It's funny, when I was looking for places to stay in Busan, I asked Zac if he was ok with spending more money than usual and staying in "a different kind of place". What I had in mind was staying at a larger, slightly more posh hotel on or near one of the beaches. This would certainly be very different for us and he readily agreed.
In truth, I didn't book any such place as what I thought I originally wanted. My research left me feeling like the options were cold and impersonal and not at all what I wanted. I also read some reviews of the beach area that led me to think we would be happier closer to the downtown. So, I continued to research our options and stumbled upon Inside Busan. To say that this was not at all what I had originally thought we wanted is a huge understatement. When I showed my hotel options to Zac, I asked him to try to pick my favorite. He was quick to say "Inside Busan. But it has bunk beds in the room so I'm not sure." Yep, that's right, I wanted the room with bunk beds. It's not like we're some super young couple that can't spend a night away from each other, so yeh, bunk beds seemed like a fun option. And it would allow us to stay in this great looking place.
Inside Busan is a small five room hostel in Busans tiny Chinatown. What first drew me in was the architecture. There are multiple modern buildings which house all the rooms and one building which houses the common kitchen, common sitting area and the room we were to stay in. The second thing that drew me to Inside Busan were all the incredible comments about Jiyeon the owner. I also really loved the location and the price was incredible. Our stay ended up being so much better than I could have imagined.
Jiyeon is incredible. She provided amazing directions on how to find the hostel and then once we arrived was super kind and generous. We spent some time in the common area just talking and getting to know more about the area. She provides eggs and bread for breakfast, but the guests make it themselves. Zac and I both loved this approach, as it allowed us to create the kind of breakfast we wanted without having to do the shopping (though we did go for roasted sweet potatoes two of the mornings). Other guests gathered around in the kitchen and good conversation was plentiful.
Inside Busan felt like home much in part to how it has been designed and because of Jiyeon. We felt so easy and taken care of while we were there and really really enjoyed our time. We were sad when we had to pack up and leave at the end of our stay. As we said to Jiyeon on our way out, she makes Busan better. Do yourselves a favor and stay at Inside Busan the next time you are in town. You won't miss the beaches, or the big hotels. Feeling like you're at home will feel so much better.
Magnolia in bloom as seen from our balcony at Inside Busan Hostel.
You can find Inside Busan at all the major hotel booking sites, but it's likely best if you book directly through her website.