Accommodation in Korea – Hotels Alternative

Many friends have asked me where  do I stay when I visit Korea and they never expect my answer to be “motel”. 🙂

Please do not get the wrong impression. In fact in Korea, motels are available everywhere and especially outside Seoul such as small cities, small towns. And if you are in these smaller cities/towns, motels actually could be the best option, if you are not particular about having the “the best hotel view”, or “best hotel service”.  If you are looking for a good night rest and nothing else, motels is actually your best choice.  They are inexpensive and normally they are near train station or bus station.  And there is nothing to be ashamed of to spend your night in motel. There are hourly rate motels and normal motels.  It can be difficult to inquire motels if you don’t speak Korean. However, with the advance in technology and smart phones application, you can always get by. You can read more on how I survive in Korea without speaking Korean here. The beauty of staying in motel is you don’t have to book your accommodation in advance.. you can walk in and inquire and if they have room, you strike your lucky star.  And they even allow you to check the room, if you don’t like, you can always walk away and check the next motel. You will sure to get what you want…Sometimes the only complaint about motels are the tobacco smell that lingers in the room. So, it is advisable to check the room before paying.

My experience walking into motel is always the same. If you happen to walk into an hourly charged motel, the guys there will asked you go away.  And if they know you don’t understand Korean, they will be very nice to you asking you to go other motels. 🙂 However in my recent trip, I realized, there are motels that are more flexible and they even  help tourists like myself who just need a resting place with their limited English.

My recent experience staying in a motel in Gwangju is booking was done through a vending machine!!!.. and the motel charge starts at minimum charge of W25,000.  There is no reception, just a vending machine next to a parking. After you select your type of room, pay through your credit card, go to the room and the door is opened waiting for your.

Motels outside Seoul are clean, room is huge, shower room is huge…  you wonder why do you need such a huge shower room..

I can’t find any complaints in motels, they provide free wi-fi and even huge plasma tv with internet service!!!.   I believe only in Korea you have such excellent internet connection because Korea is the best most-wired country in the world.  Even when you don’t get your free wi-fi connection in the room, you get your internet service on a LAN line with a super high speed connection!!! There is nothing more that I can ask for when I am in a small town motel in Korea…

So for anyone who is keen to be on budget, you can always try local motels which is inexpensive, clean and comfortable.  Pay roughly  W25,000 for just a basic accommodation for a good night rest, thats very reasonable.  Enjoy Korean style of motels at affordable price, the local ways…:)

motel vending machine










book your motel room from a vending mating = amazing, cool .. smart!!!

motel from outside









this is how a typical motel look from outside … don’t be alarm. this is normal…

typical room










this is typical motel room set up.. .. plasma tv, computer set up and wi-fi connections.. nothing to complaint if you just want to have a good rest and go brain dead with some local channels …

motels are clean, affordable … if you are not picky, choosy, motels in Korea is a good choice especially if you are not willing to pay more.. a typical motel start form W25,000 which is very affordable ..and is clean and the room is huge .. too huge for winter when it can feels too cold …:)

In my years traveling in Korea, there were a lot of tolerance from the motel staff communicating with non Korean speaking tourists like myself…Thanks to advance in technology, communication becomes easier. I respect the locals, tolerating my inability to communicate in Korean. Read how I use applications on mobile phone for translations.

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