Nav App Hack: Phones not Address

Support Local Businesses and Local Ads
Pyeongtaek Living 101 Advertisement

One of our main goals at South of Seoul (SOS) is to empower our readers and users to explore Pyeongtaek on their own and share the things they love with others. This sounds easy, except that the language barrier and maps issues make this far harder than it should be. How in the world do you quickly and easily share a business location when you can’t read anything or talk to anyone? We have the hack for you! All you need to know are numbers. This is possibly the best-kept secret in the world of Korean navigation. Hold on to your trousers because we are about to make your life a whole heck of a lot better.

Use the Phone Number instead of the Addresses

Yes, it’s that easy. You don’t have to use the address in NaverNavi or KakaoNavi, you can just plug into a landline phone number. This is also the easiest way to share locations with others. No more struggling with Hangul keyboards or trying to search for the address of your location. Just find their phone number.

This is why we include phone numbers in the South of Seoul app. True, this doesn’t help you search for things but it helps you find what you know is there. The following image shows how we pulled up Sokcho Red Crab in both KakaoNavi and NaverMaps using this trick. Both of these smartphone apps have an English language interface.

Left: Kakao , Right: Naver

We also include the Hangul writing of the name so you can match it to the listing when it’s written in Korean in your navigation. Sure, you might not be able to read it, but you can match words like pictures.

Support Local Businesses and Local Ads

LANDLINE REQUIRED, NO CELL PHONE NUMBERS: There is one big trick to this, the number needs to be a landline and not a cell phone. The landline number is almost always posted on the front of the building awning or sign AND printed on the receipts. (If the number starts with 010 or 070 it’s NOT a landline. This does happen.) That means, in order to share the address in the Pyeongtaek Food & Fun FB Group you JUST need a photo of the businesses: business card, sign, or receipt. You don’t need to know any KOREAN! In order to find the location just plug in that number. This is why we just take pictures of signs, receipts, or business cards when we take pictures of our meal. It makes documentation and sharing very easy (although we do often fail to share the image with the number because we are tired, overcommitted, and human.)

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE:  In rural areas, very new businesses, they posted their cell phone, or business that might not be legal – this might not work. Maybe 8% of the time we run into these issues. Interestingly enough, the problem is often near the US Air Force Bases. Maybe they don’t bother to register everything with Naver for various reasons.

Also, and very importantly, sometimes the restaurant will only post six digits of their number and not use the area code. You will notice this in the image above for the Sokcho Red Crab. Their sign doesn’t include the area code. You need the area code to use the number in maps. Don’t worry, we aren’t going to leave you hanging! For Pyeongtaek you must have 031 in front of a seven-digit number. That means, if the number on the sign is only 7 digits, be sure to just add 031 to it…. also use the dashes. Remember that 010 and 070 are cell phones or call centers and will not help you find addresses. Here is a list of codes you will need for areas around us.

  • Pyeongtaek = 031-xxx-xxxx
  • Anseong = 031-xxx-xxxx
  • Osan = 031-xxx-xxxxx
  • Suwon = 031-xxx-xxxx
  • Hwaseong = 031-xxx-xxxx
  • Cheonan = 041-xxx-xxxx
  • Asan = 041-xxx-xxxx
  • Seoul = 02-xxx-xxxx

CAR NAVIGATION: Also, this trick may work with your car navigation. We know it does for taxis but we haven’t personally ever used the installed car navi solutions. We only use the navi apps on our smart phones.

TAXIS: It certainly helps when needing to give the taxi directions. Just give them the phone number and they can take you straight there without confusion.

Are your minds blown yet?

This hack is how we are able to move quickly around the area. We rarely struggle with entering the address, we just plug in the phone number and go. (We confess to being pretty annoyed when a business only shares a cell phone number. It’s like, “Why do you hate us?”) We will repeat that this doesn’t always work well in the areas close to the US Military bases, especially if the businesses are foreigner owned. Works great in the other areas. Go forth and explore!

Also, PLEASE share this information with everyone you know who are struggling with navigation. Also be sure to share landline phone numbers in your posts in the Pyeongtaek Food & Fun Facebook group.