Photography by Jeanette Kramer

Hurshimchung: scrubbed, salted, scalded and steamed

~photography not permitted beyond this point~

Having been to Korea dozens of times for business, I was beginning to get bored with the country when a friend of mine encouraged me to see Korea with different eyes and to do something that I hadn’t done before.

A day after arriving in Busan, jet-lagged and tired from a full day’s work I was craving a massage. I googled around and came across Hurshimchung (허심청), Asia’s largest natural hot spring spa at the Nongshim Hotel. Wow. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard about this sooner. I instantly knew that this is what I needed to relieve my fatigue and give me that chance to check out something new in Korea.

I promptly headed to the spaland and prepared to bare it all for the other women of Korea. Hurshimchung is a gender-segregated water park with indoor and outdoor tubs as hot as 56 degree celsius, some scented with herbs and fruit, including waterfalls, caves, saunas and swimming pools. Over the course of a couple of hours, I was scrubbed, salted, scalded and steamed. Clothing not permitted, I definitely saw Korea with new eyes and Korea definitely saw me like never before.

Hurshimchung can accommodate up to 3000 bathers in it’s 4300 square metre complex and is renowned in Asia as the largest natural hot spring spa and a top tourist attraction. That being said, I was very obviously the only tourist there. Nevermind. It was a fabulous, cost-conscious experience at only 8000 (or approximately $8.00 CAD) for entry and another ₩40,000 (or $40 CAD) for the facial, full-body exfoliation and massage. Not exactly for the prudish but certainly a therapeutic and relaxing experience, it is one of my new top recommendations for Korea.

I’ll be back.

1 Comment
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