(Author : Robert Storey)


  As taken from the Lonely Planet books -- Korea: A travel survival kit, by Geoff Crowther and Korea, by Robert Storey and David Mason.

  The most popular travellers' hotel - and one which well deserves its reputation - is the Han Jin Hostel (tel. 771-4097 / 772-4097, fax. 772-9679) 173-1 Rose-dong. Here you can be guaranteed to run into many other travellers from all over the world so it's a good place to compare notes. The driving force behind it all is the energetic and disarming Mr. Kwon Young Joung. As well as making you welcome he's also a walking enthusiast and he knows the mountains around Kyongju like the back of his hand. Depending on his commitments, he may be willing to take you on walks to fascinating places which you would never have known existed. He speaks English and Japanese as well as his native Korean and is also a master of calligraphy and a yoga afficianado.
The rooms are spotlessly clean, the hotel well-maintained and there's constant hot water (oil-fired system). Singles/doubles without bath cost \18,000 and rooms with bath, fan and colour TV cost \20,000-25000 regardless of whether one or two people occupy the room. A third person occupying a room puts the price up by 30%. Towels and toothbrushes are provided. Limited cooking facilities are available in the proprietor's kitchen but please remember not to abuse this service and bring your own supplies. There's a leafy central courtyard on the ground floor where travellers gather in the mornings and evenings.
Some travellers have complained that this place is expensive (which it conceivably is for the rooms without bathroom) and that Mr. Kwon isn't always the raconteur that he's made out to be. I asked him about this last time I was there and he explained that some travellers take too much for granted and that he gets annoyed. There's nothing unreasonable about that. What amazes me is that, after more than a decade of making travellers from all over the world welcome, he and his wife are still as fresh and energetic as they are about keeping the place running. There are plenty of other hotel proprietors, given the same pressures, who would have sold up and moved on years ago. It's still one of the best hotels in Korea.


Place to Stay - bottom end

  The Hanjin Hostel (tel : 771-4097 ; fax : 772-9679), also known as the Hanjin-jang Yogwan, is two blocks north-east of the bus terminal and easily identified by a large sign in English on the roof. The congenial owner, Mr Kwon Yong-joung, speaks good English and Japanes, hands out free maps and is very knowledgeable about local sights. The management seems to understand the needs of travellers - there is hot water for making tea and noodles; a meeting room for socialising with other travellers; and a courtyard where you can hang out in the evening and watch the stars. Surprisingly, for a yogwan, there is a satellite dish and English-language STAR TV from Hong Kong. This place has become a sort of backpackers' unofficial travel and information center for Kyongju. Guests can use the washing machine and refrigerator, and you can receive faxes here. Prices for doubles with shared bath are \18,000; doubles with private bath costs \20,000 to \25,000. For a third person it costs 30% more. The price remains the same all year round.
  There are heaps of other yogwan near the bus terminal, all charging similar or higher prices. Closest to the railway station is the Buhojang Hotel, which charges \25,000 for a double. The same price is charged at the nearby Kirin Hotel. Seorimjang Hotel asks \30,000 and Oksanjang Yogwan costs \28,000.
  There are other places to stay near the railway station. You can try the San-jang Yogwan, Myongji Yogwan and Hwanggum-jang Yogwan. The Kyongju Youth Hostel (tel : 42-1771) is far out of town near Pulguksa. This place tends to pack out with youth groups - be sure you have a reservation if you plan to stay.


South Korea Handbook
(Author : Robert Nilsen)

Myongjinjang Yogwan(명진장여관), Hwanggumjang Yogwan(황금장여관), or the Segumjang Yogwan(세금장여관) near the train station, or the Taraejang Yogwan(다래장여관) or the Sanhojang Yogwan and bathhouse(산호장여관), nearer the bus terminal. Not cheap, rates run \18,000 - 25,000 for most of these jang yogwan.
  The budget yogwan of choice is Hanjinjang Yogwan(한진장여관), also known as Hanjin Hostel(tel: 771-4097; fax 772-9679). On a quiet alley only minutes form the bus stations, this place is well-kept, comfortable, and conveniently located. The most significant advantage of staying here is the friendly and vivacious proprietor, Mr.Kwon Youn Joung. He's an excellent source of up-to-date information about the city and surounding region, including the less well-known points of interest, and will gladly speak to you in Korean, Japanese, or Engligh. He'sversed in locallore and history, and has trudged countless km over the country's hills and through its rice fields. Occasionally, he will even take a group out for a tour. Aside from tourist information, he can direct you to the correct bus for your destination, suitable restaurants, banks, pharmacies, shops, and the like, and he's always happy to talk about his family. A man of intergrity and wisdom, you can trust his judgment. After all, he and his wife have been running this yogwan since 1978 and know what it takes. Many foreign travelers stop here. so it's a good place to gather information (about korea and other Asian countries) or form a group for a day-trip. Mr. Kwon supplies hot water is also available all day for bathing. Some have complained of the rooms not being clean enough, others can't say enough about how comfortable they have been. it's all a judgment call - - you decide. Rates for rooms with a common bathroom are \14,000 single, \16,000 double; \18,000 for rooms with a private bathroom, one or two people;and \20,000 for larger rooms with bath. There is a 30% increase in the room rate for a third person. Most rooms are Korean-style, while some have Western beds.



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