|Songtan City outside Osan Air Base|
Songtan grew up around Osan Air Base and was originally just three tiny farming villages. When Osan Air Base was established in 1952 the closest town of any size was Osan. Songtan officially became a city on 1 July 1981 and has since grown to a population of 110,000. Songtan has many shops and outdoor stands that offer goods at a much lower price than in the States. In the past you could barter and get a cheaper price on almost anything but now most store owners have a set price. Some will come down a small amount. As of 10 May 1995, Songtan merged with the nearby larger city of Pyongtaek and became a metropolis of 310,000 people covering an area of 87,168 acres. The Songtan and Pyongtaek area has become a major industrial site and is the home for many factories. It is expected that the merger will help in the development of Pyongtaek as a major port city on the coast. A coast highway and a deep water harbor are planned to be built in the near future. References to Songtan are being changed over to Pyongtaek. For the time being, any references to Songtan refer to the area just outside the main gate of Osan Air Base.