Wednesday, January 5, 2011

For the Tired and Weary traveller: The South Korean Jim-jil-bang

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When travelling anywhere abroad, many travellers look to stuff their itinerary with as many sightseeing activities as possible.  Events, festivals, attractions, and local food stands out as a focus among many travellers, with relaxation often overlooked entirely.  While it is easy to adhere to a schedule and get quite a bit done, when things don’t go as planned, tensions run high, and bodies get tired, it can be difficult to adhere to this schedule comfortably.  For the tired and weary traveller, the South Korean Jim-jil-bang is an excellent stop to relax before heading to sleep.

What is a Jim-jil-bang?

Jim-jil bang
First and foremost, it is important to understand that Jim-jil-bang refers to a specific type of facility, rather than a single attraction.  A Jim-jil-bang is a large, gender-segregated South Korean public bathhouse.  These locations come complete with showers, hot tubs, Finnish-style saunas, as well as massage tables in certain locations.  In most locations, the Jim-jil-bang refers to this specific room (or “bang” in Korean), with several other rooms attached.  These areas typically have snack bars, ondol-heated floor, lounges for relaxation or sleeping, as well as other rooms for either viewing movies, playing games (known as a PC Bang or PC room), and karaoke rooms called Noraebang.  These locations are typically open 24 hours, and offer a relaxing experience, as well an inexpensive alternative to traditional hotel rooms.

Selecting a Jim-jil-bang

While many of these facilities offer similar services, they are not entirely alike.  Many focus on similar aspects, but offer different food and drink menus, different bathing facilities, and may have other rooms omitted entirely.  When selecting a Jim-jil-bang, it’s important for travellers to consider which features are most important to them, as well as what locations are close to the next day’s destination.

The Key to a Relaxing Stay :) 

Jim-jil bang
While it is safe to say that few travellers visit South Korea specifically to spend time at a Jim-jil-bang, along with excellent planning, a Jim-jil-bang can make any trip much more enjoyable and relaxing.  While there’s no need to book a stay at a Jim-jil-bang in advance, it’s still an excellent idea to plan your other travel activities well in advance.

Those interested in a more complete, more customized trip to South Korea, such as travellers searching for Asia honeymoons, should make sure that they research the area carefully and choose well known travel agents specialising in Asia Tours.  Be sure to specifically mention Jim-jil-bangs as your preferred lodging method, and their agents will be sure to find a good match.

All in all, picking your flight and planning your trip well may be frustrating at first, but preparation truly is the key to a relaxing trip for those who fly to South Korea.  Combine planning with a relaxing evening at a Jim-jil-bang, and no traveller can go wrong. So, do not miss Jim-jil-bang in your South Korea trip and include it in your travel list.

Please feel free to leave any your thought here! Thanks! :) 

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  1. The concept of Jimjilbang is amazing!

  2. dear lex,

    i'm planning to visit seoul this october n the flight may be arrived at night

    i read in zarina's blog that suggest to stay in jimjilbang to save budget

    as air asia will be landed at incheon airport, do u know where is the nearest jimjilbang that we can go?


  3. Yeah!

    The concept is amazing!

    Yeah! right! it will save some buck to stay in Jimjilbang.

    You can sleep in the basement jimjjilbang at the Airport around W10,000. Open 24/7.

    Welcome to Korea soon!

  4. woah!! thanks for sharing. been seeing lots of these places in K-drama but never know that they welcome foreigners to these places as well. must try when in in Seoul then.
    p.s. will be in Seoul next week; do you have any recommendations on things to do?? will be staying at either Itaewon or Myeongdong though.

  5. Hi LeX,

    the spa in incheon airport.. is it spa on air?

  6. The concept is good and it is amazing.

  7. Hi Lex,

    i think it wold be good if u had posted some places where the tourist can consider when they visit korea.
    because i can see a number of posts (including me) are going to visit korea soon and we definity want to try our experience in this traditional bath house.

    i hope u have some reccomendations near the town part where we can consider. i will be a great help of us. thanks!!

  8. Hi! thanks for the suggestion!

    If anyone of you got a chance to visit Korea, you can go for Dragon Hill Jim-jil-bang in Yongsan or Mokdong at Omokgyo Subway station exit 7!

    I hope you all enjoy the feeling in Jim-jil-bang :)

  9. i went to Dragon Hill for my first ever jimjilbang experience when I was in Seoul last February...
    I love it so much...
    I wish I'm staying in Seoul so that i can have friends gathering even date in jimjilbang... great concept..
    sauna, pc bang, norae bang... i can stay there for a whole day

  10. Hi SK,

    I hope you will have another chance to experience the relaxation again :)

    you know about Mud festival? I might like it as well :)

  11. hi thanks for this great idea. can you recommend a jimjibang in busan? pls give the name and way to contact it. also do we need to reserve? what about our luggage? thanks a lot!

  12. Hi Malyn,

    My recommendation ^_^

    Daeha Ga-jok Gungang Land
    Contact: +82-51-702-0041~2

    Beach Leisure-Tel Jjimjilbang

    Haeundae Oncheon Center

    Vesta Sauna & Resort

    - No reservation needed
    - For backpack I think it almost fit but not for the Huge one! Most of the locker in JimJilBang is like this

    Here is it! welcome to Busan soon! Wish you spend a great time there :)

  13. hi lex, thanks so much for these suggestions!! it's great no reservations are needed. will take note of the locker space :)

    also i am coming to incheon from kl via air asia to meet my friend who is in busan for a conference. i arrive early in the morning in incheon. i want to take the chance to see a site or two in seoul though before i go to busan in the late afternoon via ktx. is there a left luggage facility in the seoul train station which will let me to go around seoul in relative comfort? also it looks to me that the station for ktx and the station where i will get off coming from the incheon airport express is the same? your advice is much appreciated. thanks a lot again!

  14. Ooh, this is really exciting! I'd love to stay in one of these. Any idea whether foreigners with tattoos are allowed? (Here in Japan, it's a no-no.)

  15. Hi An,

    I think probably people with tattoos are allowed. Hope to can come to experience this kind of relaxation soon!

    Hi Malyn,

    You can leave your luggages in Seoul Station, there are electronic lockers with various size in the station.

    If you want to visit Seoul, this best way is to take Subway to Seoul station from Incheon Airport.

    After you completed the visit in Seoul then you could take KTX to Busan :)

    Hope you enjoy your trip in Korea!

    Cheer for 2012! ^_^

  16. haloo..

    how much does it cost? is it expensive?
    as a college student am afraid that run out of money while stayed in korea if i spent night in such a luxurious place as it.

  17. Hi Pravitra,

    The price for Jim-Jil-Bang is not expensive and worth for a try and prefect place to relax!

    In Dragon Hill Spa, Seoul:
    Daytime (05:00-20:00) - Adults 10,000 won / Children 6,000 won
    * Nighttime (20:00-05:00) - Adults 12,000 won / Children 6,000 won

    For other Jimjilbang usually cost about 6000won to 12000won.

    So don't worry, the price is reasonable.

    Hope you enjoy the Korean spa! ;)

  18. What a great thing to know about if you're planning a trip to Korea. Thanks!

  19. This is terrifically helpful. I am sure all eager travelers like me need some relaxation after a whole day of roaming around.