Thinking about booking an Airbnb instead of a hotel for your next trip to Seoul?
You might want to think twice before doing so — or at least do your research thoroughly.
These unlucky Singaporeans recently took to TikTok to share their misadventures involving Airbnb apartments that they’d booked in Seoul, in hopes of saving other travellers from the same situation.
TikTok user Weeyangkachopra documented his experience with two apartments that he had booked in Seoul in a video posted on Tuesday (Sept 20).
The first apartment was a banjiha (semi-basement unit) — similar to the one featured in the movie Parasite.
According to him, the unit had little to no ventilation, which made drying his laundry a nightmare.
Another problem he faced was the “swarms of drain flies” that invaded his bathroom.
Fed up with the dingy conditions, he booked a second apartment, which unfortunately ended up being another banjiha.
Opening the apartment’s window, Weeyangkachopra found himself dealing with a “dank smelly pit” with a ladder leading up to the street.
More concerning was the fact that this apartment was located in a low-lying neighbourhood near a river, making it a high risk for floods.
As luck would have it, some of the nearby units were hit when Seoul experienced torrential rain back in August.
Weeyangkachopra said he spent an entire night checking the water levels outside his unit “like an idiot” after following instructions from his Airbnb host, who was equally clueless about what to do.
Local influencer Nicole Liel also faced some issues with her accommodation in Seoul on a recent trip, taking to TikTok to share about her “scary” Airbnb.
In a video posted on Tuesday, Nicole said there was nothing wrong with the actual apartment itself, but the issue she faced was the route she had to take to get to the apartment.
The apartment was located deep inside a neighbourhood, meaning that she would have to navigate through several dark alleys.
“This one Halloween Horror Nights, but in Korea [sic],” she said in the video.
Nicole said she ended up sleeping in the Airbnb for one night, but chose to stay out the second night because of how “scary” it was.
Choosing an Airbnb in Seoul
In case you’re still considering an Airbnb stay in Seoul, but want to avoid a nightmarish experience, here are some tips.
1. Always ask the host
One netizen pointed out that it’s important to clarify what type of apartment you’re booking, to avoid any unwanted surprises.
Another also suggested asking your host which floor the apartment is on.
2. Don’t fully trust reviews
Although Weeyangkachopra made it a point to read the reviews, it’s still not a foolproof way to ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for.
3. Read up on which areas to avoid
After her Airbnb disaster, Nicole herself shared a few takeaways from her experience — one of which is to avoid staying near Seoul Station, where “most homeless and drunk people” tend to be.
This article was first published on AsiaOne and republished on theAsianparent with permission.