Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ulleung-do, Dodong - Haesu Oncheon

Ulleungdo is a lovely, green, mountainy island that even Koreans rarely visit. It has some of the clearest, blue-green scubarific waters to be found in the ROK. Sadly, while I was there it was typhoon-pouring and a little chilly for snorkeling. In addition, my ship back to the sunny peninsula was cancelled so I had to stay another wet day. In order to brave the wind and rain - and clean up after a muddy, soaky hike over a ridge - I spent an afternoon in this little village sauna.

There are some decent showers and a bunch of nice baths. There are medicinal waters which spring naturally in this area, sea water baths, and the typical hot and cool. I wasn't able to find any specific information about this hot spring, but I know it contains a high amount of minerals, probably copper or iron, due to the serious orange patches it leaves wherever it springs out of the ground. Also, there is a small "jjimjilbang" room inside of the wet sauna area so if you dry off a bit you can relax in a less watery spot. It is definitely a run-down little place, not the most spotless sauna I've been to, but it's part of the Ulleung-do experience if you're a dedicated sauna-ist like me.

To find this place, look around the port area of Dodong for any of the several small signs pointing to 해수온천 (Haesu Oncheon). If you fail to find any of them while you're there or don't read Korean so well, start from the port. There are three main streets that parallel each other up the hill - take the one on the far right (north-most) passing by Family Mart. In a couple of minutes you'll pass the Hanil Motel (한일모텔) and Hanil restaurant, you'll see one of those little square signs pointing to the right, into a teensy narrow alley. Walk, walk, walk to the set of stairs and you'll find the sauna on your left.

경북 울릉군 울릉읍 도동리
43-12 Gyeongsanbuk-do, Ulleung-gun, Ulleung-eop, Dodong-ri 43-12
Not open 24 hours, this sauna closes around 9 pm.

Adults 5,000, children 3,500

Wikimapia of Haesu Oncheon 

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