Thursday, April 15, 2010

Boryeong Mud Festival Sauna Accommodations

Well, my search has revealed only one sauna (no jjimjilbang) in the area of Daecheon Beach. Haesu Sauna is very near the main beach entrance but has little information listed anywhere on the internet. From the map, it looks to be a big building but I'm not sure if there are any sleeping rooms available there.

I'm sorry ~ I wish I had better news for all you spa lovers. It would be an excellent way to save money during the festival, as the motels and minbak can be more than double their regular rates. My best advice for now would be to get yourself a minbak room. After all the sun and sand you could check out this sauna for a little rinse-down then go out walking around/drinking/eating until dawn as others will. Anyway, with a minbak or motel room, you'll have somewhere to leave your bag.

I'll be attending the Boryeong mud festival on the second weekend (July 17th - 18th) so at that time I'll update this post with more information with details of the Haesu Sauna. Until then, if you have any information about good motels or minbak, and especially about a sauna or jjimjilbang, please comment on this post.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Busan, Jung-dong, Dalmaji (Haeundae) - Vesta Spa & Fitness

Vesta Spa & Fitness is currently under construction. It is scheduled to be completed on June 1, 2010. I believe they are closed for business during this time; I'd recommend calling ahead if you plan on visiting this month.

This large, well-located spa has a long reputation among foreigners and Koreans alike in Busan. Since I've heard so many good things about the place, I had high expectations. Luckily, I had the treat of visiting with someone who had been there many times before, including once long ago. She was able to offer some well-needed insight on my experience.

As soon as I arrived, from the back of the building it turned out, I noticed the unassuming entrance with a boardwalk around to the front. That's where I first saw the incredible view from their excellent location. Inside, it was clear how long they've been at their excellent location. The lockers are worn, and the keys and outfits show it too. Once in the water, you'll notice even the shower water is a bit salty (not sure what that's about, though my friend said it wasn't always like that) and the tubs could be filtered better. I was there on a Thursday afternoon and they were cleaning one of the main baths~ a tad disappointing.

Despite this, the view from the sauna was enough to make me forget the downsides. Just outside on the veranda there's a nice hot tub with some sunshine, surrounding privacy fence, and foliage. It faces seaside, so bring your shades: it gets bright!

In the jjimjilbang you can find most of the traditional rooms like yellow-soil, fire-hot (bulgama), and pretty jewelry room. There's also a small ice room, sports massage, nail art, aroma therapy, and a DVD resting room. Again, the view from here makes up for a lot.

Outside of the jjimjilbang you can find some small co-ed swimming pools (you can rent a suit for 2,000 won!) and the Sky Lounge, perfect for relaxing in the sun or enjoying some sea air with your sweetie. Since I visited during wintertime I didn't get to enjoy it. (Look for updates soon.^^)

I had a nice time here but I'd say it doesn't exactly live up to it's reputation any more. According to my friend, when it was a much nicer newer place it was the best in town. After years of heavy tourist traffic Vesta has started to show it's age, but don't cross it off your list yet - it still offers one of the best views of the seaside in Haeundae and is overall a lovely place to relax.

부산 해운대구 중동 1509-6
Busan, Haeundae-gu, Jung-dong 1509-6
Open 24 Hours

Sauna : Adults 5,000   Children 3,000
Sauna & Jjimjilbang : Adults 8,000   Children 5,000

Wikimapia of Vesta Spa & Jjimjilbang