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  • 19-12-13 14:07
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Winter in Warmth at Hot Springs & Spas

 

Major Attractions

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Tip) Hot spring, spa, sauna, jjimjilbang, public bathhouse...What’s the difference?!

Before we get into the differences, let’s take a look at the similarities. All of the facilities offer bathing and sauna amenities, as well as gender-segregated changing rooms and community areas. Some places will require wearing a swimsuit or rental clothing. It is common manner to take a quick shower before using the amenities!

  • 1. Hot Spring
    Hot springs use underground water that is naturally heated through geothermal energy. Korean hot springs use water that is at least 25℃, removing toxic components. The hot springs are divided into men and women pools, with some facilities also offering family pools and outdoor baths.
  • 2. Spa
    Spa is the general term to refer to any mineral spring or facility that offers health and beauty treatments, including but not limited to saunas, bathing pools, and steam baths.
  • 3. Public bathhouse
    Public bathhouses of all sizes can be found in nearly every neighborhood of Korea, from tiny little baths at apartment complexes to large facilities rivaling luxury spas. Most large bathhouses also offer jjimjilbang facilities. As all visitors must be completely naked to use the facilities, the baths and changing rooms are strictly divided by gender, with children over the age of four being prohibited from entering the opposite gender area as of January 1, 2020.
  • 4. Sauna
    Sauna originally referred to Finnish steam bath, but has now evolved to include all types of bathing in which one expels sweat. Most public bathhouses, jjimjilbang, and water parks in Korea include sauna facilities.
  • 5. Jjimjilbang
    Jjimjilbang refers to Korean-style saunas that use fire to create hot rooms. The use of a jjimjilbang will usually be 1,000 to 3,000 won on top of the basic bathhouse admission fee. Because jjimjilbang are open 24 hours, many travelers on a tight budget use them as cheap accommodations; most jjimjilbang have gender-segregated sleeping rooms, although you’ll be sharing it with many other people so we recommend bringing some earplugs!

Ganghwado Seongmodo Mineral Hot Spring

 

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Ganghwado Seongmodo Mineral Hot Spring

 

Seongmodo Mineral Hot Spring is one of the hottest new places in Ganghwado, famous for its fantastic view of the Yellow Sea. Because of its location on the western coast, it’s great for watching the sun sink into the sea from one of the resorts 15 outdoor pools; just be sure to grab a spot early, as the pools quickly begin filling up with people all wanting to enjoy this experience. The hot spring snack bar even accepts phone orders, so you can keep your spot! Simply call to order coffee or sikhye (sweet rice drink) and they’ll deliver it to your pool.

The water used at Seongmodo Mineral Hot Spring is completely untouched mineral water, creating a slippery consistence not found at most hot springs. If you happen to drink some of the water, you’ll notice a salty taste, due to the high level of sodium. After a dip in the pools, it may feel like you have a slight film covering your skin. This is due to the minerals in the water, which are very good for promoting healthy skin. If you’re sensitive, you’ll probably want to wash it off, but be aware that the use of cleansing products such as shampoos and soaps are prohibited. If you really don’t like the feeling, you can gently dry off with a towel.

Tip) Additional attractions on Ganghwado Island

Ganghwado Island offers both island and mainland attractions, being located so close to Incheon. While the island is relatively easily accessible from the Seoul metropolitan region, it is far enough away that just visiting the hot spring could feel like a waste of a trip. To really make use of your time here, be sure to add in one of the following attractions!

  • 1. Ganghwa Seaside Resort Luge
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    Ganghwa Seaside Resort Luge
    Luge is an extreme sport that uses gravity to propel one down a sloped track on a sled-like vehicle. To reach the top of the Ganghwa Seaside Resort Luge track, you’ll have to ride a gondola, offering outstanding views of the sea and mountains. Thanks to this preview of the landscape, you can fully enjoy racing down the 1.8 kilometer track without worrying about missing anything.
  • 2. Bomunsa Temple
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    Bomunsa Temple’s obaek nahan
    If you are interested in cultural attractions, be sure to visit Bomunsa Temple, located on Nakgasan Mountain on Seongmodo Island. From the moment you pass through Iljomun Gate, you’ll be busy looking at the obaek nahan, 500 small figures, each with its own unique face. After you’ve had your fill of examining the faces to make sure they really are all different, head to the grand Geungnakbojeon Hall. If you’re up for a bit of a walk, head up the 420 steps to the rock-carved Buddha, or further up Nunsseopbawi Rock to take in a panorama of the Yellow Sea.
  • 3. UFO Café
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    Ganghwado Seaside Resort UFO Café
    The all-around best views of Ganghwado Island can be seen from UFO Café, located within Ganghwado Seaside Resort. The café makes a full 360-degree rotation every hour. Set out on a point, most of the views will include unobstructed views of the ocean. Leisurely take in the changing scenery over a coffee or dessert.
  • 4. Local foods
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    Seafood dish
    All foods taste especially delicious after relaxing at a hot spring. To recharge your energy, we recommend a dish with broth. Ganghwado Island is famous for seafood, so go for a dish with freshly caught seafood! Shabu shabu meets both of these requirements, with the addition of beef for a filling meal.
Ganghwado Seongmodo Mineral Hot Spring
  • ☞ Address: 865-17, Samsannam-ro, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon (인천광역시 강화군 삼산면 삼산남로 865-17)
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 35 min or a bus for approx. 1 hr 45 min from Ganghwa Terminal
  • ☞ Operating hours: 07:00-21:00
    * Closed the first and third Tuesday of every month
  • ☞ Admission: Adults 9,000 won / Children 6,000 won / Senior citizens 6,000 won
    * 2,000 won charged separately for rental clothing
    * Adults (ages 8-64) / Children (ages 3-7) / Senior citizens (ages 65 & older)
    * Infants (ages 2 & younger) enter free with proof of age
    * Senior citizens must submit proof of age to receive discount
    * Food not allowed in hot spring (drinks permitted)
  • ☞ Main amenities: Outdoor pools (15), indoor pool, red clay room, rooftop observation, footbath, etc.
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-32-930-7053 (Korean only)
  • ☞ Website: www.ghss.or.kr (Korean only)

Splas Resom (Deoksan)

 

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Splas Resom (Deoksan) (Credit: Splas Resom (Deoksan))

 

Splas Resom is a year-round hot spring theme park located in Yesan, just an hour and a half south of Seoul. The park features over 20 different spa pools and slides spread out over a 25,000㎡ area. Water attractions include a bade pool using 49℃ Germanium mineral water, a lazy river, and a wave pool with waves reaching 1.8 meters. One of the best features of Splas Resom is the Vital Therapy Center, offering programs by expert therapists for a relaxing and revitalizing vacation.

Splas Resom (Deoksan)
  • ☞ Address: 45-7, Oncheondanji 3-ro, Yesan-gun, Chungcheongnam-do (충청남도 예산군 덕산면 온천단지3로 45-7)
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 10 min or a bus for approx. 40 min from Sapgyo Station
    * Buses depart from Seoul at Central City Bus Terminal and Seoul Nambu Terminal
  • ☞ Operating hours
    - Water park indoor spa zone: Weekdays 06:00-20:00 / Weekends 09:00-21:00
    - Sauna: Weekdays 06:00-20:00 / Weekends 09:00-22:00
  • ☞ Admission: Adults 48,000 won / Children 33,000 won
    * Same fees apply daily
    * Adults (ages 13-64) / Children (ages 3-12)
    * Infants (ages 2 & younger) enter free with proof of age
    * 30% discount on water park and sauna for senior citizens (ages 65 & older) with proof of age
  • ☞ Main amenities: Hot spring theme park (indoor spa – bade pool / outdoor spa – water park), vital therapy center (men, women, couples), etc.
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-41-330-8000 (Korean only)
  • ☞ Website: www.resom.co.kr/spa (Korean only)

Sol Beach Yangyang Ocean Play

 

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Sol Beach Yangyang Ocean Play (Credit: Sol Beach Yangyang Ocean Play)

 

Located on the eastern coast, Sol Beach Yangyang Ocean Play is divided into indoor and outdoor zones. While the water park is open year-round, using the spa in winter is especially recommended. The park became quite popular when news of the clean outdoor zone overlooking the East Sea spread by word-of-mouth. The park exterior is designed with a motif of Park Güell, designed by Catalan architectural genius Gaudi, along with curving lines resembling ocean waves. The indoor zone also provides views of the East Sea while sheltering visitors from the weather. If you’re looking to get a massage while you relax, check out the water massage systems in the spa zone. Best of all, the bade pool programs are included with admission!

Sol Beach Yangyang Ocean Play
  • ☞ Address: 678, Seonsayujeok-ro, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do (강원도 양양군 손양면 선사유적로 678)
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 10 min from Yangyang Intercity Bus Terminal
    * Shuttle bus from Seoul (Jamsil Sports Complex Station) available; refer to website for details
    * Approx. 40 min by taxi from Gangneung Station
    * Buses depart from Seoul at Seoul Express Bus Terminal and Dong Seoul Bus Terminal
  • ☞ Operating hours
    - Aqua indoor zone: Weekdays 10:00-18:00 / Weekends & public holidays 10:00-19:00
    - Aqua outdoor zone & outdoor slides: 10:00-17:00
    - Seawater sauna: Weekdays 07:00-20:00 / Weekends & public holidays 06:30-20:30
    - Martherapy: Weekdays 10:00-18:00 (Last admission: full therapy 17:00 / half therapy 18:00) / Weekends & public holidays 10:00-20:00 (Last admission: full therapy 18:00 / half therapy 19:00)
    * Full therapy (Mud, Watsu, Enzyme & Sound therapy) / Half therapy (Enzyme & Sound therapy)
    * Hours valid until Dec. 31, 2019; refer to website for update later
  • ☞ Admission: Adults 36,000 won / Children 31,000 won
    * Fees valid until Dec. 31, 2019; refer to website for update later
    * Separate fees apply to swimsuit rental and sales
    * Adults (ages 13-64) / Children (ages 3-12)
    * Infants (ages 2 & younger) enter free with proof of age
    * 30% and 40% discount on weekends & weekdays respectively for senior citizens (ages 65 & older) with proof of age
  • ☞ Main amenities: Indoor zone, outdoor zone, martherapy, seawater sauna, snack bar, etc.
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-1588-4888 (Korean only)
  • ☞ Website: www.daemyungresort.com (Korean only)

Deokgu Spaworld

 

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Deokgu Spaworld (Credit: Deokgu Spaworld)

 

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Deokgu Spaworld in Uljin is the only hot spring in Korea where the water naturally rises to the surface. Every day, nearly 2,000 tons of water flow through the water park, earning the resort the title of best “rest hot spring” in Gyeongsangbuk-do. The water reaches temperatures of over 42.4℃ and is full of minerals such as calcium and potassium. These qualities give the water healing properties, beneficial in treating various skin and health discomforts, such as neuralgia, arthritis, muscular pain, and more.

Another major attraction of Deokgu Spaworld is its location on the slopes of Eunbongsan Mountain. The outdoor pool offers beautiful views of fantastic rock formations and clear waters flowing through the valley below. The resort is great for family visitors, equipped with a kid’s pool, outdoor sun tanning beds, a jasmine pool, hardwood sauna, and more.

Deokgu Spaworld
  • ☞ Address: 924, Deokguoncheon-ro, Uljin-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도 울진군 북면 덕구온천로 924)
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 10 min or a bus for approx. 35 min from Bugu Terminal
    * Buses depart from Seoul at Dong Seoul Bus Terminal
  • ☞ Operating hours
    - Spa: Weekdays 10:00-19:00 / Weekends & public holidays 09:00-20:00
    * Summer peak season (July 20 – August 20 & Chuseok holiday period): Daily 09:00-20:00
    - Hot springs: 06:00-22:00
    * Spa (Indoor & outdoor spa, water park) / Hot spring (large hot spring pool, bathing facilities)
  • ☞ Admission
    - Spa (Off season weekdays): Adults 18,000 won / Children 12,000 won
    - Spa (Off season weekends & public holidays): Adults 28,000 won / Children 19,000 won
    - Spa (Peak season): Adults 35,000 won / Children 26,000 won
    * Additional fees apply to use of amenities, including private spa room and swimsuit rental
    * Adults (ages 13 & older) / Children (ages 2-12)
    * Infants (ages 1 & younger) enter free with proof of age
  • ☞ Main amenities: Spaworld (outdoor pools, theraqua, action spa, tanning beds, children’s slides), large hot spring pool, hotel, condo, etc.
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-54-783-0811 (Korean only)
  • ☞ Website: www.dukgu.com (Korean only)

Jinan Red Ginseng Spa

 

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Jinan Red Ginseng Spa (Credit: Jinan Red Ginseng Spa)

 

Jinan Red Ginseng Spa is located at the foot of Maisan Mountain in Jinan, a region famous for red ginseng. It is the only red ginseng medicinal spa in Korea, taking guidance from Donguibogam, an encyclopedia on the principles and practices of Eastern medicine. The spa is divided into the public spa and destination spa, with the systematic treatment programs of destination spa being extremely popular. The various therapy programs take place in private rooms, and range from herb therapy to thermal, bade pool, aroma, and more for nearly 10 unique treatments. The public spa is popular among family visitors, with attractions such as the outdoor pool on the rooftop or the sky garden mind pool, which offers views of Maisan Mountain while relaxing.

Jinan Red Ginseng Spa
  • ☞ Address: 16-10, Oesayang-gil, Jinan-gun, Jeollabuk-do (전라북도 진안군 진안읍 외사양길 16-10)
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 5 min or a bus for approx. 10 min from Jinan Intercity Bus Terminal
  • ☞ Operating hours: 09:30-20:30
    * Last admission 17:00 on the last Monday of every month
    * Early closed days for 2020: Feb. 17, Mar. 23-27, Apr. 27, May 25, Jun. 29, Jul. 13, Aug. 24, Sep. 28, Oct. 26, Nov. 30, Dec. 14 (Subject to change; refer to website for details)
  • ☞ Admission
    - Weekdays: Adults 39,000 won / Children 30,000 won / Senior citizens 30,000 won
    - Weekends: Adults 43,000 won / Children 34,000 won / Senior citizens 34,000 won
    * Adults (ages 13-64) / Children (ages 4-12) / Senior citizens (ages 65 & older)
  • ☞ Main amenities: Approx. 10 different therapy programs, Hotel Hongsamville, convention hall (Gaonnuri Hall), Hongsamville restaurant, snack bar, etc.
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-1588-7597 (Korean only)
  • ☞ Website: www.redginsengspa.co.kr (Korean only)

 

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