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Thread: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

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    Default South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    Just wondering if anyone on the board can give me a few good tips/things to look out for. I'll be leaving L.A. this Thursday around 1 p.m. and soon be there around 6 pm Friday.

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    Mojo's Minions Bones's Avatar
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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    I lived there for a year and travel there on rare occasion as a reminder of how much my Korean relatives suck balls.

    Gaegogi can either mean dogmeat or crabmeat. Good luck sir.
    Oh balls...

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    Administrator Evan Skopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    I've been there twice. I like it there a lot. If you're going to be in Seoul, try a visit to Itaewon for shopping -- even though it's a bit touristy. Also, there's a big indoor mall of musical instruments stores in Seoul called Nakwon. You can find some interesting guitars there that you'd never find anywhere else.

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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    Been there once back in '96, visited my brother who was stationed there in 1994-97. My brother explained a few do's and don't's. If you are of the mindset, DO NOT bring pornography there, it is illegal and they don't play. (At least that was the case in '96, maybe it's changed.)

    DO if possible, take the USO tour of Pan Mun Jom at the DMZ. It's a creepy, fascinating place, right at the border, and in a facility where the cease fire was signed in 1953 and where all wartime and subsequent negotiations between North and South and respective allies take/have taken place. There is a series of barrack-like buildings that straddle the north/south border. You get to go into one them, where the cease fire was signed.

    The middle table has a microphone at one end and the cable runs down the center of the table. That cable is the borderline, so you can walk to the other end of the room and truthfully say you have been to North Korea. (I forgot to do that so I can't say that -- CRAP.)

    While you are in there, North Korean soldiers will come up to the windows on the north side and peer in at you. My brother tells me that when it's just American soldiers (no civilians), the NK's will give you the finger to try to provoke you.

    Which brings up an important point: when you go to the USO to sign up for the tour, you are told to dress very conservatively. Shirts and ties for men, long skirts for women. If you do not comply you can't go. The reason is that the NK soldiers will take photos of you and use them as propaganda about the "decadent West". (A very small price to pay for a fascinating tour.) Hence the NK's giving American soldiers on the tour the finger.

    On the bus ride there an American soldier acts as guide and after giving a brief summary of the Korean War, he explains that you are surrounded by live minefields so don't try to wander off and take a leak. You are also required to sign a document promising not to sue either the South Korean or American governments if there is any incident there, namely firefights that break out once in a while. The guide tells you about two of them, the worst being in 1976, which you can read about here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axe_murder_incident

    Yes, that's Wikipedia, but their account is pretty much as I remember the guide telling us. The other major incident (that I'm aware of anyway) was in 1982 when a Russian defector ran across the DMZ with North Korean soldiers in pursuit. The defector survived but soldiers on both sides were killed.

    There is also a giant North Korean flag in the distance -- they say the flag weighs 600 lbs. -- and it flies over a Potemkin village. Nobody actually lives there, just for show apparently.

    The soldiers on both sides have to be a minimum of 6 feet tall. Again a propaganda deal where the NK soldiers want to appear bigger so they can show the South is undernourished or something. So the South countered with the same requirements.

    At all times there are ROK soldiers standing in the Tae Kwon Do rest position halfway behind the barrack buildings watching the north. Literally one leg, one arm, half the torso and half the face behind the building, the other half exposed. They stay motionless for 20 minutes until another soldier relieves them. This way they can observe but duck quickly back behind the building if something does happen. Sort of like canaries in the coal mine.

    It's also very, very quiet there. A very creepy vibe...
    Last edited by Zhangliqun; 06-14-2011 at 12:13 PM.
    In 1861 as Confederate forces were about to fire on Fort Sumter, the Blue and Gray had far more in common than the blue and red today. What fellowship can "the truth shall set you free" ever have with "what is truth"? Barring a major epidemic or nuclear attack to explode the postmodern myth that the reality outside our heads depends for its very existence on what we think of it, secession is coming...

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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    That's pretty interesting.

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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    If you go to any bars don't get the blue waffles. I've got a buddy that was stationed there and that would be his advice.
    "Believe the word, I will unlock my door and pass the cemetery gates"



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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    Quote Originally Posted by grumptruck View Post
    That's pretty interesting.
    I have some other cool stories about the visit, but that was a long enough post for now.
    In 1861 as Confederate forces were about to fire on Fort Sumter, the Blue and Gray had far more in common than the blue and red today. What fellowship can "the truth shall set you free" ever have with "what is truth"? Barring a major epidemic or nuclear attack to explode the postmodern myth that the reality outside our heads depends for its very existence on what we think of it, secession is coming...

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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhangliqun View Post
    Been there once back in '96, visited my brother who was stationed there in 1994-97.
    Where?
    Oh balls...

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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    He was at Hovey-Casey. He was a scout platoon CO at the time. Had an apartment in Toko Ri. (Yes, there really is a Toko Ri, but didn't notice any major bridges.)
    In 1861 as Confederate forces were about to fire on Fort Sumter, the Blue and Gray had far more in common than the blue and red today. What fellowship can "the truth shall set you free" ever have with "what is truth"? Barring a major epidemic or nuclear attack to explode the postmodern myth that the reality outside our heads depends for its very existence on what we think of it, secession is coming...

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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    The only base I have ever been to in Seoul was Youngsan and my parents and I would walk to Itaewon everytime. Tons of bootleg **** to buy.

    My folks met each other at Osan AFB back in the early 80's.
    Oh balls...

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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    My dad was. Said the people were not too friendly. Kept shooting at him.
    Quote Originally Posted by jon the art guy View Post
    Aceman, your advice was a rich tapestry of hard-fought research, blood, sweat and tears and the homespun wisdom we've all learned to expect and relish from our itinerant face-painted lunatic. I would like to award you a internet trophy for "best comment on a proco rat discussion". Let it be written in the annals of history; Aceman sure as heck helped.

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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    I'm just glad you're going somewhere that has internet access.

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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    My dad was. Said the people were not too friendly. Kept shooting at him.
    Those uptight Northerners....!
    In 1861 as Confederate forces were about to fire on Fort Sumter, the Blue and Gray had far more in common than the blue and red today. What fellowship can "the truth shall set you free" ever have with "what is truth"? Barring a major epidemic or nuclear attack to explode the postmodern myth that the reality outside our heads depends for its very existence on what we think of it, secession is coming...

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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhangliqun View Post
    Those uptight Northerners....!
    He is pretty sure it was a chinamen. But he was in South Korea when it happened.
    Quote Originally Posted by jon the art guy View Post
    Aceman, your advice was a rich tapestry of hard-fought research, blood, sweat and tears and the homespun wisdom we've all learned to expect and relish from our itinerant face-painted lunatic. I would like to award you a internet trophy for "best comment on a proco rat discussion". Let it be written in the annals of history; Aceman sure as heck helped.

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    Guitaris Maximus Stratman's Avatar
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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    I lived in South Korea on and off for 8-˝ years.

    It is not a bad place to live.

    What I am reading here is a lot of information based on military personnel opinions and not stuff based on people who lived away from military posting. (Evan’s post excluded)


    Nakwon is a very large (Second floor) building with a bunch of small music shops. You can usually find all kinds of gear there. In 2002, I purchased a Fender Broadcaster real cheap, because the Argima (Old woman) did not know exactly what she had there and because the case was covered with dust. (Fender has authenticated this relic as being build in early 50’s)

    Korean food is quite good, once you get past the smell of Kimchi. Korean eat Kimchi and it is actually good for your health.

    Get over there and visit Korean Folk Village rather than the Pumanjang military border crap.

    Most of all enjoy!

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Got_tone?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhangliqun View Post
    He was at Hovey-Casey. He was a scout platoon CO at the time. Had an apartment in Toko Ri. (Yes, there really is a Toko Ri, but didn't notice any major bridges.)
    haha, what a small world we live in. Your brother was a scout? I'm going to camp hovey/casey as a scout too. Should be a lot of hard work and fun from what I'm hearing. Thanks for the advice guys, keep it coming if possible.

    Aceman, I had the honor of meeting a Korean war vet after I finished basic. They honestly don't make them like they use if you ask me.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Got_tone?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    Speaking of food, is there any other good or bad food to look out for? I'm actually looking forward to trying out korean food and beer. Especially, this thing drink called soju.

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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratman View Post
    Get over there and visit Korean Folk Village rather than the Pumanjang military border crap.
    It's not crap, it was great, absolutely fascinating. I recommend it to one and all. I didn't say it was the only thing there anyone should bother with, I don't know why you want to put it down.

    As for the regular life, I didn't mind the kimchi and loved the BBQ, especially the grills in the middle of the table at the restauarants so you can DIY a little bit. I hated sitting on the floor though, always makes my knees hurt.
    In 1861 as Confederate forces were about to fire on Fort Sumter, the Blue and Gray had far more in common than the blue and red today. What fellowship can "the truth shall set you free" ever have with "what is truth"? Barring a major epidemic or nuclear attack to explode the postmodern myth that the reality outside our heads depends for its very existence on what we think of it, secession is coming...

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    Administrator Evan Skopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    Don't freak out if you find out the tasty meat you were grilling was dog.

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    Default Re: South Korea: has anyone here been there?

    If it was, then count me in for BBQ'd dog, was great. Might make hushpuppies an even more natural side dish. But I'm pretty certain it was pork.
    In 1861 as Confederate forces were about to fire on Fort Sumter, the Blue and Gray had far more in common than the blue and red today. What fellowship can "the truth shall set you free" ever have with "what is truth"? Barring a major epidemic or nuclear attack to explode the postmodern myth that the reality outside our heads depends for its very existence on what we think of it, secession is coming...

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