Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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.
The Sauna is basic. Basic basic. Just a couple warm tubs, an ice tub, a dry sauna room, and a lot of showers. I gather the main purpose of most peoples' visit is to scrub oneself. The distinctive feature is that the tubs themselves were built with beautiful, natural stones. Instead of enjoying them on the walls, you can feel them right under you.
The jjimjilbang is also basic, but really pretty as well. There is one central area with a TV and snack bar, the ice room (with a cute door like a walk-in freezer!) is on one corner, and the restaurant is in another corner. The segregated sleeping areas can be found lofted in the other corners, and along one wall of that main room is glass with a door. Through that door you'll find the warmer area: an anteroom with TV and 3 stunningly-tiled dome-ceilinged hot rooms.
Overall, it was small, but had such a nice look I'd love to visit again for the cozy feeling.

대전 중구 문화1동 1-182
Daejeon, Jung Gu, Moonhwa Dong 1, Building 1-182

Wikimap of Sinchon Sauna

Monday, May 25, 2009

Daejeon, Manyeon Dong - Dongbangsak Leports

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.

Spaning 7 floors (large floors, not just little spaces), this establishment has done it right. Aside from a couple little things, like some broken toilet-door-locks and no soap in most of the bathrooms, I love it here. The first impression is good - many staff people to assist people coming, going, and getting lockers and clothing. Plus you can see Leports is the only business in this building - must be a good sign. The women's and men's saunas are on separate floors, 2nd and 5th respectively.
Inside the sauna, you'll find a clean area with many lockers, a hydrotherapy room (sitz-bath), nice vanity area, and then the baths. This is where the lovely-ness starts: it's decorated with pretty tiles and agates. There are tubs of all different temperatures (each with its own spout to massage your shoulders), a cooler massage tub, and an ice bath. Then, two drier sauna rooms, the scrub/shower area, and even sleeping caves with infrared lighting! That's unusual in the sauna area. Also, from the locker room, you can access a small loft sleeping area so you can spend the night for only the price of the sauna.
Moving out to the jjimjilbang, you can go back down to the 1st floor to find the first (and quietest) sleeping area and the super-hot cave-rooms. The lovely-ness continues through the building as the stairwells are decorated with historic items, themed pictures, and nice carpets. All the rooms are thoughtfully finished as well.
Back up to the 3rd floor you'll find one of the main areas. This floor has most of the hot rooms, the ice room (small but effective), a large body-temp oxygen room, the snack bar (which has a great variety of drinks, the typical snacks, and lots of cheeses strangely enough), and sports massage. Around this area flows a small stream of water with some waterfalls and landscape dioramas to keep the sound relaxing and natural.

The 4th floor is the theme area, with the PC room, PlayStation room, singing rooms, movie room, children's play area, Korean food restaurant, nail art, and main area (where the free yoga class is held once a day for jjimjilbang guests). This is also one of the central sleeping areas at night.

The 6th floor is the entrance to the fitness center (to use this, you need to be a paying member) and the swimming pool. Typically only for fitness members, the pool is open to jjimjilbang guests during daytime hours on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. It has a waterslide! The last level is essentially the roof, where you can walk on a sole-stimulating stone path, catch some sun, listen to water flowing, and watch the fish. When I've been there, though, the fish pond hasn't been filled. Maybe come summer? Lovely anyway.

Dongbangsak Leports
대전 서구 만년동 330
Daejeon, Seo Gu, Manyeon Dong 330

Open 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week

Sauna (day): Adults 7,000  Children 5,000
Sauna (overnight): Adults 8,000  Children 5,000
Sauna & Jjimjil: Add 2,000 won to rates above

Wikimap of Dongbangsak Lesports

Dongbangsak Leports Website
(Best viewed in IE, sorry Firefox/Opera users!)

Daegu, Yongsan Dong - Samjeong Oasis

This is a place I know my friends have gone to. I need more info about it because I only went there once myself (ages ago), though I did walk by it everyday! From their online presence, it seems not to have a jjimjilbang area, so could be only bathing. Also, I would assume it is not open 24 hours, though there is not very much information online about it.

I was told that this place has a nicer sauna area than Hwang-so in neighboring Seongseo. Go find out, and report back. ^^

Yongsan Dong Bup-jo Building Samjeong Oasis
대구 달서구 용산동 230-21
Daegu, Dalseo Gu, Yongsan Dong 230-21

Wikimap of Samjeong Oasis

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

Hwang-so means "bull" or "ox" in English. When I moved to Seongseo, 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.
Most of the rooms are pretty warm, but there is a large ante-room before the ice room where people lay to cool off and watch comedy shows. The sleeping areas are just at the end of the main area and are not protected from sound by any walls. They are super warm too, you won't need any blankets!

Overall, if you like being warm, this is a good place. Plus the location is good, and easy to find. Walk out of Seongseo station exit 7, straight ahead for 2 blocks. It's on your right, just after Lotte Cinema.

황소 25시구들방사우나
대구 달서구 이곡동 1244
Daegu, Dalseo Gu, Igok Dong 1244
Open 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week

Wikimap of Hwang-So Sauna

Thursday, May 21, 2009

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 3 blocks 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."

It was a decent place that takes up 2 floors in the building. The saunas for men and women are on the same floor, then you can meet one floor up in the jjimjilbang. This is really one main room with sleeping areas in the corners. Only the typical services are offered inside, but there is a PC room and foot massage machines.
My major complaint here is there are two large TV's on opposing walls of the main room which makes it very loud during the day hours. The night we were there, some people insisted on watching TV very late, and again very early in the morning; even at a low volume it disturbed our sleep.
I would not recommend this jjimjilbang for overnight stay if you plan to get any sleep, but it would be a nice place for a sauna or afternoon relaxation.

서울 관악구 봉천동 1574-1
Seoul, Gwanak Gu, Bong-cheon Dong 1574-1
Open 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week

Wikimap of Cheong Ryong Sauna

Monday, May 18, 2009

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 (Hongdae-ip-gu, line 2) from exit 9, just walk straight along that street until you get to the large, tall Benikea Premier Marigold Hotel building (베니키아프리미어메리골드호텔) about 10 min, on your left. Alternately, exit Hapjeong station exit 3, walk the same distance, it will be on your right. The jjimjilbang is down one level. Easy.

Inside, you'll find some 3 floors of decent rooms and baths, areas to sleep, and separate levels for the sauna and jjimjil. If you're staying overnight, I'd recommend getting there earlier as it can fill up on weekend nights. I find that the yoga room is the quietest, darkest place and they often leave it last for morning cleaning.

2017 edit:
Recently, there are a lot of negative reviews on Korean sites, mainly because it is so popular with young people for a cheap night over in Hongdae and as a result, super noisy and crowded at night. I would caution against spending the night here unless you really have no other option, or you just want to clean up and stay up all night. Also seems you may need to pay extra for mats/bedding now too :(

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

(note: This information has been provided by recent visitors. All web sources seem to be out of date.)
Sauna + Jjimjilbang:
12,000 won - If you arrive between 5am & 8pm (for daytime or overnight use)
15,000 won - If you arrive between 8pm & 5am (for overnight use)
***Weekend costs may be slightly higher, no information available***

This cost covers 12 hours from the time you arrive, as usual. They also offer 4 hours free parking near the building.

Wikimap of Happy Day Jjimjilbang

Busan, Songjeong Beach - Songjeong Haesurak (송정해수락 )

(© 2014 Sonja Jean Photography)

This jjimjilbang was my first FAVORITE out of all the jjimjil's and saunas I'd been to in Korea, and that's saying a lot. This particular one is huge, beautiful, and has all the amenities you could ask for. First advantage is it's amazing location right on a great beach in Busan. (For those of you who don't know, Songjeong Beach is less than 10 min north of Haeundae by taxi, and is cleaner and much quieter. It's lovely.) When you walk along Songjeong beach, head to the north end (towards the left if you're facing the ocean, towards the point with the little park/historic site Jukdo). You'll be able to see Haesurak just up the hill from the beach through a few winding alleys. It's a wide, yellow building that's easily visible in the area. You can get there through the seemingly direct but winding alleys, or you could walk up to the end of the beach, veer left at the 3-way intersection, then within 5 min walking you'll find the front of the building on your left.

(2009) North section of Songjeong Beach. Haesurak Jjimjilbang is circled.

(2009) You can see the yellow building here in the middle of the photo.

The sauna area is striking, as the walls are nearly all tiled or decorated with stones. My favorite tub is a moderately cool one with a massaging waterfall. If you head outside the wet areas, Haesurak has many types of rooms (including special ones like Gold Room and O2 Room), and their ice room is the most beautiful one I've seen. There are gender-segregated and mixed sleeping areas, all of which are far from the main areas and TV's, secluded and quiet.

(© 2014 Sonja Jean Photography)

There is a library, PC room, singing rooms, movie-screening room, cafe, foot massage machines, and the typical hot, moderate, and cool relaxation rooms spread over 3 floors. Each of these rooms are cleanly decorated or beautifully tiled along the walls. On the top floor, there's a nice open-air garden and smoking area, with a fish pond which overlooks the beach. (Gorgeous sunsets!)

부산광역시 해운대구 송정동 265
Busan, Haeundae Gu, Songjeong Dong 265
Open 24 hours a day/7 days a week

Costs (according to their website, may be out of date):
Sauna only 
Adults: 4,000 won / Kids: 3,000 won
Sauna & Jjimjilbang
4am ~ 9pm (day use) : Adults:  6,500 won / Kids: 4,000 won
9pm ~ 4am (overnight use) : Adults:  8,000 won / Kids: 5,000 won
*Kids= 6 and under

Wikimap of this location

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Daegu, Chilgok - Gangbuk Well-being Land

Well-being Land is a very nice, new jjimjilbang in Buk-gu, Daegu. It has many rooms and a nice sauna area with a variety of baths. I haven't been there in a while, but I remember being impressed. The sauna, jjimjilbang, and screen golf are open 24 hours!

You can find this sauna easily, by walking out of Palgeo Station exit 2. About a block and a half up the street, you will see Well-being Land on the left. (It's not far from the HomePlus in Chilgok.)

대구광역시 북구 학정동 825번지
Daegu, Buk Gu, Hak-jeong Dong 825

Open 24 hours


Wikimap of this location

Posting Guidelines

The title of a post should be as follows:
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Welcome to all you searching for jjimjilbang or saunas in Korea. I am just a simple English teacher with over 2 years in the country behind me (as of 2009), but I recently got the inspiration to share what little knowledge I have with you. Also, I encourage you to share your knowledge with me and others via this blog. I'm just beginning to compile information such as wikimaps, photos, addresses, and basic bits and bops about the saunas I've attended and over the next few weeks I hope to get this site whipped into shape for you.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find this blog useful to you in your travels.