Owning a dog in Korea is so much harder than people realise. Korea is not very pet friendly, and although this is improving, small dogs (or rather teeny, tiny handbag size pooches) are far more accepted and approved of than big dogs.
I own a 'big' dog, although he would be termed medium size in any other country.
Shadow, my 1.5 year old Korean Jindo, is a rescue dog whom we found on the side of the road in September 2013...you can read more about him by clicking here.
When we first got Shadow, he was super easy to travel with. We have a car (a huge reason we were able to keep him in the first place) and as he was so tiny, most guesthouses and pensions we stayed at didn't mind us bringing him along. As he got bigger, it got much harder to find places to stay with him here in Korea. This is why we do so much camping (click here for lots of posts on camping with your dog in Korea).
But, after lots of trial and error, I have found some great places that allow 'big' dogs that don't cost an arm and a leg and are near the popular areas of each city. It's no fun having to stay miles and miles away from where you want to be, as having a dog shouldn't be a huge hinderance. This post is about Hertz Guesthouse, an awesome place to stay right in the heart of downtown Gwangju.
The guesthouse is part of a creative coalition, featuring the accomodation, a coffee shop and a creative space where the owners do all sorts of cool stuff. They have a laser engraving machine, do printing of all kinds and are, in general, some of the coolest people we have ever met. And they were SO happy to meet Shadow!
The guesthouse is on the 3rd floor of the building, and has 8 rooms. They offer twin rooms (this is what we stayed in), dormitory style rooms and basic Ondol (traditional Korean style bedrooms where you sleep on pads on the floor). Each room had it's own private bathroom (a HUGE bonus for me as I hate sharing a bathroom with stranger) and there is a communal kitchen and dining area. It's clean, spacious and very comfortable. The guesthouse is 500 m from Gwangju Art Street and has air-conditioned (and Ondol floor heating) rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. It's only a 5 minute walk from the downtown area and there is a big open 'field' at the Arts Centre that we used to walk Shadow.
As we have a car it's obviously a lot easier for us to get to places to walk Shadow, but if you don't have a car, there are plenty of small grassy patches for your dog to do his/her business. The river is only a 5 minute drive away and was a wonderful place to let Shadow off lead for a few minutes in the early morning while no one was about (I also have the shyest dog when it comes to toilet time, he refuses to do his business on the lead and insists on about 30 minutes of running around before he calms down enough to do his thing...sorry for the overshare but wanted to mention that in case anyone else here has a dog like mine).
The river area is lovely (photos above), and the perfect place to walk your dog as it has big running on either side, where only pedestrians and cyclists can be, so it's a safe place to walk your dog. Just be mindful of some of the people, they didn't take too kindly to Shadow bounding around off lead. This is why we went early in the morning/late evening when there were few people around, I know there are laws/rules about having your dog off lead, so make sure your dog has good recall & you're in a safe space before letting them off.
We didn't spend too much time at the guesthouse, but they also have a very nice coffee shop. It's on the ground floor of the building, and a nice spot to grab a coffee or a bite to eat (they feature the usual Korean cafe food).
Prices on Booking.com (might be subject to change) are per room (not per person):
- Single bed in 4-bed Dormitory: W25 000 per night
- Twin Room: W60 000 per night
- Family Room (up to 4 people): W70 000 per night
It's super reasonable and we loved our stay. I'll definitely be staying here when we are next in Gwangju! You can make a booking on Booking.com by clicking here.
*Disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post...this means that if you make a booking through the links above I receive a small commission. Affiliate links help me keep this blog running. Thank you for booking helping me keep CityGirlSearching going!*