A Trip to the Hot Springs in Gyeonggi-do
Out of Korea’s four distinct seasons, spring and fall are the best times to travel because the weather is perfect. During summer’s sweltering temperatures and winter’s freezing conditions, people tend to look for destinations where they can enjoy indoor activities.
November ushers Korea into the winter. The late autumn foliage still fascinates as it shows off a wide spectrum of bright colors, but the air gets chilly in the morning and evening, causing people to bundle up in warm coats and pull up their collars. With the cold winter looming just around the corner, when travelling is not as easy as it is in the spring and fall, if you are looking for a winter destination, a trip to a hot spring can be a good idea. Soaking yourself in hot spring water can make you feel warm and relaxed.
Hot spring water is known to have many health benefits. When in it, the heat from the spring water increases the metabolism and detoxifies your body, thereby relieving muscular fatigue and pain. The chemical ingredients in the hot spring waters are known to have a host of therapeutic effects. For example, drinking sodium bicarbonate saline spring water is good for relieving stomach problems and sulfur spring water is good for boosting the circulatory system (e.g., arteriosclerosis and strokes) because it expands the blood vessels. Salt hot springs, carbonate hot springs, and alkaline hot springs all have added effects for relieving skin troubles.
There is nothing like soaking in a hot spring if you want to de-stress and unwind. You can easily find hot springs that are known for high-quality spring waters in Gyeonggi-do. Below are a few hot springs that can be easily reached from Seoul.
★ Hapy Land [Hwaseong]
The name Hapy Land has a double meaning: It refers to the ‘Happy Area’ in Yuram-ri, Paltan-myeon in Hwaseong-si. “Hapy” is also the Egyptian god of the Nile and a symbol of fertility. The building’s exterior is decorated in an Egyptian style. Hapy Land is famous for its natural alkaline hot spring water with a pH of 9.49 and contains sodium bicarbonate (Na-HCo3). The water is drawn from 800 meters underground. Rich in calcium, potassium, iron, and bicarbonate, the spring water is known to have therapeutic effects for neuralgia, arthritis, rheumatism, gynecopathy, bad blood circulation, skin troubles, and muscular pains. It’s also known to relieve chronic fatigue and stress.
The indoor waterpark at Hapy Land is ideal for families and their children because it has facilities like a body slide and a kids’ pool. The hot spring facilities also include a hot spring sauna, a Korean-style dry sauna, and a bulgama (Korean-style fire-heated sauna). Hapy Land is a multi-purpose destination where you can enjoy not only the hot spa but also other facilities including an herb garden, a camping site, and hands-on experiential areas.
Address: 888, Sicheong-ro Paltan-myeon, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do
If you use public transportation, take the bus No. 32 at Suwon Station, transfer to the bus No. 11-1 at Hwaseong Middle and High School, and get off at Hapy Land.
★ Yulam Hot Springs Charcoal Sauna Theme Park [Hwaseong]
If you are looking for a hot spring located in Gyeonggi-do, where prices are reasonable and the water is high quality, Yulam Hot Springs Charcoal Sauna Theme Park is highly recommended. It is the closest hot spring from the Gangnam area, and it takes only about 40 minutes if departing from Gwacheon. There is a cluster of hot springs in Jangan-myeon and Paltan-myeon in Hwaseong, and Yulam Hot Springs is the first officially licensed hot spring in the area.
The spring water is alkaline with a pH of 9.46, causing the water to feel smooth and silky. It also generates more bubbles than regular water and makes your skin feel firmer. Your skin will feel smooth and soft after soaking in this water, even without applying moisturizer. Particularly noteworthy is that all of the tubs, saunas, and outdoor tubs are made of natural jade.
Yulam hot spring water is known to have therapeutic effects for allergic dermatitis, neuralgia, arthritis, gynecopathy, bad blood circulation, chronic fatigue, stress, and neurogenic conditions. Many people are believed to have alleviated atopic dermatitis and allergic dermatitis after soaking in the spring water.
[Yulam Hot Springs Charcoal Sauna Theme Park]
Address: 842-8, Yuram-ri, Paltan-myeon, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do
If you use public transportation, take the inter-city bus No. 8472 at Suwon Station, transfer to bus No. 10-3 at Zero Mart, and get off at Yulam Hot Springs.
★ Sinbuk Resort [Pocheon]
Sinbuk Resort, which is famous for its extraordinary outdoor spa, is popular all year round, because the water is known to have superior health benefits. The spring water drawn from 600 meters underground is alkaline and is rich in sodium bicarbonate. The water feels exceptionally smooth on the skin and has excellent moisturizing and soothing effects. The water park within the resort spans over 16,528 m2, the largest in the metropolitan area. The water park is open all year around and has a variety of facilities including water slides, spa services, outdoor hot spring tubs, dry and wet saunas, red clay rooms, and iced rooms.
The resort also has an indoor swimming pool and sauna, and includes convenient accommodations, making it an ideal destination for a family trip. The outdoor hot spring tubs are surrounded by mountains, making it ideal for guests to enjoy the great views and fresh air.
Address: 635-3, Deokdun-ri, Sinbuk-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
If you use public transportation, take the bus No. 39-2 bound for Pocheonchung at Uijeongbu Subway Station on Line No. 1 and get off at Spring Mall.
★ Termeden [Icheon]
Termeden is the first German-style hot spa resort that opened in Korea. The name Termeden is a combination of Terme meaning “hot spring” and Eden. Modeled after a German-style hot spring that is surrounded by a forest, Termeden is also enclosed by dense trees.
The circular Bade pool, which is the largest in Asia, is equipped with over ten hydrotherapy and massage facilities. Guests can enjoy the experiences of both bathing and swimming in the pool. In addition, the spa includes a pool for infants and toddlers, and other themed tubs, as well as an artificial UV room where guests can tan regardless of the season and weather, as well as a sauna. You can have fun while enjoying the various hot spa pools outdoors.
The natural alkaline hot spring water, which averages 40 degrees Celsius, is known to be the most effective for relieving fatigue and stress, as well as for boosting the skin’s health.
Termeden is ideal for a family trip because of its range of options in accommodations, including a hanok stay (traditional Korean-style houses) and caravan camping. Available in the vicinity of Termeden, these accommodations provide scenic views for guests to enjoy.
Address: 988, Sasil-ro Moga-myeon, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
If you use public transportation, take the express bus bound for Termeden at Dongseoul Bus Terminal (Gangbyeon Subway Station) that runs at 9:20 and 10:40 every morning, Monday through Sunday. The bus will take you straight to Termeden.
★ Spa Plus [Icheon]
The hot springs in Icheon became famous after a farmer was cured of his eye disease with the hot spring water from his rice paddy about 100 years ago. The hot spring is known to be particularly effective for chronic eczema and other skin troubles because the water is rich in sodium, as well as in other minerals including calcium chloride, calcium carbonate, and magnesium.
The entire facility has been recently renovated and redesigned to be more upscale and modern. In addition to the grand hot tub, Spa Plus has an outdoor tub, and other specialized tubs such as the pyroligneous acid tub, the cheongju (refined rice wine) tub, and an oriental herb tub where guests can soak in a natural hot spring in a deep valley. Spa Plus is a complex that offers a variety of facilities including a water park, an indoor swimming pool, a medicinal water zone and a sauna.
Address: 408-1, Anheung-dong, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
If you use public transportation, take an express bus at Gangnam Terminal, Dongseoul Bus Terminal, or Suwon Bus Terminal bound for Icheon Bus Terminal. It takes about ten minutes on foot to reach Spa Plus from Icheon Bus Terminal.1