Having secured our visas for South Korea, Agoda was our go to website to find accommodations for our stay in Seoul. Allan and I really wanted to stay at the Myeongdong area because of friends’ recommendations, but alas, we ended up staying at Dongdaemun.
A quick search of accommodations in Seoul will result in a handful of hotels and a lot of hostels/guesthouses. I really just wanted to stay at a cheap hostel/guesthouse because I figured we wouldn’t be staying long in there anyway. After all, we only needed a place to sleep at and to leave our stuff in. We initially chose Gom Guesthouse Myeongdong because of the photos and the reviews on Agoda, but after booking, they emailed us saying that there had been a mix up and they had no available room for us on the date that we wanted. They moved us to their Dongdaemun branch instead. I would’ve been annoyed at this, but they were so nice and apologetic about it, I couldn’t find it in me to be annoyed. 🙂
Anyway, to get to the guesthouse, we took bus 6001 from Incheon airport and got down at the Toyoko Inn stop. I have to give it to them — they have a very organized transportation system from the airport to downtown Seoul. Tickets are bought at the airport’s arrival area for about 14,000 KRW (PHP 599.79 as of this writing,) and signs are everywhere to ensure tourists don’t get lost. The buses come and go at short intervals, and the buses themselves were comfortable. In fact, they were even more comfortable than our seats in the airplane. 🙂 The trip takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
It was about a 15 minute walk to the guesthouse itself from the Toyoko Inn Stop. But if one were to take the subway, its only an 8-10 minute walk from the Dongdaemun Art and Culture Museum Station. It was a bit hard to find at first because the guesthouse was behind a row of stores and a small coffee shop. In fact, some of the residents in the area had to point us towards the guesthouse because it had no sign at all that it was already the Gom Guesthouse.
Upon going inside, the reception was just a window; sort of what you would see in a government office. We left our bags with them because we couldn’t check in yet. Yes, this meant we had to go around Seoul without having taken a bath. Yuck. Suffice it to say, I felt so kadiri about myself then. When we got back, I was pleasantly surprised because the room was so much better than what I had expected! There was a queen sized bed, a phone, a dresser, a really big television, a kitchen with a stove and cooking utensils, and a washing machine. It was definitely built for people staying for longer periods of time.
I definitely liked our room’s facilities, even if we didn’t get to use the kitchen and the washing machine. The restroom was okay, it was what could be expected from a guesthouse. The shower was connected to the sink, so we had to shower on top of the toilet. I didn’t mind it too much since the water pressure was strong and it wasn’t too cramped.
Our biggest problem were the outlets — we didn’t know that Korean outlets were different. 😦 In fairness, there were a lot of outlets in the room, our problem was we didn’t have an adaptor. The guesthouse loaned us one for 5000 KRW (PHP 214) deposit, so we were able to charge our things. Good thing Allan brought his laptop so we were able to use all its USB portals to charge our gadgets, despite having only one adaptor.
They also offered us free breakfast. It was cute, actually. It was either noodles or bread from Tous Les Jours, a wafer bar, and juice. It wasn’t much, but it felt so welcoming and quaint. 🙂 Parang baon lang sa school. 🙂
I would totally go back to this guesthouse the next time I end up in Seoul. I’ll just have to remind myself to bring an adaptor!