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.
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.)
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.
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!)
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.
*The homepage needs to be opened with IE, firefox doesn't seem to support the graphics. When you open it, then click on "메인으로 들어가기" on the right side.
This place is great. It's the biggest jjimjilbang in Daejeon, and not only that - it's one of the loveliest! Though not exceedingly easy to find at first, it's totally worth the search. If you get the bus towards the Primus cinema, then walk up the road (north-south running Daedeok Dae Ro - 대덕대로) to the very big, very noticeable modern church on the east side of that road (north of Primus cinema, south of the KBS Tower). Turn in at the S-Oil station, putting Chowon Apart. #110 behind you, and walk east for 2 minutes. You'll see the large building on the left side just ahead.
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.
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."
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