"Seoul, the soul of Asia" prides the Korean capital itself. While I feel that this is a slight exaggeration, the city certainly is a fascinating global metropolis on par with other urban highlights of this world and in this region. Unfortunately it is not exactly cheap anymore.
Vegetable is almost as expensive as in Tokyo. And even for drinks in the convenience stores I pay the same price or even more than in the country I currently call home. Luckily for budget tourists or business visitors there is a way to save some money on accomodation: the so called motels.
These are cheap, simple hotels, often located in entertainment or business districts. I currently pay around 70 Dollar for a double, including a big flat TV with surround sound system, two computers, free high speed wifi and a nice big bath tub in the middle of the room in the middle of the city, in Jongno just at the southern end of the famous Insadong.
The room fee is excluding breakfast, but including a great experience: the real purpose of motels in Korea. One feature of my room betrays this purpose: Three walls are covered with more or less fancy mirrors (luckily not the ceiling, that would just be a bit to much). Motels double as love nest for young unmarried couples or middle aged married men or women with their mistresses or misters (my guess mostly the former). Other motels in the neighbor advertise other fancy designs.
On the other hand I feel that I am getting a bit short changed in this establissement. Last time in another motel they also offered a little sanitary survival kit, including shaver, fresh pants and a condom. But this was outside of Seoul. Maybe there they have to try harder to satisfy their clientel. Or maybe the motels in Seoul are run over by foreigners like me that are looking not looking out to enjoy company, but to spend less on rooms and more on the delicious Korean food or shopping.
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