First of all, most Americans will be vaguely aware of what a pension is. I know that when I first heard ‘pension,’ I thought they were referring to a pension plan. LOL. It’s used more in other European countries and Korea uses a Konglish form of it (similar sound but with a Korean spelling and accent). However, Korea doesn’t include all the frills of what westerners would think of as a pension. Most importantly, there are no meals.
Anyway, my boyfriend and his friends wanted to get together for a mini-vacation last winter out by Daecheon Beach (대천) in Boryeong 보령. Instead of getting a hotel or motel per couple, we rented a pension for the night. Our pension was pretty interesting. The building itself consisted of several rooms with outside front doors, and we stayed in the bottom right room.
Our room had: a separate bedroom with a queen size bed,
a Korean bathroom=no bathtub,
a full Korean kitchen=no stove,
a good size living room area (open concept into the dining area),
an attic-type room but too cold to sleep in (access by pull-down/folded stairs from the living room ceiling; there was a ledge to peer down into the kitchen/dining area),
and a small enclosed patio.
We had to bring all food and beverages into the room, of course. Check-out was by noon (also pretty standard). Us girls really had to kick the butts of our boys to get them up and out the door…that was absolutely no fun.
After we finally got them out the door and into the cars (they had carpooled together and Hyun-oo and I came separately in his car), we headed to the beach to wake up/take a few pictures (which you can see in my flickr album).
Before we all headed back to our homes, we had a late lunch of oysters…I didn’t particularly enjoy it, but I liked watching for the shells popping open.
So if you missed the head count: I went with my boyfriend and 3 of his friends (2 of which had girlfriends at the time). Anyway, the pensions are a pretty good idea and seem much ‘cleaner’ than your typical motel…unfortunately, they’re not easily accessible by foot or by bus. You would definitely need to take a taxi or own your own car. The price is also much more than a motel (at least(!) $100/ 100,000 won difference), but it’s pretty spacious so you can have a lot of people to split the cost (if you so choose).