Spaland Shinsegae Busan: South Korea's Fancy Public Bathhouse
South Korea is known for many things: the food, the music, and pretty much anything that is beauty related. Apart from their rigorous skincare routine, Koreans also like to relax in traditional baths that are known to increase beauty and even relieve pain. I think this is why Spaland in Shinsegae Centum City Mall is popular among tourists and locals alike because it offers 18 types of traditional/unique baths and saunas that will surely accommodate everyone’s spa preference and it is an urban resort-type hot spring conveniently located in the city, inside the largest department store in Busan.
I was invited by the Korean Tourism Organization, in partnership with Philippine Airlines, to visit South Korea a couple of weeks ago and one of the activities in our itinerary is to visit Spaland. Spaland is a gender-segregated public bathhouse — commonly called Jimjilbang by the locals — that offers various spas, saunas, and baths.
How To Enter
The first thing you need to do is to purchase the admission ticket. The ticket officer will give you a ticket containing your locker number. Take the escalator, take your shoes off, and place it inside the shoe closet matching your locket number. Take the key bracelet because you will need this to enter the Spaland premise and to open your locker inside the changing room. After passing through the gate, you will receive the sauna clothes from the counter and then proceed to the changing room. Don’t be surprised but the changing room is going to be full of naked people. If you are too shy to undress, you can change in the bathroom or in some empty corner.
At this point, you may choose to stay in the hot spring baths or visit the sauna/steam area. I decided not to go to the hot springs baths since our tour guide only gave us an hour and a half to explore the area. But if you have the time, I highly encourage you to try the hot spring because it has two types of ingredients that have beneficiary effects: sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride. The latter has the effects of promoting blood circulation and mitigating pain.
At the sauna/steam area, you’ll find different rooms with various temperatures. Guests can also enjoy an outdoor foot bath, in case they feel like sitting outside the cold. The second level of Spaland is the Entertainment Zone where guests can relax, try various aesthetic programs, or eat in case they get hungry.
The whole place is Instagram-worth but I tried my best to take photos of the place to give you an idea what to expect. Naturally, I didn’t take photos of the hot spring out of respect for the naked guests who are trying to relax in this urban oasis.
Admission and Hours
Opening Hours: 06:00 - 24:00 (6AM until 12MN)
Adults: Weekdays 15,000 won / Weekends & National Holidays 18,000 won
Students: Weekdays 12,000 won / Weekends & National Holidays 15,000 won
Early-visit ticket & Nighttime Ticket: Weekdays 10,000 won / Weekends & National Holidays 13,000 won