OSAN AIR BASE
Currently, there is a Space Available flight from Yokota Air Base to Osan Air Base at least once a week. Once you arrive at Osan Air Base, don’t hesitate to ask the person at the Osan Passenger Terminal desk for information on Osan hotels, as well as directions to the bus terminal. There is also a shuttle bus that will take you from Osan Air Base to Dragon Hill Lodge in Yongsan South Post, Seoul. Dragon Hill Lodge is a recreation facility in support of U.S. Forces Korea. The shuttle ride is approximately one hour and ten minutes and departs almost every hour. – Tips by Jenni Burdette, May 2013
Please note that you may not be able to use the DECA Commissary and AAFES stores in Korea. To use these stores, including those stores at the Dragon Hill Lodge, one is required to have a Ration Control Plate (RCP). To obtain a temporary RCP, TDY, PCS personnel, Contractors and visiting guests (with a military sponsor), can go to South Post Building 4034 (the 1RC building) of Yongsan US Army Base. This building is located just North of Dragon Hill Lodge; employees of the Lodge can point you in the right direction. Be sure to bring your orders. The office is open weekdays 0830-1630 and the contact number is DSN 738-4612. Visiting civilians and dependents that did not come with their military sponsor cannot use AAFES and DECA Commissary stores, nor can they get a temporary RCP.
Flying commercial into Incheon Airport? There is a free shuttle to Dragon Hill Lodge, which is in the heart of downtown Seoul. Simply go to the US Forces Korea Airport Reception Desk. Once you exit the arrival gate, turn left and head to terminal exit one. The reception desk will be on your right, just before the exit. The shuttle runs 7 days a week and operates until 2200. For specific info, please refer to their schedule. If you miss the bus, an AFFES taxi will cost roughly $65 and can take you directly to Dragon Hill Lodge, as it has access to the base. The Airport Reception Desk can help you coordinate a taxi.
Dragon Hill Lodge provides local tours through their tour desk and will also assist in making reservations and coordinating transportation. If you check out their website, you may find that they have special deals. My husband and I were able to enjoy their “6 Days/5 Nights” package, which included 5 nights at Dragon Hill Lodge, a tour of the DMZ, palace tour, river cruise, and tickets to a show. These packages are always changing, so keep an eye out for deals. Not staying at the Dragon Hill Lodge? You can also find tours through USO Korea. Be sure to keep an eye out for Osan ITT tours as well. While visiting Seoul, here are some recommended items for your “to do” list. – Tips by Jenni Burdette, May 2013, Michelle Nexon, July 2014.
- Visit the Korean Demilitarization Zone (DMZ) and the Joint Security Area (JSA) where the South and North Korean forces stand face-to-face.* (Please see the note below)
- Take an All Day City Tour to see various sites including the Presidential Blue House, Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Ganghwa Ginseng Center, Changdeokgung Palace/Secret Garden, Namdaemun Market and more.
- Tour the Korean Folk Village. Learn about the Country’s traditions and culture in a “live museum” environment.
- Ride the train to Bukhansan National Park and explore the outdoors.
- Hike Namsan Mountain and discover the Seoul Tower.
- See a Korean musical or show.
- Shop at Itaewon, Dongdaemun, Insadong and Namdaemun. These various shopping districts and markets are popular in Seoul.
- Go to a festival. Find a festival by searching the Visit Korea website.
- Visit the War Memorial of Korea. View war memorabilia, and learn about Korea’s war history. A short walk from Dragon Hill Lodge.
- For the foodie, be sure to enjoy Kimchi, a famous Korean side dish of fermented vegetables. Or give Korean BBQ and Soju a try (Korean liquor).
- Cruise down Han River, the main river that flows through Seoul. See a variety of bridges from a boat’s-eye-view.
*The DMZ/JSA (joint security area) tour is a must-see. My husband and I did both the JSA and DMZ tour, and felt like the JSA was all we needed to see. It was incredible, and you are likely to see a North Korean guard and the MDL (Military Demarcation Line) up close! The DMZ tour was OK, but the JSA tour made the tour worth every penny. Please be aware that the JSA is not always included with the DMZ tour and MUST be reserved in advance. Before heading to Korea, please make sure this tour is offered during your stay.
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