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When you go on a trip, you are going to need somewhere to stay unless it is only a day trip. There are various options to fit every budget. The least expensive, and perhaps least comfortable, is the twenty-four hour bathhouse, know in Korean as “Mok-Yok-Tang” (목욕탕). These bathhouses are very relaxing to go to in their own right. However, some of them are open all the time and have sleeping accommodations. There is usually an open area of some kind where you either sleep on the floor, a mat, or in some cases a small bed. This is ideal if you are really stingy, and want to save as much money as possible. Overnight at a place like this will usually cost around 7000 won, about $8 or so.
Particularly in tourist areas, there are places known as “Min-Bak”(민박), which is a type of home stay. However, it seems that these days many Min-Bak are very similar to the next area to be discussed, both in price and appearance.
The next step up, and the most popular form of accommodation among foreigners is the “love motel”. In Korean, they are known as “yuh-gwan” (여권). Although they are often used for, shall we say, things other than sleeping, they are also a great place to stay. Most of them are very clean, and one should not get a bad impression of them due to this reputation. The price hovers at around 30 000 won per night, and if you’re traveling with a friend, that’s around $15 each. Since you will be making a fair amount of money, spending a little over thirty dollars on your own should not be a tough decision to make either.
To find one of these places, look for a picture of what looks like a bowl with three lines of steam coming out of it. You will usually find that a razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, water in the mini-fridge, and a few other amenities are provided for you. If you show up late at night, you will likely have to wake up the owner, who will be sleeping behind the counter. Don’t worry too much about this; it’s how it’s usually done! By the way, be sure to make sure that your room has a bed, as sometimes there is none. Koreans often sleep on the floor. It’s a good idea to take a peek at the room before parting with your money.
Of course, if you want to spend more money on your accommodations, you can certainly get more expensive rooms. There are all classes of hotels, and if staying at the Hyatt is more your style, by all means feel free to do so. Staying at this level of hotel does not take any explanation since they are generally the same as staying in a Western style hotel.
There is so much out there to see, be sure and try to take advantage of as much of it as you can. Don’t forget your camera!
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