It'aewon (or Itaewon) is a special tourism zone in Seoul
, South Korea with a high density of foreigners - especially U.S military personnel and tourists
. It is located approximately one mile from the 8th Army
headquarters at Yongsan Garrison.
The garrison has been home to foreign military personnel almost continuously since 1906 when the Japanese first occupied it. Adding to the concentration of foreigners in the area is the fact tha many foreign embassies are located in the area.
It'aewon has hundreds of small shops scattered through winding alleyways that offer every conceivable consumer good -- at prices far below their retail value in the states. At night the area is alive with tourists and G.I.'s out partying at the many bars and nightclubs. To many of the G.I.'s the name "hooker hill" is synonymous with It'aewon. Prostitution and alcohol are the main reasons the G.I.s frequent the area.
In It'aewon most of the shopkeepers (and prostitutes) speak English and American dollars are not only accepted, but often preferred.