Every year since I moved to South Korea I’ve tried to go to Jeju and every year I’ve been thwarted. Until now. For the long memorial weekend I found a friend who was also free and we booked tickets to Jeju island, the popular holiday destination of Korea and the last most pesky thing on my original S. Korea to-do list. I managed a half day, leaving after lunch to head to Gimpo, arriving early, checking in then settling down in a cafe to wait for my friend. Thankfully we were traveling domestically so our mad dash to our gate once she arrived was unnecessary, especially since the domestic side of Gimpo is much smaller than Incheon.
We had a short flight before arriving in CJU or Jeju Airport, we stopped by the information desk and stocked up on to-do brochures, even finding our hostel amongst them. Getting to our hostel was simple, we just needed to catch the number 100 bus outside of Gate 2 and get off at Tamla Welfare Center. (Note make sure you have a T-money card)
We struggled a little bit at finding it, mostly by walking in the wrong direction, but it was right near the bus stop with signs at the open door and not on the buildings above us, which was where we were looking. The hostel is on the 6th and 7th floor with check in on the 6th from 2-10pm. The first guy there who checked us in wasn’t very helpful, quickly mumbling about breakfast which luckily my friend caught, where towels were and what room number we were in and the passcode to get in.
We headed up a floor, ditched our shoes in the hall and wandered about looking for our room reading the signs as we went in search of our actual room. It was the furthest from the entrance. We stayed in an all girls dorm with six beds/ 3 bunk beds. Our room was full except for two top bunks so we tossed our stuff up, tried the lockers in the room which were locked, and gave up before heading downstairs to ask about a good place to eat.
A different staff member popped up to chat with us and help us out and he was more helpful, but we also belatedly noticed a large wall of food recommendations and thanked him but went to look at that. One of the nice things about the 6th floor of the Lyndon Hostel is they have maps and recommendations everywhere. Near the entrance is a food recommendation map with maybe about 10 restaurants nearby and guests have taken stickers and covered the restaurant information (though still readable) with what they liked. Continuing past reception is information on the Olle, or the trails paths that go around the entire island and what some of the special natural spots are, from caves to mountains to interesting rock formations and waterfalls. There are also a couple of PC’s and a common room with books, tables and a world map where people have marked where they’ve come from and what year they visited. The common room is attached to the kitchen with self-serve breakfast from 8-9am with options like eggs, cheese, spices, toast and spreads, juice, coffee, and tea. The kitchen is set up for easy use and what looks like encouraged cooking. Our first morning we made ourselves egg sandwiches before heading out for the day.
Our floor was a mostly a sleeping floor, with a bathroom in our room and a bathroom in the hall. Neither drained properly meaning dropping anything was going to be soaked immediately and any spare bathroom shoes that might be in the room would go floating about like bath toys while you showered. I highly suggest not wearing socks unless you’re 100% sure that the bathroom is dry. It did eventually drain, it just took awhile. The towels were available by the reception desk on the 6th floor and in our room bathroom body wash, shampoo, conditioner and tooth paste were provided. In the shared bathroom the body wash was out. Also it doesn’t seem like they do a full cleaning/restocking of items in the bathrooms in the bedrooms while there are people staying in the rooms.
Quiet hours start at 10pm, that’s also when they close and lock the doors so you’ll need a passcode. Both passcodes are the same or at least were when we went, so make sure when you check in you ask if it’s not provided. We found what we thought was a lost guy outside our floor door only to find out that the staff member who’d checked him in hadn’t given him or his girlfriend the passcodes when they’d arrived.
There’s also laundry machines and detergent (though no dryers) and apparently a happy hour where you can get a free beer or soft drink, though where or when I’m not fully certain.
While we did have issues with bathroom drainage and a couple other small things over all we had a good stay at Hostel Lydon. It was clean and quiet with plenty of amenities and maps to help us how to get around (including a map of the buses and where they go), and an elevator so we didn’t have to hike up the stairs. Plus we were close to several restaurants, a short distance from the bus terminal and airport which made it pretty convenient.