I’m going to start another series that I hope to finish. I’m really good at starting things but I never seem to be able to finish anything! On this series, I’d try to recommend how much one would need to prepare for a trip to South Korea.
First in line is accomodations. Seoul is divided into 20 districts. It is almost as big as Metro Manila in terms of size and population. (Metro Manila 617 sq. km and 11 million people > Seoul 605 sq. km and 10 million people) We’re just lucky to have an efficient transportation system.
Location is important when looking for an accomodation. I would suggest staying in downtown Seoul, specifically in the Jongro, Jung and Yongsan districts. In Korea, the name of the district is proceeded by “-gu.” Jongro-gu, Jung-gu and Yongsan-gu are where the main tourist spots are located. I once toured a visiting Filipino family from San Francisco. They stayed at a 4-star hotel in Gangnam-gu. It takes about 45 minutes by subway from their hotel to Jongro-gu. (A neighborhood is called a “-dong”. Insa-dong is a neighborhood in Jongro-gu. Myeong-dong is a neighborhood in Jung-gu.)
Anyway, if you’re looking for BUDGET accomodations it would be best to stay in a hostel rather than a hotel unless you’re planning to spend more time in your hotel room.
Here are a few of those hostels I’d recommend based on their location:
Banana Backpackers – Teacher Tesha and her pretty cousin Angela stayed here for two weeks last year! The hostel is a walking distance from Anguk subway station on line 3. It is also a stone’s throw away from Insa-dong, Gyeongbok palace (Gyeongbok-gung), Changdok palace (Changdok-gung), Samcheon-dong (highly recommended!), Bukcheon village (Bukcheon maeul) and so on. They also claimed that the male receptionist is an eyecandy. Their rates are 20,000 won per person for the dormitory; 35,000 won for the single room; 45,000 won for double and the family room is only 65,000 won. They offer free access to the kitchen and laundry facility. You can also have free breakfast with coffee or tea. Saan ka pa?!
Holiday in Korea Hostel – This one is recommend by someone who wants to remain anonymous. Please check the map for its location. They also have free breakfast, kitchen facility, coffee and tea, internet and laundry facility. Their dormitory is 17,000 won per person while the single room is 39,000 won. Their double or twin rooms are 44,000 won.
Seoul International Youth Hostel – Their dormitory style accomodation is 19,000 won per person for adults who are non-hostel members. The hostel is a 300-meter walk (my estimate) from both Chungmuro and Myeongdong stations. In fact, one can just take a walk to Myeong-dong from the hostel. Since it’s also located at the foot of Mt. Nam (Namsan), one can just hike to the mountain!
I wouldn’t recommend staying with Korean family unless you really know them well and you’re comfortable with them. When you receive something, you’re expected to give in return 😀
Next: From Incheon Airport to Seoul on a budget!