“What do you mean the fish eat your skin? Are you serious? Does that hurt”
When Lara and I first heard of Dr Fish we were both a little freaked out (OK, a lot) but we were pretty curious as well. After much searching in Cheongju and other cities (there was one in Cheongju, but now it’s gone) I gave up, Lara however; did not. Her friend Jess hunted one out in Osan, so off we went for fish, mani’s, pedi’s and all you can eat meat.
Osan is about an hour north from Cheongju, 35km south from Seoul. Osan Air Base is also located near the city so the shopping, food and foreigner population are very similar to Itaewon in Seoul. After finding Escape Spa we set our eyes on our new fishy friends.
Garra rufa or Dr Fish are a particular species of fish, from the river basins of the Northern and Central Middle East who feed on dead skin. At this particular salon you sit around a pool of water where the fish swim around eagerly waiting for your footsies. One by one we washed our feet and took the plunge. After a lot of laughing and shrieking (if you have ticklish feet you’ll spend A LOT of time laughing) we managed to sit for ten or so minutes in the pool while the fish did the rest. After I recovered from my fit of giggles I was pretty impressed with the results and it’s a smart way to start out a pedicure. Four hours later, all four girls has shiny new feet, hands and nails.
After getting all pretty it was obvious some shopping would be required (we are girls after all). Most of the shops here are your typical touristy types with a few Korean and American stores thrown in and then you get the bag shops. You know, those bag shops.
After browsing the shelves it was decided these were pretty crappy pirates and we made the decision to leave, however not before being offered the “good” bags. This involved locking the doors to the store (I know, freaky right?) and being led downstairs and into a secret room (I’m telling the truth, honest) where only a select number of people where allowed at one time so you can consider your purchase options in private and bargain as required. Let’s just say, it was an interesting experience.
The other reason we traveled to Osan was for an all you can eat meat buffet. Red meat is VERY expensive in Korea so all you can eat is pretty exciting and we weren’t disappointed. Fogo Grill is a Brazilian style steakhouse, much the same as Wildfire (if you live in NZ) where they bring various cuts / types of meat to the table. For 25,000\ you have unlimited access to the salad bar and we ate sirloin, garlic beef, baby beef, rump, bacon wrapped beef, chicken and sausage before finishing off with grilled pineapple sprinkled with cinnamon. Yum!
Thanks to Lara, Jessica and Shaina for a great girls day out.
Fancy a fish foot fest?
Dr Fish can be found at Escape Spa (031-665-9751) in the Songtan shopping district (two train stops from Osan station). If you get lost, ring them for directions they speak perfect English and accept won or US dollars.