If nothing we have previously posted has convinced you that you should drop everything and move to Korea, you should purchase your plane tickets now…
While holding down the fort at Youngsan University’s Winter English Camp in Busan, we decided to spend our off time winding down from the hectic camp schedule. What better place to do that, than a place called Spa Land. For about ten U.S. dollars, your mind and body can find total relaxation for four glorious hours.
When entering the place that I feel is modeled after Heaven, you will encounter peaceful water flowing over a long stretching wall to greet you. A quick ride up the escalator will bring you to a shoe depository. You are given a number, lock your shoes in a corresponding locker and receive a key/bracelet that will double as a credit card if you need to purchase anything while inside the spa. Next, you are handed a comfy t-shirt and shorts, maroon and charcoal for women, beige and brown for men. At this point, men and women are sent to separate locker rooms which also lead to a traditional Korean bath house for each gender. There are two things you notice as you enter the locker room, the smell of warm chlorine… and a lot of naked people. Modesty is apparently non-existent here. Not one for public nudity myself, I wandered into the (clothed) co-ed areas to take a look around. I bumped into my husband, already decked out in his Spa Land uniform, who was also out exploring. We decided forgo letting naked Koreans bathe us, and just stick together in the common areas.
First things first, we ventured out into the cold outside air, (warm jackets provided) for the hot mineral footbaths located just outside the main area of the spa. The stark contrast in the chilly outdoor temperatures and those of the intensely hot footbaths provided some interesting sensations. Once inside again, we decided to try our luck with some of the many saunas placed all around the maze of this complex. Outside each door is an explanation of what mineral or otherwise healthy aspects to expect inside the room. At first, we tried staying in each room for a total of 20 minutes, but eventually, the exhausting 68 degree celsius temperatures would get the better of us and we would abandon to one of the cool down rooms. Each sauna has a different temperature and certain unique and very interesting elements. Some examples include a charcoal room, a salt room, a pyramid room and of course a traditional steam room, among many others. Even in our full four hour stay, we did not have enough time to visit them all.
There are many places to relax and even just catch some sleep if you so desire. There are several restaurants and snack bars (where you get to use your handy key/credit card) and even DVD rooms where you can watch the latest (mostly Korean) blockbusters from the comfort of a full recliner.
One of the things that struck me most, was how much it felt like Summertime! We were walking around in soft t-shirts and shorts, with no shoes and felt completely warm and comfortable, while outside temperatures plunged below freezing. Complete with palm trees, umbrellas and small ponds around every turn, we were certain we had landed ourselves on a tropical island.
We couldn’t believe how fast time slipped by and all too soon we needed to give up our compound uniforms and head back out into reality. I asked Griffin if we could live there, but he said they closed at midnight. Too bad.
I don’t know when we will go back, but I assure you we will!
So, when can we pick you up at the airport?