Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Seoul, KTX Station - Silloam Sauna & Jjimjil

I would never have found this place for you guys if I hadn't missed my train back to Busan recently. Just so you know, the last Busan-bound KTX leaving Seoul on any given night is at 10:30. Anyway, 10:40 is too late ㅠ.ㅠ

Fortunately, the helpful lady at the information desk in Seoul Station was able to direct me out the back of the station to Silloam Sauna, which I definitely had my doubts about. I mean, how many cheap and still nice places have you ever seen around a big station? Though I was worried, my other option was to stay in a motel, and I'm really glad I took the chance on Silloam.

From the outside, Silloam is unassuming, you might even miss it if you're not looking for it. From Seoul Station, you should exit to the northwest (sort of the back, to the right if you're looking at the ticket windows) and walk through or around Lotte Mart. From there, you'll see the overpass at the large 4-way intersection to the right just ahead of you - you should be able to see the sign on the side of the Silloam building as well. Walk across and then up the ramp and you're there.

Inside, the sauna is nice but, when I was there, not the cleanest. I entered around 11pm so I'm sure they clean at night, but anyway, it gets the job done. There are quite a few interesting tubs (yellow soil, wormwood, charcoal) and "sweating rooms" (infrared, jade, super-hot salt scrub room) inside the sauna, though I didn't take the time to enjoy them when I was there. One strange thing is that you can't adjust the temperature of any of the standing showers!

The real surprise came when I ascended the stairs into the jjimjilbang area: there's a LOT here! Again, the rooms contain many unusual materials and are located around the edges of a central room on 3 different floors. The charcoal, yellow-soil, salt, and oxygen rooms are typical, as are the dens (caves, pictured at the left); you can also find something they call elvan (maybe quartz or something?), loose gravel, and a cold charcoal room. There's a singing room, cafe, coffee shop, restaurant, snack bar, PC & game room, movie room, salon/barber shop, shoe repair place, and a little store. You can even participate in yoga free of charge.

I quickly scanned the jjimjilbang for some nice place to sleep and found quite a few nooks and rooms that would have been well-suited (you can get a sleeping pad and blanket from a staff member in one of the main rooms if you sleep here), but figured I ought to head up to the top floor and at least take a look at the sleeping rooms. First of all, cell phones must not be used (or at least activate silent mode) in the sleeping rooms and there's also a "Snoring room" to minimize disruption to other sleepers! The men's and women's sleeping rooms have 400 and over 300 beds respectively. You'll never have some ajumma's arm flop over you in this place! Each bed is separated by at least a low railing and some have a small wall between them. There are lower and upper bunks each made up with a really thick sleeping pad, pillow, and pile of blankets. Some upper bunks even have curtains for full privacy. Plus the rooms are slightly air-conditioned, humidified, purified, and all the other "-ieds" you could dream of. It's bliss. I had the best jjimjilbang sleep of my life here, even though it was only 5 hours worth!

Finally, Silloam offers some special services to visitors since they are located near Seoul Station. You can leave your larger suitcases or baggage in a parcel room - ask about this at reception. They will also wash or dry clean your clothes! If you need this service, be sure to allow 2 hours for the cleaning.

서울 중구 중림동 128-104
Seoul, Joong-gu, Joongrim-dong 128-104

Enter from 5am-8pm (use from 5am til 12 midnight that day)
Sauna: Adults 8,000   Children 6,000
Sauna & Jjimjil: Adults 10,000   Children 7,000
*5 hours free parking

Enter from 8pm-5am (use from 8pm til 12noon the following day)
Sauna: Adults 11,000   Children 9,000
Sauna & Jjimjil: Adults 15,000   Children 11,000
*free parking for full usage time

Wikimapia of Silloam Fire Pot Sauna

English, Korean, and Japanese available on the Silloam Bulgama (Fire Pot) Sauna website

Here's a video of a cute couple visiting Silloam Sauna, for your viewing pleasure!


  1. hi... does this jjimjilbang have wifi??

    i'm planning backpack and sleep a few nights over here...

    do they have electric powerpoint? they say they have locker in each floor? so i can keep my laptop in tat locker overnight right..


  2. Hi Jef. Thanks for your comment. Firstly, I'm not actually sure if this jjimjilbang has wi-fi. If not, it may be possible to get on a nearby unsecured network. And there may be some public electrical outlets, or you can ask to use any one that you see.

    There are indeed lockers here, both in the changing rooms and near reception, so you can certainly keep your laptop & valuables there overnight.

    In addition, most every jjimjilbang has a PC room. These are more common than wi-fi in Korea. There are very nice, new, well-equipped computers for public use in a small area in the co-ed jjimjil part. I think the typical cost is 500 won (~$0.50 USD) for 20-30 minutes.

    One last note is if you'll be staying multiple nights, you probably want to "check-out" each morning, take your things with you in the day, and come back at night. The fees you pay for admission are based on a 12-hour stay, and you'll need to pay more per hour beyond that when you leave. (That amount is not quoted on their site, sorry.)

    I hope this helps^^

  3. wow,tats a fast response.. thx a lot..

    thx a lot for the insights,so its 12 hrs.. i better plan and go later in the night if i wan to stay overnight...

    thx for the infos man.. i'm planning to blog daily so i need to upload photos.. maybe i will use the computers there instead.

    thx a lot once again :D

  4. Is their locker able to accomodate a suitcase? It seems that if you go at night the usage is only from 8pm to 10pm. Was it the following day 10pm or just only 2hours of usage?

  5. Great comment~ I see on their website that it says "night time use: 8pm-10pm" but then it says night time tickets sell 8pm-5am and free night time parking is 8pm-10am. This leads me to believe that it was a typo.
    Also, since I stayed there, I can assure you this spa is open 24 hours and I didn't pay any additional fee when I left in the morning.

    As for the lockers, they are pretty big though you are only issued one key upon entry. I'd say a regular carry-on-sized suitcase would fit just fine. If you have a larger bag or multiple items, this sauna also offers a "hotel-styled checkroom" where you can secure things that don't fit in your personal locker.

  6. hi, would you know if massages are available here? if yes, how much? thanks!

  7. Thanks for your question!

    Yes, there are several types of massages available (as at many saunas). Firstly, there are scrubs & various massages for charges ranging from ~15,000 to ~80,000 KRW (basic scrub- back massage- full massage- oil- aromatherapy- etc. respectively).

    Then once you're in the jjimjilbang, there are foot massage machines and massage chairs for a couple coins or bills (~1-3,000 won), and finally there is a full service sports massage room (clothed, no-oil style). Their rates vary as well but a standard to expect is around 1,000 won per minute (~US$30 per half hour, $50-60/hr) give or take. You can call the massage room ahead of time if you're really curious: 02-365-7845*

    *Don't forget +82 if you call from abroad! ^^

  8. hi
    am abit i right that if i want to sleep over i must enter after 8pm?

  9. No, sorry, that is confusing. You can enter anytime and stay however long but the price you pay usually only includes 12 hours of time. So if you enter by 6pm, leave by 6am to avoid incurring further charges - usually. But I believe with Silloam if you enter before 8pm, they'll have you pay 7,000 won. Then if you sleep over, you can pay the extra on your way out. (Might be only 2,000 won, or it could be 1,000 won extra for hours you stayed past midnight.) To keep it clear and easy, just tell them at the start if you plan to stay overnight and they'll charge you appropriately (probably they'll just charge you 9,000 and let you enter early as an exception.)

    Good luck, and enjoy!

  10. hi! I wouls like to ask, do they give out clothes to wear or do i need to bring my own... just to add im a large sized I was wondering if they have ones in my size..

  11. They will give you a uniform when you pay your entrance fee, and they usually have a good variety of sizes. Plenty of bigger ones too since they're more comfortable that way - I'm sure they'll be able to accommodate you. Enjoy your stay! :)

  12. Silloam does have wi-fi available, even in the locker rooms which is nice!

  13. Just out of curiosity, but does Silloam have private or communal showers?

  14. As in almost every Korean sauna, the showers are communal. The best way to get a little privacy is to shower very late at night, just before you leave or (if you stay overnight) go to sleep.

  15. Hi, i'll be bringing my children @ 8 years old, one boy n one girl. Can my boy follow me to the female shower? I'm thinking to stay there for a night with my children, u think this is ok?

    1. Hey there, good question! 8 is a bit old for what I usually see in the bathing area, but I doubt that the front desk people would make him go into the men's area alone. I'd say you should be fine if you ask about it nicely :) Have a fun time!

  16. Hi.. you mean we can wear their uniforms right away and proceed to the coffee shop without taking a shower? I thought they strictly require the guest to shower first before going to the common area.. my family wants to experience this jjimjilbang when we get there :) thanks!

    1. Yes, you can. I've done that a lot and never been told otherwise. I've advised those people nervous about the nudity that they don't even have to go into the baths if they don't want to. I only know that you must shower off outside the baths before you soak. Definitely enjoy the jjimjilbang and shower whenever you're ready!

  17. your blog describe a logical view of the things. It is very effective for the reader. Please post more blog related to this.
    Visit :- Saunabau

  18. your blog Provides things are helps me to find my detail. your blog is very good for me please keep it up.I like it
    Visit :- Saunabau