Review: Hanok Stay at Manaedang Guesthouse, Seoul

 

First of all, what is Hanok? Hanok is a term to describe Korean traditional houses. The houses are often equipped with the ondol heated rock system for heating during cold winters and a wide front porch for keeping the house cool during hot summers.

 

“ Hanok Stay refers to staying in a traditional Korean house built since decades to hundreds of years old ago. It is a good opportunity to experience traditional Korean lifestyle and culture. They have been somewhat renovated for the convenience and safety of its guests, but the traditional Korean style and sentiment are still retained. Old furniture, paper-pasted windows, and props like soy jars add to the traditional ambiance.

 

Since we will be in Seoul for 6 nights, I decided to experience hanok stay for 3 nights and another 3 nights in an apartment in Chungmuro. Traditional and modern. Perfect balance :)

 

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manaedang_guesthouse_view

manaedang_guesthouse_room

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manaedang_guesthouse_window

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manaedang_guesthouse_ceiling

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By the time we reached Manaedang Guesthouse, it was past midnight. Yuri waited for us at main entrance as she worried we couldn’t find her hanok. Yes it was indeed quite dark everywhere.  She then explained on the facilities in her hanok before leaving. It’s a small house yet cozy and homely.

 

For three nights, we stay in Room “Kook” (Chrysanthemum) which is a triple room at KRW 120,000 per night. There is no bathroom attached to the room. We have to use the share bathroom which is just next door. It’s good to know that there are 4 rooms in this hanok – 2 rooms with attached bathrooms while another 2 rooms without. Meaning guests in 2 rooms will share a public bathroom.

 

Frankly I was quite worried as staying in this kind of traditional Korean hanok guesthouse means we have to sleep on thin mattress on the floor. I was worried whether my family members can bear the sleeping arrangement. I’ve read comments from other bloggers, some are okay with it, while some got backache. But … it turn out that we all like it! The mattress is thin. The pillow is small but it fits perfectly on my neck. The contour is even better than my current pillow. If only I knew where to buy one. I felt that my back bone is straightened up and there’s no backache with 3 nights sleeping on the floor. Phew!

 

One thing I like about her website is it shows the layout of her hanok which I think is useful, especially when deciding which room to book.

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There are light breakfast served every morning – white bread and jam. However we did not eat them as we found out that the peanut jam is expired. Oh dear! No worries, you are spoil with the plenty of cafes nearby. But we eat bananas and oranges which taste very good.

 

Yuri was not around all the time, so whenever I need some help, I’d just SMS her and she’ll replied or come over. Before we left, Yuri helped us to call a taxi. Great! With big and small luggage, it would be difficult to walk to main road to take a taxi. She even helped us to carry luggage.

 

In terms of security? Well the main door is left open ALL the time – which means anyone can come inside the hanok! There is a small lock at each room’s door. And that’s it. Looks quite safe as Yuri has no worries on placing her facilities in living room eg. computer, credit card machine, kitchen utilities. Perhaps the security is good in Jongno-gu when Manaedang Guesthouse is between Gyeongbokgung and Changgyeonggung Palace. Sure lots of police patrols. Hmm … I need a Korean to clarify on this.

 

I personally recommend staying in a hanok guesthouse for the experience at least for a day. Who knows you might like it later (like me!). If you are scratching head on where to stay in Seoul, give hanok guesthouse a try. There are plenty to choose from nearby Bukchon.

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Manaedang Guesthouse
Address: Gye-dong 43, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea
Telephone: 82-070-4195-9630 / 82-010-5334-4857
Contact person: Ms Yuri
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.manaedang.com/english/index.html

 

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