Spa Land is the most expensive but probably the best jjimjilbang...

Spa Land is the most expensive but probably the best jjimjilbang (찜질방) in Korea (and likely, the world). It’s located in Shinsegae, the world’s biggest mall, so as expected, Spa Land is huge, clean, and modern. They have hot rooms, cold rooms, salt rooms, and a bunch of other rooms that are all good for you in some way. 

You can hang out with your friends and family everywhere but the baths, which are single-sex only. 

Welcome to Spaland

I was given an unexpected day off yesterday as my school was closed for it’s birthday celebrations. Apparently in Korea this is something worth celebrating, and although I was confused I was certainly not complaining. I had planned to spend my day shopping for a birthday present for myself but realised after about an hour that there was nothing I really wanted or needed that could be purchased here. I considered buying more Korean cosmetics (my never-failing fallback) but made myself leave the shop empty-handed after considering how much excess baggage I am likely to have to pay already upon my return home.

Shinsegae’s Spa Land

Relax At Home: Premium Massage Chairs

For our first trip to a Korean spa, we choose one of Busan’s biggest and most modern — Spa Land, in the Shinsegae department store. Twenty-two baths, thirteen distinctively-designed saunas, relaxation rooms, steam rooms, foot baths and more were ours to enjoy for four blissful hours.

Skates & Smiles at Shinsegae Ice Rink in Busan

Even though Busan is a few degrees warmer than its sister cities to the north, it's still winter here, and occasionally you need to escape the chill. Well, Shinsegae Department Store offers the perfect solution to the dilemma of whether to venture outside or to stay indoors. Shinsegae, the world's largest department store, is also home to a lovely indoor ice rink, located on the 4th floor. It's open from 10:30 AM until 8:00 PM, seven days a week, and it's a popular activity with locals and tourists alike. A two-hour entry costs 7,000 won for adults and 5,000 for children, and skate rental is an additional 3,000 won. You must wear gloves and the rental helmets when skating. 

3 Days 2 Nights: Seoul

The area around Dongdaemun Gate is home to some of Seoul's best bargain shopping. ~ Photo P. DeMarco

Whether you are about to attend the G20 or are heading to this dynamic city for fun, Seoul is the place to be. Looking for something to do? Where to eat or sleep? Check out this article I wrote and photographed for the Philippine Airlines inflight magazine Mabuhay and learn more about the “Miricale on the Han River.”

[View published version in PDF  format here]

Seoul: City of Infinite Discoveries

Shinsegae Centum City, Busan

When I first came to Korea, I was eating Korean barbecue at least three times a week. Contrary to my initial hasty assumptions, one cannot predominantly subsist on meat and leafy vegetables without some degree of inevitable toilet trouble. Since then I've dropped my barbecue intake to about once a month, which has worked a lot better.


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