Also known as “K16”, the Seoul Air Base is one of the farthest places a military member can PCS to from the United States. It is considered one of the most culturally distinct areas a service member can experience during their military career.
With these facts in mind, it is understandable why many who are stationed at the Seoul Air Base want to gather as much information as possible before they move. While the thought of moving to South Korea can be quite intimidating, many service members testify that it is a highly fulfilling and enriching experience.
Known for being extremely modern while also being family and kid-friendly, many military families enjoy their time living in South Korea. For your peace of mind, we’ve compiled highly sought-after information about PCSing to K16.
About Seoul Air Base (K16)
Not to be mistaken for the Yongsan Army Base, the Seoul Air Base is located about 25 miles south of Seoul. In fact, this base has the dual purpose of being the primary U.S. military Air Force station in South Korea while also housing the Seoul East Airport domestic airport. K16 is essential for maintaining an alliance between the U.S. and South Korea, as it serves as a facility for providing support if conflict arises near the Korean Peninsula.
Limited on-base housing is available to military families, with off-base homes also being an option. With it being located so close to South Korea’s capital, military members enjoy unlimited restaurant and entertainment options for all ages in this area.
Best Seoul Neighborhoods
If you decide to live off-base, there are many great neighborhoods recommended by experienced military members. Sinchon-dong, Oya-dong and Simgok-dong are just a few recommended areas. If you don’t mind the drive, Pangyo-dong and Yatap-dong are both suburban areas nestled in the city of Seongnam.
These areas are known for being the U.S. equivalent to suburbs surrounding the larger Seoul area, also known as the Greater Seoul Metropolitan Area. Many military members enjoy living in these further away neighborhoods as it is less impacted by the busy city environment.
More Like This: Want more details about home hunting in South Korea? Consider these PCSing to Korea tips!
Best Schools in South Korea
The majority of military families send their children to the Department of Defense (DoD) schools at Yongsan Army Base. Here, they can attend school alongside other military kids. For the military members wanting to immerse their children in the South Korean culture, they enroll their kids in the surrounding Korean schools. Some families with a stay-at-home parent choose to homeschool their kids during their South Korea PCS.
Navigating Seoul, South Korea
Although the idea of moving to South Korea seems like a daunting feat to many, most military families later rave about their experience. From what to expect from Seoul traffic to where you can shop for groceries, we’ve gathered some of the top details military members moving to South Korea want to know.
South Korea Traffic
As there are limited entrance points around K16 and even Yongsan, you can expect traffic to get heavy in these areas. Traffic gets especially congested in the morning when the masses are reporting for duty and in the evening when they are heading home. Traffic is generally not so bad the further you get away from Seoul, with the heaviest traffic being at the center of the city.
Best Seoul Restaurants & Entertainment
Some of the most popular places to eat close to K16 are Beef and Leaf, Inka’s and Craftworks. For date-night restaurants and fun activities, you’ll want to head to Gangnam. This location is recognized for its vibrant nightlife. If you’re looking for more family-friendly activities, you’re in luck! Seoul has plenty of kid’s cafes and play places where children can have fun while their parents relax and sip coffee.
South Korea Clothes Shopping
Clothing sizes in South Korea vary greatly from what we find here in the United States. With their sizes and fashion being much smaller and different than what we are used to, it can be difficult to find clothing that fits our bodies and preferences.
Many military members choose to shop for themselves and their families online. If you like to choose clothing in person, you can head to the PC on Yongsan to browse their selection. The Myeong-dong area in Seoul is also known for hosting many international brands and high-end stores.
Seoul Grocery Store Shopping
You’re living abroad, so it’s highly recommended to explore the local market, Garak Market, and expand your palate! However, if you are looking for food closer to what you are used to in the United States, you can head to the small grocery store on K16 or the commissary at Yongsan for a bigger selection.
Your Military Housing Solution
Do you want to sell your U.S. home before heading to South Korea? Or are you considering becoming a military landlord and renting it out? Head to AHRN and sign up to learn more about our military housing solutions for renters, buyers, and sellers!