The “TDC Ville” known in Korean as Bosan-dong, is the section of the city of Dongducheon located just across the street from the front gate of Camp Casey.
This area is known as the “TDC Ville” because Dongducheon used to spelled Tonducheon and was shortened by soldiers to TDC. The ville is a bunch of old run down buildings that house a mixture of eating establishments, clubs, and shopping stores. The ville has actually seen much recent change. A large portion of the ville was knocked down to make way for the new subway line that runs through Dongducheon now.
The new subway station is just a short walk five minute walk south of Camp Casey’s gate one. The subway is connected to the Seoul subway system and the trains running from Dongducheon actually reach Uijongbu in about 20 minutes. To reach downtown Seoul it takes about an hour and a half. Soldiers can even take this subway line all the way to Songtan, just outside of Osan Airbase, but it is a long two and a half hour ride.
One of the fortunate things about knocking down the old buildings is that it has actually brought some much needed urban renewal to the ville. Some park like features have been constructed along with some newer buildings. There are still a number of vacant lots where nothing has been built yet, but I’m sure additional buildings will be constructed in due time.
The ville is boxed on its eastern side by Highway 3 while on its western side is the Highway 3 bypass and to it’s north is Camp Mobile. The south of the ville is the Korean portion of Dongducheon known as the 2nd Market area.
Shopping in the Ville
The shopping in the ville is really outstanding. You can buy a great hand made suit for about a $100. The tailors can make any suit that you have a picture of. I currently own three suits made in the TDC ville and I have never had any problem with them. You can also have leather jackets made. My leather jacket has lasted seven years so far with no defects. In the ville you can have unit coins, plaques, and other memorabilia made for the half the price it would cost you in the states. I actually had a buddy state side who sent me money to buy some plaques for his unit and to mail them to him because it was cheaper buying plaques from Korea and shipping them then buying them at his current post.
You can also buy lots of great Korean trinkets to send to your friends and family. Plus if you like furniture, Korea sells lots of beautiful hand crafted furniture with great oriental designs on them. This is just a small sample of what is for sale in the ville. If you need something the shop owners will find it and sell it to you at a reasonable price. Just make sure you bargain with them because the shop owners will initially give you a high price. In Asian culture you are expected to haggle over prices. So don’t feel rude trying to drive a hard bargain with the local shop owners because it will save you money.
The only American fast food establishment off post is the Subway located just outside the front gate. There is actually a Kentucky Fried Chicken located in the actual Korean part of Dongducheon but it is located quite a distance from the camp. The other restaurants are local Koreans who cook up everything from hamburgers, steaks, pizza, and Korean food for hungry GIs. Also it is possible to find Filipino eating establishments as well.
The Night Life
As far as the night life is concerned the TDC ville is loaded with clubs. The majority of the clubs are really sleazy joints with the infamous “drinky girls” in them. If you don’t know what a drinky girl is, let me explain it to you. A drinky girl is usually a third country national from mostly the Philippines that you can buy a drink of usually orange juice for $20 bucks and they sit there and make conversation with you. I’m not kidding it costs $20! What is more amazing is that people keep buying them these drinks. The last time I was in Korea the girls would at least hang all over you and you could feel them up but things have changed now quite a bit.
Picture of a “juicy girl” in the TDC Ville from a Time Magazine article on human trafficking and the US military in Korea.
Plus the last time I was in Korea the prostitution was quite public and in the open. The bar owners would always hit you up to buy the girl’s time for $200-$400 and to go back to the hotel and do whatever. However, things now are much more concealed due to the recent exposure the whole prostitution scene received due to multiple exposes’ in multiple media outlets expressing their outrage at prostitution in Korea. The problem I got with this publicity is that it is implied that the US Army is allowing this prostitution to go on when it is the Koreans that are allowing it.
What really annoys me is that the drinky girls in the media are treated as victims even though most of them know what they are getting into and enjoy the attention and financial incentives of being a drinky girl. The few Russian girls that are left are in it for money and are really smart about playing soldiers and sucking as much money out of them as possible. I know many a GI that has lost his shirt to a Russian drinky girl. The Filipino drinky girls are mostly looking to get married to a GI so they can escape the poverty of their home country. I can’t say I blame them.
However, the juicy girls that do play soldiers are extremely effective and if you go through my USFK Crime Archive you will see many cases of soldiers committing crime to feed their juicy girl habit. For some soldiers these girls are like drugs and is a leadership challenge that is unique to Korea that NCOs and officers coming to Korea should be aware of. Some of these relationships between young GIs and these girls in the bars end up becoming a marriage that from my own experiences I have seen filled with problems and with most of them failing.
Despite everything I have said about the juicy girls there are some good clubs in TDC. The website for Mojo’s Bar. has a pretty good list of the various bars in the ville as well as which ones to look out for. Some additional clubs worth checking out are located in the actual Korean part of Dongducheon commonly referred to as the 2nd Market Area. Have a KATUSA buddy bring you to one of these clubs so you can try something different out. Who knows you might like it. Plus there are also lots of coffee shops in the area that have phones on the tables where you can call other tables in the shop on. Weird, but fun believe it or not.
Be careful in the 2nd Market area though because there is an area near the bus station where Korean prostitutes display themselves in windows for potential customers that is known as the “Turkey Farm” that is off limits by the army. It is supposed to be off limits due to health reasons but I think it is more because the Koreans don’t want GIs messing with their prostitutes. Also in the 2nd Market Area there is lots of shopping you can do, but once again be careful because the infamous TA-50 Alley is also off limits to US personnel where they sell military equipment stolen by “slicky boys“.
You can view more updated pictures of the TDC Ville now known as Bosan-dong at this link.
The Toko-ri Ville
Another ville area in Dongducheon is the village of Toko-ri right outside the back gate of Camp Hovey:
Toko-ri a few years ago used to be one dirty, sleazy, and crazy place. If you have ever watched the first Stars Wars movie and remember the bar with the space aliens in it, in the city of Mos Eisley, that is what Toko-ri was like.
Obi-wan Kenobi once described Mos Eisley as a “wretched hive of scum and villainy”, Toko-ri wasn’t much different. However, instead of horned, green, or beady eyed aliens, Toko-ri had Filipino and Russian juicy girls covered in chocolate and wax, a retarded barmaid, strippers that used to hold what was known as the P***y Olympics led by a Korean woman known as the Dragon Lady who did anatomy defying things with cigars and beer bottles, and to top it off there was even a midget. Before I had even ever stepped foot in Korea I had heard about the Midget of Toko-ri from old crusty NCOs about how they used to “stick to the midget” especially on New Years; that is how well known she is in the US military. After seeing the midget for myself I can’t imagine why anyone would want to “stick it to the midget”, but hey to each their own.
Anyway I have heard that Toko-ri has really died down and is not the wild place it used to be. I wasn’t able to confirm this myself on my last trip to Korea since my wife probably wouldn’t like the idea of me trying to confirm the status of the P***y Olympics, chocolate covered juicies, and the Midget of Toko-ri. So if anyone reading this knows the current status of Toko-ri feel free to offer you two cents in the comments section.
You can view more updated pictures of Toko-ri which is now spelled Teokgeo-ri at this link.
Overall – As you can see, the options in the TDC Ville are quite numerous. Great shopping, adequate eating establishments, and a very lively night club scene is enough to keep any GI stationed at Camp Casey occupied. It should be enough to do to get you through a year in 2ID. However, just don’t lose your shirt in the ville. Remember drinky doesn’t love you, she loves your wallet. Keep that attitude and you will be alright.
If you have an interesting or funny veteran story from your time in Korea I would love to hear it. If it is a good story I am willing to publish it here on the ROK Drop. It doesn’t matter what decade you served just as long as it is interesting or funny. If you have a story to share you can e-mail the story to me at gikoreaonline – at – yahoo.com. Thanks for reading the ROK Drop.
More “A Profile” series postings worth checking out:
- A Profile of the Western Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
- A Profile of USFK’s Western Corridor Camps
- A Profile of USFK Camps In Dongducheon
- A Profile of the TDC Ville
- A Profile of Bosan-dong Ville
- A Profile of Teokgeo-ri
- A Profile of Uijongbu
- A Profile of USFK Camps In Uijongbu
- A Profile of Closed Out USFK Camps In Uijongbu
- A Profile of Camp Red Cloud
- A Profile USFK Camps In Seoul
- A Profile of the Korea Training Center
- A Profile of the Chinese Tunnel
- A Profile of Camp Mujuk
- A Profile of Camp Page
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