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October 6, 2009

A Guide to Korean Women’s Beauty Secrets Part.2: Jjimjilbang

Adapted from KTO (Korea Tourism Org)
A Unique Korean Beauty Experience

A visit to the jjimjilbang should feature on the itinerary of every visitor to Korea. Simply put, it is a Korean-style large-scale sauna or spa. The jjimjilbang contains various kinds of different rooms, which are heated to 40-80 degrees Celsius. These sauna rooms are all made from different materials, such as yellow earth, minerals, precious stones, and salt. As you sweat, toxins and wastes from the body are released, and good energy and minerals from these rooms are absorbed. Jjimjilbangs generally contain public baths as well. Here visitors can soak in hot tubs that often contain various natural ingredients such as green tea or ginseng. Consequently, those who care about the beauty of their skin flock to the jimjilbang. However, this is not just a place for beauty. With a variety of entertainment facilities, jjimjilbangs are favorite destinations for families to relax and spend time together. They are open 24 hours a day and are thus used as overnight lodging as well. Still a little confused as to what a jjimjilbang is? Then, read on for more information.

How to use a Jjimjilbang



① Check in at the front desk: Pay up front and get a towel, a T-shirt and shorts, and a locker key.
② Change clothes: Pay up front and get a towel, a T-shirt and shorts, and a locker key.
③ Enjoy the facilities: A jjimjilbang consists of a main hall for relaxation and a number of sauna rooms surrounding the hall. You can sweat for about 5 minutes in a sauna room and come out to rest in the main hall before trying out a different kind of sauna room. Usually, a restaurant, snack bar, nail salon, spa, and a fitness facility are also available at the Jjimjilbang for an added fee.
④ Check-out: If you take advantage of any extra options in addition to the basic facilities, you can pay for them when checking out.

★★Experience!! Jjimjilbang>> Dragon Hill Spa
Make your way along the tree-lined Winter Sonata walkway and enter this fabulous complex. Located across from Yongsan KTX station, the Dragon Hill Spa is an expansive jjimjilbang complex that’s spread over 7 floors and includes a rooftop terrace. Various facilities are available, including a traditional charcoal sauna and many different themed sauna rooms, open-air baths, a swimming pool, and a fitness facility. Best of all, the entrance fee of 10,000 won covers all facilities and there are no additional charges. Basic admission is for up to 12 hours, but when you see all the different facilities available in this jjimjilbang, you might feel that a day is just not enough.

Have the Ultimate Jjimjilbang Experience at the Dragon Hill Spa!
Traditional Charcoal Oven
Negatively charged ions and far infrared rays released from the charcoal help enhance the blood circulation and metabolism.



Pine Tree Firewood Sweat Room
This room helps the body release toxins.



Crystal Light Salt Room
Lie on the floor covered with salt that has been purified by hours of heating. The salt is believed to have natural healing effects.



Hinoki Forest Bath Room
This room supplies clean oxygen for relaxation. As you rest in this room made from cypress (Hinoki) wood, you will feel as if you are in a forest. Make sure to stop here to refresh yourself after sweating in a high-temperature room.



Yellow Earth Pyramid Room
In addition to the far infrared rays released from the yellow earth, the pyramid-shaped room is said to exude vitality enhancing energy.



Natural Jade Energy Room
Far infrared rays released from jade are particularly good for patients and those people who want to take care of their skin. The temperature is above 50 degrees Celcius, so take care not to overdo it.



Ice Room
The chilly temperature helps blood vessels and skin to regain their normal size and elasticity after spending time in the hot sauna rooms.



Each room has a thermometer, so you can find the right sauna room for your body constitution.



Since it appeared in the TV drama My Lovely Samsoon, the sheep ears towel hat has become an instant hit, and is now universally worn at jjimjilbangs.



Shaved ice patbingsu or cold beer are refreshing after sweating in the sauna rooms. Just don't get too carried away and undo all the beauty benefits you got from the sauna rooms.



The bracelet key is your virtual cash for using those facilities that require an extra fee. You can settle the payment when checking out.



☞ Location: Subway Line 1, Yongsan station / Exit Yongsan station plaza and Dragon Hill spa is on the right.
☞ Tel: 02-792-0001
☞ Hours: 24 hours
☞ Official site: www.dragonhillspa.co.kr
☞ Prices: Daytime (05:00-20:00) 10,000 won, Night-time (20:00-05:00) 12,000 won (for adults) (Price does not include auxiliary services such as dining facilities, massages, etc)
☞ Nearby tourist attractions: N Seoul Tower / National Museum of Korea



Sealala Spa & Water Park

Located in Yeongdeungpo-gu in Seoul, Sealala Spa is a large spa and water park facility in the heart of a bustling commercial district. It has an impressive interior reminiscent of Santorini, Greece. Sealala has both high-temperature and low-temperature sauna rooms, offering more choices for visitors unfamiliar with jjimjilbangs. It uses the highest quality charcoal, salt, yellow earth, and aromatic plants that are beneficial for your health. You’ll feel like you are basking in nature. You can also have fun on Sealala Spa’s water slides and wave pools.

☞ Location: Subway Line 2, Mullae station, Exit 4 → Walk 300 meters to the east → LOOX building, 2nd Basement level [See a Map]
☞ Tel: 02-2628-9000
☞ Hours: 24 hours
☞ Official site: www.sealala.com
☞ Price: Weekdays: Daytime (05:00-21:00) 8,000 won, night-time (21:00-05:00) 10,000 won (adults)
Weekends: Daytime (05:00-19:00) 8,000 won, night-time (19:00-05:00) 10,000 won (adults)
(Price based on high season 07/18-08/23, rental of jjimjilbang clothes 1,000 won)


Beauty tips when visiting a Jjimjilbang


① Whenever necessary, use a cold, wet towel to soothe and moisturize the skin.
② When thirsty, drink water instead of other beverages.
③ Scrubbing salt on the body helps eliminate toxins faster, resulting in smooth skin.
④ Facial pores will open after sweating, so try a mask pack to rapidly soothe and moisturize.

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