jimjilbang

Oncheon’s Heosimcheong – The Largest Spa in Asia


Find A Spa Near You

For our second Korean jimjilbang experience, we decided to go big. The Heomsimcheong Spa in the neighborhood of Oncheon claims to be the largest spa fed by a natural hot spring in Asia. The popular complex, which also bills itself the Grand Hot Spring, includes a full hotel, an excellent brewery on the bottom floor and of course, a full array of baths and saunas.


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Happy Leap Day Everyone!

Life in Korea: enjoying the jimjilbang to the fullest

Author’s note: ‘Life in Korea’ posts are dedicated to the newer expats among us. If you have a more experienced perspective to offer, the comments are wide open!

Ask the average foreigner what they think of the 찜질방 (jjim-jil-bang, or Korean’s public baths / spas), and you’ll get a polarized response. Some foreigners (like myself) love them, while others have either avoided them or had a bad experience in the few times they’ve gone. I’ve already written about how to get around the jimjilbang – if you’ve never been to one, read that article first. If you’ve gone a few times and are wondering what ELSE there might be to do, read on.

How to enjoy the jimjilbang to the fullest


Destination: Damyang Spa (Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do)

It’s a rare place that offers an outdoor hot spa for the naked people and a pool for the swimsuited.

Beyond the Juknokwon bamboo forest, Damyang Spa (담양온천, or Dam-yang on-cheon) is one highlight of visiting the Damyang area in Jeollanam-do. The spa isn’t open 24 hours a day, however. The connected tourist hotel is a bit on the fancy side but convenient.

Pay your way in (note that the jimjilbang portion of the spa is only open on Saturdays and Sundays), then figure out whether you’d prefer to get hot and steamy (in the jimjilbang) or cool off in the outdoor pool.


Destination: Siloam sauna (Seoul)


After a recent post about jimjilbang, I was informed of another excellent place worth checking out. Two trips later, I'm happy to say this is a place I'll be headed back to a third time. Located within walking distance of Seoul Station, it's a great place to crash if you're on a budget. Above is a 산소방 (san-so-bang), or oxygen room - a room-temperature relax-on-the-floor place.

My Top 3 Travel Secrets

Author's note: A hat tip to fellow travel blogger Legal Nomads for the idea, who originally got it from Katie on Tripbase.

Time to start a meme, perhaps? Or simply time to get people traveling some more? Take your pick - with the fall weather upon us, one of the best times to travel Korea is just around the corner.

My Top 3 Travel Secrets?


Question from a reader: hygiene at the jimjilbang

A reader writes in about my recent article on enjoying the jimjilbang:
great article on jjimjjilbangs! i have been wanting to go for such a long time, and your article just moved it to the top of my list of things to do. the single reason why i have not yet gone, however, is that i am really concerned about hygiene - more specifically, i'm concerned about catching a skin illness such as a foot fungus or even something like an STD....

Destination: Maseok Chamsut Gama (Gyeonggi-do)


Author's note: this is the 5th in a series of jimjilbang (day spas or saunas) worth visiting in Korea.


Destination: The Spa in Garden Five



Author's note: this is the 4th in a series of jimjilbang (day spas or saunas) worth visiting in Korea.

The Spa in Garden Five (더스파인가든파이브) - one of the newest jimjilbang in Korea, the brand new modern facility delivers everything you'd expect. Constructed as part of the Garden Five behemoth-to-be, this area offers much of the standard stuff in a high-class way.


Destination: Seoul Leisure Town


Author's note: this is the 3rd in a series of jimjilbang (day spas or saunas) worth visiting in Korea.

Welcome to Seoul Leisure Town - proof that a jimjilbang can be beautiful without being opulent. A 50 degree C. sauna looks like you're inside a mine, while a hotter 60 degree C. looks like you're in an Egyptian pyramid and features an echo - something fairly rare in my experience.

The naked men's side offers a nice hinoki bath with wooden benches; elsewhere are three tubs with fairly standard hot, warm, and cold water.


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