Safe Stay is a campaign program which is organized by Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) in order to provide information about safe accommodation and services during traveling in South Korea. There are three types of stay in Korea: Hanok, Guest House and Home Stay. I have tried Guest house many times and want to try Hanok stay at least once.
Hanok refers to Korean traditional architecture constructed with natural materials. Don’t worry about getting cold in cold season because it is equipped with traditional heating system (Ondol). The design is traditional but the services and experiences are modern. For those who want to experience Korean traditional culture, I recommend you to try Hanok stay when traveling here.
In this opportunity, I was lucky to try one Hanok Stay in Gangneung, Gangwon Province. I think Gangneung is best place to try traditional experience because the location is similar to country side. The name of Hanok Stay is Gyeongbokgung Pension (경복궁 펜션).
What kind of Hanok Stay is that?
Gyeongbokgung Pension provides 4 types of room:
- Nolbu room (놀부방): Room can be occupied with 10 person and maximum 12 person. This room is facilitated with 1 TV, cupboard, 1 bathroom inside and some tables for family events. Not only that, since this room is the biggest room in the pension, it is connected directly to the kitchen. This room also connected to the other smallest room, named Heungbu room (흥부방). Nolbu room is charged with 220,000 won during weekdays, and 250,000 won during weekend in normal season, and 300,000 won in peak season. These price is 10 person price, then, 20,000 won per person will be charged additionally.
- Heungbu room (흥부방): This room is the smallest room in the pension. It can be occupied with 2 person to 4 person. Last time I visited, they provide one double bed for 2 person. The additional 2 person will be given floor mattress to sleep. The price is 60,000 won to 110,000 won, depends on the season and days.
- Chunhyangi room (춘향이방): This room can be occupied with 6 to 8 person. There is a bathroom and shower room inside. The price start from 150,000 won to 220,000 won.
- Hyangdani room (향단이방): This room is the room that we reserved last time. It can be occupied from 2 to 4 person. There is double bed inside, and the rest will sleep in the floor. It was a nice experience to choose this room. It was warm because of the ondol heating floor system. It has TV also, so we can have chat while watching TV. If you open the window, you can see the backyard and bamboo forest. That was very beautiful and refreshing. The price range from 70,000 won to 120,000.
Why we should stay here?
Facility & Service
This Hanok Stay is suitable to spend time with family. They provide full facilities, such as kitchen, modern bathroom with bidet, TV, Towel, and other cultural experiences. I found Korean traditional game, such as Yutnori, Tuho, etc. I found guitar also! The only minus point is the WIFI. The owner said that the WIFI is broken. However, that was also not a bad thing, because this place is not for surfing, browsing, but for gathering and spending time with your friends or family, isn’t it? 😀
The owner was very kind also, especially to foreigner like us :p It seems that there was not many foreigner came. The owner even offered us a free ride to Yangyang city. Its around 11km from the stay. There is a beautiful temple with unique fish pond. It is good to visit in Summer and Autumn. Unfortunately we cannot visit the place because of rain 🙁 Actually we also want to cook meat and have BBQ party, but the rain stopped us. So, we just ended up chating inside the room.
How to book?
The booking process is considered as easy, especially for foreigner. You can book through online reservation. The website is in Korean, but it is easy to book without understanding Korean 🙂 I will help you a bit. Following is step-by-step to book the room:
- Access reservation page here.
- You will see calendar with status of the 4 room available. There are 3 status with color: Blue (대기) means waiting for payment, Red (완료) means reserved or paid and Green (가능) means available to reserve.
- Choose your available day and room, and simply click it.
- Fill the information needed, such as the room and the number of people, because the more people come, the price gets higher.
- Click to put the check mark in the most right column to pick your room and calculate the amount of payment. When you add 1 person, it will give you additional 20,000 won to pay.
- Fill reservation information as shown in below picture. Fill your name (이름), contact number (연락처) with xxx-xxxx-xxxx format, password (비밀번호). Password is used for modification or cancelation. And last Memo (메모) if needed. Probably you can put your bank information you use for transfer.
- Lastly, click reservation button (예약하기).
- Pay the reservation by bank transfer to the pension owner. the bank account information is written in the reservation page. I may copy it here: Nonghyub Bank 235014-56-018021 (김재영)
- The administration will check your payment within 1 day. Noted that if you don’t complete the payment within 1 day, the reservation is automatically canceled.
How to get there?
The location is in Jumunjin, Gangneung. Around 1 hour from Gangneung city. But the pension location is very strategic. It is only 1 km away from the Jumunjin Bus Terminal. It can be reached by walking^^. Wherever you depart from, just pick Jumunjin Bus terminal or Gangneung Bus Terminal. Since I came from Seoul, I write how to go there from Seoul by Bus as follows:
By Express Bus:
From Seoul (Gyeongbu Terminal or Dong Terminal) -> Take Express Bus to Gangneung Bus Terminal.
From Gangneung, take bus 300 or any bus that go to Jumunjin. It will take around 1 hour to reach Jumunjin, depends on the traffic.
Get off at Jumunjin Bus Terminal
Walk around 1km, 15 minutes to Gyeongbokgung Pension.
From Gyeongbu – KRW 14.600 ~ 21.500,
From Dong Seoul – KRW 15.000
By Intercity Bus:
From Seoul (Nambu Terminal or Dong Terminal) -> Take Intercity Bus to Jumunjin.
Walk around 1km or 15 minutes to Gyeongbokgung Pension.
From Nambu – KRW 16,700,
From Dong Seoul – KRW 15,800
Choose your transportation based on your purpose of travelling. If you want to directly go to Hanok Stay, go directly to Jumunjin intercity bus terminal. If you want to explore Gangneung city first and go to the accommodation later, you better use express bus to Gangneung Bus Terminal.
[KO] 강원 강릉시 주문진읍 주문진서당길 33
[EN] Gangwon, Gangneung, Jumunjin-eup, Jumunjinseodang-gil 33
What can we see nearby?
This neighbourhood is quiet country side and interesting place to explore. If you stress because of city crowd, you should try to spend a day in this place. The surrounding area was fresh. It is near beach, not just beach, but famous beach hehe Following is the result of our exploration~
Goblin Drama Shooting Location (Yeongjin Beach)
Fried Seafood Market
Popular Grilled Fish Restaurant
But I can assure you, this is the best grilled fish I’ve tasted ever! And the price is really cheap. You got 3-4 types of fish in one plate.
Will share about our 2 days 1 night Gangneung trip in separate post 😉
Gangneung is not a big city like Seoul with good facilities and transportation, but you should visit Gangneung to enjoy the nature and learn historical story hidden in the city.
Gangneung, 2017 October 6-7