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OverviewEdit

Nonsan Nonsan logo
Hangul: 논산시
Hanja: 論山市
Revised Romanization: Nonsan-si
McCune-Reischauer: Nonsan-shi
Statistics
Area: 554.82 km²
Population: 136,356
2003 registration [1]
Pop. density: 246 people/km²
Administrative divisions: 2 eup, 11 myeon, and 2 dong
Map Nonsan

Nonsan is a city in South Chungcheong Province, South Korea. It is located at 36°12′ N 127°5′ E.

The city consists of villages that have grown together and some outlying towns. The character is a mix of rural mentality and innumerable city-neighborhood stores and eateries, with high-rise complexes scattered among and between, and a modicum of urban amenities. There are a few old houses in traditional style - mostly in disrepair. The population is about 140,000. There is a mid-sized university (Konyang), but it only puts a stamp on the campus-town that has sprung up across from the main entrance. To Korean men, Nonsan is quite well known, since the army training center for soldiers beginning their compulsory training is there.

In Nonsan, rise before seven, and you'll experience Korea's morning calm.

TransportationEdit

Getting thereEdit

By airEdit

  • There is no airport directly serving Nonsan.
  • From Incheon International Airport: --> Ochang IC --> Central Expressway --> Cheongju IC --> Seodaejeon IC --> Nonsan IC --> Nonsan
  • The nearest commercial airport is Cheongju International Airport.
    • By car -

From Cheongju International Airport: Take Expressway 1 south toward Daejon, switch to Expressway 251 going southwesterly (circumventing Daejeon). There are now two alternatives: 1) (shorter distance) Get off onto Highway 1 by Gyeryong, heading west in the direction of Gyeryong and Nonsan and continue on to Nonsan. 2) (a little longer; quicker) Get off at Yeonmu and go back north a bit on highway 1 to Nonsan, coming in from the south.

    • By train - [I'll have to check on this]

By RailEdit

Nonsan is connected by high-speed rail to Deajeon in one direction and the southwest in the other. Seoul and Busan can be reached by trains stopping in Deajeon or by transfering at that metropolis. The train station is downtown and can be reached directly or by taking the pedestrian overpass over the tracks. Taxis are available at the station twenty-four seven.

From Seoul: Honam Line: Seoul - Nonsan Station (06:05~23:50, every 50 minutes, travel time: 2 hours 30 minutes) Jeolla Line: Seoul - Nonsan Station (07:35~22:23, every 1 hour 10 minutes, travel time: 2 hours 30 min) Slower trains are also available.Mugnungwha trains cost just over 10,000 won. KTX trains, costing about 20,000 won, take less than two hours. From the southern area of Seoul, it is most convenient to take a subway to Suwon and then catch the train to Nonsan from there.

From Deajeon: Trains to Nonsan are on the Mokpo line, leaving from Seodeajeon Station (track 2). There are numerous trains every day, most taking around a half an hour and costing from under 4,000 won (Mugungwa) to about 7,000 won (KTX).

By BusEdit

There are three inter-city bus stations in Nonsan: one is down-town on the main NS drag, sort of near the train station but obviously on the other side of the tracks; another is on the same street south of 5-Points; a third serves Konyang University from just inside the side gate. Busses depart regulalry to major South Korean cities. Seoul can be reached in under three hours. The trip to Daejon takes about half an hour. The KYU station does not operate busses on Sundays and not on all Saturdays.

Express bus service to Seoul Gangnam Terminal - Yeonmu - Nonsan Weekdays: 6:30 A.M. ~ 7:50 P.M., every 40 min, travel time: 2 hours 40 minutes Weekends: 10:15 P.M. (Night buses are operated and the operation has increased to run every 30 minutes

Dong (East) Seoul Bus Terminal- (Gangpyeon Subway Station): Leaves for Nonsan 4 times a day at 8:10, 12:10, 2:20 and 6:50. It takes approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes.

From Daejeon: Busses leaving from the Express Bus Station cost a little more than the cheapest trains. "Express" busses are not necessarily faster than so-called locals. The last bus leaves before 11:00 P.M. Free KYU busses run week-days between the Konyang hospital complex in Daejeon and Konyang's main campus, in Nonsan.

By CarEdit

Honam Expressway: Seo (West) Daejeon Toll Gate (National Road No. 1) - Nonsan Highway 4 / 25 connects Nonsan to Daejeon.

Getting AroundEdit

Because Nonsan grew out of a number of villages that have grown together, there are a number of commercial districts some-what separated by more residential and agricultural stretches. Still, it is easy to walk around or bike through Nonsan, there being generally adequate sidewalks and bike-paths in this city of 136,000. For example, it takes 30-45 minutes to walk from 5-Points (downtown) to KYU (Konyang University). However, when it has rained or snowed, the highly polished curbs are dangerously slippery.

MapsEdit

Decent maps of Nonsan-shi can be obtained from city hall. Naver has a highly scalable but some-what confusing map: http://maps.naver.com/?x=45586690&y=46733610&title=경상북도%20영주시 .

Staying ThereEdit

TemporaryEdit

There are some hotels and motels in and near Nonsan, including one less than a hundred meters from the train station. A cheap alternative (about 6,000 won) is to stay overnight in a jjimjillban.

Longer TermEdit

To reside in Korea, a foreigner needs an appropriate visa. Please check with government authorities. The office responsible for Nonsan residents is in Daejon by Sun Hospital. The telephone number is 42-254-1391.

Being UnderstoodEdit

Outside of the university and some professional offices, one comes across few people who can speak more than a few if any words in any language other than Korean. English is the most commonly understood, distantly followed by Japanese and German (or perhaps Chinese or Russian - if one runs into some KYU foreign students or farm workers, respectively). Even at the university, many students and staff can only communicate in Korean.

While there is a local way of speaking, it is not a lot different from standard Korean, which will be perfectly understood and is often spoken any-way.

Municipal TransitEdit

RailEdit

There is no municipal rail service.

BusEdit

There is regular city bus service seven days a week, fares being 950 won (930 won with pre-purchased tickets). The network extends to the various rural settlements of Nonsan and even to Gyeryong.

Private transportationEdit

Taxis run all night, with cruisers almost always available at least until well past midnight. The city is not very large, so walking and biking are easy options. Many or perhaps even most of the sidewalks and bike-paths are surfaced with a pebbly rubberized material that makes for secure and comfortable going, but beware of the finely polished curb-stones and some steps that are dangerously slippery when wet. People do not hitchhike in Korea.

CharacterEdit

Social-Psychological Edit

Nonsan is in mentality more of a large village than a small city. The day begins slowly, and the police usually seem to have little more to do than direct traffic at a few intersections (blowing their whistles continuously from about 7:00 A.M. until about 8:30 A.M.) and tool around with their lights flashing. Peppers, rice, fruits, etc. are dried right on the sidewalks and in front of apartment stairwells. Children often giggle and call out a "How are you?" or some other memorized phrase when they happen upon a foreigner. Cars will occasionally stop in the middle of a fairly major street so that the drivers can say hello and talk about what-ever. School-girls walk the streets even after ten at night, after finishing studying and eating out with friends - and there is no fear. The high incidence of pubs seems to increase the albeit low amount of rowdiness, which in an extreme case might result in the bashing in of a car window. The school children and university students are full of vim and vigor, while the older people seem dour and avoid eye contact except when trying to sell a foreigner something. A foreigner who overpays because of mistaking a price or coins or bills is almost certain to be corrected in a pleasant manner. Many stores stay open until ten at night, and it is even possible to find street-side stands selling almost until midnight. A number of twenty-four-hour convenience stores serve the relatively quiet but definitely present night-time people.

VisualEdit

OverviewEdit

To the Western eye, Nonsan presents a queer mixture of clusters of modern high-rise apartments soaring in some cases to over a score floors and garish-fronted small shops, vegetable gardens, and even rice fields, and street-side stands. Many buildings stand at an angle to the street they front. The streets are paved and clean and generally lined with paved or rubber-pebbled sidewalks and not rarely bike-lanes, though vacant lots tend to collect trash. Nonsan's main streets are mostly little more than slightly inclined, though side streets can be as steep as five to maybe ten percent in rare cases. The city is surrounded by red-earth farms, many of them with poly-tents clear or black covering the fields, and ringed some-what more distantly with sylvan mountains. Trees and, to a certain extent flowers, are present on all but the most commercial stretches, so that in the spring and to a certain extent the summer and fall, the city looks green from street level and almost parklike from the hills or high apartment windows. The soil is sandy of a strong orange hue, reminiscent of Georgia's red clay.

Graffiti are quite rare. The streets are regularly cleaned, though piles of trash or recyclable furniture and other property can stay around for some time. Empty lots collect clutter and trash. Banners are hung to congratulate, celebrate, and advertize, adding to the colorful appearance of the streets.

During the day, the vehicular traffic is constant, and the commercial streets - especially in the area around the traditional market - have a constant flow of pedestrians. After night-fall, the pedestrian traffic starts to dwindle, so that by ten (around the time even the larger stores close) it is thin except around schools and areas of many places to eat. At this time, the streets are fairly thickly lined with parked vehicles parked parallel or at an angle and even on corners. By midnight, only the occasional pedestrian is seen on the sidewalks, and the autos are only moderately numerous on the major streets. But all through the night, there is at least some vehicular traffic.

The people going to and fro are of all ages but almost exclusively Korean. Clothing tends toward casual and work clothes; even on holidays traditional Korean clothing is almost unseen. Some people are underway because of work, but many seem to be strolling about. Children use bikes and busses, are driven by parents, or walk, and are quite visible, wearing their school uniforms during the school-year if they are old enough. More than just a few adults use bicycles and motor-scooters. A typical scene is one of the elderly men who collect cardboard, flattening boxes and stacking them onto their old, heavy-duty bikes, for recycling.

ArchitectureEdit

From a distance, the city appears as do many other Korea cities; clusters of tall, modern, light-colored apartment buildings. Closer up, the city reveals a more mixed architecture. Most of the buildings are rather unimaginative blocky constructions, having a rather lot of large print and glass if they are commercial venues. Tucked away along winding paved paths are some traditional houses. Most of these are between Five-Points and the Nonsan Girl's High School. Many buildings are set skew to the street they abut.

There is no truly outstanding building in Nonsan. Still, there are some structures that catch the eye. First among these are three churches. One is downtown, near the central post office, and its impressive spire can be seen from miles around, reaching skyward above the surrounding buildings. Another is near city hall. The newest church in Nonsan is a Presbyterian one near the tax office and has a very unusual free-standing spire. The church itself is also of a nontraditional shape, looking more like a convention center. The stadium, sleek, modern and seemingly oversized for the city, is also worth a look. Probably the most entertaining building to see is what looks like a fairy castle north-east of the built-up area; it is apparently a kindergarten.

Public Art Edit

There is an elephantine metal abstract sculpture in front of the stadium and some smaller works around back. There is an elephantine metal abstract sculpture in front of the stadium. The large work is the symbolic monument of the Nonsan citizens. The monument is a stylized bird symbolizing the bringing of good news and the city's charter. Viewers can walk underneath the sculpture to pray or quietly reflect.

Some abstract sculptures grace the KYU campus as well. Many of the burial areas in the hills of Nonsan have commercially made stone markers of various designs. The cultural center has a small stone sculpture of some interest by the bike racks.

The new apartment complex behind the regional bus terminal has some sculptural work. There is a shiny abstract sculpture in front of Home Plus, largely obscured from view by the permanent tent right before it.

If one considers standing stones with writing on them, then public art can be found at many public buildings and some private ones. There are also many 장승 (chang seung: carved wooden figures) and simple small landscape paintings along some of the trails in the hills, though they are not kept up.

Five-Points is graced by a number of murals along the underpass walls. At the lake, there is also a (historical) mural on a wall in front of one of the traditional restaurants.

Nonsan through the SeasonsEdit

  • Spring does not break upon the town suddenly, but comes in fits and starts. Sometimes it is borne on a west wind, bearing "yellow dust" from across the sea from China, lightly coating everything indoors and out. But after some point, the colors of spring burst upon the town, with an exaltation of flowers bringing great joy to the still shivering Nonsanites. At about this time, another, even more visible, yellow powder rains down onto this part of Korea: pine pollen. In May, the air is sweetened by the smell of acacias.
  • Summer simmers the souls in sultry, sticky heat. The locals generally do not like summer, complaining of the heat and mugginess. Lethargy makes a go at many otherwise active individuals. Most years, rains are frequent and heavy for a part of summer. Street-cleaners use large pincette-like trash pickers to keep the streets and sidewalks clean.
  • Autumn slowly shoulders summer's heat out of the way toward the end of September. Although rains may fall, most days are characterized by clear skies, hot and then warm days with mild to chilly nights, until the cool days set in sometime in mid or late October. The cherry trees have long lost their leaves, lining some streets and roads like sullen soldiers, before the gingkos' leaves start turning to yellow and the persimmons shine like too early bright orange Christmas ornaments on too-old barren trees. The cosmos blossoms decorate many streetsides, while the streets themselves as well as the sidewalks are decked with rice grains drying on ribbons of plastic sheeting. Later, the rice will be packed into sacks waiting to be picked up and hauled away in flatbed trucks. For some time longer, the hills keep their green color, but the grass is decked with the yellow gingko leaves fallen from the trees. Street cleaners have replaced their trash pickers with brooms, daily sweeping up the slowly accumulating leaves.
  • Winter comes with cold winds, some snow, and clear skies. Since most of the trees in and around are deciduous and the fields are barren and what grass there is turns tan, a certain drabness comes over the city. The street-cleaners turn to sweeping snow with twig brooms. Street-side eateries put up heavy plastic coverings to give their clientele some warmth while eating.

ShoppingEdit

BakeriesEdit

Three chains dominate Nonsan's bread scene: Crown, and two that style themselves as French bakeries, selling baguettes as well as white and mild brown breads and sweet baked goods. There are a few independent bakeries. In addition, the supermarkets have either their own bakeries or one of the chains in or attached to them. Paris Baguette as well as Tous' Le Jour are the two dominant bakeries in Nonsan.

Children's / Toy StoresEdit

In the area between Buyong Apts. and the DC store, there are a number of children's clothing stores.

Department StoresEdit

Home Plus is on the southern side of town. It is the building with the rectangular tower with a lighted white pyramid on top. Its extensive supermarket is in the basement.

Clothing StoresEdit

Boutique-ville is what one could call the area abutting the traditional market in the direction of 5-Points. Here one finds a large number of small shops selling Korean and international brands (asics; Everlast, Puma, etc.) and knock-offs in mostly specialized, even one-brand, stores. Snuggled in among these shops along the winding pedestrian ways are various other small stores such as bakeries, miscellaneous stores, household goods stores, and pharmacies, as well as a good variety of Korean-style eateries.

Grocery StoresEdit

There are numerous small grocery stores as well as transient sellers of fruits, vegetables and sundries. There are also more than three supermarkets:

  • the formerGS 25 Market (on the street that runs by KYU's side entrance, near the stadium),
  • A new supermarket diagonally across from  the former GS supermarket .
  • Home Plus's basement, near the city hall. The building stands out as the brightly lit one with what looks like a white pyramidal roof to its fifth floor rectangular tower.
  • A new supermarket across from the down-town police station (on the station side of the train tracks, near the market).

    Fruits can also be had at a large wholesaler "shed" with various sellers down the hill from the GS supermarket past the one block stop light and at a wholesaler store on the street running by the Nonsan girls' high school.

    Rice and other grains as well as flour can be bought in bulk at a few specialty places in town. They can be identified by the products visible in their window spaces.

There are at least three "international" or "Asian" stores selling international telephone cards and some fresh and canded and bottled food mostly from Southeast Asia.

   A certain amount of bargaining can be done with the transient and bulk sellers, and an extra item or two might be tossed in as "service" - especially if the transaction has been friendly.

Traditional MarketEdit

There is a large traditional market, with hundreds of stalls selling fresh and dried fish, local produce, shipped Korean foods, and sundries. The market is covered but not indoors. It is open seven days a week.

Convenience StoresEdit

Among the many convenience stores are

  • at least two Buy the Ways (one in campus-town).
  • GS 25 has a number of branches/franchises.

Electronics StoresEdit

There are both small and a few large electronics and computer stores. On the street between 5-Points and KYU there are a Hi-Mart and a Samsung store near each other.

Home and Garden StoresEdit

  • DC, a fascinating general store with every-thing from household tools to shampoo, from dinner plates to stereos, and batteries to towels packed in and around it has one branch located on a corner one or two blocks from the Nonsan Girls' Middle School, in the direction of KYU. There is another branch across from the GS supermarket. In and approaching boutique-ville, there are a few other five-and-dime type stores.

Key-MakersEdit

There are a number of key and lock shops in the city. One is on the main NE-SW drag, a bit east of 5-Points. Another one, inexpensive and with friendly staff, is kitty-corner from Konyang girls' middle school.

Shoe-Repair ShopsEdit

Cobblers and leather-workers

There is a very small, expensive shoe-repair shop across from Uri Home Mart. There is also a shoe-repair shop near the main bus station and one just under the underpass on the other side of five-points (오구리) -- it is a small shop with a big shoe in the window.

Sports StoresEdit

Sports stores sell clothing and equipment for traditional Korean sports as well as for fitness activities and a number of Western sports. There is one store on the main E-W street down-town, a bit west of 5-Points (오구리). There is another one near the Nonsan Girl's High school. One that sells exercize equipment along with other sports items is on the street perpendicular to the one running along the side of KYU: the last chance to turn before getting to the Nonsan Girls' Middle School.

There are also two fishing-gear stores near the same school.

Bicycle ShopsEdit

There are more than four bike shops, all selling Korean-made bicycles. Only one of them (just south of 5-Points) has anything as large as a 27" bike. These shops also service bikes.

Book StoresEdit

Nonsan has both new and used book stores. Foreign literature and textbooks are usually not available but can be occasionally found, though a trip to Deajeon or Seoul is recommended for serious foreign-language book-lovers.

General StoresXEdit

Second-Hand ShopEdit

  • The city government operates a very inexpensive shop a bit south-east of 5-Points, selling videos, books, and clothing. Clothes that are brought in are exchanged for specially made soaps, shampoos, etc., as part of an effort to encourage recycling.
  • For used furniture, simply cruise the streets, looking for discarded items. These are often in quite good condition, but be sure not to take a store's furniture left outside between uses!

Nonsan's Restaurants and BarsEdit

There are hundreds of small Korean restaurants serving typical foods such as kimbap and soups. They are scattered through-out the city, so that finding one is perhaps the easiest thing you can do in Nonsan. Complete meals start at around 3 thousand won (ca. $3 U.S.) and are rarely over 10,000 unless it is for a fish, meat or foreign dish.

Traditional Korean FoodEdit

  • A fine, relatively expensive traditional restaurant in a pleasant-looking building with a very wide range of side dishes is the 소나무 (So-namu: pine tree), across the feeder from the stadium. A very large and nice traditional meal costs around 30,000 won.
  • One of the best (but not cheapest) restaurants for standard Korean fare, including a generous and varioud paek pan for about 7,000 won a head, is near the giant Buddha, 041-736-1312.
  • Across from Da Sarang is 본죽 (Korean Traditional Porridge Restaurant - apparently a franchise)where you can choose from nineteen different thick traditional porridges (죽: juk). While most are rice-based, there is also a tasty pumpkin porridge. Most porridges run 5,000-8,000 won. Two abalone porridges top off the menu at 10,000 and about 20,000 won. The menus are in English and Korean. Internet site: www.bonjuk.co.kr (in Korean); telephone: 041-734-2682. *
  • The most popular place for cold noodle soup is 함 지 박 (Hamjipak), which is located on the road to Buyeo. It is near the retaurant that looks like a ship.: 733-5569
  • Throughout the city, though, there are hundreds of other restaurants serving varieties of traditional Korean fare. Complete meals with little or no meat are usually priced between 2,500 and 7,000 won.

Local SpecialtiesEdit

Fish and SeafoodEdit

Seafood restaurants are relatively pricy.

  • Hwangsan Restaurant (yellow swellfish broth): 41-745-4836
  • Geumgang Restaurant (yellow swellfish broth): 41-745-5122
  • Dolsan Grill Restaurant (wi - eaten raw): 41-745-0706
  • Hansan Restaurant (wi - eaten raw): 41-745-0556
  • Sansu Pavilion Restaurant (catfish chowder): 41-741-3302,
  • Ttoksori Hot Chowder Restaurant (catfish chowder): 41-741-0927,
  • Shinpung Hot Chowder Restaurant (catfish chowder): 41-732-7754
  • Twin Hot Chowder Restaurant (catfish chowder): 41-742-1409


  • In addition, some of the general restaurants serving Korean-style food have a small selection of fish dishes. Shrimp or octopus in rice can be had at most of them, and deep-fried shrimp, scallops, etc. is common at hofs. Fishpaste strips (odang) on a skewer are sold from stands for about a buck or fifty cents.
  • There are some excellent and sometimes expensive restaurants around the near-by lake, serving various fish, including eel. The fish do not all come from the reservoir, though 붕어(pungeo, a kind of carp) does.

OtherEdit

  • Chestnut Tree Garden (Chestnut jelly, fried chestnut dish and chestnut noodle): 41-732-7979
  • Ogol Chicken Restaurant (Boiled Ogol Chicken in water): 41-736-0707
  • A number of places serve, and some deliver, chicken. Most places deep-fry their chicken, but rotisseried chicken can also be had.

Fast Food and NoodlesEdit

  • Across from university there is a restaurant directly opposite the main entrance that serves brats (called hot-dogs and served with a mild Korean sauce) and hamburgers. Prices are under 2,000 won.
  • Just up the street there is a sandwich place that serves a limited fare of take-away.
  • Also across from Konyang's main entrance is Olive, which includes a few pasta dishes in its mostly "Western" fare. Meals run some-where around 5,000 - 10,000 won.
  • Gimbap (the Korean analogue to sushi) can be found almost every-where and almost universally for 1,000 won.
  • Especially in the cooler weather, a number of stands or tents are set up along sidewalks, especially near the former GS  supermarket. These sell deep-fried foods for fostering foreigners' and locals' bad cholesterol. Most snacks are on skewers and cost around one to two thousand won. Some of these stands also have skewered fish-meal strips that are not deep-fried. At most of the stands, the food will have been prepared ahead of time and left to stand around. But the item will be re-heated, re-deep-fried, re-boiled or what-ever when you purchase it.
  • In the depth of winter, the streets are enhanced by the smell of roasting chestnuts and cooked sweet potatoes.
  • Another seasonal item is dough-fish. This refers to little "cakes" in the shape of fish that are sold from late autumn through early spring. They cost about 500 won for a helping.

Foreign FoodsEdit

There are at least two Italian-food restaurants (Da Sarang, Bellevue), three or more Japanese or pseudo-Japanese short-order restaurants (one by the Nonsan Girls' Intermediate School), two Japanese restaurants down-town (one at 33 만나ㅡ 1 길 near the former Korus Mart serving a luncheon special for 만 won from noon until 3 p.m. and one near 5-Points, just off the street running to KYU), and more than three Korean-style Chinese short-order restaurants (one just off of Highway 23 south of 5-Points, one in campus-town). A large number of places offer pizza (including a Pizza Hut, a Dominoes and a Mr. Pizza), though at a much higher price than chicken or Korean foods generally run. Many of these also serve fried chicken and/or spaghetti. Fried chicken is also available at a number of other restaurants. Many of these provide food by delivery. There is also a fast-food restaurant near Konyang University serving hamburgers and brats when school is in session. Near the former GS supermarket (going toward KYU), there is SandDay, which serves a fairly large variety of sandwiches (menu in Korean and English). ON the other side of the street, there is a restaurant specializing in beefsteak. At the lake, Lake Hill Hotel has a restaurant that serves a limited selection of Korean-tinged nouvelle cuisine (filet mignon, prawns, steaks) at fairly hefty prices. Across from Konyang's main gate, there is a sandwich shop (Isaacs), which sells a variety of sandwiches made with white bread or bagels. In the basement of Konyang's library/administration building, is a restaurant called "The Kitchen" (a chain?). It offers pasta dishes, hamburgers, baguettes, salads, "brunch," and other mostly Western food.

CafesEdit

Across from Konyang's main gate, there are two cafes serving coffee, teas, hot chocolate and associated items. Each has a bit of atmosphere. Near the former GS supermarket (going toward KYU, on the KYU side) is a new chrome-and-glass cafe catering to would-be urbanites. It is Angel-in-Us, a chain run by Lotte.

Pub-style BarsEdit

Nonsan has an abundance of "hofs," including

  • Buzz, in Konyang University's campus-town, which has an interesting mixed-sasuage plate as well as Korean food.
  • Yes, Hof & Restaurant
  • Fox's Pub (Rest & Hof)
  • Watermelon Sugar, near Buyong Apartments, which boasts a dance floor (but which doesn't seem to get beyond the boast on that score) - considered by some to be the best place to meet young Koreans.

Most hofs offer a nice assortment of Korean and some other food, including fruit platters, seaweed soup, and deep-fried sea-food. Beer is pretty much limited to Hite and a couple of other brands not considered especially appealing by the locals.

Soju DivesEdit

A number of tiny establishments lie cheek-by-jowl on the west side of the railroad right of way.

EntertainmentEdit

NoraebangEdit

There are some noraebangs (karaoke bars) in Nonsan. Some of them are along the street that runs by the side entrance of KYU. Others are in the area near Buyong apartments and downtown. There is also one (Versace) at the major intersection near the stadium.

PC PangsEdit

There are a fair number of PC-game places, e.g., on the street running along the side entrance of KYU and in campus-town.

Discos and Dance HallsEdit

There appear to be none. However, there are at least two dance schools: one near the Inter-City Bus Station and one by the bakery between Buyeong Apartments and the DC store.

Live Theater and Dance Performance CentersEdit

The university has a concert hall where guest concerts and dance performances can be seen without charge. Unfortunately, the performances only take place about once a month or even less frequently. KYU's Theatre Department and other groups on campus occasionally put on plays and other performances in Korean and in English in the smaller theatre in the Economics Building or in other auditoriums on campus.

The city's cultural center also has a stage in a relatively large auditorium. Sometimes free performances are offered there.

Movie TheatersEdit

There is one movie theatre in the downtown area (in "Boutique-ville"). It is a multi-screen facility which shows both current Korean movies and some Hollywood fare.

ServicesEdit

Auto ServiceEdit

There are Daewoo and Kia and probably other service centers. There is a service garage near the fruit "shed." At the northern end of town, along the main drag, can be found a plethora of tire and auto-parts and -service shops. There are gas stations along most of the major roads leading into town as well as ones in the city proper. At least one (near city hall) has a car-wash machine.

Car RentalEdit

A car rental company is located between KYU and the bowling alley (opposite the KYU side of the street).

Fitness and Sports Centers and FacilitiesEdit

There are several fitness studios and centers for learning various martial arts (TKD, gumdo, hapkido, traditional Korean archery), a community center, and a large soccer stadium open for public use at no cost (with tennis, badminton, volleyball, track, basketball, indoor croquet, weight training, inline, skate-board, 족구 [kick tennis], traditional drumming,and table-tennis facilities). The soccer field itself is restricted to registered clubs. Konyang University and at least two other institutions have outdoor tennis courts and baseball fields. There are a number of soccer fields, clay running tracks, and traditional Korean wrestling rings at various educational institutions. Commercial golf driving "ranges" (with net systems) are to be found in the city. Between KYU and Uri Home Mart there is a small place with batting cages and kids' trampolines. There is one bowling facility, down the street from KYU. It is reasonably priced and has at least modern twelve lanes, but the balls are restricted in sizes of finger-holes, Fitness paths and exercise stations along sidewalks are to be found in a few spots in the city.

Baths and JimjilbangsEdit

  • General Society Welfare Center (459, Jisan-dong, Nonsan City; telephone: 82-41-730-1646)
  • There is 불가마사우나, a very nice modern sauna center across the major street from the stadium. There are various hot-tubs and a steam sauna in the separate men's and women's areas, where one is nude. In the joint-use area, where one wears the provided sweatsuit-like outfits, there are four dry saunas and and "ice-pang" as well as massage chairs, sleeping areas, large-screen t.v.s, treadmills, and food services. A family atmosphere abounds. One can stay as long as one wishes, even through the entire night. The cost for an adult is 6,000 won (4 for entry, 1 for sweatsuit). There is a discount if one buys a pack of tickets. Towels, soap, lotion, etc. are provided free-of-extra-charge. Toothbrushes, razors, hand-scrubbers can be bought at reasonable prices. Body scrubs and massages are available.
  • Another, even newer jimjilbang with much the same facilities is located outside of the developed area, toward Daejeon. It charges about 6,000 won.

Cultural and Community CentersEdit

  • The Culture and Arts Center (279-3, Nae-dong; telephone: 82-41-734-0815)
  • General Society Welfare Center (459, Jisan-dong, Nonsan City; telephone: 82-41-730-1646)

Facilities for Seniors, Infants, Women, Youth, People with Special Needs, ForeignersEdit

  • General Society Welfare Center (459, Jisan-dong, Nonsan City; Telephone : 82-41-730-1646): Free of charge: Physiotherapy room, physical training room, senior citizens restaurant for low income seniors, Day care center for senior citizens and a day care center for children.

- Paid facilities: Beauty salon and barbershop, public bath, general education that is free of charge for senior citizens aged 60 and older.

  • Youth Training Center: The Youth Training Center includes a Youth Culture House, a gym, a consultation room and a lecture room.

- Location: 785, Jisan-dong - Telephone : 82-41-733-8502, 8503. Fax : 82-41-733-8505 - Hours to use: Weekdays 09:00~21:00 - Saturdays and Sundays 09:00~21:00

  • YWCA: There is a small YWCA building at 5-Points.
  • Nonsan Female Migrant Center: Down the side street near Lotteria down-town. Tel.: 336-1010.

LibrariesEdit

The city library, which is pleasantly climate controlled, is located between Buyong Apartments and Five-Points, across the street from the second-hand shop. It has no general or reference books in English (other than Korean-English dictionaries), but it does have Korean English-language newspapers. There is a tiny branch library in the stadium.

Access to the University's library is restricted to people holding KYU i.d. cards, but community residents can obtain these. The library has academic and one general magazine (Time) in English as well as many books in English, Chinese and a few in other languages as well as its Korean-language books and magazines.

Educational FacilitiesEdit

  • Songjeong-ri is a Nonsan village for the study of the Chinese Classics. Telephone number: 82-41-734-1447
  • There are a number of hogwans that tutor English and some other subjects. Subjects taught include music (e.g., piano, saxophone), art, and school subjects for school students.
  • There are a number of high schools and technical schools in Nonsan, including a Girl's high school.
  • Konyang University, offering B.A.s, M.A.s, Ph.D.s, and M.D.s, has about 8,000 students.
  • Geumgang University is a South Korean Buddhist university located in the country-side, under the shadow of Gyeryong Mountain, near Wonsan and between Nonsan and Daejeon.
  • Hanmin University is in Yeonsan, one of Nonsan's constituent towns (-gun).

Hair StylingEdit

Available at the General Society Welfare Center and in private shops around town.

Laundry, Tailoring and Dry CleaningEdit

Most neighborhoods have at least one shoe-box sized laundry. Generally, the laundry can also provide tailor services at modest prices.

Shoe RepairEdit

There is an expensive cobbler's stuck in a tiny space across the street from the former GS supermarket. His selection of replacement soles and heels is limited.

Health Care FacilitiesEdit

HospitalsEdit

  • Paekje Hospital

Doctor's OfficesEdit

There are a number of medical clinics in Nonsan, including some traditional Oriental medicine ones. There is a new Oriental clinic located upstairs in the new building next to the former GS 25 and one upstairs across the street.

Downtown, a block or two west of 5-Points, there are a number of specialist clinics: a urologist, a GP or internist, a dermatologist, and an ENT clinic. The doctors in the the first two speak English well enough to service patients. The dermatologist only knows technical words in English. There is a gynecological clinic just est of 5-Points. The staff say the doctors speak English.

Dentists' OfficesEdit

Dr. Lee's practice (downtown a block or two west of 5-Points) includes both normal dental care and oral surgery. The dentists speak English well. The dental assistants speak some English. The desk personnel speak Korean and nothing else. The quality of care seems to be up to snuff. The Best Dental Clinic near-by and the dental clinic at HomePus are also be good.

PharmaciesEdit

There are a number of pharmacies in the city, so that one is never far from relief.

Veterinary ServicesEdit

There are some pet shops in town, one of them sort of near 5-Points.

Travel AgenciesEdit

There is presumably one travel agency in Nonsan.

UtilitiesEdit

WaterEdit

While tap water is considered tolerably safe, locals recommend boiling the water before drinking it. An alternative is to get water from one of the municipal "wells." One is located by the stadium, and another is near the tax office (next to the LP gas station). Many people simply buy bottled water at grocery stores.

Electrical ServiceEdit

Universal

CommunicationsEdit

Radio and television reception are somewhat limited, though extensive cable coverage is available for low additional fees. In most cases, the cable service one is offered is determined by the apartment complex.

Internet CoverageEdit

Many private homes are equipped with high-speed Internet connections. There are also Internet cafes, e.g., on the street that runs along the side entrance to the university. Students at KYU have free access to hundreds of Internet PCs through-out the campus.

Telephone ServiceEdit

  • Mobile telephones are ubiquitous.
  • Pay 'phones are relatively common, and most or all can take cards or coins (no larger than 100 won). However, there are different types of 'phones, each using different cards. Using pay 'phones for international calls can be very difficult, even with the help of a bilingual Korean.

NeighborhoodsEdit

[Needs corrections!!! A map will be added in the future, to make this section clearer.] Each of the original towns or villages that formed Nonsan has at least something of a commercial center, in some cases more than one.

  • Banwol-dong (반월동)

This includes most of Nonsan's downtown. The traditional market, Nonsan Movie Theatre (논산극장) and "Boutique-ville" are in this neighborhood. Nonsan Train Station is in Banwol-dong as well.

  • Hwaji-dong (화지동)

This area abuts the tradtional market.

  • Buchang-dong (부창동)

Daerim Apartments, St. Paul's private Catholic Girl's School and the Cosa market are all in this less developed area in the northwest, near the river.

  • Jisan-dong (지산동)

Here is the Gen. Soc. Welfare Center.

  • Nae-dong

This includes the large apartment complexes Jae-il, J Park, A-ju, Nol-mui, Dong-shin and Canary. It is also where Uri-Home Mart and Hai Tai Mart are. Nonsan City Hall (시장) is here too. The Cultural Center is located in the western part of this district.

I believe this includes KYU. There is a campus-town across from the main gate belonging to a different neighborhood. Here are copy shops/printers with fast service, two smallish grocery stores, a plethora of small inexpensive and a few upper-scale restaurants and fast-food places ( hamburger, kimbap, sandwiches). Ice-cream bars and the like are available as well. Except for a few things like a disco, recorded music stores, a movie theater, and appreciable clothing stores, pretty much any-thing a student usually is looking for is to be found in this small shopping area. The university has a HanaBank, copying facilities, a book-store, jewelry store, and a post office as well as a number of student cafeterias open to all customers.


  • Gwanchok-dong (관촉동)

The city's stadium and Banya-san are in this area west of Chiwma-dong and Nae-dong.

  • Chwiam-dong (취암동)

This includes Paekje Hospital (백제병원). It is east of Gangsang-dong.

  • Gangsan-dong (간산동)

In Nonsan's west, Kansan-dong incorporates Buyeong (where some native English speakers live), Dongshin and Changsol Apartment complexes as well as Gangsan Park across the highway. It is near Pekjae Hospital.

  • Deunghwa-dong (등화동)

The most Westward of Nonsan's neighborhoods contains Bonghwa-san Park with the old fortress remains.

Natural Gas ServiceXEdit

Fuel Oil ServiceXEdit

Liquid Propane ServiceEdit

LP is used by many places to fuel supplementary heaters and cooking devices. Replacement cylinders are brought promptly (usually within half an hour).

SanitationEdit

Waste Separation RulesXEdit

Waste Pickup ScheduleXEdit

Local AttractionsEdit

Specialty Products and FestivalsEdit

  • Annual Strawberry Festival held in the spring (Nonsan is the strawberry center of Korea.)
  • Ganggyeong Festival for traditional salted seafood, usually held in October, is a five-day fair, with games, performances, contests (e.g., a singing contest for foreigners) and even some dried fish. It is held in Ganggyeong, an outlying town that lies on the bend of a major river and serves as the port of Nonsan. Ganggyeong can be reached by city bus (1,400 won one-way).

MuseumsEdit

  • Konyang University houses the Korean ham radio museum.
  • General Gyebaek's Battlefield (San 14, Shinpung-ri, Bujeok-myeon). This site has been enhanced with a modern museum. Admission is 1,000 won.
  • The Cultural Center often hosts exhibitions.

TemplesEdit

  • Gwonchoksa Temple in Eunjin (over the hill from Konyang): standing stone Buddha carved in part out of the living rock, over 18 meters tall (Gwanchok-dong)
  • Ssanggyesa Temple (Jungsan-ri, Yangchon-myeon)
  • Gaetaesa Temple (Cheonho-ri, Yeonsan-myeon)

OtherEdit

  • Tapjeong Reservoir

Nonsan is attempting to make this into a regional tourist area. It includes a recently developed free eco-park. The road around the lake is being fixed up, and there are restaurants and boarding facilities galore. One of the fanciest is Lake Hills. Some of the other hotels do not all have a positive image for the locals.

  • Mt. Daedun
  • Oknyeo Peak and Geum River
  • Noseong Hillfort
  • General Gaebek's tomb
  • Mt. Gyeryong (Gyerongsan)

Not far from Nonsan proper is this pleasant mountain or mountain range, with impressive Buddhist temples, a tourist strip with stores and restaurants aplenty, and pleasant hiking trails. The mountain is an officially designated park, and an entrance fee of a few thousand won is charged for those entering there. On the other hand, there are other trails on the mountain accessible from the town of Gyeryong that are less strenuous, less traveled, and free of charge. For these, take the inter-city bus from Nonsan and get off at the Gyeryong stop, cross the highway and generally angle back towards Nonsan, crossing the tracks and walking parallel to them. Head for the hills, and you should see some trails about a half a click outside of town. It is also possible to take a local bus to Gyeryong.

RecreationEdit

FitnessEdit

In addition to the government's free center, there are a number of gyms or fitness centers with weight and aerobic training (e.g., across from Uri-Home Mart). The private gyms vary in equipment and staff. They run around 20-50 thousand won per month. There are weight rooms (one for men, one for women) in the stadium that is open long hours and can be used without charge. Konyang is scheduled to open its new gym in the spring of 2011. Various courses are offered to the public as well as to people associated with the University. At least one street has a par-cours-like arrangement on it and there are at least two, more elaborate, arrangements in the hills.

SwimmingEdit

The city of Nonsan has completed construction of an indoor sport center that includes a swmming pool.  The center is lies adjacent to the stadium.

    Free public beaches are on the sea, about an hour's drive to the west. To get to them by public transportation, take a bus to Daecheon (not DAEJEON) going in the direction of Boryeong from the regional bus station (~7,200 won + ? 900 won). Get off at the nice Boryeong terminal and buy a ticket for the beach ("pada") for 1,100 won. Alternatively, take a train to Daecheon for 6,800 and and buy a ticket for the beach ("pada") for 1,100 won. The train takes a circuitous route, so it takes about two hours. If you get off the rocking and rolling city bus any time once it hits the built-up commercial district (e.g., by the water-sports center), you will be within a block or three of the beach: just keep going in the same direction as the bus was going (it's hard to miss the large beach). The busses leave from Nonsan about hourly during much of the day; the train departs four times daily, the first departure being some time after eight in the morning.

    Swimming is prohibited at Tapjeong Lake (reservoir), though the stream leading out of it does not seem to have any legal restrictions. Apparently the reason for the prohibition is a high nitrate level, which would apply in spades to the stream.

SkatingEdit

Roller-skating, inline-skating, and simple skate-boarding can be enjoyed for free at the small outdoor facilities at the stadium. Many of the city's streets have rubber-pebbled bike paths along with the sidewalks, and these can be used for skating. For ice-skating, one needs to go to the indoor facility in Daejeon.

There is also a roller-skating pavilion outside of town in the general direction of the lake.

Outdoor ActivitiesEdit

Nonsan is located in a valley with hiking mountains pretty much surrounding it. The wooded hills with-in Nonsan have shorter trails (around a kilometer or so in length) , some with par-cours-like equipment. Similar equipment can also be found streetside.

Hills and mountains near Nonsan that have hiking trails include

  • 노성성 (Historic Site # 393) lies about 12 km north of Nonsan. It includes a mostly easy walk with a steep hike to the top, past a fusion temple and on up to the remains of the Paekche fortress wall(not visible), the last line of defense against the Shilla forces. It is about a two hour walk. There are no no facilities for purchasing food, etc. It is a very lightly traveled path.
  • Gyeryon-San.

ParksEdit

There are few parks within the city proper other than the pleasant and popular wooded hills with numerous walking trails, though there is one at the Gwonchoksa Temple in Eunjin. One such area is behind Konyang University, where along one of the trails there are exercise aparatus and at one point a perfect look-out gazebo with a panoramic view of Nonsan and the mountains to the north and east. Another is beside Highway 23. On the edge of town, there is a sports park alongside the Nonsan River (This is where the Strawberry Festival is held). Behind the stadium, there is a small park with sculpture, grass and picnic facilities as well as a stimu-walk. There are some totlots scattered around the town, mostly by or in the large apartment complexes and often with a few benches, a basketball hoop, or exercise gadgets.

    In the outlying areas, there are some nice, large facilities.  The closest is along the remains of one of General Gaebek's forts, across from Buyeong Apartment complex.  Farther out is Tapjeong Reservoir, with places along the shore for walking, rding and picnicking, probably the nicest one being a small island/peninsula connected by a cauway. It has an outhouse.  The city also owns Noeseong Fortress Park, well north of the cty center (discussed above).  This park includes an old house complex and mountainroads and trails for hiking.

 

Pool HallsEdit

There are billiard halls in Nonsan, including one on the street that runs by the side entrance of KYU and one in KYU's student union. Both pocket pool and billiard tables can be found at each facility.

IndustryEdit

  • Sesil, a leading natural biocontrol producer.
  • rice, pear and strawberry farms

Related ArticlesEdit

The following articles are relevant to this city:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonsan

External linksEdit

Here at the Nonsan official government site you can find some more information on this town. http://english.nonsan.go.kr/nsforeign/user.tdf?a=user.index.IndexApp&c=6002

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