/// Bong House Hostel
* BONG HOUSE HOSTEL
A good hostel is one that feels like you’re staying at a best friend’s house.-John Cain
In terms of cost, hostels are generally the cheapest accommodations available but I believe the unique benefits of a good one makes them underpriced:
SOCIAL + COMFORT + HOMELY
Such is the case with the Bong House Hostel located in the Jongno District of South Korea’s capital, Seoul.
I’ve stayed at over a hundred hostels and guesthouses around the world with many in Korea and none have been as “home away from home” as the Bong House.
The peculiar name “Bong House” has nothing to do with the paraphernalia but with the owner, Mr. Bong. Like many other hostels, you can see him around taking care of business as well as mingling with the guests. What’s different is his genuinely kind demeanor and instant likability. Also, he’s a long time backpacker.
Bong House’s staff, of which I know each of them well, have also become great friends just like their boss. Interpersonal connections beyond other guests.
While that’s relatively common for a hostel, Bong House in particular exceeds in this.
The Bong House Hostel is situated in a lively part of Seoul but slightly tucked away in an almost village like street. Shops and restaurants everywhere with Sungkyunkwan University a stones throw away.
Hyehwa Metro station just 5 minutes walk and buses even closer. A most ideal location for a hostel.
I could live in this neighborhood.
The building which seems like it has been converted from a large single family home really adds to the effect of being “home” – aptly named the Bong “House”.
The Bong House consists of 2.5 floors. The lower floor has 2 dorms and 2 private rooms with 2 full bathrooms. The top floor also has 2 dorms and 2 private rooms as well as the common room, kitchen, laundry room, bathroom and the communal office.
The entire hostel is clean, secure and well kept. The decor is somewhat traditional Korean but the appliances are modern, including the pass code entrance that’s active 24/7.
Not that it needs security as Seoul is one of the safest cities in the world and the neighborhood is one of the safest in the city.
Every night without fail, the Bong Bar opens at 8pm.
Conveniently located in the basement of the Bong House, is the fully stocked bar – complete with a stereo system, darts, TV and a pool table.
The neighborhood is filled with cozy themed bars for any palate but the guests and I rarely venture beyond the Bong Bar. Other than the fact that it’s under the hostel, Mr. Bong offers all guests 1 free beer every single night of their stay. No purchase necessary.
This creates an intoxicating atmosphere for social interactions to occur at the highest level. Travelers, students, expats and backpackers forgetting the word “strangers” but reinforcing the word “friends”.
Also makes a great pregame spot for Hongdae.
In the hostel lifestyle, if your lucky, you find a hostel so memorable and worthy that you make repeat visits to a country just to stay there once again.
The Bong House is that hostel.
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