This will be the first of my little shared tips for travelling to Korea! They will be predominantly focused on Seoul, because I haven’t had much of the chance to travel outside of Seoul yet (although I’m desperate to!!). I hope they help you plan your own Korea Adventures, and if you have any further questions about anything I talk about please don’t hesitate to contact me! Either in the comments section here or over on my Twitter ^.^
Ok! So, my very first tip is something that I think made the whole world of difference to my trips- my accommodation. Both of my trips to Seoul (excluding my To:ur Imagination trip) I stayed in a guesthouse called FunFun Stay in Hongdae.
To put some perspective on it- I am not a “guesthouse”/”hostel” type of person AT ALL. In fact I’m terrified of them. My main priorities when travelling are somewhere safe and somewhere clean, and my general opinions on guesthouses were that they weren’t for me. When I travelled with friends for the first trip they booked the accommodation, and so I hesitantly went along with it (thinking I could always book a hotel room somewhere if it was really unbearable).
I can happily say- never have I been more wrong. Our stay at FunFun was definitely one of the best parts about the whole trip, and it made such a difference to my travelling that I didn’t even think twice when I was booking my second trip- It had to be FunFun.
Now I can’t say that this is for ALL guesthouses in Korea because I haven’t been to others, but I do know from what friends have told me that most guesthouses in Korea have a really great reputation. Much much better than the average hostel in other parts of the world for sure. But FunFun is the best (just look at their trip advisor score!). In fact one of our friends was staying in another nearby guesthouse, and although it was perfectly comfortable, upon visiting us she promptly cancelled the rest of her stay and came to join us!
So just what was so great about the stay Kat? Here’s my top five most important points about the guesthouse:
Kat’s number 1 (OCD) and the first thing I noticed upon arrival- everything was so spotless and clean! FunFun staff stay upstairs, and the whole guesthouse is cleaned daily. That’s a full clean, so vacuuming, washing, bathroom cleaning… The lot! It smells nice too ^.^
This is obviously a result of the cleanliness as well, but everything at FunFun is really welcoming and comfortable! Floor heating or room air-conditioning help keep everything at a perfect temperature all year round (I’ve been in both Summer and Winter). And the showers have just the right amount of water pressure and temperature adjustment- and there are enough of them! And the beds are super super comfortable too- I slept so well each night. There are a number of different layouts to the rooms, ranging from single to 8 people. On my second trip I stayed in the 8 people room and was just as comfortable and relaxing, everyone was very considerate.
Which leads me onto the guests! Everyone seems to be really friendly when they stay at FunFun, and I’ve actually made some really close friends from guests who just happened to be staying at the same time I was! There were many happy moments of group meals in the shared kitchen, some impromptu exercise classes on our room floor, a couple of nights of a very diverse group language class and lots of laughter. If you’re travelling solo it makes a difference to be able to bond with people who you can share the experience with, and I’ve been really lucky in that aspect!
FunFun is in the perfect location, just on the main edge of Hongdae. The area is always full of life, and is surrounded by endless shops and food options. Some of the best street food including my favourite ahjumma who makes the most delicious hotteok and these guys who make the most amazing bungeoppang (like in the picture above)… And Hongdae is on Green Subway Line 2- which is the most useful in my opinion! It’s especially easy to get to from the airport. The area always felt safe too. No matter what time you are wandering around there always seems to be people about along the well lit streets. So even when I was heading home to FunFun at 2am (from concerts and musicals and such) I always felt safe. This is the same for inside the guesthouse as well, as it’s situated at the top of flights of stairs and behind passcode-protected doors.
5. Amazing Staff
Now this is the really important one, because the staff at FunFun are amazing. They’re there to really make you feel comfortable and to enjoy your stay and they go above and beyond to help make sure you know your day trip plans, assisting with advice and directions (and they speak English). They even ordered me food when I arrived back at the guesthouse exhausted and starving at 2am (yay Korea’s food delivery service!). The staff and I really became close friends, and we shared many meals together and the odd trip to noreabang haha. They organise everything so well that you can just concentrate on having a FUN trip!
If you’d like to take a look around, here is the small segment we filmed for MBC (wooo MBC! Famous!)-
So really, I can’t recommend FunFunStay enough. It’s the perfect place to stay on your visit to Seoul! It’s so clean, comfortable, welcoming, helpful, and yes- IT’S FUN! ^.^
Here’s a few useful links:
FunFun on Tripadvisor