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.
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.