My First Hanok Experience: Staying in a Korean Traditional House for Free

My First Hanok Experience: Staying in a Korean Traditional House for Free

Here's what it's like to sleep in a real hanok in Korea.

Contributed by My Quirky Soul!

hanok experience seoul

When I first went to Seoul, I was already eyeing to stay in a Hanok place (Korean traditional house) around Bukchon Hanok Village. But since it was an epic fail booking (Yeah, got only two days to explore the metropolis), I was not able to do so.

Also read: Exploring Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul

You see, I have a thing for vintage, old-world atmosphere especially if they co-exist with an urban area. It makes the city more interesting and less suffocating. When I had a chance to visit Seoul for the second time, I was planning to get to experience it for real this time, even for just a day. So when I booked our accommodation, I intentionally left my last night. The group would be leaving on the 28th of January but me and a friend would be leaving not until the day after. So that was perfect! I could save it for my first Hanok experience! ♥

hanok experience seoul

Image credit: Penmerahpenbiru

It’s already a few days before our flight to Busan and I still wouldn’t book my last night. Stubborn me! I was waiting for a surprise, from whom I didn’t know. Haha, I was having this strong feeling we’ll get to experience something really awesome. I know, I’m such a trash of spontaneity, you can say that. The mere idea of not planning anything – what to do, where to eat, where to spend the night, for a day, excites me a lot!

Coincidentally, I happened to stumble upon Mr. Kim (the owner of Potluck Stay) in Couchsurfing. He messaged me I think 4 days before our flight and introduced me to Potluck Stay. He offered a free accommodation in a Hanok. I was stunned with disbelief. I was like, no way! This is too good to be true! But even before I could rationalise, my soul already left my sanity – all pumped up with excitement.

Super comfy bed, I wouldn’t want to get up!

I was hesitant at first (like the first few minutes) since I still don’t have the guts to trust and explore Couchsurfing. I only use the app to make friends with locals who can generously offer free tours, you know. However, my instincts that time told me to try it for once, since Mr. Kim seemed warm and a good person. Also, his Potluck Stay is pretty legit – of course, I checked it out first.

I stayed there for two nights for free. I was supposed to stay for a night only (my last night in Seoul) but something came up with work (2 days before our flight), I had to cancel my Busan trip and rebook my flight to go to Seoul directly. My rebooked flight was on the 22nd and I was supposed to be in Busan so I ended up with no hotel on my first day in Seoul. Sad.

Also read: Where to Stay in Seoul: Hongdae, Itaewon, Myeongdong & More

Then, I instantly thought of Mr. Kim and at a split-second, I already had a place to stay! He was so kind and generous enough to accommodate my last-minute request. I felt really blessed – I didn’t have to worry much about this trip because the universe was actually helping me out a lot. Also, I was able to have a detour in Incheon, a replacement for my lost Busan trip. All thanks to my Korean friend Ilho!

Check out my Incheon Detour story here.

Beautiful ceiling – your view when you lie down on the mattress.

The place is located in Bukchon Hanok Village, Anguk Station – Exit 3. It was totally a unique experience – sleeping on the floor under the roof of a traditional Korean house and getting up with such a beautiful view.

I stayed here during winter, by the way. Oh yeah, the roofs were all covered with super white snow! It was freaking cold but the room had its heater connected to the mattress – oh, how I miss the comforting and relaxing feeling of the heat on my back, without me getting all sweaty. Memories. Arrggh! Take me back to Seoul now!

The place is small but cosy!

Note that the Hanok Village is still a residential area up until now. You can see locals walking down the streets of Bukchon. During my stay, I grabbed the opportunity to roam around the vicinity – the place is only a 10-minute walk from Changdeokgung Palace, a 5-minute walk from Bukchon Traditional Culture Center and a lot more! ♥

Also read: 6 Secret Photo Spots in Seoul for Your Instagram-worthy Shots

The moment you step out from the door, you will see a street full of vintage boutiques, stores selling traditional arts and crafts, and a lot of tourists! You’ll realise you’re too lucky to have found such an accessible place! You’re too close from all the tourist spots! Yeah! Lucky me! 🙂

Visit Potluck Stay now and experience living in a Hanok Village for FREE! Thank me for sharing this post! 🙂

About Author

Sarah Maceda
Sarah Maceda

Sarah is a massive fan of spontaneity who has just recently developed an affinity with travelling. She’s a very dynamic, boundlessly curious person who thrives in pursuing new learning opportunities and adventures to spur her growth, personal and otherwise. Follow her quirks in My Quirky Soul! and Facebook.