25 September 2012

Accommodation in Jeju Island

Last time I shared about places to go in Jeju Island. This time I am going to share about the accommodation I stayed there.

Jeju Island is divided into 2 si (cities): Jeju-si in the north and Seogwipo-si in the south. Going from one city to another would take about 1 to 1.5 hour. If the places you want to visit are mostly in Seogwipo-si, then look for accommodation in Seogwipo-si. For me, I decided to spend first 2 nights in Seogwipo-si and the rest 5 nights in Jeju-si. Why not half-half? Simply because accommodation in Jeju-si is cheaper. And it turns out that staying in Jeju-si is easier in terms of public transportation.

There was this hostel chain offering cheap price and good place to stay around South Korea: Hostel Korea (HK). It has 3 branches in Jeju Island: HKJeju I and HKJeju II in Jeju-si, and HKJeju III in Seogwipo-si. I booked one bed in HKJeju III for 2 nights, and one bed in HKJeju II for 5 nights, via email (see Booking a Hostel post). I got 15,000won per night in HKJeju III, and 13,000won per night in HKJeju II.

15 September 2012

Booking a Hostel

These are tips from me about booking an accommodation, especially a backpacker hostel. This is what I usually do.

First, I search list of hostels available for my traveling dates in HostelWorld and HostelBookers. For each hostel listed that comes to my budget, I search its website. If there is no website, remove that hostel from the list, because.. who the hell doesn't have a website these days?!

If there is a website, find the location, rates and email information. Sometimes, the price stated in the website is different, even cheaper, than the one in HostelWorld or HostelBookers. Some hostels also accept booking via email without booking fee or down payment. Like a hostel I stayed in Jeju, the price in HostelWorld was 18,000won per person per night, but when I email-ed them directly they said 15,000won per night without any down payment and booking fee!

Sometimes, hostels do not update their status immediately to external booking sites. So, I usually email-ed them directly if it was possible, to make sure the price was correct and the bed was really available.

If it is not possible to book via email, then book the bed via HostelWorld or HostelBookers. I have tried both sites, safe, secured and recommended. Now there are many other booking sites, like AirBnB, but I haven't tried any of them yet.

Both HostelWorld and HostelBookers require down payment 10% from total cost. HostelWorld charges US$2 for booking fee. It offers a Gold Card costs US$10, for free booking fee in 12 months. So if you think you might book hostels many times in 1 year through HostelWorld, then this Gold Card could be an option. While HostelBookers doesn't charge any booking fee, but honestly the choices of hostels in HostelBookers are not as many as in HostelWorld.

For booking more expensive accommodation (hotel), I use Agoda. I have only tried it once, and it was okay.

Which site do you usually use for booking accommodation for your trip?