If you are traveling around Korea for more than just a few days you might want to find some cheaper accommodation. Fortunately in Korea you don’t have to compromise on safety, cleanliness or conveniences when selecting a cheaper alternative.
There are hotels and motels in Korea but they don’t always have the same meaning as in other countries. Hotels are more expensive and are more likely to have a good view and good service. Motels are pretty much the same as a hotel but minus the view and hotel level service. However, motels still are extremely clean and comfortable. In the room they always have a large TV, computer with internet access, fridge, air-con… everything you’d expect in a hotel except the price is usually about only $50 Australian or American.
The biggest problem you may have is the language barrier. If you can speak a bit of Korean (or have a Korean partner in tow) it won’t be a problem but if you have no Korean it may be more difficult to book a room. You could probably eventually do it with some hand gestures but this can be stressful especially after a lot of traveling.
However, if you are spending some time in Busan: Good news! There is a motel called Elysee Motel that has a manager that speaks English. Not only that but he will show you on a map where there are good places to go and is extremely helpful. The rooms even have some extras that not all motels have. They have large bathrooms with a spa bath AND a shower that turns into a sauna! But don’t do what my mum did and forget which way the door opens and panic trying to push the door open and thinking you are going to die in the steam. She worked it out eventually…
Also, one quirky thing is above the bed was a mural of outer-space and a green light that lit it up. Not sure why, but it was funny.
The motel is very close to attractions in Busan so is in an ideal location. Also the manager booked our tickets on the KTX from Busan to Seoul for us and got us a better deal. He also drove us to the train station for a small fee so we didn’t have to deal with the hassle of taxis- with all our luggage and there being four of us, using taxis was a bit of a drama as we always had to use two.
Unfortunately I can’t remember his name, but I drew a picture of him…
English version of their website: HERE