CAMP HUMPHREY'S JJIMJILBANG
A jjimjilbang is typically a gender-segregated public bathhouse in Korea, furnished with hot tubs, showers, saunas, and massage tables. In this case, this jjimjilbang in Pyeongtaek is a large, gender-neutral public sauna house furnished with a variety of saunas, and gender-segregated bathrooms. Jjimjil is derived from the words meaning heating. This jjimjilbang is open 24 hours.
There are many benefits of saunas, in fact, it is considered a natural remedy for some. Saunas aid in flushing toxin through sweating. It can help loose weight; as the heart rate increases due to the dry heat, it would speed up the metabolism. Scientific calibrations suggest that a 20 minute session at around 170 degrees Fahrenheit burns over 500 calories. It can strengthen the immune system by helping produce white blood cells. They promote social interaction with locals. I met a few Koreans there that worked at Camp Humphreys. They also help increase heat tolerance, leading to improvements in endurance sports. They apparently make your hair look better, by releasing a special gland called the sebaceous gland in our scalp. They help you to recover quicker from a workout, by helping the blood flow. It also helps people look younger by improving blood flow in our skin, removing all the dead cells built up on our bodies and mobilizing the natural oils in our skin.
According to Times Magazine, people who regularly used saunas had lower rates of hypertension, cardiac death and dementia...[having] a direct effect on blood pressure, heart rate and vascular health.
And also, why not?
24 hours a day!
A one time entry fee is KRW ₩8,000.
To rent a towel and the outfit (highly recommend), it is an additional ₩2,000. Making it ₩10,000 total for one visit, which is USD $9.30.
A pass for 10 visits is ₩75,000; 20 visits is ₩144,000; and 50 visits is ₩350,000.
They will give you a locker and key for free, and I recommend bringing shampoo, conditioner, soap, and flip flops to shower afterwards.
They will provide sandals for you to walk around in for free as well.
And yes, they do take credit card.
This jjimjilbang is located 25-30 minutes North West of Camp Humphreys.
The address is as follows:
See image below for the building you will be looking for. There is parking in the parking lot or on the side of the road. As you can see, this place is not very English friendly, meaning everything is mostly in Korea. I ran into a lot of customers who spoke English though, since it is close to Camp Humphreys, so someone should be able to help you if you have a question. Also meaning, this place doesn't have an English name so it can be really hard to find on Waze or Google Maps. Type in the address above into a GPS app, I used Google Maps and it worked well.
Step 1: Pay
You will approach the desk, and pay upfront ₩10,000 for admission, an outfit, and a towel. The lady will hand you a wrist band, with a locker number on it, and a key to the locker.
Step 2: Shoes off
You can store your shoes down here, or carry them up with you and store them in your locker. Do not wear shoes or sandals up the stairs into the locker room.
Step 3: Change
Go upstairs to the locker rooms, they will be labeled Men and Women in English. The bathrooms are located downstairs. Change into your amazing new outfit, and people typically bring their towels with them downstairs to cover their faces and backs from the heat. If you would like to keep your socks on, that is okay too. I went sans towel, and sans socks. You can shower before, after, or before AND after the sauna. Some people took their phones with them, but they say the saunas harm cell phones. Just don't take your cell phone into a super hot sauna.
Step 4: Go to the saunas
Go back downstairs. Put on some of the sandals that are at the bottom of the stairs. You will turn left at the bottom of the stairs, and walk through the restaurant, all the way to the end of the building, and through a door. The door will lead outside into a walkway (see above image). Follow this path to the saunas.
Now pick whichever one you want! But leave your sandals outside the mud hut. There is one sauna WAY hotter than the others. There are a few that are very comfortable temperatures. And there is one with a fire pit in the middle of the hut that is the perfect hot sauna temperature. This one is typically harder to get a seat in. Only about 12 people can fit around the fire pit comfortably. For the really hot one, there's wooden sandals outside of it, wear those in there.
Step 5: Have a good day!
When you are finished at the sauna, you will go back upstairs to shower. Again, bring your own shampoo and soaps! They have communal soap, but where I saw other people putting that soap, I thought it was best not use it. They do have hair dryers and lotion in the women's locker room. And once you are finished with your towels and garments, just place them in the basket next to the showers.
Once you are finished showering and getting dress, you will return your wristband with your locker key to the front desk.
Hope you enjoy your jjimjilbang experience!