Gangwon-do, Sokcho – Cheoksan Hot Springs

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Guest Reviewer: Cami

Cheoksan Hot Springs – English Site

Guest Reviewer: Cami

This is a hot springs
outside of Seoraksan National Park located in the basement of a hotel with the
same name. There is no jjimjilbang – only the segregated hot springs baths – so
you get only towels and not jjimjilbang clothes.

The locker rooms are the
standard and there are some snacks and drinks available but no restaurant since
there’s one upstairs in the hotel. There is a skin-scrubbing area inside the
baths, but no massages or other services unless perhaps they are somewhere
else. 
Inside the baths, there
is a large seated shower area but only a few standing showers. The water is
nice; it is easy to tell the difference between “regular” water and
hot springs water once you’ve been to a few saunas and hot springs. There is a
hot bath, a hinoki bath, some massage baths, a warm/kids bath, a cold bath and
a cold waterfall bath, a steam room, some saunas and a small heated floor area
to rest. It’s clean, and the water is really nice feeling! However, there is
not a lot to do here except soak, so this is not an all-day type destination
like a big jjimjilbang would be. There are also not likely to be many, or any,
foreigners, at this place. It was only us when we went. 

*I visited this sauna with 4
girls, ages 8-13, my daughters and 2 friends. All have been to Korean saunas
before and are very well-behaved children. I would *not* recommend this place
with children, unless you are Korean, as we had the only bad sauna experience
we’ve ever had here. It started when we came in, the attendant in the locker
room pointed to a sign (in English) that said this was an “Oriental
bath”, and no clothes were worn. I assured her (in Korean) that we already
knew and had visited many spas before. She looked dubious and, frankly, grouchy
as hell. We went into the baths, and showered, and there was a sign to put up
our hair (in Korean), so we all did so before getting in the baths. The girls
spent most of their time in the warm bath in the corner, playing and floating
together. There were a number of Korean children in this bath, including 2
little girls with long, long hair not put up at all. One of my daughters’ hair
started to fall out of the bun it was in, into a pony tail, and the locker room
attendant came in and yelled at us! All while the little girls with
waist-length hair were playing right there next to her, in the same tub. Then
later my girls and their 2 friends were playing with the white plastic buckets,
floating them in the warm pool back and forth. Right next to them, Korean
children had the same white buckets and were filling them and dumping them over
the side (my girls were doing this too at first but I made them stop as it
wastes water). Locker lady comes storming in again, takes their buckets away, and
says nothing to the Korean children running past her, hair flying, with buckets
of water. At that point, I was done- we had been there maybe 2 hours and the
locker attendant spent most of that time peering in the doors at us, standing
next to whatever tub we were in staring at us, it was very unpleasant. I don’t
know if she’s had bad experiences with foreigners before or what, but it really
soured me on this place. 

To get here: From Sokcho intercity bus terminal, you could just take a taxi. If you say Seokcho Oncheon, it will be around 5,000 won, about 6 km/15 min.
By city bus is a little trickier from the bus terminal – it’s best if you are on the north side of Sokcho, near City Hall.  The link below for Korea wikia on this area states that you can take bus 3 or 3-1 from Sokcho. I found info on both #3 and 3-1, which pass by the Sokcho Ferry Terminal/East Sea port, City Hall, and Dongwoo University on their way to the Cheoksan Hot Springs.

강원 속초시 노학동
Gangwon-do, Sokcho-si, Nohak-dong
033-636-4222
Open 5:30 am ~ 9:00 pm *NOT 24 hours!

Wikimapia of Cheoksan Hot Springs*
Very few details are available for this listing yet, and the satellite image is a terrible, cloudy one so far. Let’s hope a new one will be available sometime soon!

Some additional links to keep you busy:
Travelguide South Korea – post on Sokcho Beach Area
Korea’s Wikia on Two Cheoksan Area Hot Springs




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