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.
The 2nd floor area is a fine sleeping area - some logs separate the large area into smaller ones, although it seemed there was still a bit too much light to really sleep. The three saunas available are nice, offering some variety in temperatures.
The 3rd floor offers a warm pyramid sauna, along with another hot sauna - it could easily take a couple hours to try them all out. This will also be the place to get a sports massage, take a jazz, aerobics, or yoga class, and the gym. There's no English around, so brush up on your Korean requests and hangeul reading skills.
The biggest disadvantage is the relative location - inside a dark food market. Once you're inside, you'll forget about the awkward location. That there are no views outside will focus your attention on the facilities themselves. Overall, it's worth checking out if you're a fan of jimjilbang, but I can't recommended it for tourists or first-timers, as there's no English to be found across the four floors.
Gireum station, line 4, exit 7. Walk 150 meters to a side road. You'll see the old neon sign saying 24 시 불가마 (pictured above) right above an entrance to a traditional Korean market. Walk inside, go 25 meters, and look right for the more modern entrance. For more information, check out sltown.co.kr (Korean only) or call 02-909-9000 (Korean only)
Ratings (out of 5 taeguks):
Ease to arrive:
Worth the visit:
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