Accommodation Review – Pencil Mini Hotel

Searching for a place to stay during our trip was quite challenging, not only that we wanted to get the lowest rate possible, location is another factor which will affect our choices of accommodation such as transportation and convenient shops.

Traveling on a budget forced me to crossed out hotel from my list. Luckily, guesthouses are gaining popularity among travelers and tourists due to their cheaper rates and friendly environmental. Same goes to Seoul, having tons of guesthouses out there will give you a hard time choosing which one to stay at.

After hours of internet and going through lots of choices, finally I made a booking with Pencil Mini Hotel Hongdae. Hongdae was derived of the name Hongik University, therefore this is a place where students used to hang around as you can find many clubs and performances happening around this area, this is the place of night life.


I was surprise when I first arrived to Pencil, as it was just less than 3 minutes walk away from Hongik subway station Exit 3, super convenient since the subway station is connected directly to Incheon Airport Railroad, pulling our heavy luggage, we don’t need to walk very far too.

Abby is the owner of Pencil and she’s really a nice and friendly lady, I remembered she took the time to teach us the popular card game in Korea “Go Stop” too. Abby is usually around in the morning till late at night, if you need any help from the staffs when they are gone, you can call them through the land line provided at the front desk.

Chilling at the open hall of Pencil Mini Hotel, learning about Go-Stop.

I booked a 4 bedroom dormitory for 11 nights straight at a rate of 21,000 won/night/pax which has a private bathroom, free breakfast (toast, jam, egg, cereal, milk), wifi in every room and also free laundry service at the rooftop. If you are worried about toiletries, fear not as they provide shampoo and shower gel too.

The room we was spending our nights in were clean and rather small, but couldn’t expect too much since its a dormitory. I am very particular when it comes to toilet and bathrooms, so I could say that the bathroom was very clean as well, at least I won’t feel uncomfortable doing my “business” inside.

4 bedroom dorm picture, taken from the internet.

I apologized that I did not have any picture of the room as I forgot to take it. Watch out not to knock your head if you are sleeping on the upper bunk. The ceilings were slightly low that I can only sit and move myself around on the bed, any higher I will hit my head to the ceiling.

There are coffee shops nearby and a GS25 convenience shop opposite the mini hotel. At first we didn’t know there was even a mart nearby, until the last night when we was walking around looking for dinner, only we had noticed it.

Camera 360




Camera 360
Hongik station Exit 3


I would recommend Pencil Mini Hotel to you for a budget place to stay, as they provided you with all the necessity that you will need, and located at a lively neighborhood of Hongdae.


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Hongdae Free Market or Flea Market?

Free Market or Flea Market?

This struck my mind when I was searching for more info about Hongdae for the first time. So, the fact is, it’s actually called “Hongdae Free Market” and not Flea Market. The booths selling handmade products by mostly university students, are arranged in a way like those in a flea market and held during every Saturday throughout March ~ November ever since year 2002.


Hongdae, which is well known for it’s artistic side, as well as a night club heaven in Seoul. The name derived from a famous arts school Hongik University (Hongik Dae hak-gyo), short name of Hong-Dae.

Each item displayed at the stalls representing the creativity of the seller, unique and one-of-a-kind. Not only they sell pouches, bags, clothing, shoes, handmade toys, and key rings, there are booths which sell the live drawing of your portraits as well.

Since it is held on a Saturday, crazy huge crowds will be expected, where walking eventually became a squeezing through “war” just to pass a spot. “It’s now or never”, either you squeeze through first or you will have to wait until you had the chance to escape that area.



To get there

Take Line 2 (Green line), get off at Hongik University station, and follow the map below.

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