Back when I first read about Tongyeong, its islands and its beauty, I knew it will be a place that I like. So I cannot be happier when I’ve the chance to visit Tongyeong!
This post will first introduce you to the wonderful Tongyeong guesthouse that I stayed at. (yes I will continue to blog about my trip to Korea in 2014 as well as 2015)
Among the various accommodations for this trip, Tyhappyhome is my favourite! On my last day in Tongyeong, when Mrs Ha (guesthouse owner) sent me to the bus stop and onboard the bus, I was all but in tears. I still berated myself for not reacting fast enough to bid my last goodbye to her as I struggled with my luggage and coins to pay for the bus fares. Some farewells are harder than others – and I think it is because you don’t know when/if you will ever see each other again.
2 minutes walk from Tyhappyhome, you will get to 2 bus stops. One of which gets you to Tongyeong Bus Terminal in about 15 – 20 minutes; and the other gets you to downtown in about 10- 15 minutes (where the port and ferry terminal are located). Within the vicinity, there is also a convenience store, cafe and some eateries. About 8 minutes walk away, there is a Lotte Mart and post office.
My room, for 3 nights, on Level 5 came with an attached bathroom. The guesthouse has everything that you need – ondol, free wifi, TV, refrigerator and hairdryer in the spacious room, shower and shampoo in the bathroom, water cooler and microwave in the common area. Anytime, you can grab an umbrella should you need one. There is also an elevator, which means you don’t have to climb more stairs after a long day of sightseeing nor struggle with your luggage up the stairs. Because the room is clean, nicely decorated and quiet, I rested well each night when I was there. The photos of the guesthouse and its rooms pretty much reflects the reality (see photos here!)- even the corridor is brightly decorated, making you feel welcomed in Tongyeong.
The major reason why I decided to stay with Tyhappyhome is because Jinmi (the daughter of the guesthouse owners) speaks and writes good English. This is somehow more of a concern to me when picking accommodation in Tongyeong because I plan to visit islands off Tongyeong and with infrequent ferry timings to these islands, the last thing I want is to get stuck on some islands! Tongyeong is also a small town and it might be more challenging to find someone fluent in English/ Chinese, as what we might be used to in Seoul. Beyond that, Jinmi has also been very helpful to me from the moment I made reservations till I left Tyhappyhome. She provided me all the information on their location, directions to various places and facilities, and always replying to my many questions. Prior to arriving, she also asked for my itinerary, and advised me on the logistics. Because of her help, despite arriving in Tongyeong after a four-hour bus ride from Seoul, I could drop my luggage, grab lunch and quickly catch a ferry to Jasangdo ^^ In fact, each night she would help me with my itinerary for the next day, e.g. help me plan what time I should leave the guesthouse and which ferry to take, and where to find the local dishes that I want to try. All these despite the fact that she has a day job and attends night classes on some evenings. One of the nights that she came by, she also brought along treats of homemade cookies, sweet rice drink and yakult ^^ and we chatted about our lives. So I never felt too lonely despite being alone.
While Mr and Mrs Ha don’t speak much English, they had been very helpful, friendly and caring, especially after knowing I was travelling on my own. On my last night, when I approached them for some toiletries, Mrs Ha invited me to sit down with them for some drinks and pajeon – the pajeon is not what I am familiar with as it was coated with sugar.
The morning that I was leaving Tongyeong, Mrs Ha invited me to join them for breakfast, which comprised of different stews, variety of side dishes with beans rice and fruits ^^ I felt warmth and cared for despite being away from home. Then I went off to take a walk at the harbor before returning to the guesthouse to grab my luggage and make my way to the bus terminal. When I was back from my walk, knowing that I am super afraid of cold, she again sat me down at the warmest part of the ondol in her house and made me a warm, nutty drink. She asked me to bring along an umbrella but I was too thankful/grateful of her kindness and told her that I wouldn’t need one. When it was time to leave, she helped me with my luggage, walked me to the bus stop, and sent me off. I felt apologetic that I missed out on the last farewell, but as the bus sped away and after she was long out of sight, I burst out in tears, wishing I have another day or so with the Ha family.
You would know from this post (here!) that thereafter I was sick and hospitalised. At the hospital, I contemplated on going back to Tyhappyhome to rest and recover, especially when the Hadong guesthouse that I was supposed to stay with (which I paid in advanced TT) wasn’t in any way encouraging despite being informed of my condition. In the end the decision was to depart Korea earlier than my plan.
I have lovely memories of Tongyeong and its islands (I will share more in my future posts!) as well as the memorable times in Tyhappyhome. If I am ever going back, which I hope to, I will stay with them again. If you are planning to visit Tongyeong, do check out Tyhappyhome and help me say Hi to Jinmi and her parents (:
(My post is in no way sponsored.)
통영 해피홈게스트하우스 Tongyeong Happyhome Guesthouse
Address: 경상남도 통영시 안개4길 11-26 (무전동) 11-26, Angae 4-gil, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
Telephone: 612-07-15227, or (from Sg) +82-10-2004-0516
Email: email@example.com (English and Korean)
Photos of the rooms: http://ty.guidein.net/cyber/main.php?num=186
Nearest bus stop to Tongyeong Terminal/ downtown: 2 mins walk, across the street from each other
To Tongyeong Terminal: 15 – 20 mins by bus
To downtown: 10 – 15 mins by bus
Other nearby facilities: convenience store, cafe and some eateries (2 mins walk), Lotte Mart and post office (8 mins walk)