SEOUL DIARIES 025: HOTEL MOTEL

I’m never again staying (alone) in a motel, regardless of how good the deal.

Checked out from BLU:Guesthouse Hongdae, dragged my bags through interweaving subway lines, and finally arrived at Gayang Station. First, let me take a selfie –  to commemorate the end of (the first part of) my solo-venture.

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A long bumpy walk later, I found Baekje Hotel at last! Smothered by a a busy traffic lane and a long pavement filled with sleazy bars, Baekje is definitely located further from a ’10-minutes walk from Gayang Station’ as instructed on Booking.com.

Traipsing around with 2 duffel bags and a luggage, I found the mid-lower class locale at Hwagok (where Baekje is situated) friendly, laid-back and down-to-earth. Nobody bothers to hide their shit around here. Later that evening, the area around Baekje will fill up with staggering drunkards, pub-crawlers and middle-aged men with their arms around scantily-clad girls. What I’m trying to say is, their rampant nightlife ain’t behind-closed-doors, and the locals seem so totally at ease going on with their night-to-night activities. A foreigner like me can never totally blend in.

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So imagine my discomfort at stepping into Baekje (M)otel which was advertised as Baekje HOTEL, thus giving the false impression. See? Ahem. Tourist con. I was too hurried in trying to get a room for the night before meeting Kris at Gimpo Airport in the morning to catch our flight to Jeju Island. Hadn’t even bothered to check what the area at Gayang is all about.

Amenities-wise there’s nothing lacking in the room. The WiFi was great, the room was spacious, the TV was ginormous and HD.. but I just didn’t feel clean. Not because I’m accustomed to 5-star hotels – I’m not that spoilt by my lifestyle. Firstly the room reeked. Of what I don’t wish to know. The bedsheets were yellow and smelt musty and unwashed. I called the reception to enquire if they were clean and they gave me their assurance. Nevertheless I was still disgusted and barely slept that night. Didn’t even cover myself with the sheets. Slept in sweater and jeans.

To the motel’s credit, the receptionist was really nice and responsible. He insisted on bringing all of my bags into my room, and waved me away when I tried to help. Later, he rang my door bell and handed me an amenities kit and their motel WiFi password. Guess what – there were 2 complimentary condoms in their welcome pack. I just threw the whole package aside and used nothing.

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Don’t be fooled – tub looks amazingly gold in this picture but it’s actually browned and yellowed, with that tangy, indescribable motel smell. The floor was so dirty too.20140608-161504-58504587.jpg

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At close to 70 SGD a night, the stay wasn’t cheap. Since I only booked it the night before, I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

Indulging in comfort food – my new favourite Peppero flavour: WHITE COOKIES!! It’s SO AMAZING. Although now available in Singapore and dreadfully overpriced.20140608-161507-58507880.jpg

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Haven’t been writing for the longest time, caught up in day-to-day gallivanting and work, and life. Still have yet to update on the mid-spring Jeju trip I did with Kris! I’ve just booked company tickets to Seoul in July and have settled on home-stay accommodations this time. Also visiting Dia, my favourite Thai big sister, in Bangkok in July! Missed her so much. June and July means big changes for me. So excited for the upcoming months.

It’s gonna be a great summer. Have a good one, everybody.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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