Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Seoul, Ja-yang Dong - Happy Day Spa

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.

Hinoki wood bath found both in men's and women's saunas

The basement contains a Chinese medicine tea shop. In the main saunas there are Mediterranean-style mineral water baths, a ginseng tub, steam saunas, and a special hinoki (Japanese cypress) wood bath. I didn't know before that these wood baths have a sterilizing effect on the water - interesting! In the jjimjil area, you can relax in various hot and ice rooms as usual, or enjoy the yellow-soil and charcoal kilns. The rooftop is also the site of various aqua-therapy facilities. Closed until further notice.
7th floor: Foot wailing sauna Aqua-therapy baths Closed until further notice

서울시 광진구 자양동 685번지
Seoul, Gwang-jin Gu, Ja-yang Dong 685
Open 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week/ 365 days a year

Rates: 6,000 won - If you arrive between 5am & 8pm
8,000 won - If you arrive between 8pm & 5am
There is also a 1,000 won deposit for robes.
(This cost covers 15 hours from the time you arrive, instead of the usual 12.)

Parking rates: 1,000 won for the first 4 hours
Additional 1,000 per hour for every hour after that

Wikimap of Happy Day Spa

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Seoul, Yongsan - Dragon Hill Spa

This jjimjilbang is on the top of my list for Seoul. I found out about it from a reader who emailed me a while back. She said she can't compare it because since her first visit, she's never bothered to go to another sauna! That's quite the compliment, and from a look at their website, this place deserves it.

It's conveniently located just south of Yongsan Station and boasts 6 floors and a rooftop area. The building also contains the Royal Orchid Spa, featuring a full aesthetics program, the Manhattan Fitness Club, and a large heated outdoor pool. From the photos, it looks to be the epitome of calm and peaceful relaxation. It appears that there may even be a mud bath!

The sauna area has multiple baths including herbal waters and a ginseng pool. Both men's & women's areas have outdoor bathing with several baths available.

Basically, I'd say this place has every amenity you could want. It's definitely also one of the easier spas to experience if you don't speak or read any Korean, since everything is in English (and Chinese & Japanese) too. Since hearing about it and doing this first write up, I've been able to visit for a personal impression. When I was there in the winter, the outdoor swimming pool was closed but the rest of the spa lived up to my expectations. Be sure you bring a swimming suit, as the outdoor pool area looks fantastic!

The sauna and bath area is very clean and modern with lots of sunlight on a bright day. There are so many different places to explore in the co-ed jjimjilbang area you'll never get bored here! The design incorporates the modern with traditional Asian styles to give you a sense of calm while surrounded by historical beauty. Being so popular, this is a busy spa and it was a bit loud to spend the night in most common areas. Luckily with all the space in this place you're bound to find a more private corner to curl up in if you wish.

서울 용산구 한강로동 40-713
Seoul, Yongsan Gu, Hangang-ro Dong 40-713
Open 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week

Arriving between 5am and 8pm on weekdays (daytime)
Adult: 12,000 won   Child: 6,000 won

Arriving between 5am and 8pm weekends or holidays (daytime)
Adult: 14,000 won   Child: 6,000 won

Arriving between 8pm and 5am any day (overnight)
Adult: 15,000 won   Child: 6,000 won

Parking and other details can be found in English on their website:
Dragon Hill Spa website

Wikimap of Dragon Hill Spa