Where to Stay in Seoul: SAMCHEONG-DONG / BUKCHON

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This is the second location for my Where to Stay in Seoul series. The first location I wrote about was Myeongdong and you can read it here. As most of you know, Myeongdong is the ideal place for tourists specially those who are into shopping and street food. And even if that’s not your thing, it is still a good location to be at because if you have nothing to do in the evening, you can just cross over to the shopping streets and find yourself entertained by how busy that area is.

Now moving on to this post, you may ask “Where is Samcheong-dong?” or “What’s there to see in Samcheong-dong?”  For those of you who don’t know, Samcheong-dong is one of my favorite places in Seoul. If only 126 Mansion is still there, I would not be recommending any other guesthouses in Seoul nor in this neighborhood.

So, why Samcheong-dong?

It’s a great place to stay in if you are into culture and history. That’s where you should stay if you want to see Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Insadong, Bukchon Hanok Village, Gwanghwamun Square, and even Seochon. That’s where you’ll find museums and art galleries. And that’s also where you’ll find an abundance of local cafes and shops. Imagine walking along the alleys of Samcheong-dong and smelling freshly roasted coffee beans from one of the cafes you pass by. The vibe there is hip and trendy.

I love Samcheong-dong because it has a unique charm that harmonizes tradition with the fresh youthful vibe of the present. I already said this before in my post about Samcheong-dong that the artistic appeal of the place comes from the fact that there is a beautiful integration of the serene and antique beauty of traditional houses and the hip vibe of chic galleries, resaturants, and cafes that have sprung up in the area.

I really encourage you to read up on my previous posts about Samcheong-dong and Bukchon so that you’ll have an idea of what to expect there. I have written about this place twice in 2012: you can read it here and here. And I also wrote about it twice in 2014: you can find it here and here.

Now for this post, I will only recommend guesthouses, mostly hanok guesthouses. It’s because I want you to experience something unique while in Seoul if ever you decide to stay in Samcheong-dong. Besides, staying in hanok guesthouses is only possible in this area so I am really recommending that you stay in a guesthouse rather in a another corporate chain hotel.

Here are my personal choices:

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Heart and Seoul 2014 – Bukchon, Insadong, Gwanghwamun, Cheonggyecheon, Hongdae and Hello Kitty Cafe

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*This is part of a series of posts under the category Heart and Seoul 2014.

We visited several areas of interest in the Gwanghwamun area on our last day in Seoul and every place was just within walking distance from each other. We started walking from 126 Mansion to Bukchon Hanok Village. We followed the “Bukchon 8 Views” map and were lucky to take photos in 6/8 of those views. Not bad, eh? 🙂

From Bukchon, we walked all the way to Insadong with a few stopovers like at the O’Sulloc Tea House and Ssamzie-gil. Then we walked through the end of Insadong street towards Cheonggye Plaza, the start of Cheonggyecheon stream. From there, we walked back to 126 Mansion while passing through Gwanghwamun Square.

In the afternoon, we went to Hongdae and had coffee at Hello Kitty Cafe.

Photos are down below.

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[Seoul Series] Day 5: Bukchon Hanok Village and Samcheong-dong Walkway

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As I said in a previous post, one of the things I love about 126 Mansion is that it is just within the vicinity of Bukchon Hanok Village and Samcheong-dong Walkway. The neighborhood is swamped with art galleries, local shops, restaurants and cafes. The vibe there is fresh, hip and artsy, and I love it!

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[Seoul Series] Day 1: Arriving in Seoul and Exploring Samcheongdong and Bukchon

My initial plan was that our Seoul trip was just going to be for hubby and myself. I was then armed with information on how to take the public transport from Incheon International Airport to Seoul. Incheon Airport is big, clean, and nice, and along with the one in Hong Kong, and Changi in Singapore, they’re probably the best airports I’ve seen in all our trips to some parts of Asia and the United States. I would have loved to loiter around if only we didn’t have just 5 days to spend in Seoul.

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Seoul Series: Why I Love 126 Mansion

After my posts on how to get a Korean visa and sharing our travel itinerary, here comes the next one to talk about the lovely guesthouse we stayed in while we were in Seoul last March 21-25. The guesthouse is called 126 Mansion in 126 Palpan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul. The guesthouse is located in the quiet but artsy neighborhood of Samcheong-dong.

I haven’t stayed in a hostel or a guesthouse in any of my travels before because I am picky when it comes to hotels. However, as I was planning for our Seoul trip, I already had my mind fixated on staying in a guesthouse than in another corporate chain. I have seen so many K-dramas already (I started getting hooked on K-dramas since 2004) and I’ve always been fascinated with their ondol floor. This is why I thought it would be a waste of chance to experience Seoul for real if I stay in a hotel.

I dropped by AirBnB to look for guesthouses in Seoul but there’s nothing there that captured my attention except for 126 Mansion. Just by looking at the photos of their rooms alone, I already got convinced that it’s where I want to stay. But I didn’t book via AirBnB. I directly went to the website of 126 Mansion to make my own booking. And that’s how I started becoming friends with the owners of 126 Mansion.

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