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Seoul, Sinchon - Sinchon Rest

Sinchon Rest has a very old feel to it.  For some reason they don't give the women keys at the desk, but the give the men some.  Instead you go in, find a locker, and grab the key from the locker.  The wet area had an assortment of standing and sitting showers.  There were two saunas, one stone and one wood.  For bathes there was a hot, a hotter, and a freezing.

In terms of sleeping this jjimjilbang is amazing, especially for women.  There were sleeping areas right there in the wet area if you didn't feel comfortable going to the mixed area to sleep.  The sleeping room was on the fourth floor and had a large mixed area, as well as a glassed off area with bunks for women only.  There was a small room just for men on the floor below next to the gym and nail/hair salon.

Gyeong-nam, Tongyeong, Hangnam-dong - Tongyeong Haesu Land


Jeonju, Joonghwasan-dong, Hyoja Bridge – Spa LaQua


Wow. I will have a lot of words for this Spa, and “wow” is a good place to start. Firstly, it’s hard to get to by bus. I would not really recommend that since Jeonju is so small anyway. I just took a taxi from the Gaeksa Area (main old downtown, not far from Hanok Village and the fun walking streets). If you cab it, just say “Hyoja da-ri, Gwang-jin Het-bi-chan Apart” and get out near building #101 (효자다리, 광진햇비찬 아파트 101동). I know that's not easy, but it will be well worth it. You can’t miss the giant orange rectangular building on your right from there!

Jeonju, Deokjin-dong, Jeonbuk University - Lespia Sauna


This sauna didn’t look like much from Daum Maps’ street view, nor did it when Iwalked up the street in person, but it’s in a great location just off tons ofbus lines and on the skirts of the busy, popular Jeonbuk University area. But Ithought I’d give it a try~ and I’m glad I did! It turns out it’s a nice,neighborhood jjimjilbang with friendly staff and quiet weeknights.

Donghae, Chun-gok-dong - Hwajungwon Sauna

The weather in Ulleung Island turned rough and I had a hard time getting a boat back to the mainland. All the ships were canceled on Monday which caused a slight backup in the number of people leaving on Tuesday, and on top of all this Wednesday, being the last day of the holiday, was booked full. I chose to depart the island to a different city than where I arrived from (in lieu of staying an extra 2-3 days) and that's how I wound up in Donghae... thankfully!

Pohang, Buk-gu, Jangsung-dong - Pohang Oncheon

I was overnight in Pohang recently before my trip to Ulleung Island - 울릉도 - and took the chance to find a local hot spot. After dinner and some drinks with a friend, I headed up to see what this large oncheon had to offer. It was just an overnight with an early morning, but it was a nice one. I'd highly recommend anyone spending time around Bukbu Beach in Pohang to check out this place. It is large, clean, with all the usual amenities for a very usual price.

Greenvill Jjimjilbang & Sauna - Banwoldang, Jung Gu, Daegu

In my search for new jjimjilbang I found a nice place conveniently located just outside of the Banwoldang subway stop (transfer) in downtown Daegu. The staff were helpful and spoke a bit of English, even put my extra baggage behind the counter for safekeeping since it wouldn't fit in the locker!

As you exit the subway at gate 1, you'll see the Samjung Greencore Apartments (삼정 그린코어) and a sign for the Greenvill Jjimjilbang entrance.


Busan, Jung-dong, Dalmaji (Haeundae) - Vesta Spa & Fitness

Vesta Spa & Fitness is currently under construction. It is scheduled to be completed on June 1, 2010. I believe they are closed for business during this time; I'd recommend calling ahead if you plan on visiting this month.

This large, well-located spa has a long reputation among foreigners and Koreans alike in Busan. Since I've heard so many good things about the place, I had high expectations. Luckily, I had the treat of visiting with someone who had been there many times before, including once long ago. She was able to offer some well-needed insight on my experience.

Busan, Gwangan - KA (Kwang An) Sporex


Recently, a friend of mine told me his parents own a jjimjilbang near Gwangan. We got to talking about it and I decided I ought to check it out for you. I mean, I have a list of places I need to visit, but he is my friend after all, and I wanted to see what kind of place it was.


Seoul, KTX Station - Silloam Sauna & Jjimjil

I would never have found this place for you guys if I hadn't missed my train back to Busan recently. Just so you know, the last Busan-bound KTX leaving Seoul on any given night is at 10:30. Anyway, 10:40 is too late ㅠ.ㅠ


Fortunately, the helpful lady at the information desk in Seoul Station was able to direct me out the back of the station to Silloam Sauna, which I definitely had my doubts about. I mean, how many cheap and still nice places have you ever seen around a big station? Though I was worried, my other option was to stay in a motel, and I'm really glad I took the chance on Silloam.

Busan, Millak-dong - Gwang An Haesuworld


This nice place is tucked away near the coast, north of the Gwangali Beach area but, unfortunately, a long walk from the subway (Gwangan station or Millak station will do). The good news is, it's right outside the Gwangan Amusement Park, Mi World. Bus number 210 will bring you right by the building and 38, 62, and 108 also come along one main street (closer than the subway line), stopping on this side of the Suyeong 2 Bridge. Find it here, or in the center of the wikimap below.



Busan, Oncheon-dong - Hurshimchung Spa

Said to be the largest hot spring spa in Asia, Hurshimchung can accommodate up to 3000 guests. It's located just up the street from Oncheon-jang subway stop on line 1. The hotel also houses a brauhaus, several restaurants, a wedding hall and a night club.  At the sauna's reception desk, you'll be given a key and instructed to pay upon leaving.  You can use this key to secure your shoes, open your locker, and pay for anything in the spa.  Towels and jjimjilbang clothes are available inside the locker room, then you can head to the sauna. 

Busan, Centum City, Shinsegae Department Store - SpaLand

====** For the month of December, parts of the sauna are being renovated (repaired?) so some discounts or time extensions may be offered**==== 
It is advertised that regular service will resume on December 29th.

Unfortunately for them, Spa Land has no English website.  Unimaginable, I know.  I mean, after all Shinsegae is one of the world's largest department stores.  Whatever guys, don't worry about it...

Actually that's one of the few complaints I had about this place.  5 to be exact; shall we get them out of the way, in a classic bad-news-first way?
1.  The aforementioned lack of a comprehensive English website.
2.  Not enough showers.  Maybe 30 sit-down and only 12 standing ones.  Even on a Thursday evening, there was a short queue at times to rinse off.

Daegu, Sinam-dong - Goongjeon Lavender (궁전라벤더)



This is a nice, big jjimjilbang near Dong Daegu KTX station (동대구역).  Just by the looks of the exterior I have wanted to go inside since I first saw it a few months ago.  Quite a few bus lines pass by this building including 156, 401, 414, 521, 618, 650, 708, 808, 937, 980, or the express #1 (급행1).  It's quite a walk from the subway, but would be a basic cost ride from either Sincheon station (신천역) or Dongdaegu station on Line 1.

Busan, Haeundae, Jung-dong - Rodeo Jjimjil Town

I'm expanding the overview on Haeundae.  This entry will include a personal review and more details.

Rodeo Jjimjil Town (로데오찜질타운)
You can find this place in the Rodeo Outlet shopping area south of the Jung-dong subway station. Naver users rated this place 10.0 out of 10 (17 ratings)!

Seoul, Itaewon (Hanam-dong) - Itaewon Land (이태원랜드) Jjimjilbang & Boolgama

Itaewon is a tough area for jjimjilbang or saunas.  I recently went out there and just resorted to the Happy Day spa near Hongdae.  I don't even care to try out the love motels in Itaewon, since there are so many seedy areas around there.  So, I vowed to search for some places you can utilize next time you're in this popular shopping and night-life district.

Haeundae Area Jjimjilbang Overview

In this post, I will give you an overview of 6 saunas and jjimjilbang in the Haeundae, Jung-dong, and Jangsan area of Busan.  I'm looking for ratings, and comments about these places as I haven't been able to go to all of them yet.
This map link below will show the whole area with all places tagged.  (The individual map links below will show a zoomed-in view of each building.)

Map of Haeundae area spas

1. Vesta Sauna & Resort (베스타 사우나 & 리조트)

Excellent spa on Dalmaji Hill just north of Haeundae Beach.  A bit off the beaten path, but once you see it you won't regret the walk.
부산 해운대구 중동 1509-6
051-743-5705

Seoul, Ja-yang Dong - Happy Day Spa

Another Happy Day jjimjilbang. I found this one while searching for more resources to add to my previous post, Hongdae - Happy Day Jjimjilbang. This spa is located near Gu-eui subway station on Line 2. Take exit 4 and turn right at the first large intersection you arrive at (Jayang Sageori / 자양사거리). After walking about 10 min (~800 meters) you pass the Jayang Apartments (자양아파트) on your right, then you'll see the sauna on your left just ahead.

This 7-story sauna looks equally as nice as the one in Hongdae, certainly with greater space and more services to offer. Firstly, it boasts 365 days (which is not unusual for saunas) of excellent services that include fitness and an indoor screen golf system with pose clinic.

Seoul, Yongsan - Dragon Hill Spa

Jjimjilbang Videos

To give you more of an idea of what the saunas in Korea are like if you've never been, you can check out these videos.
First is a news report from Al-Arabiya TV showing one that has just opened in Virginia! The only difference I noticed were the tables outside the cafe - western style with chairs, as opposed to floor cushions and foot-high tables.


This one is a Korean commercial for a jjimjilbang. Might want to turn the volume down. (This is a typical Korean commercial, by the way!)

Daejeon, Seodaejeon (Moonhwa 1 Dong) - Sinchon Sauna

This one is tough. I'll be visiting it soon, so more details are yet to come. I scoured the internet, only to find brief references to this place with no real info given. For now, I'll post a map and you can head over to check it out yourself.

I can tell you that via word-of-mouth, I hear this place is decent, and my boss goes there rather often since it's near our school. The building looks big, but I'm not sure how much is occupied by the sauna. Anyway, like I said - more to come soon :)
====================================================================

So, I went there on Thursday evening. Had the place to myself, (save for a few old ladies and two other people in the jjimjilbang!) and just spent enough time to check it out. I'll be going back though.

Daegu, Seongseo (Igok-dong) - Hwang-So 25 Hour Sauna

Hwang-so means "bull" or "ox" in English. When I moved to Sungseo, this was the first sauna I managed to find in my new area. Thank god, because I finally discovered how great it is to get a body scrub! As usual, some of the scrubbers are better than others, but I liked this place in general.

The wet area is basic, with a few different temperature tubs, cold bath, a couple sauna rooms, and a nice wooden bathtub. There's almost always a lot of children in this busy sauna (women's side anyway). Upstairs, the co-ed dry areas are pretty nice. There's a decently-sized free fitness center for use only by jjimjilbang-goers, a good Korean food restaurant, and one large central room with a TV. All of the hot or cool rooms are located just off the central area, and many of them have their own TVs, which makes them a bit loud. I would NOT recommend this place for day-time naps unless you're not bothered by noise.

Seoul, Seoul National University, Bong-cheon Dong - Cheong Ryong Sauna

The Cheong Ryong sauna is very close to the Seoul National University subway stop on Line 2 (지하철2호선, 서울대입구). Take exit 3, walk straight to the first major intersection, which is a 3-way. Then take a right (in front of the 관악구청/Gwanak Gu chung-office). Walk another 5-8 minutes and you'll see the sauna on your left. It is marked with a blue sign that reads "청룡 24시 불한증막 사우나."



Seoul, Hongdae - Happy Day Jjimjilbang

This sauna is exceedingly easy to find. Despite this, my bf and I wandered around for over an hour trying to remember where it was! Now we know, and we will never stay anywhere else in Hongdae. If you leave the Hongik University subway stop (line 2) from exit 5, just walk straight along that street until you get to the large, tall Gyu Su Dang wedding hall (규수당 웨딩홀) building. The jjimjilbang is inside that building, down one level. Easy.

Inside, you'll find some 3 floors of nice rooms and baths, moderately quiet areas to sleep, and separate levels for the sauna and jjimjil. For 7,000 won or less (depending on what time you arrive) you can even put your things in the lockers, get ready to shake your goove thing, and ask them to keep your key at the front till you arrive again in the wee hours. For a jjimjilbang, that's pretty rad.

서울시 마포구 서교동 371-10 번지 B1층
Seoul, Mapo Gu, Seo-gyo Dong 371-10, B1
Open 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week

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