaewon. They're about 500m east of the Hamilton Hotel and their prices are very reasonable. You can have hot stone, back, foot and full body massages guaranteed to release all tension you may feel. Appointments are necessary as they are very popular so phone in advance.
Whatthebook - Every English speaking foreigner in Korea needs to know about this bookstore! It's the largest English only bookstore in the country and open until 9pm, 365 days a year. If you don't live in Seoul, you can order from their website (www.whatthebook.com) and have the books shipped to you. It's halfway between Itaewon and Noksapyeon Stns. and on the second floor of the building.
All American Diner - If you're looking for a proper American hamburger or big traditional western breakfast, All American Diner in Itaewon is the place to go.
Geckos - A good variety of western food although a little pricey in my opinion. Their fish and chips are worth a visit though. It's on the corner of Exit 3 (?) at Itaewon Stn.
Braai Republic - While it's a bit tricky to find (find the luggage stores on the corner across from Whatthebook and head down the hill for about two/three (2/3) blocks), the food is really tasty. It's good South African styled food and I highly recommend the lamb chops! Again, it's a bit on the expensive side, but good for when you're a bit homesick for a braai or a piece of boerewors.
WangThai - A Thai restaurant on the floor above Whatthebook in Itaewon. The food is delicious although the prices can be a bit steep. If you're a fairly large group, they'll more than likely throw in service, too.
Tartine Bakery - Dubbed "The Pie Shop" by many foreigners, Tartine Bakery is a small but fantastic discovery located in Itaewon. They make the most delicious pies (American style) and have a good selection of pies with which to tempt even the strongest diet.