Being a highly modernized city, there is an abundance of hotel chains around Seoul in South Korea. Especially nowadays, the tourism industry is rapidly progressing; and so the need for possible accommodations is dire.
While it is nothing but pleasant to stay in Seoul hotels, people who wish to deviate from the usual and get intimate with the Korean culture are invited to stay in hanok guesthouses. Hanok is the term used to refer to traditional Korean houses which we usually see in Korean dramas; and there are so many around the capital city, particularly in the Jongno District.
Among the top choices are as follows:
- Seoul Guesthouse. Considered as the largest and oldest hanok in the famed Bukchon Hanok Village, the Seoul Guesthouse is a primary option for many people who wish not to stay away from the Gwanghwamun Area. Room rates begin at 40,000WON. Facilities like phone, refrigerator, WI-FI internet, cable TV, bathroom and kitchen are for common use, encouraging guests to mingle with others. Seoul Guesthouse takes pride on the Sarangchae, a traditional structure where husbands used to study or meet during the early days, which is surrounded by lush greens. It is located at Gye-dong.
- MaMa Hanok Guesthouse. Just a few steps away from the Changdeok Palace in Waryong-dong, and close to Insa-dong, is the MaMa Hanok Guesthouse. While it does look like a portal to the ultimate traditional Korean experience, its rooms are actually designed with a touch of contemporary. Artworks are hung in the complex, providing the house with lovelier charm. Floors are heated. Wi-Fi is available. Daily breakfasts are served. There are five rooms available for occupancy, two of which (Daughter II & Son II) have private bathrooms. Rates start at 70,000WON.
- Moon Hanok Guesthouse. Settled in a rather hidden area in Unni-dong, the Moon Hanok Guesthouse is a nice refuge for backpackers who wish to experience traditional Korean accommodation. Backed up with a history of over 50 years and is situated close to the Gyeongbok Palace, Gwanghwamun Area, and Insa-dong, the guesthouse is kept well-maintained by its owners for the satisfaction of the guests. Ondol (floor-heating) system is installed and mosquito repellants are available and outdoor walls and floors are made up of red clay, like the olden times. Moon Hanok Guesthouse comprised of two buildings, the bonchae (main) and the byeolchae (annex). The Bonchae is designed with five rooms, three bathrooms, Maru (wooden floor), and a large courtyard; while the byeolchae was designed for more intimate private gatherings with three rooms and two bathrooms. Rates start at 60,000WON. It is where Sehun and Kai went to for their tea ceremony activities on EXO Showtime.
- Bukchon 1 Guesthouse. The biggest among the Bukchon Guesthouses in the Gye-dong area in Jongno-gu, Bukchon 1 assures you an ultimate Korean experience. It was the home of Baeryeom, an oriental painter during the Joseon Dynasty, and was declared as the 35th Registered Cultural Heritage, before it was remodeled and transformed into a lodging venue. Today, the Bukchon 1 Guesthouse features twin, double and triple rooms – all with private bathrooms – with rates starting at 80,000WON. Staying in this guesthouse will surely bring you close to Unhyun and Changdeok Palaces, as well as Insa-dong and Gwanghwamun Square.
To fully understand the Korean heritage, you don’t just try the food and do what usual things to do in Seoul lists suggest. You also try to immerse yourself in their traditional ways of living; and staying in a hanok as the four stated above will surely give you the best opportunity to do so. You don’t just stay in these places, after all. Most owners of guesthouses take the chance to introduce their guests further to the Korean culture and thus hold kimchi-making sessions, tea ceremonies, calligraphy classes, and more. They may even allow you to wear traditional Korean attires, if you wish!
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