Last week we looked at what a ‘Goshiwon’/고시원 was and how to stay in South Korea for a very cheap price! This week we’re going to look at another fairly cheap kind of accommodation; a ‘Hasookjib’.
A Hasookjib, or 하숙집, is similar to a 고시원 in that they cater mainly for young people studying in Korea and are mostly situated around university areas. Though your room may be a little bigger than that in a Goshiwon, sizes range from place to place and even room to room within one place. The rooms are still very simple but all the required facilities will be provided, including laundry, internet, etc.
The main difference with a 하숙집 is that it is much more communal and social than a 고시원. While in the latter you would simply just sleep there in your own room, in a 하숙집 you are provided with two home-cooked meals a day and a shared bathroom on each floor. In this way, you would certainly meet the other people from other countries staying there, whether they be students or travelers. If you don’t know anyone in South Korea and are planning to go for an extended period of time without actually moving there, a 하숙집 might be a good step on the way to meeting people and making friends! The usual minimum period of stay is a month, and you can expect to pay between 400,000-600,000원 per month (approx. £200-300, very roughly). Some places will charge an extra one-off fee for electricity use in summer because of obvious increase in air-con usage.
Perhaps the biggest pull factor of the boarding houses is the home-cooked meals. If you want to taste authentic Korean food, what better than to have it cooked for you by Korean nationals themselves? You might appreciate not having to cook and wash up after yourself every day and it might work out cheaper (and healthier) than eating out every day of the week. Having said that, you aren’t expected to be sat at the table every meal-time – of course you can eat out – but the majority of your meals would be eaten in the boarding house because that’s why you chose to stay there right? Otherwise you might as well head on over to the 고시원 and sort your own meals out!
You can find out more about Goshiwons here, but what do you make of the 하숙집? Have you ever stayed in one? Which kind of accommodation is the best? Let us know what you think in the comments below!