Seoul holds a special place in my heart. From Korean fashion and beauty products, to its street food, world-famous galbi, beautiful palaces and shopping districts, I would travel to Seoul every weekend if schedule and budget permits it. I've only been to South Korea's capital once back in 2015 and vowed to come back again soon. That soon came a year after as I was traversing the streets of Seoul recently for a few days of relaxation, food trip and a bit of shopping on the side.
Our flight arrived around 6AM at the world's best airport, Incheon International, bought our T-Money for faster commute, hopped on the AREX (Airport Railway Express) bound for Seoul Station and changed trains that took us to Chungmuro, the closest to our hostel in Myeongdong.
A popular choice among budget travelers, Rainbow Hostel offers affordable rooms and is conveniently located with wide a range of dining options, money changer and convenience stores nearby. Although most people would prefer staying nearer or within the Myeongdong Shopping District, the nearest station, Chungmuro (only 300 meters away from the hostel), is actually a better starting point as it has more links to other places that we visited. Besides, the 10-minute walk from the shopping area is a good way to burn those calories from non-stop food tripping.
Upon confirmation of the booking, the staff gave us the code for the main door as the lobby is located on the 2nd floor of the building. The hostel does not have an elevator but has a lift for your luggage. As with most houses and hostels in Korea, your shoes and slippers are not allowed inside to maintain the cleanliness of the floor. Your footwear must be removed before you enter the hallway but you can bring them inside your room for safekeeping. House slippers are provided per room which you can use throughout the duration of your stay.
As I am a frugal traveler, I make it a point to check which booking site offers the lowest rate and in my years of traveling, Agoda has been consistent in terms of value for money and convenience of booking. Our family room that I booked at a discounted price of Php3,200 per night (regular rate is Php4,000), can accommodate up to 4 adults. The room has 2 double beds, cable television, air-conditioning unit and a private toilet and bath. It may be small, typical to most hostels in Seoul, but with just enough space to walk around. Other rooms available are double or twin room at Php2,800 per night and the triple room for Php3,100 per night, both based on tariff rates.
I sent the hostel an email asking if they provide bath towels which they confirmed. I was confident I won't be needing one so I took it out of my luggage only to realize that the towels in Korea are small like the size of a face towel. Took me 2 towels to dry myself every time I take a bath.
The pantry a the 5F is usually occupied in the morning until 1030 as simple breakfast of toast, jam, coffee and tea is included in the hotel rates. In the several days we've stayed in Rainbow Hostel, I only saw one lady who does the housekeeping so make sure to clean up as you go.
Rainbow Hostel's excellent location is the main reason why we decided to book it in the first place. The warm reception and all the helpful staff who tried their best to speak in English so they can point us to the right direction are just mere bonus why we got to enjoy our vacation. Did I mention that Korea has the fastest internet service in the world? Another reason why I love Seoul!
Rainbow Hostel29 Toegye-ro 31-gil (57-3 Chungmuro 3-ga)
Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel.: (822) 2266-2207