I had spent a few nights at a hostel in a hanok-inspired building, but that wasn’t quite the same thing as staying in a real. I figured staying in a real hanok is something I ought to do once, so I booked a night at Doo Guesthouse in Seoul’s Bukchon neighborhood.
Included in the price (which is one of the lowest nightly rates for a hanok stay in Seoul) is the opportunity to wear a hanbok, the traditional dress of Joseon times.
I picked out one I liked, put it on, and then one of the staff took photos of me wearing it at various spots within the guesthouse.
I don’t do this kind of thing very often when I travel, which probably makes it all the more fun when I do play dress up and pretend I am a young woman of the yangban class like Shin Saimdang in her nice hanok home.
I got my own room (having spent lots of time in hostel dorms, I could really appreciate this), and I slept on an electric ondol. Considering how cold Seoul was becoming at that time of year (November), the warm ondol was really nice.
There are actually two guesthouse buildings, and three little courtyards among them.
The same night I was there, there were three generations of a Taiwanese family on vacation together sharing one of the large rooms (or maybe they had multiple rooms, I don’t remember) across the courtyard from me.
There was also a German man staying there that night. I had run into quite a few Germans during my trip in South Korea, such as my dormmate in Andong. I mentioned this to him. He replied that even though Germans before travel in South Korea, it’s still considered a strange place to go on vacation. He’s been to South Korea a few times, and when he tells people in Germany that he’s going to have a vacation in South Korea, most are puzzled and ask ‘South Korea?’
All in all, Doo Guesthouse is a good place to stay. On top of being in a hanok in a historic neighborhood, it’s close to many tourist attractions such as Jongmyo and Gyeongbokgung, it’s also near Anguk subway station. If I weren’t trying to keep my expenses down, I would have happily chosen to spend all of my nights in Seoul at Doo Guesthouse.