Getting On Base: My Visit to Camp Casey
Camp Casey. Throughout my whole time living in Korea I have never gone on any of the US Army bases here in Korea. Of course the main reason being that you can't just walk in, but need to have an Army personell escort you. Through some random act of the universe I was invited to go on base with my blogger friend Jennipal. She has a friend who works on the base and so invited me along.
It was a lot of fun meeting Jennifer, as we have only met one time long ago, randomly and briefly while we were at the same hospital. However, I had thought I had met her before but apparently had myself confused.
When you enter the base you go through a building that checks you in. Here you hand over your ID and passport, although US citizens don't need to. They keep your ID and give you a temporary one to carry around on the base.
After stepping out of the check-in room it was like walking out of Korea and entering into a small town in America. Grassy lawns and buildings with few signs on them makes you feel at home.
There were few cars moving about and mostly you saw Army guys and gals wondering around. It was a strange sight knowing Korea is just outside the walls.
Our first stop was the food court where Taco Bell, Burger King and a few sandwich shops were up for grabs. We chose Taco Bell, even though you can get it around Seoul these days.
photo = Jennipal
After our meal and admiring the fact that I paid in Korean won and got US dollars back, we headed to the pool to cool off. I was told I could use my US credit or debit cards and not be charged any overseas penalties Oh the wonders of an Army Base!
The pool was amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed it with my friends.
This summer I really wanted to go swimming and felt my prospects of that were slim, unless I wanted to join the pools at the Han river and swim with lots of children. So I was incredibly pleased and grateful to swim in a pool that didn't require a cap or goggles. Plus the whole vibe felt relaxed.
After our swim and fun times we showered up and enjoyed a tour of the Camp grounds. It was fun to see bunkers, army vehicles and barracks laid out amongst beautiful lawns and mountain scenery.
Everything was in English of course, including advertisement banners.
If you can find a way to get on base I would highly recommend it as it certainly is a way to "get away" from the hub-bub of Seoul. Although my friend's friend didn't have access to the shopping areas I still enjoyed my visit. Plus I feel like I got to experience something unique within this country.
For more pictures and blah-blah head to Jennipal's post of her take on the trip. Also for some old time pics of the base and to see some history check out this link.