Tuesday, 23 April 2013

[REVIEW] Guesthouse - Hey Backpackers 2

Posted by Carrie Ang
This is where I've stayed for 10 days during my trip to Seoul in year 2012 - Hey Backpackers 2 located in Hongdae Mapo-gu, Seoul.
Well not my first best choice, but it was recommended by my friend which I'm travelling with. So, I just go with the flow~~ haha
When I travel, the only thing I look for is cheap, comfortable places - Nothing fancy. So, other then that it doesn't matter to me. This review is only based on personal view & my own simple satisfaction. But, I will post out a few points people will take into consideration when picking out a guest house:

Location, location, location!! I couldn't be stressing this one even more as if you're on a back pack trip; surely the guest house you pick should be access-able to the nearest Subway station or the main road. Hey Backpackers is situated right in the middle of Hongdae. With only 200m away from Hongik Univ station Exit#9 (10 min slow~pace walk), 3 min walk to the bus stand; not to mention it's situated within walking distance to best attractions Hongdae got to offer.

Hey Backpackers 2 is literally beside NANTA theatre (1m), Hongdae's infamous clubbing area (which is my fav spot! Wouldn't deny it in any way) and blocks away from Hongik University & Art Free Market & playground.

The guest house isn't exactly spick & span as you would imagine it to be compared to a new building or does it look like any fancy hotels.As you can see from the pictures above, its basically an apartment that has been converted to a guest house. Although it does not look as professional as it should be, but its comfy as you would feel right at home.

The main part of the guesthouse is the 1st floor where it is a normal house with a large living room, kitchen and laundry. The four bedrooms have been converted into a double room, a couples room, a 6-bed dorm room and a 4-bed dorm room. The downside is that there are only two bathrooms for all those people (one of it is in the 6-bed dorm room the other one is a public shared bathroom among the 1st floor guests).
So if someone is taking an extra long shower and you really, really need to go, you better run quick to the public toilet up the road or if you have a bladder of steel, wait. Luckily, I was staying together with a bunch of K-pop fans in the 6-bed room. We (6 of us) had our own toilet! I don't exactly need to wait for shower either as I'm always the first one to wake-up!

Other than that, there's no air-cond provided, well as I was there during Spring; it wasn't exactly what I would hope for anyway as I'm always freezing cold. For the first time in my life I'm glad that the floor is emitting heat that comforts my freezing feet. So, I may not be the perfect person to ask for advice on a hot summer days. The guesthouse do have fan thou.

Cleanliness wise, no complains here as the Ahjussi will come by every evening - to take out the trash, vacuum, & general cleaning. It's not perfect, but acceptable as; do take in mind that this Ahjussi (together with a lady *maybe his wife I think*) do all the cleaning themselves at both their owned guesthouses.

No breakfast provided thou (as the room rate is already dirt cheap, if you are staying in their 6ppl dorm room). And towels, shampoo & shower gel are also not provided.
Do help yourself in the kitchen. Facilities like fridge, toaster, microwave, stove, pots & pans, utensils are good to use. There is water filter provided too. So, light cooking are acceptable.
Besides that, you could do your own laundry at the laundry area provided.
The guesthouse is fully Wi-fi, there is even 4 desktop provided at the living room. HD TV with almost all your desirable k-dramas channel!! ^^

The Room Rate >> HEY BACKPACKERS 2
The room rate for a 6ppl dorm room is at 16,000won per weeknight & 19,000won per weekend.

Tips: You can always email him in advance for booking & bargain for a GOOD price! I got it at 14,000won per night! =D

There's a few reviews I read that says the owner being a little crazy? Well, crazy? Don't cha think that's a little harsh to describe it. Maybe I would say he is being more cautious of people. I would think they are referring to this incident whereby - The owner will keeps nagging & hassle you for the payment the moment you arrive the hostel. Straight to the point, pointing out & confirming how many days you are staying & your total amount to be paid. But, don't you think this is the basic courtesy to pay up if you are staying?? Pity that Ahjussi, I do sense that he being that tough on guest right on the first moment they met is or maybe just maybe that he had been ripped off before by lots of travellers who ended staying for a while & not paying up and just left? So yes, You do need to pay the owner upfront as soon as you get there, he is fairly decent once you have get to know him better. Try discussing with him to see whether he could let you pay in instalments if you are staying for a long period of time or don't have that much cash on you.

After you've paid up, he will then tour you around the house, will also tell you where are the good places to hangout, clubs, restaurant and so on. Pretty much then onwards he will leave you alone till you need his help again. Nice guy, try to butter up to him & you would realise he is actually a nice guy *He even buy us some mid-night snack on our 1st night there in Seoul ^^*. Eventhough sometime he seems a little neurotic - mutters to himself a lot! But his English is understandable.

Tips: He is a 2NE1 maniac! Fans of 2NE1...If you're a k-pop fan like me, then there would not be any issue with long conversation with him. Apparently he met with the members 3 times before at their neighbourhood ( YG entertainment is around the corner).
Tips: Definitely recommend to ask him to book you a seat for the NANTA performance, if you are planning to watch it; as he will then help writes you a discount card (20%) for the NANTA theatre across the road. He's a lifelong member apparently, sends a lot of business their way. =) 

Overall rating: 3.5 / 5


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