ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on May 12th, 2005 at 8:42 am

Yongsan Garrison, Seoul Korea

» by in: USFK

NOTE:  I have a much more updated posting about Yongsan available at this link.


The Garrison – Yongsan Garrison is a large compound located right in the middle of Seoul. It is truly an odd sight for such a big base in the middle of one of the world’s largest most vibrant cities. Could you imagine a large military base in the middle of Manhattan? That is why there are currently plans to move the compound within the next three years.

If you are lucky enough to get stationed here enjoy the place while it lasts because it is a great place to be stationed. Yongsan is one of the nicest military posts I have been on to include anywhere in the United States.

The camp houses some 6,000 soldiers, 1,000 ROK Army KATUSA soldiers that are augmented by 1,000 US civilian workers and 6,000 Korean civilian workers. The on post housing is outstanding with many new barracks buildings for the soldiers. There is also the newly renovated Hanam Village for families that are housed off post. For those that choose to live on the economy off post beware that there are numerous people willing to swindle you, so make sure you read your housing lease very closely. Click Here for the latest Yongsan housing information.

The shopping on the post cannot be beat. The PX is the largest I have seen in the army accompanied by the largest commissary I have ever seen. The post also has numerous mini-malls to augment the already great shopping at the PX.

The Post also has a multitude of eating establishments to choose from all over the post. The nicest restaurants are located at the 5-Star Hotel The Dragon Hill Lodge.

That’s right, Yongsan has it’s very own 5-Star Hotel. The Dragon Hill is one of the nicest hotels in all of Korea and is affordable to the average GI. Not only are the rooms and restaurants great but the hotel also has numerous bars and shopping areas to keep you occupied not to mention the fitness center and swimming pool.

Shopping – The Itaewon district just outside of the Yongsan garrison offers plenty of both shopping and entertainment. The district is the easiest market for shopping for foreigners in Korea. The shop owners in Itaewon all can speak some English and are familiar with western tastes. Unbelievable discounts on suits, leather jackets, hand bags, wallets, jewelery, etc. can be found in Itaewon. You will be absolutely amazed by the bargains there. Make sure you always haggle for the best price because in Asian culture haggling is expected so don’t by shy to negotiate for a lower price. Just tell them “kaka-chu-seyo!” This is Korean for, “I want a discount.” Use this phrase because it will save you money. Don’t pay more than you have to because if you do it encourages the shop keepers to raise their prices to rip off other foreigners.

Nightlife – The nightlife in Itaewon is outstanding. There is a club for everybody’s taste in Itaewon. There are rock clubs, jazz bars, Irish pubs, rave clubs, and your typical “juicy girl” bars. One of the most popular bars in Itaewon that is great for meeting other foreigners is Geckos just across the street from Burger King. Definitely a good place to start your Itaewon adventures at. However, do be careful what bars you go into at Itaewon because many of them have been put off limits by the army.

You do not want to get busted by the MPs. The MPs do have people in uniform and plain clothes monitoring the off limits establishments. The penalties are severe for infractions. Overall you can have a great time partying in Itaewon without visiting the more shadier establishments. So don’t feel like you are missing out on anything.

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  • Concerned Person
    11:06 pm on March 2nd, 2007 1

    I would not consider it to be lucky to be stationed at Yongsan. The factilities are the worst I have ever seen. The Comisary is large and carries most of what you need. The PX is small, you can go to Osan, a BX that carries more variety than the Yongsan PX. None of the gyms are 24 hours so, if you are a shift worker, you are just out of luck. Most people are not authorized to drive however, teenage dependants are. This really baffels me since the restriction was because of the high event of accidents. I personally can’t wait until this place gets shut down. This is the worst tour I have ever had to endure. I dont recommend anyone come here. The shutlle buses stop at 2000 while other factilities run theirs 24 hours a day. Like I said the faicilities are bad.

  • Spec 4
    11:06 pm on March 2nd, 2007 2

    You should have been there in 1962, quit whinning you sissy.

  • Neophyte
    11:07 pm on March 2nd, 2007 3

    What the hell are you complaining about “Concerned Person”, you seem to be concerned about yourself. you sound selfish.
    You should see the soldiers in Camp Hovey, Itching every weekend to get a pass to Yongsan.
    It’s not bad here in Hovey, but I’m damn posotive it’s better in Yongsan.
    “Like I said the faicilities are bad”…what are you going to say about the mess hall in the field?’s un-sanitary?
    gimme a break! sorry for flamming here, but how can you complain!
    I’d switch with you anytime.

    Whatever anybody post after this about how they have it worst than the next…save it.
    be grateful for what you have.

  • PLPL
    11:07 pm on March 2nd, 2007 4

    I happen to agree with the concerned person. Neophyte, You say that soldiers itch to get a pass to Yongsan every weekend. Well that must be nice they obviously do not work shift work and do not work weekends either. You should also practice what you preach in saying that be grateful for what you have because you obviously are not happy with what you have at Camp Hovey.

  • eric
    11:08 pm on March 2nd, 2007 5

    ya all got it too easy in yongsan…quit ya complaining

  • Jeffrey
    10:34 am on July 4th, 2008 6

    I agree with somebody, be grateful for what you have.

    The US Army has likely done you a favor and got you a break from whatever life you were living, and now brought you to Asia to socialize with the people who love you, so try to be happy. Nothing is perfect in this world, and I am not the Army's biggest fan, but this is your choice to be in the Army and to be here now, so enjoy it! Your family, no doubt is proud of you. I heard a soldier in Itaewon spouting the differences between the races, and differences within a race, and then he shouted at a Middle Easterner passing by. You are here as guests, so treat yourself as a guest, and since it's an all expenses paid tour, don't complain too much. Home is always waiting. I love you soldiers, but the love you give will be repaid a thousand times, so be cool when you are out here in the streets. Thanks. If it's really bad, treat yourself to a greaat hotel when you can get the pass.

  • Wonderer
    11:33 pm on September 29th, 2008 7

    How do you get a pass to get on yongsan base? None of my parents work there, and i know some people on there, but i can't go in because I have no pass! :twisted: :cry:

  • yongsan base map - Dogpile Web Search
    5:53 pm on December 10th, 2008 8

    [...] the subway stations. … • Found on Google Yongsan Garrison, Seoul Korea May 12, 2005 … How do you get a pass to get on yongsan base? None of my parents work there, and [...]

  • Migraine Relief
    5:03 pm on November 16th, 2010 9

    leather handbags are superb, they look good and they are great as gifts too ~`'

  • jslim
    5:33 pm on November 16th, 2010 10

    you are right in the middle of one of the safest metropoltian cities in the world so enjoy it morons!

  • sanmusa
    8:40 am on December 1st, 2010 11

    Yongsan garrison itself may have not much to offer, and the fact that teenagers can drive but soldiers can't is really stupid, but Yongsan has a great location deep inside the center of Seoul, which is a very safe city as someone pointed earlier. Just enjoy the settings, see the city and the country. Stay out of Itaewon, that place sucks.

  • earthenrain
    6:32 pm on September 14th, 2011 12

    you all, I am an dependent of retired navy chief. I am visiting for two weeks and was disappointed with people who are complaining about how bad it is here. Like one of the guys said, it is a paid tour, enjoy it. Enjoy life, make the best of it, live it the fullest and participate so that there are no regrets later. If nothing else, you have to love their food here.

  • eriey carlos montana
    1:48 am on May 8th, 2012 13

    anyone knows a juicy girl by the name of shella rebeca-pinay?she worked at the king club 2008

  • setnaffa
    7:50 am on May 8th, 2012 14

    I am astounded at the number of folks who can’t see Korea as a great place compared to the other countries they might have been deployed… :shock:

    But then, young folks often miss the point of life until they’re too old to get it… :sad:

  • Tom Langley
    9:10 am on May 8th, 2012 15

    I’m 57 years old & retired from proudly serving in the US Army in 1996. I literally had the best year of my life when I was stationed at the 121 Evac Hospital in Yongsan. I had a f’ing blast. Does anyone know the plans for the 121? Are they going to give it to the Koreans, tear in down or what? How could anybody hate that duty? Some places in the Army do suck. I was stationed at Ft Leonard Wood, MO from 1980-1983. I received a welcome packet from FLW when I was in Korea, even before I got my orders & I literally started to cry. I knew the place sucked as I took basic there. Concerned Person #1, if you ever got stationed at FLW you would get on your knee & BEG to go back to Yongsan although I know that the area outside of FLW has been built up since I was there 30 years ago.

  • kushibo
    11:56 am on May 8th, 2012 16

    Tom Langley, I used to volunteer at the 121.

    There was probably a time where the 121 was among the most advanced hospitals in all of Korea, but nowadays the 121 sends a lot of its patients out to the Samsung Medical Center or the Hyundai Asan Medical Center.

    Consequently, I’m not sure if the 121 will still be around after the move. The equipment will probably be phased out and sold off or moved to Humphreys.

    What is scheduled to stick around are Dragon Hill Lodge and Camp Coiner, which will be transformed into the US Embassy complex (with, I believe, a trade-off for the US Embassy housing land). Camp Kim may or may not stick around; I haven’t seen plans on that part.

  • kangaji
    1:01 pm on May 8th, 2012 17

    #15: Yeah, they’ve got a buffalo wild wings there and there’s a lot more Koreans around FLW but the main attraction is Walmart and some really horrible clubs like Area 151. As far as the base facilities – big improvements due to the global war on terror budget increase. New starships for the basic trainees, new barracks for AIT students, army hotels just got privatized so maid service went down a bit but flat screen TVs are nice. The engineer school and chemical school have some great facilities, and the PX is about the size of a walmart. However, you’re still in the middle of nowhere in Missouri. Anyone who thinks Yongsan sucks is spending too much time in Itaewon and not enough time in the rest of Seoul… or just doesn’t like big crowded cities.

  • Gio
    11:01 am on October 17th, 2013 18

    Thanks for the kaka-chu-seyo tip :D I’ve been to Korea couple of times, is true only for short periods of time, however I had no idea about haggling being possible.


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