ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on August 13th, 2011 at 3:09 am

A Profile of Korea’s Teokgeo-ri Ville

» by in: USFK

The city of Dongducheon is well known for being home to Camp Casey and Soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division.  This has made the Bosan-dong ville across the street from Camp Casey the main shopping and bar area for Soldiers stationed at the base.  However, Bosan-dong isn’t the only ville in Dongducheon.  Camp Hovey is a smaller camp accessed from Camp Casey by a small valley known as the Hovey Cut between the two camps.  Just outside the gate of Camp Hovey is the small village of Teokgeo-ri.

Note that Teokgeo-ri has been spelled Toko-ri in the past.

At one time Teokgeo-ri was one of the sleaziest villes you could find in Korea since the clubs had to go out of their way to attract GI customers from the much larger and popular TDC Ville.  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 Teokgeo-ri was like a few years ago.

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, Teokgeo-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.

Since I don’t have anything to do with the ville any more I’m not sure if any of this still goes on, but from what I hear Teokgeo-ri has really died down and even the midget has left the ville in recent years.  I hear that the clubs in an effort to stand out from their competition in the TDC ville are more active in prostitution.  Anyone know if this perception is true or not?

Anyway I recently made a visit to Teokgeo-ri.  The below map shows the route I took around this small village:

I started my walk around Teokgeo-ri from the main road that runs through the center of town.  From this road I noticed the first club I saw called the Black Jack:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

As I continued to walk down the road I also saw the Fox Woods Club:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

At the end of the street the road leads to Highway 364 which is a scenic drive up and over the mountains to Pocheon. I took a left and followed a small side road that leads to Camp Hovey:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

The side road follows a creek on its eastern side and on the western side are more buildings from the village.  Here is the view looking across the creek towards the farm land from the side road:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Here is the view of the buildings I was approaching as I walked down the road:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

This cluster of buildings were more clubs servicing Soldiers from Camp Hovey.  The first club with the Joy Club:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Next was Club Bounce and Club Hooah:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Here is the view looking back at these clubs:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Here is the view of the creek that runs through Teokgeo-ri and also flows through both Camp Hovey and Camp Casey:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

This creek looks harmless enough now but when there is sustained rain this creek can really get swollen and flood which is something Camp Casey and Hovey recently experienced.

Here is view looking in the other direction across the rice paddies that border Teokgeo-ri:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

As I walked further down the road I came upon this bridge that crosses the river:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Across the bridge there is a road that leads to Beaver’s.  Beaver’s is a BBQ restaurant frequented by US Soldiers that has been the subject of controversy in the past.  However, it was about this time that I started getting rained on pretty heavily and just decided to walk back to my car as quickly as possible instead:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

As walked down the road Camp Hovey came into view:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

The road in front me leads through this narrow ville, which I have had a few interesting times trying to drive a Humvee through before:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Instead of walking down the road towards Camp Hovey I took a left and headed back towards the downtown section of the city instead:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Along the way I walked by this US Army friendly hotel:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

I then walked by the villages Post Office that appears to be having a problem with people leaving trash on their premises:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Here is a picture of a chicken and beer joint I passed as I walked through the ville:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Here is a side street in the middle of Teokgeo-ri I then followed where more clubs are located:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

First is the DMZ Club:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Then there is the Grand Illusion:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Followed by Club NBA:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Here is the view looking back down the street at the clubs that I walked by:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

From this street I then walked up a side alley to take me back to where I parked on the main road through town:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Along this road I saw few more clubs such as Club Obsession:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

I then walked by the UN Club:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

After coming back upon the main road through Teokgeo-ri I noticed a sign for the D&G Club:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Right next to the D&G Club was what was left of this burned down club:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

Here is one final view of downtown Teokgeo-ri:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

If it wasn’t for the fact that Teokgeo-ri is a sleazy ville it actually would be a nice place to live due to its scenic location.  The valley is quite beautiful and some people are starting to take notice of this fact as more and more large and expensive homes are being built along the hills around Teokgeo-ri:

Picture from Teokgeo-ri, South Korea

I do have to say that in the past 10 years Teokgeo-ri has come a long ways and is not as sleazy as it once was.  Who knows maybe some day after the US military relocates from Dongducheon to Camp Humphreys further down south, maybe Teokgeo-ri will become an area more affluent people build their homes to take advantage of the village’s beautiful scenery?  With that said that concludes my walk around Teokgeo-ri.  If anyone has anything they want to add about the various clubs in the village and experiences they had in Teokgeo-ri in the past please share with everyone in the comments section.

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  • Cloying Odor
    5:06 am on August 13th, 2011 1

    The flood in ’98 spawned most of the rebuilding you see today. While they have slightly polished the turd, it’s still a worthless cesspool of Horny GIs ,Flip whores, Soju laden Whiskey and Skunk OB.

  • ChickenHead
    5:25 am on August 13th, 2011 2

    I am wondering if there is any such thing as “skunk OB”.

    In all the years of selling Korean beer, I never had a complaint about any of the beer tasting skunky.

    Nor, outside of a GI ville, have I had strange-tasting Korean beer.

    I suspect that “skunk OB” has more to do with the habit of GI bars refilling used bottles with draft beer and loosely recapping them by thumb in the afternoon.

    Then, they go into the beer cooler where they loose much of their fizz and freshness after a day or three.

    Ajuma brings them to the table with rapidly popped caps and nobody is the wiser.

    Poor OB, which runs a squeaky-clean stainless steel and glass brewery where robots do most of the work, gets blamed for making skunky beer.

    Some people deny this is possible. One guy wanted to argue that there was no way ajuma could serve him a refilled beer… he “would just know”. Besides, “I can hear the hiss when the cap comes off.” He denied my skepticism that anybody could here that in a noisy bar.

    While he explained the intricacies of differentiating the nuances of opened and unopened beer, I kept eye contact, picked up an empty bottle off the bar, pressed a cap on it with my thumb… RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM… and said, “Gosh, dude. I guess you are right. Let me buy you a beer.” I popped the top with an opener.

    His attitude changed. “Thanks, man!” He lifted it back for a swig… and, of course, nothing came out.

    In the history of stupid looks, it was in the top ten.

  • Mike
    5:34 am on August 13th, 2011 3

    I was just up in that area today…had a lot of flood damage to many of the clubs. The Americans helped out quite a bit cleaning out their own favorite watering holes though!

  • Teadrinker
    5:42 am on August 13th, 2011 4

    “Poor OB, which runs a squeaky-clean stainless steel and glass brewery where robots do most of the work, gets blamed for making skunky beer.”

    Who gets the blame for their recipes?

  • ChickenHead
    6:15 am on August 13th, 2011 5

    “Who gets the blame for their recipes?”

    Budweiser.

  • Chris Hiler
    10:15 am on August 13th, 2011 6

    Though this all looks scrubbed and clean compared to the Korea I remember from 1983 I sure do want to come back and take a tour. I really appreciate the photo journalism pages like this I’m finding on this site! Thanks

  • setnaffa
    6:14 pm on August 13th, 2011 7

    Just don’t make the mistake of going in December when it’s 14 below…

  • LG DACOM Stinks, Royally
    7:54 pm on August 13th, 2011 8

    Note that the clubs are all several stories tall and windowless. All of the clubs are on the ground floor. What’s in the floors, above?

  • mikesaw
    8:20 pm on August 13th, 2011 9

    That is where the CSW’s are held (can’t escape if there are no windows….)

  • Teadrinker
    1:25 am on August 14th, 2011 10

    #5,

    Directly or indirectly? And,while I’m at it since you know a thing or two about the booze business in Korea…Why are Korean breweries’ new products so bad?

  • guitard
    5:13 am on August 14th, 2011 11

    A little useless Teokgeo-ri trivia that I learned from someone born and raised there.

    The first syllable in the name is “tuk” (턱), which is the Korean word for “chin.” The second and third syllables are the word “geo-ri” (거리), which is the Korea word that has several related meanings, such as distance, range, an interval, a difference or a gap.

    So…how/why did these two words get combined to make the name of a small mountainous village?

    There are several trails up in the mountains, some of which are somewhat dangerous because one errant step and you could find yourself going down. So if someone took a wrong step, he/she could easily find him or herself falling into a cavity/depression of some sort and quickly be up to his/her chin in a hole. Thus, you fell to a depth (distance) “up to your chin.”

    And so the name Teokgeo-ri was born.

    Without giving it any thought – 99%+ of the people would guess the “ri” part of the name is the “ri” (리 里) that means village. But this is a rare case of a village name that ends with “ri” – and the “ri” means something other than village. Also, most Korean place names have Chinese characters behind the hangul spellings – but not this village. It’s name is pure Korean.

  • ChickenHead
    5:32 am on August 14th, 2011 12

    Teadrinker,

    Have you not noticed that everybody is producing a “safe”, lowest-common-denominatior one-size-fits-all product?

    This ranges from TV/movies/music to snacks/chain restaurants/beer to uninspired fashion/cars/consumer electronics.

    Unique and appealing stuff is available… but it costs substantially more than the dreck passed off on the masses.

    This is a side effect of the perverse form of macroeconomics currently being practiced and passed off as “capitalism”.

    It would take pages and pages to explain… but some key points are… governments discourage small-scale innovation through over-regulation, employment law, and tax structure… large companies discourage anything but managed competition from their peers… the financial companies encourage stagnation through formula risk management… and short-term, golden parachute CEOs worrie about short-term gain at the expense of long-term failure, etc.

    (Another interesting aspect is when this system fails, there will be many wagging their fingers and happily touting the “failure of capitalism”.)

    So… with all this, every beer tastes like Budweiser… the lowest form of beer that is not exactly unpleasant… but certainly isn’t much more special than water.

    Small companies interested in making great beer at a lower profit can’t get the approval or financing to get started and the big companies work together to keep it that way… and then they collectively try to shave pennies of cost off the thousand gallon tank by using inferior ingredients or faster processes which result in lower quality products across the board… but, with an army of focus groups, they are able to choose something the public will tolerate if they have no other choice… and then, after some time, the public forgets and the new crap becomes the new standard.

    If all the contrived regulations and permits didn’t exist, any one of us could make fantastic beer out of our houses and sell it on the street at a reasonable price and make a reasonable profit… quickly becoming competition with the swill producers.

    It can be done… but it requires big money. Gone are the days of Ma and Pa starting a big company out of their house and building the business one step at a time all on their own. Everyone from the big companies to the financial institutions to the government they control don’t want it to be that easy or that independent.

    Actually, America has some great microbreweries but the big 3 (Bud, Miller, Coors) control distribution and lock them out best they can.

    Prohibition killed many breweries and the small ones primarily came back because of one man… one kind of unexpected hero. While we love to make fun of him, we should probably always give him credit for this as we complain about him.

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/76819/how-jimmy-carter-saved-beer

    Anyway, that is a very babbling, unorganized, complex, and wide-ranging answer to why popular beer (and a lot of other things) suck… and seem to keep getting worse.

    Hope it made sense.

  • ChickenHead
    6:42 am on August 14th, 2011 13

    Guitard,

    I heard a slightly different story.

    “Teokgeo-ri” does not really exist except as slang. It is not an official name… hence it is not a “ri”. It is a dong of Dongduchon. The official address is gwang-ahm-dong.

    Teok-ga-ri came about because going over a hill in the area (possibly of the same name) caused one to be out of breath.

    Korean slang for “out of breath” translates as “breath comes up to your chin”… which became, as you pointed out, “chin distance” or some similar idea.

    I can’t vouch for my version being correct… but that’s what I heard.

  • Teadrinker
    8:38 am on August 14th, 2011 14

    #12,

    With imports being increasingly popular, they could still produce a better quality product and charge a premium for it as they do in most countries. It would sell. But, as you were saying, they are shortsighted.

  • Teadrinker
    8:40 am on August 14th, 2011 15

    …The breweries are also owned by the same companies that produces and imports those imports…which makes me wonder what the markup is on imports.

  • Leon LaPorte
    8:46 pm on August 14th, 2011 16

    16. There are skunk beers. This happens because it is not stored properly.

    A bar owner buys bulk and it sits in a non-climate controlled area; hot, cold, hot, cold…

    It is exposed to the sun in summer in the back of a truck…

    Expired beer.

    Any combination of the above.

    You get less skunks in the winter. Skunks have become more rare over the years but they most definitely exist.

  • ChickenHead
    8:54 pm on August 14th, 2011 17

    Q: Why is Toko-ri CP worse than the Galactic Empire?

    A: Spice isn’t the only load you have to dump before a patrol arrives.

  • wamille
    9:07 pm on August 14th, 2011 18

    To those of you who are interested in the concept of better beer in Korea, the following information is provided:

    http://www.facebook.com/CraftworksKorea?ref=ts
    http://www.craftworkstaphouse.com/
    http://homebrewkorea.com/

    Some folks are trying to give people good beer options – either by opening a bar or making it themselves.

    Also, there’s a Korean-American guy who is running an American Craft Beer importing company here that currently supplies Anderson Valley, Lost Coast, and Rogue Brewing Company beers. They’re pricey, but good.

  • FlyingDachshund
    9:09 pm on August 15th, 2011 19

    I lived in the old apartment complex at the far left of that 3rd pic for a long time. It used to be a foreigners only complex, sold to private individuals during our stay there (many of the apartments were subsequently renovated). That part of TDC was a nice, quiet place to live (sleazy clubs down the street, which I never visited, notwithstanding). I’d go back in a minute. Last time I was there that apartment complex wasn’t looking too good anymore, though…

  • Mike B.
    11:58 pm on August 15th, 2011 20

    The new OB beer, called “OB Gold”, is not bad. Its at least as good or better than any US mass produced beer. And I agree that being in brown bottles, cans or kegs there is little chance of a truly “skunky” Korean beer (except I suppose, Cafri, in the clear “High Life” style bottles), as “Skunky” aroma is a result of sunlight acting on the beer.

  • ChickenHead
    1:20 am on August 16th, 2011 21

    Leon,

    I have heard the old “it sat around” used as an excuse… but I think it is just an excuse because nobody wants to believe they are drinking used beer.

    Korean bar owners have not studied logistics nor do they speak of JIT… but they have neither the space nor the extra cash to keep weeks of unused beer lying around in a back room… so they rotate their entire supply in a week at most.

    The distributors also rotate their supply quickly as storage space is expensive.

    There never seems to be a skunky beer from a store, either… or Korean-only bars in non-GI areas.

    I stand by my idea that skunky beer is due to the games GI bars play.

  • Leon LaPorte
    2:18 am on August 16th, 2011 22

    21. Sorry CH. I personally know bar owners whose stock *might* have rotated, sitting in an (climate) uncontrolled area, for 5-6 months, maybe longer. I couldn’t believe how much beer they were buying versus how much they sold. Thinking of one owner in particular, I’m suspecting a huge bulk discount on nearly expired product. Possibly saving 3-5 cents a bottle! Oh, it’s worth it. ;)

    I know I never sold used beer in my bar but sometimes, but rarely, got a skunk.

    As far as sunlight and brown bottles. Meh. Hauling brown bottles around on the back of an uncovered flatbed for a few days?…

  • Josh
    9:30 pm on August 25th, 2011 23

    oh man this brings back memories. was with the MP’s from 2004-2007 here. I remember the king club and mustang club the most. mustang for the crowd/music and king for the girls

  • Steve Dudas
    1:20 pm on February 25th, 2012 24

    I was in Camp Hovey – Toko-ri from 1966 to late 1968. I don’t know how it changed but then it was one of the most laid back places in Korea. The people were friendly and the food was great. The pot was cheap and it was mellow. The girls were all Korean, no foreign girls at all. There wasn’t a paved road anywhere to be seen, except in the camp. There were no buildings over one story that I can remember, even in camp. Most buildings were quonsets except for the mess hall and the officer’s quarters. The clubs were called the New Seoul Club and the Niagara Club, etc. A yobo (girlfriend) was $15.00 a month and it went up as you gained rank. We used to do field marches up to a place called Wang Bang Knee. If you wanted to go to TDC, you could take a Kimchi bus at the risk of your life. Going over the pass to TDC was always an adventure. The village was a floating mud puddle during monsoon season. I don’t think many of us wanted to go to TDC because we had our own little tucked away paradise. It was among the best times of my life. I would go back in a minute if it were still like that. Unfortunately it does seem to have changed a bit.

  • Bruce
    2:09 pm on February 25th, 2012 25

    One of my buddies just returned from Hovey last week. He said Toko-ri is now Off Limits. He did say that since it is Off Limits, the MPs and the units patrols do not go there, it is a good get away.

  • Leon LaPorte
    3:56 pm on February 25th, 2012 26

    25. Is this an unofficial secret off-limits?

  • Dr. T. Sanchez
    6:28 pm on February 25th, 2012 27

    Re: OB and skunk beer – shit, when I was in Korea, I’d drink a semi-cold beer out of a homeless man’s shoe; In 1987 at 800 won, it was not a bad deal. When out and about, who cares about the beer?

    As for Toko-ri: I lived a five minute walk from the main gate at Camp Casey. It was too easy just to go there. On 2 or 3 occasions, however, I wanted to see what Toko-ri might have to offer. While not dissapointed, I was not so impressed, either. I did meet one nice person at the Ace club, but not so nice that I went back. Honestly; why travel to go ride on a merry-go-round when you already live in Disneyland? I will admit that the cab rides were nice, especially if you told the adjushi to go fast; the ride through the mountains was nearly as fun as a roller coaster.

  • Jim Tewell
    10:45 am on February 27th, 2012 28

    I was also stationed at Camp Hovey (1966-1968) where I met Steve Dudas and we became friends and still are. Tokori was a great little village back then. There was a road that went up behind the village along a stream – great place to stop and have a picnic – very scenic. I stayed overnight many times – returning back to base in the morning. We would buy a teapot full of Malkoli for about 40 won – drink that and smoke pot. I really had a great time there even extending my tour of duty for an additional year. Also had a great time touring much of South Korea. The people were very grateful for us being there and protecting them.

    Looking at these pictures – I can’t believe how much everything has changed.

  • Chris
    4:34 pm on February 29th, 2012 29

    Toko-ri was a “ri” at one point. Mail to my hooch off base back in the 80′s was Kyonggi-do, Tongducheon-Shi, Kwang-am-dong, Toko-ri, and whatever the street address was.

  • Randall Atchison
    2:12 pm on March 12th, 2012 30

    I was stationed at Camp Hovey from 1989 -1990! I spent so much time “down range” in the ‘vill my buddies called me the Mayor of ToKoRi! You could usually find me at the Enjoy Club swilling something cold, hardly ever OB. I think they sold Bud there, can’t remember! Usually had a LBFM close by trying to hustle a drinky or a short time!! I was very glad to see the photos posted here but can only remember the “GI” Club and Jun Bar B Q! The Enjoy club was up that alley between the two in the pic! Tried to go by there the day before I PCS’ed but the place had been shut down for some reason. I’d like to go there again and see the place, but I am too old now to “Enjoy”!!!

  • Tom Langley
    6:43 pm on March 12th, 2012 31

    I was stationed in Yongsan at the 121 Evac Hospital from 1979-1980. One of the few things that I didn’t like about Korea was that the beer sucked. There were 2 types, OB (OB is an appropriate name since it tasted like Obstetrical drainage) & Crown (less nasty in my opinion but not by much). I went back to Korea for a week after I retired in 1996 on the way to my wife’s home in Cambodia & they had Budweiser. It’s not great like Guinness, German, or Czech beers but it’s better than OB or Crown. I drank oceans full of soju, mokoli, & oscar when I was stationed there. The pot was just ok but you could get different pills or codeine cough syrup in the Korean pharmacies. For any law enforcement personnel reading this that is just what I heard. The year I spent in Korea was the best year of my life, it was one big party.

  • Dr. T. Sanchez
    7:30 pm on March 16th, 2012 32

    Perhaps drinking OB is just an acquired taste. I know that after several months in Korea, I acquired the taste quite nicely, thank you. Hell, I could even drink that wierd-ass “champagne”, Oscar, and not toss my biscuits. If one can tolerate (or even enjoy) soju or makkoli, one could certainly like OB!

    Did anyone ever try kolyangju? It is a Chinese whiskey; that shit gave me a three day hangover. Never again!

  • SGTBROWNTY
    6:46 am on March 30th, 2012 33

    :twisted: Ahh Hovey ville! My first introduction to military night life in 1990. My first drink, my first time over seas, first time experiencing the “Drinky” culture…..the days. I love your comparison between the Casey ville and Hovey Ville…too accurate. I used to love going to Hovey Ville because I knew that all other G.I.’s were in Casey. But one time they shut Casey down and put it off limits, that night I think half of 2ID was in Hovey ville. I had never seen it so crowded. Thanks for the pics and memories.

  • guitard
    8:15 am on June 10th, 2012 34

    Sorry for the double post – but this is a more appropriate place for this:

    I went out the Camp Hovey gate and drove through Tokori last night. It was sometime between 9:00 and 10:00pm on a Saturday — and I literally did not see a single soldier.

    My how things have changed . . .

  • Bill Coughlin
    1:34 pm on July 13th, 2012 35

    Wow! I was stationed at Cp Hovey 69-71. I was a “Ville Rat” and actually married a girl from there, two sons, and doing well. It was a little broken down village and I can’t believe how it has changed. When you walk out the Hovey gate I actually bought the first building to the right, don’t know if it’s still there (if so I own it lol), it had been bought by a former MSG, two rooms and pretty snazzy for Tokori, I think I paid like $300, huge sum in those days…aaah they were good times….

  • Bill Coughlin
    1:40 pm on July 13th, 2012 36

    I would love to go back and visit

  • Bill Coughlin
    2:03 pm on July 13th, 2012 37

    I like Steve Dudas’s post, why go to TDC when we had a little bit of heaven on our front door. I also remember Steve, the New Seoul and Niagra Clubs.
    True story…the little stream that floated thru Toko-ri and Camp Hovey. I had snuck out without a pass and somehow got thru the front gate…to get back I used an air mattress and floated right to my barracks which was just off the stream. I don’t think I was the first to do this, they always put up wire but somehow it always got torn down…great crazy memories…..

  • Bill Coughlin
    2:03 pm on July 13th, 2012 38

    :roll:

  • Steve Dudas
    9:08 am on July 20th, 2012 39

    Interesting stories on how the name Tokori came about. You learn something new all the time. I’m wondering if there are still any references to Wang Bang Knee where we did our full pack marches back in 1966-68? It was uphill all the way out and uphill all the way back. Never figured out how they did that. I suspect the name ‘Wang Bang Knee’ is a G.I. given name but I’ll let you break it down. Obviously somebody with a tauxan chargee who was bragging about it.

  • Steve Dudas
    9:10 am on July 20th, 2012 40

    By the way, Bill Coughlin, I was in HHC, 2/32nd. Which company were you in?

  • john pierson
    11:41 am on August 20th, 2012 41

    I was at Hovey in spring and summer of 1971.
    HHC 1/23. We had just come off the DMZ over at Libby bridge. Brought my girl from Changpa ri down to Toko’ri. We had a hootch just out the back gate and up on the hill on the right.
    It was cool. Work on base 8-5 then down to the vill for the night and all weekends.
    No having to be back by midnight and only 25% of your unit able to be on pass like it was when we were across the river.
    The vill was a bit of a mud hole though,but it was in that beautiful valley. It’s funny I just moved from Irvine Ca where I lived for 24 years and it now has a huge Korean population. In 2000 a Korean family bought the house next door and hearing Korean bought back lots of memories.When I tell the Koreans that I was there in the army they almost always say thanks to me for serving. I sold my house to a Korean family when I move here in Tulsa Ok. The family got $250,000 from their parents in Korea for the down payment. South Korea has come a long way.

  • Mark Heathco
    7:59 pm on September 8th, 2012 42

    Toko’ri was there from 84 to 86 good time had by all remember thunder runs and jungle juice thought i died and went to heaven lots of girls too hahahaha thanks for the memories do they still do the horn run on saterdays :cool: :lol:

  • Dave
    10:17 am on September 12th, 2012 43

    What a deference. I was station at Hovey in 1966. What a rat hole then. Muddy streets 4 inches deep, shanty town at best. Mothers selling their daughters. I see it’s still Loaded with bars and whores. Had some fun though, culture shock back then for sure.

  • Rober
    5:27 pm on November 11th, 2012 44

    I was there in 1977…..mud streets, dirt roads (MSR 1 was barely paved then), tanks and 2/5 trucks on the main roads, that was To ko ri and TDC….

  • Steve Dudas
    6:23 pm on November 11th, 2012 45

    Then you can imagine what it was like in 1966. Same mud but probably more of it and that refreshing aroma from the rice paddies when the first spring thaw occurred. You remember that aroma, right? Straight from the hard work of the honeydippers. By the end of the first week, you didn’t even notice the smell anymore. Ah, what a place. I would go back in a minute if it still existed.

  • Rick
    10:24 pm on November 19th, 2012 46

    wow… is this really Tokori ? I was stationed at Hovey from oct 71 – Jan 73. I was a gate guard for some of that time, and the rest of the time I was in HHC 1/23 Inf commo, on the hill just above the Motor Pool.. or the commo chief of Combat support and spent some time on the Z. I was a 17 year old kid, and sure remember some of the best times I had in my life. I never looked at it as a bad place, I had so much fun how could I. It was a dirty mud hole that I do remember, but hell I still enjoyed my time there so much that if given the chance I would do it again…..

  • Dan Messisco
    1:30 pm on November 25th, 2012 47

    I was stationed at Camp Hovey from Oct 1966-1967. Met and married my first wife there. Three kids and four grandchildren later I still have mixed memories of the place. I long for the days when a dollar would buy just about anything.

  • Bob Duval
    7:05 pm on November 25th, 2012 48

    Was with HHC 3/32 as Radar Operator from Jan 67 thru May 68. I totally agree with comments regarding “the time of our lives”. Toko-ri was a real eye opener for a 19 yr old. Like the old west. Spent all your money on beer in the clubs and to mamasan for the short time with the bar girls. The town was really nothing more than wooden shacks and some store fronts with dirt roads and an occassional town well. The bars and clubs were always packed with G.I.’s and the music blared in the streets from the time you walked through the Hovey gate. The surrounding rice paddies brought tears to your eyes during the spring thaws, and frozen toes when walking guard on the dikes in winter during alerts. Spent 3 months on the Z at GP Hendrix, and never regretted a day spent in Korea. It was great being 19 and innocent.

  • ChipperB
    8:03 am on December 15th, 2012 49

    I was an 11 Bravo at Hovey in 1-503 Inf, 87-88. I raised a lot of hell that year. What sucked about Korea was that all of the NCOs and Officers lived cheek to jowl with you-no family to go home to, so they were more involved in a soldiers personal life more than at a typical stateside assignment. Also, they would pull your pass for the smallest of infractions or just for the hell of it. Having said that, outwitting NCOs and Officers was something I enjoyed doing. I had an overnight pass every night-even when I was restricted. I preferred Toko-Ri to TDC because I had my favorite bar and knew the owners and was treated pretty decently. I went back to Korea from 94-97. Things had really changed.

  • Joe Monte
    10:33 pm on January 25th, 2013 50

    I was with CS 2bg 34inf in Nov1959-1960. Toki-ri was a primitive village through I drove my jeep on the way to my alert station. The streets were unpaved and often muddy. The stench from open sewers was worse than the rice paddies. When the Niagra Club opened it was a time for celebration, because it was the most substantial building in the village. There was a more convenient community north of Toki-ri that we used to village via a hole in the fence. It was necessary to traverse the rice paddies, because there was no road.

  • William Coughlin
    4:56 pm on February 23rd, 2013 51

    Just ran across a guy who was at Toko-Ri the same time I was there…it’s interesting that all of our memories are the same….it was a dirty little village, but it also had it’s good points, good times….I think Steve said it best, the smell was awful, but after a week you got used to it. I spent over two years there and would have spent the rest of my military career there if they let me…great crazy times

  • TCW
    6:50 am on June 1st, 2013 52

    CHIPPERB… Was same unit & time as you .. 87-88. Look up Camp Hovey page on FB. What company were you with??
    Tokori was THE BEST !! In 87-88 it was our ‘ville!! We loved it there!! Great clubs & places to eat once you got to know your way around. I’m not talking Vegas here but, for the time, place, & circumstances. If you’ve been there you know what I’m saying.

  • 1/5 Inf Medic
    11:59 pm on August 9th, 2013 53

    I was there in 91-92 as medic in the 1/5th. I can honestly say I had the time of my life down in Toko-Ri. All I can remember was the Grand Illusion and the Wild Rose or Yellow Rose. Looked a lot different 21 yrs ago. There was a lot of “juicey” girls then but you figured them out and they also figured you out. They would just await the next “Turtles” to show up. Poor girls…good times! How about that SoJu??!! Was kind of happy to throw my boots over that power line and fly outta that hole. What I really miss is the food! I’d like to get a group together and ride the train to Ouijambu(sp), take the subway to Iaetawon and party the weekend on HookerHill. Anyone remember the HeavyMetal Club or the King Club? How about drinking Kettles on the Hill when the clubs closed long enough to restock? The only place that stayed open really late or all night was that club on the top floor of the building at the bottom of Hooker Hill. I didn’t hit Seoul til I was in country for 7 months. Too much to do in TDC and Toko-Ri. “AlwaysReadySir”-Second to None

  • Ken Wilson
    10:26 pm on August 29th, 2013 54

    I lovedf Korea 1973-1976 Gun Fighter in Charge was with C co 1/9 inf KEEP UP THE FIRE mancho heavy dragons loved that PEACH Osker could find me at papa son club mosa>>>>11 C4 P and 95 B4 P mortors and Military Police

  • Manchu
    7:38 pm on September 23rd, 2013 55

    the club pictured that was burned out, looked like the old Olympus club….had a lot of Filipinas in there….great times!!!! HHC 1-9 1998-2000

  • ATC
    10:18 pm on October 15th, 2013 56

    I remember like it was yesterday, i spent my last weeks in 06 at casey,and tokori my club was the indian head. I was in search of the famous tokori midget. how i miss the cool fall, early winter nights waking in the cold with a nice soju buzz smoking a cheap Korean cigarette and watching the juicy girls tremble, wearing almost nothing…. one day i’ll go back

  • Andrew Goetsch
    8:46 am on November 3rd, 2013 57

    11B 1/38th in 77/78. I remember Toko-Ri as a great place. More class than that dump outside Fort Polk for sure. There was unofficial pressure to take up with a Yobo full time in the village to keep you away from the bar girls. I still remember the little hearts the “official” girls wore they got from their last medical checkup. Sort of a “Best used by” date.

  • Blaine Beveridge
    4:44 pm on November 8th, 2013 58

    With Charlie, 2/32, at Hovey in 1969-70. Toko-ri was always our choice…getting over to TDC took too much time and I ran into some problems there with slicky boys on a couple of occasions. Mostly hung out at the Niagara in Toko-ri with pal Sonny Koger. Yup, the place stunk to high heavens and the best part of winter was that the ville didn’t smell as bad. These pix show an entirely different place. Paved roads? Wow.

  • frankie gilbert
    5:58 pm on January 9th, 2014 59

    Still a little new to computers at 55, was at C 1/9th from 77 to 78. Never heard anyone mention the top 10 VD guide bill board at the Main gate at Camp Casey, have a photo of it. Tokori was mainly a week day thing when we weren,t in the field and you could hit the house boy Mr Cho up for a loan with interest, the New Seoul club was my favorite.TDC was mostly the payday weekend deal but one thing for sure I would not of traded that one year for the three spent in Germany.

  • Earl bowman
    3:49 am on February 6th, 2014 60

    1968-69 Tdc Was good for a17 year old to grow up

  • Cp Andrew Mike Gardner
    8:17 pm on February 12th, 2014 61

    Served 11 months on Train Fire Range at Camp Casey from Aug. 64 to July 65. Worked at zero range where personnel learned how to set the sight on there rifle and how to use use there weapon. Served with a great group of men.
    Cpl

  • MAJ JM
    12:40 am on February 28th, 2014 62

    I’ve been serving in Yongsan for a couple of years now and I’m having a great time! Funny, we are on exercise in Daegu. We were talking about the midget of Tokori yesterday and if it was an urban legend. That’s how I stumbled onto this blog through a google search. I love hearing the old stories and have a few myself.

  • MrEvidence
    4:24 am on February 28th, 2014 63

    Not to disappoint but Teokgeori is almost about shutdown. There is only maybe 4 bars still open and yes, the prostitution is still prosperous, but you dont see hardly any GIs or CPs/MPs hanging around…they mostly go to the TDC Ville now. BUT, GIs looking for a quick lay you will see out in these few clubs and it isnt that they are there for drinks only! :) Anyone with a brain knows what their plan is, been there done that. The prostitution goes on in the TDC Ville as well though…its all who you know and if Ajima know you or not. Pay your $200 to $300 dollar barfine and the girl is yours for the night! Not like in the 90′s when you could go upstairs for a shortime for nearly nothing! but than again, I used to get laid in a dark corner with the girl riding me…no need to pay to take her out and MPs/CPs would just turn a blind eye back than anyways. Attempt at stopping Human Trafficking from the Philippines is a joke! Talk to most of them, they use Hong Kong as the “back door” to enter Korea to work in the clubs. The club burned down in teh picture, the fat Korean guy who used to own it married a juicy and now lives in the Philippines. The Midget from Teokgeori works in a Korean bar near Camp Red Cloud in Uijeongbu. The club system will never go away as long as there are foreigners in Korea spending money…the KTO has too much power! Now if the 2ID Commander had a pair like the Osan Commander, than that would make a HUGE difference in TDC with no Filipinas! But hey, I’d like to see the Koreans come back anyways, and they are slowly gaining ground with the bar “Beerland” being all Koreans, which is nice! But in typical Korean fashion, they will suck your wallet dry if you let em! There is a club owner that used to own Hans Club across from the Bosan-Dong train station and now owns a little bar called Hans in the TDC Ville. Notorious for having her girls runaway. She even tried to prevent it one by taking the Filipinas to Pocheon to prostitute out to Koreans, but that only lasted for about a year. I’ll end, I could write a book on TDC, been there so many years and know the system used in the bars! Oh and Yongsan…dont even waste my time going there. You gotta carry an “Off-Limits” list with you just to find a place to go in Itaewon…not worth my time. Waiting to see what happens outside the Camp Humphreys gate as it grows…a small club district right now, but I foresee it growing. Again, another place easy to get laid…been there recently, done that. Break curfew, it FUN! What’s the worst that could happen, they send me home to the States?? YIPPEE!

  • Robert
    4:33 am on February 28th, 2014 64

    Funny, I was in Casey in 1999 in 2/72 Armor and me and my Filipino friend went to Tokori to see the midget. I’m pretty sure she worked at the bar that was shown as burned down. Anyway, we walk in and my friend isn’t much more than 4 1/2 feet tall and the midget walks up and he starts laughing. I look at him and I look at the midget and I look back at him and I couldn’t help but laugh, too.

  • Kris
    7:29 am on February 28th, 2014 65

    I just dreamt about my experiences in 93/94 there in Tokiri… what a time I had. New Seoul Club was the name of the place and the girl I liked most was Sauni. I knew nothing about life and I was introduced to it from Korea, don’t know if that is good or bad. Thanks for posting all your stories. Maybe one day I will return, only reenlisted once but was for Hawaii. Got out and moved on with life. Stay out of trouble and enjoy your service gentlemen.

  • Earl bowman
    8:06 am on February 28th, 2014 66

    1968 was a good year

  • Steve Dudas
    9:27 am on February 28th, 2014 67

    Glad to hear the New Seoul Club is still around. It was there when I was there in 1966. I think it was about half way down the road that went left when you entered Tokori – before the road went out into the countryside (rice paddies, along the river). The road that went straight was the road that the Kimchi buses took to get to TDC. There was also the Niagara Club and a few others that I can’t quite remember now. The word ‘concrete’ was unknown in Tokori as the roads – both of them – were muddy ditches that the deuce and a halfs lurched through during monsoon season. And occasionally some villager would pretend he was hit by one of the Army vehicles so he/she could collect a few bucks. When I saw that on a M.A.S.H episode, it took me back because it was so true. Earl, what company were you with? I was HHC, 2/32, 7th Inf. Company clerk (original Radar O’Reilly).

  • Earl bowman
    9:49 am on February 28th, 2014 68

    127 th sig battalion Korea 67/68 101st airborne nam 69/70

  • Mike
    10:35 pm on February 28th, 2014 69

    Is Toko-ri even worth going to? Itaewon seems more like a tourist trap. There’s got to be some old school clubs left out there.

  • guitard
    10:50 pm on February 28th, 2014 70

    Mike: depends on your definition of old school, but anything that an ‘old timer’ remembers from the pre-1990s – that kind of club scene completely disappeared by the early ’90s. And it ain’t been the same ever since.

  • King Baeksu
    11:26 pm on February 28th, 2014 71

    I was there in 2002 and it was pretty tame even then. Didn’t see any women covered in chocolate or wax, maybe a few giving discreet handjobs in back booths, and alas we missed the midget as well. I think the main difference these days is that you’ll be unlikely to find any Russian women there. I was in the main ville up there five years ago and it was practically all Filipinas even then, with the odd Korean woman here and there.

    There are still lots of Russian women working Texas Street in Busan these days. The older ones charge W10,000 for a lady drink at the little bars along the main drag, and the younger ones tend to work the noraebangs, where they can pull more coin from a Korean clientele. There are also a lot of Russian streetwalkers in the back alleys if that’s your thing, and some of them can be pretty freaky. The drunk Russian seamen wandering about also make things interesting — they’re a friendly bunch on the whole, but things can quickly turn ugly if you’re not careful, but that’s pretty much par for the course.

  • Mike
    4:44 am on March 1st, 2014 72

    All the way to Busan for a Russian chick? Too far a weeknight. :lol:

  • King Baeksu
    6:48 am on March 1st, 2014 73

    Well, there’s always Rio in It’aewon. You won’t find too many “tourists” there.

  • Mike
    6:43 pm on March 2nd, 2014 74

    King Baeksu: I hear you brother. I’ve never been to Rio, couldn’t even tell you where it’s located.

    Guitard: For what it’s worth, my definition of old school would be clubs where political correctness and the morality police are extinct. About 3 years ago there was a lot more Russians frequenting the bars in Itaewon. They must have relocated somewhere else with more earning potential.

  • M. Will
    12:34 pm on March 18th, 2014 75

    Jan 67 to Dec 68, got there the day that N Korea took the Pueblo….cant remember the unit anymore except that I was a mechanic in the motorpool for HQ company at Hovey when it was 7th Inf…. Hard to remember much of it but Toko-ri was all mud, narrow alleys, sweet young girls and the OB was better than the Schlitz they sent over. Now I find myself needing proof that I was rotated to the DMZ where we got the agent orange. VA doesn’t have records of it even though I went thru Libby bridge so many times I didn’t need clearance. It was good times..what I remember of it..

  • Kaycee
    12:35 am on June 4th, 2014 76

    Im from bounce club. I miss korea. I worked there for 9months and our boss have to send us home becoz clubs are getting shut down. Im happy seeing these pictures it reminds me of the day that i met alot of new people army korean pilinos …. It brings back memories :) hope i can get a contact no. Of the owner of bounce club. I really miss them.

  • JoeC
    4:22 am on June 4th, 2014 77

    #76

    Don’t you know you were a victim. You were rescued from human trafficking. :???:

 

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