Korean baths are unusual. The public baths, commonly called “daejungtang,” have a similar environment in separate spaces for men and women. The most unusual thing is that there is a large bath that allows people to dip their bodies communally. Most have two types of baths with different temperatures, hot and cold. Once you enter the hot bath, then cool with the cold bath right away, all the fatigue seems to dissolve away. In Jeju, there is one more type of bath that isn’t often seen on land: the open-air bath. Here are five unique baths in Jeju.
This bath is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. First, the automatic filtering system of “magnetic hexagonal water” is said provide high-quality water. There is also an electric bath that is excellent for massages. It has a function that stimulates the skin and helps blood circulation by flowing a microcurrent through the water. If you are new to electric baths, you may be surprised by the tingling feeling. There are a variety of facilities such as warm-water waterfalls, foggy sauna filled with steam, dry sauna with faint mugwort scent, and a small jjimjilbang spa.
2. Dongnam Suhyup Bath: Favorite Bath Spot of Haenyeo Divers
▲ Dongnam Suhyup Bath
This bathhouse is operated by Suhyup. If you are engaged in fishing and you are a member of Suhyup, you can receive a small discount on your bathing fee. Naturally, it has become a favorite spot of haenyeo divers. Just as the women who finished diving sat on bulteok platforms to rest, they would sit in the Suhyup bath and relax. Because their bodies are trained in the rough seas, they generally have strong build and slim waists. On the second floor, there are spacious cold baths, hot springs with bubbles, lukewarm baths, saunas, and scrubbing beds. After bathing, the taste of banana milk from the local grocery store is simply exquisite.
3. Hwasun Saemaeul Village Bath: Scrubbing Alone is A-Okay
It used to be operated by the village, which resulted in the name “Saemaul (new village).” A long time ago, Hwasun people thought that the cleanest water in the west of Jeju flowed to Hwasuntang. In fact, the water is so good that soap gets washed away clean. The biggest pride of Saemaul Bath is their back-scrubbing machines. Instead of having a scrubber, this guy plays a big role. When the scrubbing towel is on full power, you can move your body according to the speed. It’s quite useful and makes you feel good afterward. After bathing, you can stroll around Sanbangsan Mountain.
This place is famous for the bath that uses seawater from Jeju Island. The most popular are their cold bath with seawater, hot bath, and another seawater bath that adds wild green tea from Jirisan Mountain. The open-air bath, where you can soak in a hot bath and enjoy the view of the sea, is beloved by guests. While the body is hot, your head stays cold, which makes it twice as refreshing. The open-air baths are always crowded with people, so make sure you get the timing right. The entire wall on one side of the sauna is a window and beach chairs are provided to see outside more easily.
■Address : 7353, Iljuseo-ro, Jeju-si
■Contact : 064-713-2001
■Hours : 06:00-21: 00 (Closed in the last week of each month)
5. Hangyeong Hanaro Mart Bath: Join the Membership
▲Hangyeong Hanaro Mart Bath
This is a bathhouse operated by Hangyeong Nonghyup. If you join their membership, you can enter twice a day, and if a married couple registers together, there is a discount. The staff in the Nonghyup uniform will instruct you from the counter and hand you a green towel. The women’s bath has a hot water bath with a massage function, a lukewarm bath with bubbles, cold waterfalls, and a sauna. The men's bath also has a special barbershop. Because you can buy bath supplies at Hanaro Mart right next door, all you need to buy are disposable toothbrushes. On Tuesdays, seniors aged 75 and older can enjoy bathing for free.
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