Busan Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

Oncheon’s Heosimcheong – The Largest Spa in Asia

Find A Spa Near You

For our second Korean jimjilbang experience, we decided to go big. The Heomsimcheong Spa in the neighborhood of Oncheon claims to be the largest spa fed by a natural hot spring in Asia. The popular complex, which also bills itself the Grand Hot Spring, includes a full hotel, an excellent brewery on the bottom floor and of course, a full array of baths and saunas.

Jjimjilbang-Oncheon-Heosimcheong

Later this week, I’ll be taking advantage of South Korea’s incredible medical tourism and having my eyes Lasik-ed. I only mention it because, throughout my life, I’ve encountered a mere handful of occasions where terrible vision has been a gift, rather than a curse. For example: bright lights look like glowing orbs of color, which can turn an evening cityscape or a Christmas tree into something abstract and beautiful. And people really are less likely to hit the guy wearing glasses.

But in the Heosimcheong Spa, I discovered another benefit of bad eyes. Without my contacts in or glasses on, the naked human body disappears into a single flesh-colored blur. I can see the human-sized shape, but no details… and the horrors of jimjilbangs are all in the details.

Heosimcheong cost ₩8000 ($7.20) to enter, worth the price just for the bathing area, which is in a giant salon capped by an opaque dome. Under the soft natural light, we cooked ourselves in hot tubs, gasped for oxygen in steam saunas, sprang in and out of freezing ice baths, and sat underneath heavy waterfall streams that pounded our necks and shoulders. It was crowded, but the other people didn’t bug me much — this time, I was almost blind, and couldn’t tell if they were staring at me.

After paying an extra ₩2000 apiece for funky pajamas that M.C. Hammer would have been proud of (and possibly designed), we entered the mixed-gender jimjilbang area, with relaxation and steam rooms. It was kind of a disappointment, with just a couple separate rooms and a very active, hyper population of kids running around. There was an igloo-shaped ice room, and a yellow steam room… nicely done, but there wasn’t much variety. After a nap and a facial mask, which was provided for free, we were done.

Well, we weren’t quite done. On the bottom floor of the complex is a gigantic brewery, serving German-inspired beers. At night, this is apparently a Busan hot-spot, with a Bulgarian band that sings in a variety of languages while intoxicated Koreans get down and dirty on the dance floor. Sadly, we missed this, but the beer was excellent.

Location on our Busan Map
-Find us on Facebook

Biggest-Spa-in-Asia
Naked in Korea
Jjimjilbang-Busan
Funky-in-Busan
, , , , , , , , , , ,
June 26, 2012 at 11:48 pm Comments (7)

Pictures from Oncheon’s Busy Market

Please Like Us On Facebook

We hadn’t expected to have such a great day out in the northern neighborhood of Oncheon-dong. After discovering a popular open-air foot spa, we walked back toward the subway through a boisterous food and goods market. Maybe it’s the collegial atmosphere generated by the closeness of the stands, but people working in these markets always seem to be happier than their counterparts behind the cash register of a grocery store.

Busan Market

Has the lady behind the machine at Mega Mart ever offered you a taste of black pig intestine, just to get a laugh? Or tried and drag you into a conversation about her niece who lives in Vancouver? These things are common-place in the markets of Busan, which are fun places to spend some time in, and rife with great photo opportunities.

Location on our Busan Map
-Learn Korean

Korean Portrait
Oncheon-Market
Market-Restaurant-Busan
Korean Soap Opera
Oncheon-Fish-Market
Tofu Stand
Pickled Stuff
Korean Fried Food
Koreanische Schweinshaxe
Fresh Fish Korea
Can I be your Valentine
Korean Sashimi
Korean Bulgogi
Korean Cinnamon
Korean Herbs
Plastic Pig

, , , , , , , ,
June 12, 2012 at 7:21 am Comments (2)

Open-Air Foot Spa in Oncheon

Relaxing Foot Bath At Home

Walking around the Oncheon neighborhood toward the north of Busan, we happened upon a curious little pond where a bunch of Koreans were soaking their feet. A dragon’s head was mounted on the wall of this open-air foot spa, like the prize of some mythical hunter.

Busan Outdoor Spa

Looked like fun, and we wasted no time in removing our shoes and sweaty socks, while the locals apprehensively monitored our oafish intrusion into their peaceful world. The mineral water was piping hot at around 104° (F), and by the end of our 20-minute soak, our feet were bloated and red as beets. And they felt great.

There are a ton of spas around the Oncheon area, which is well supplied with natural mineral water from the nearby Mt. Geumjeongsan. So far, we’ve been a little too nervous to try a real spa (jjimjilbang), so this free foot-soak was a good, and very literal, way to put our toes in the water.

Location on our Busan Map

-Korea Travel Insurance

Good Time Spa
Hot Spring Busan
Spa Dragon
Korean Frog
Water Run
Man Feet
Red Feet
Flights to Busan
, , , , , , , , , ,
June 11, 2012 at 10:51 am Comments (0)