Indulging in Korea's Finest Hot Springs

      January 01, 2011 10:34

      Paradise Spa Dogo in Asan, South Chungcheong Province

      The health benefits of bathing in hot springs have long been touted. Legend has it that a king of the Shilla Dynasty during the Three Kingdoms Period (57 BC-668) visited Dogo Hot Springs, said to be the oldest in Korea, to bathe his battle wounds and was able to regain his health.

      Korea is home to many hot springs, where water bubbles to the surface at temperatures of over 25 degrees Celsius. Those thinking of taking a hot dip this winter should consider some of these excellent choices.

      ◆ Gyeonggi Province

      The best-known hot springs in Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul are in Pocheon and Icheon. Around 10 different hot springs spas can be found in Pocheon, which has seen rapid development since the mid-1990s. The hot springs in this area are famous for their sulfur content.

      ◆ South Chungcheong Province

      South Chungcheong Province is home to the oldest hot springs in the country, dating back some 1,300 years ago, with top water quality. The best-known are in Yuseong, Onyang and Asan. The source of the water in Yuseong is located some 300 m below the surface in a fissure within a granite layer of the earth's crust. It is an alkaline radium spring that is said to be good for curing ailments in women as well as neuralgia.

      ◆ North Chungcheong Province

      The most well-known hot springs region in North Chungcheong Provicne is Suanbo in Chungju, where the springs have been used for a thousand years. Popular tourist destinations such as Mt. Songni and Worak, Lake Chungju and the Cheongpung Cultural Properties Complex are located nearby.

      ◆ South Jeolla Province

      South Jeolla Province is famous for its super-sized hot spring resorts. Jiri Mountain Hot Springs can accommodate 3,000 people, while the Damyang Hot Springs Resort, a theme park that opened recently, boasts the largest facility in the province and is a popular destination for family vacationers. Hwasun Hot Springs has good lodging facilities and is recommended as a great starting point for touring the province.

      Damyang Hot Springs Resort in South Jeolla Province

      ◆ Gangwon Province

      Hot springs in Gangwon Province are located around Mt. Sorak. The best known resort in the region is Sorak Waterpia, which offers a wide variety of hot spring pools as well as recreational facilities and swimming pools for children. It is recommended as part of any tour itinerary to the mountainous province.

      ◆ South Gyeongsang Province

      Hot spring resorts have a long history in South Gyeongsang Province. A good example is Bugok Hawaii hot springs in Changnyeong, which was built in 1973 and offers a variety of facilities. Hurshimchung Spa in Busan opened in 1991 on a 4,290 sq.m site and offers around 40 types of hot spring pools. Outdoor hot spring pools at the Paradise Hotel in Busan are known for their outstanding views of the ocean.

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