가자 Korea Diary 12: I Stayed In A Traditional Korean House (Hanok) @ Seoul Lucky Guest House

After staying in Hapjeong for a few nights, I finally packed up all of my things and moved to another area that's near to Gyeongbokgung station 경복궁 역 (subway line 3).

The reason behind this move was because I wanted to experience living in a different area during my days in Seoul. I thought I would move to Myeongdong/Gangnam at first but once I saw this Airbnb (by chance), I knew that Gyeongbokgung was the right decision. Because, I got to stay in a traditional Korean house (hanok). 
Hanok is a term that refers to the traditional Korean houses that were first built in the 14th century during the Joseon Dynasty. This word "hanok" first appeared in an old paper in 1907 and was later added into the dictionary in the 1970s.

Many of these hanok houses are still very well preserved till this day in certain areas throughout South Korea. On the 2nd day of my trip, I came to Gyeongbokgung area with Eunjee and Kevin and I fell in love with heritage-y vibes around here. I knew my choice would be a right one yet I still didn't know what to expect inside a hanok.

Due to the shopping spree that I did yesterday at Express Bus Terminal, I decided to just take a taxi instead of the subway because I didn't want to carry my crap with me and squeeze in a cabin during the morning peak hours.

As written in Part 2 of this Korea Diary series (do read it, I promise it's helpful), I booked a cab through Kakao Taxi. There's no Uber nor Grab in Korea, so this app will be handy if you don't want to just stand and wait by the roadside for a potential empty cab to pass by who's willing to pick you up.

I remember a few years back when I was in Melbourne, my Korean friend told me about how taxi drivers in Korea would scam the non-Koreans by taking a longer route so they could charge more...but's several years ago, the situation's definitely better now.

Still, to avoid being scam, I made sure I was speaking Korean and only Korean throughout the whole booking call till I got to the destination. I survived taking a cab alone in Korea without getting scam! Another way to avoid getting scam is checking the route before going onto the cab via Naver app. That app will generate a list of fare estimations based on your choice of transportation.

About 20 minutes or so, I arrived in this new neighbourhood.

Seoul Lucky Guest House is a hanok that was built in the early 1910. It was then renovated in 2016 and turned into a guest house. Despite being located in a small quiet alley but there are convenient shops, food stalls, cafes nearby, so don't worry. I guarantee that it's not spooky at all...just thought I shall add that point in there.

At night, this place is very tranquil too. It's kinda fascinating to be able to find serenity in amidst of the bustling city of Seoul. 

This is the address:
21-16 Jahamun-ro, 11-gil, Tongin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

As I mentioned that Seoul Lucky Guest House is close to Gyeongbokgung Station (subway line 3) and take exit 2.

You will be guided by the Airbnb Host prior to your arrival, don't worry. Alternatively, get Naver App (I can't stress how important and useful this app was throughout my trip). 

I requested for an early check-in but the room wasn't ready yet because it's just around 10am in the morning. The Airbnb owner (Roy) was so nice that he gave me the password to enter so I could drop my luggage inside first. 

When I got back at night after a long day at Myeongdong (blog post coming up soon), the owner had already placed my luggage into my room. 

First impression: "OMO, this is it?"

[OMO is like OMG in Korean]

The room's very small but it's spotlessly clean.

Although the Airbnb listing description wrote that it's a room for 2, I don't think squeezing two human beings in this small room is a good idea, let alone the luggage bags and shopping haul bags of 2. Just my 2 cents without taking accommodation budget into account. 

You get a set of "bedding" on the floor. 

Once the futon mattress is rolled out, it looks like this. 

The house has central heating and the autumn weather's really pleasant during my trip, so I didn't have to use the AC at all. 

The door's made of wood and paper (that's one of the key features of a Hanok) thus you can hear everything that's going on on the outside and next door very clearly. 

Thankfully, all the other guests were very courteous so I didn't have any problem with noisy "housemates". 

A small private bathroom inside the room - that's one very important to me. I don't fancy the idea of having to share bathrooms with several people. 

As you can see, there's not much space to move around in the bathroom. Basically, once you are in there, the only thing you can do is turn around!

My claustrophobic mom would be complaining big time about this if she was there.

The smallest sink I had ever seen in my whole life. 

One small window with mosquito net in the room. 

Getting out of the room~

Traditional style door knob.

I called this "when the modern world meets the Joseon Dynasty".

This is a shared area for all the guests. There are (I think) 5 rooms in this house. 

You can use the washing machine with a small fee. 

There's a little shared kitchen. 

I didn't eat the breakfast provided because I was saving up space in my stomach to gobble yummy food outside rather than toast and egg.

The owner left a huge subway map behind the sliding paper door. But definitely download your own Seoul Subway App on your phone (Apple / Android) for more convenience - Read my Part 2 blog post for more! 

I saw this interesting thing on Wikipedia and thought I should share it here as a fun fact. 

Since Seoul is more on the northern part of South Korea, the shape of the house is more of a square. NYAHAHA I learn fast!

Just imagine taking away all the "modern" things in this picture, it would've felt like I just went through a time travel to Joseon Dynasty. 

Just look at how unique these tiles are. You can't find these in modern houses anymore. 

You get your own shoe space according to the number of your room. I was number 2. 

That's the main door. 

Sliding wood/paper door. 

Someone might or might not have poked a hole in the paper door by accident :p

Grandfather clock for the great great great grandfather house ㅎㅎㅎ

An interesting art piece hanging on the wall. 

The owner's thoughtful gesture for providing maps of Seoul in different languages. 

Out to Myeongdong to spend my day~ ANNYEONG!

I stayed in Seoul Lucky Guest House for 4 nights and I absolutely had nothing to complain about apart from the small washroom. If you are interested in experiencing something out of the norm, definitely give this place a try. The host was very helpful and responsive at all times - he even bought a travel adapter on behalf of me late at night just because I asked him if there's one lying in the house somewhere. 

If you are travelling with a group of friends, you can even consider booking the whole hanok to yourselves. Check out the listings for the individual rooms and the entire hanok of Seoul Lucky Guest House here. Also, I have a gift for you: Get $50 of travel credit off your first Airbnb trip with my link here :D

That's all for this blog post, I'll see you in the next one~ In the meantime, don't forget to read the previous entries too:

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