For our summer vacation Josh and I had 2 weeks of paid vacation, we spent the first week in Japan and then we relaxed in Haeundae before taking our second and smaller trip (kind of because of my birthday) to Seoul. Even though we have been in Korea for over 3 months now we had only been in Seoul for maybe 2 hours during which we transferred between airports and really didn’t experience the city. This time with the help of our Korean friend/tour guide we booked 2 nights in a traditional Korean guest house.
The guest house was pretty amazing…first you enter in large wooden door and then find yourself in a small courtyard with the doors to about 4-6 rooms all surrounding. Somehow our room got a free upgrade and we were the only ones with the luxury of our own bathroom. Traditionally, the rooms are for sleeping and keeping all your stuff, there is a shared kitchen and bathroom for all the guests. With our upgrade we not only got our own private attached bathroom…we got a massive wooden tub!
On top of this, our particular guest house had a selection of hanboks (about 10 for women and 2 for men) for guests to try on and take pictures in. This was a really fun experience…it took some prodding to get me to put on a hanbok…and then it took a lot of nagging to get me out of it since I enjoyed the experience so much. Before I leave Korea I am going to get at least one custom hanbok made, and this helped with understanding the logistics of the hanbok and how I look in the different colors.
Another amazing aspect of our guest house was its proximity to Insa-Dong, one of the best places for traditional shopping in all of Korea. Our guest house was a short walk from Insa-Dong and nestled in between restaurants and plenty of small shops….next up is a rundown of Insadong!