After breakfast, I headed towards the rooftop of Guesthouse Korea to watch my first ever sunrise in Seoul. It was half past seven in the morning and the chilly weather greeted me as I opened the door leading to the top deck. It felt refreshing, at first, but after one minute under the harsh weather, my fingers started to feel numb. I realized that I was only wearing a fleece jacket. I hurriedly went back to my room, glued my feet on the heated flooring and planned my battle gear for the day. I was traveling solo and my room witnessed my feats and defeats in conquering winter, a first for me.
It was the last week of January when I traveled to Seoul for my first ever solo trip abroad, it was wintertime. I prepped up for two weeks prior my visit which includes securing my Korean Tourist Visa in the Philippines. I also took note of some guides for first-time travelers in Seoul that I found online. And when it came to deciding where to stay, I narrowed it down on two criteria; good location and low-cost private room.
Centrally located in the heart of Seoul’s CBD area, Guesthouse Korea is just minutes away by foot from the royal palaces and other famous landmarks in Seoul. The place is very accessible to all types of public transportations including Seoul Metro, public buses and Airport Bus Limousine. The friendly neighborhood also offers a wide variety of dining choices and shop houses.
|Jongno 3 (sam)-ga exit number 7|
My first taste of sub-zero temperature was when I emerged from the exit stairs of Seoul Metro Subway. I was preparing myself to the frozen environment as I was tugging my luggage up the stairwell. I hurriedly searched for my beanie and gloves then wore it as I treaded along the eerily quiet street.
|My first real taste of sub-zero weather|
I walked into the brick path leading to my guesthouse which was cleared from the slippery snow as everything was bunched up to the side. It was quiet, aside from two stores that were open, all the shops and commercial establishments were closed during that time. My unhurried walk (with the help of my GPS locator) led me to Guesthouse Korea.
|The first day of Seollal Holiday coincided with the first day of my trip|
|There's a business center, kitchenette and lounge area|
|A fridge is available for guests' use|
|Mementos from former guests|
I opened the door to my room and was glad to have my own space. The room had all the basic amenities I needed for a comfortable winter stay; double-sized bed with duvet and fluffy pillows, mini fridge, AC (which I didn’t get to use, of course), TV with local and international channels, table, power plug extension cord and a hair dryer. The floor was also heated which was such a comfort.
There was also a private toilet and bath with hot and cold shower, and bathroom amenities such as, shower gel, shampoo, and liquid soap.
|N-type Single Room|
|Bathroom amenities are also available at the private toilet and bath|
After an hour of rest and acclimating, I went outside and battled my first stroll in the snowy Seoul. It was not until ten in the evening when I came back to the guesthouse. The walk from the subway station was creepily quiet but there was no feeling of threat or whatsoever, it felt totally safe. There is no curfew at Guesthouse Korea but you have to take note of the security code of the main door for you to enter after midnight.
|Some of the royal palaces are just meters away from Guesthouse Korea|
What I love about staying in guesthouses is that there’s this certain communal feel to it that you won’t get to experience if you’re staying in a hotel. You become friends with other guests and exchange travel stories from around the world. The caretakers, who are usually locals, can also help you acquaint yourself with local culture and norms. Guesthouse Korea definitely makes sure that their place caters to a healthy mix of locals and international community. For a solo traveler like me, it was just the perfect place.
Guesthouse Korea (check here for discounted rates)
155-1 Kwonnong-Dong, Jongno-Gu,
Seoul, Republic of Korea
Contact Number: (+82) 2.3675.2205 | (+82)70.4228.6863
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org