• Note from Charles J Wilder:
    Yes, the Naija Hotel was the first place I ever tried escargot, as a matter of fact. My family had to stay there more than a month, in March-April 1982, because there was a severe shortage of off-post apartments within reasonable distance of Yongsan at the time – and in-apartment telephone service did not reach far from the Han River then! When we were able to get an apartment, in Bangbae-dong, one day I had forgotten something for work, so had to drive back home in the middle of the day. There, my poor wife was standing in the street, crying, because there was not even public phone in the area and no taxis went out there, which was only about 20 minutes across the Dongjak Bridge, and my son had gone over the handlebars of his trike and put a goose egg on his forehead! In the ’80’s, it still flooded so badly in Seoul that once a naked male corpse washed down the main road next to us, as we headed back down to the Dongjak, to cross to Yongsan. The corpse would wash past as we had to stop of lights or a stopped car, then we would pass it again when we could move. That happened several times before we could turn left toward the bridge.
    • Note from Norman Cohen Sr:
      Stayed many times throughout the years. Great hotel. Much better then the Army Seoul Garden.
      • Note from John Nowell @janowell: I Worked here from January 1981 through September 1981 as Public Relations Specialist. I proposed the name for our snack bar as “Port A Call Snack Bar. I also secured a 66% discount for all US military and USFK personnel and family members for dinner and show at the World Cup Theater Restaurant. We sold tickets at our front desk without any mark up. This discount was provided by the owner of the restaurant because he and his family were evacuated from Won San in North Korea by our US forces in 1951 to Busan. He later served as a KATUSA with I Corps HQ in Camp Red Cloud in the early 60s. He was and still is very appreciative of our nation coming to Korea in their time of need. And he still appreciates our presence here today. His name is Mr. Jung, Sang Hae. I see him from time to time and never forgets to express his undying appreciation for American people
        • Note from Darrell Brown: In Dec 1979 I stayed a week, not long after President Park was killed and the Country under Marshall Law. Remember ROKA Tanks deployed at Government buildings in Seoul, one not far from the Naija. Turbulent times.
          • Note from Wayne White: I stayed at the Naija in Oct 1983 en-route to new duty station Taegu now Daegu. What a culture shock!
            The first culture shock that comes to mind is Kimche. I had never heard of it and the smell was peculiar. Got used to it though. The thing that surprised me the most were the indigenous souls that lived in the Land of the Morning Calm. Every Korean I met was courteous, curious, extremely friendly and kind and also dedicated to make me feel comfortable at work and during interaction with the general public.
            • The American Forces Spouses Club, previously known as the Seoul American Area Officers Wives Club (SAAOWC) is a non governmental association for the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) military, civilian and dependents serving in the Yongsan Garrison and Area II installations which provides a resource rich annual publication called ‘Seoul Survivor.’ Here is a website for that publication which you can read on line to get more information about this robust community: http://www.usfk.mil/Portals/105/Documents/The_Seoul_Survivor_2014-2015(1).pdf And, you can download to your computer and/or print a copy. You can also get an updated copy from the ACS on Yongsan South Post or from the AFSC.
            • Note from Naija Hotel, Armed Forces Recreation Center where many GI’s and relatives stationed at Yongsan Garrison stayed over or came for entertainment.
              Home away from home.
              Photo from Veteran Steve Booth 1973
              • Note from Wayne White: I stayed at the Naija in Oct 1983 en-route to new duty station Taegu now Daegu. What a culture shock!
                The first culture shock that comes to mind is Kimche. I had never heard of it and the smell was peculiar. Got used to it though. The thing that surprised me the most were the indigenous souls that lived in the Land of the Morning Calm. Every Korean I met was courteous, curious, extremely friendly and kind and also dedicated to make me feel comfortable at work and during interaction with the general public.

              • Note from Darrell Brown: In Dec 1979 I stayed a week, not long after President Park was killed and the Country under Marshall Law. Remember ROKA Tanks deployed at Government buildings in Seoul, one not far from the Naija. Turbulent times.

              • Note from John Nowell @janowell: I Worked here from January 1981 through September 1981 as Public Relations Specialist. I proposed the name for our snack bar as “Port A Call Snack Bar. I also secured a 66% discount for all US military and USFK personnel and family members for dinner and show at the World Cup Theater Restaurant. We sold tickets at our front desk without any mark up. This discount was provided by the owner of the restaurant because he and his family were evacuated from Won San in North Korea by our US forces in 1951 to Busan. He later served as a KATUSA with I Corps HQ in Camp Red Cloud in the early 60s. He was and still is very appreciative of our nation coming to Korea in their time of need. And he still appreciates our presence here today. His name is Mr. Jung, Sang Hae. I see him from time to time and never forgets to express his undying appreciation for American people

              • Note from Norman Cohen Sr:
                Stayed many times throughout the years. Great hotel. Much better then the Army Seoul Garden.

              • Note from Charles J Wilder:
                Yes, the Naija Hotel was the first place I ever tried escargot, as a matter of fact. My family had to stay there more than a month, in March-April 1982, because there was a severe shortage of off-post apartments within reasonable distance of Yongsan at the time – and in-apartment telephone service did not reach far from the Han River then! When we were able to get an apartment, in Bangbae-dong, one day I had forgotten something for work, so had to drive back home in the middle of the day. There, my poor wife was standing in the street, crying, because there was not even public phone in the area and no taxis went out there, which was only about 20 minutes across the Dongjak Bridge, and my son had gone over the handlebars of his trike and put a goose egg on his forehead! In the ’80’s, it still flooded so badly in Seoul that once a naked male corpse washed down the main road next to us, as we headed back down to the Dongjak, to cross to Yongsan. The corpse would wash past as we had to stop of lights or a stopped car, then we would pass it again when we could move. That happened several times before we could turn left toward the bridge.

            • Being able to have access to “my” food 20 years ago in 1996 when i came to work as a civilian in Korea was such a relief.
              I would try coming every weekend and enjoy western food at western-style restaurants inside the base
              At That time both were rare in Korea even in Seoul.

              Veteran Mr. Roger Counce, 2016Nov_Dragon Hill Lodge

              FOR PEOPLE. FOOD.

            • American expats in Asia treasure their small oases away from home.
              Veteran Roger Counce, This made me think of you.
              http://blogs.wsj.com/expat/2015/04/30/seouls-navy-club-once-a-welcome-port-for-expats/

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