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All about Hot Springs in Korea! Updated: 2011-12-08 00:00:00 KST

As winter has arrived in Korea, most people start thinking of a place that guarantees health benefits and relaxation. And that place is none other than hot springs.

[Interview : ] "When I'm cold, I think of hot springs."

[Interview : ] "It's a good idea to warm yourself up in a place like this when it’s cold."

[Interview : ] "Hot springs are the ideal place during winter!"

There are records of the benefits of hot springs in the Donguibogam [동의보감], Korea's historic medical reference.

Heo Jun, the author of the Donguibogam and the royal physician of King Seonjo, wrote that hot springs help with muscle pain, limb paralysis, a variety of skin disorders, and other ailments.

[Interview : ] "Hot springs provide its effects through three ways. The first is through the minerals, which create chemical reactions. The second is through the heat in the hot spring. The third is through the pressure found in the spring itself. These are the three methods altogether."

Korean hot springs have a variety of effects based on the origin of the spring, such as simple, carbonic acid, or seawater springs.

[Interview : Lee Deok-beom, Hot springs facility manager] "Hot springs in Korea have different properties based on those found in the bedrock of the springs. Springs that do not have such properties and only feature hot water are called simple springs. Hot springs can be categorized into three general groups, sulfuric springs, carbonic acid springs and seawater springs. Sulfuric springs feature sulfur as the main element, while seawater springs use seawater from the three seas surrounding Korea."

"Arirang Today" visited a variety of hot springs to confirm their popularity among Koreans and foreigners.

But wait, is this really a hot spring resort[Interview : Ryu Min-hui, Visitor] "I think it's amazing that we can have fun in warm water like this."

[Interview : Choi Gyeong-hwan, Visitor] "It's great. I feel like I'm in a warm blanket."

[Interview : Kim Myeong-jin, Aqua sports manager] "There is an underwater spring 600 to 800 meters beneath the surface that lets out 3,500 tons of spring water every day. We use that spring water to run the hot springs park all year long. It is a worry-free source of hot water."

Pure spring water is available any time of the day! This germanium hot spring, one of only two in Korea, lets loose a torrent of spring water every day.

[Interview : Kim Myeong-jin, Aqua sports manager] "Water infused with germanium is colorless and odorless, and it is useful for nerve pain, skin problems, rheumatism and skin care. Compared to other springs, it has special properties."

Open-air tubs are popular even in the winter! Many come here to unwind themselves from the cold weather.

Hot springs are enjoyed by everyone regardless of age or gender. Hot springs can also be the venue that strengthens people's relationships.

And one form of such hot springs is the candle spas, which became an instant hit thanks to the Korean TV drama "Secret Garden." The 200 candles make it a perfect place for couples.

[Interview : Lee Hyeon-su, Visitor] "We found this place after searching on the Internet, so we came here to take a look at it for ourselves."

[Interview : Park Da-rong, Visitor] "We're really enjoying it as we found it ourselves."

There's more! There are also a variety of themed hot springs!

[Interview : ] "You seem to have a lot of dead cells."

[Interview : ] "She doesn't keep clean by nature."

[Interview : ] "Hey!"

This is the herbal tub,

along with the blueberry tub! No wonder they're popular.

[Interview : Kim Won-ja, Visitor] "I have artificial joints in my legs, and I've always wanted to come here."

[Interview : ] "Does the water help[Interview : Lee Jeong-mun, Visitor] "I feel great because it's warm. It's even better since I can enjoy nature with the person I love."

This is the Dogo Hot Springs, designated as Chungcheong Province's Number 1 hot springs!

The resort is famous for its individual tubs tailored to different body constitutions.

[Interview : ] "I have a soeum constitution!"

[Interview : ] "Soeum."

[Interview : ] "Taeum."

[Interview : ] "I learned from a Korean Oriental clinic."

This Korean Oriental clinic uses hot springs as part of its treatments.

[Interview : Ahn Taek-won, Director
Oriental Hospital of Daejeon University] "We check the health of our patients and bath users and explain the proper ways for them to bathe. Besides that, we use hot springs as part of our medical treatments as a means to reduce symptoms."

Seo Gyeong-ja began visiting hot springs to boost her health.

[Interview : ] "Do you have soyang constitution[Interview : ] "Yes, and I heard that cherry springs are good for people like me."

She visits hot springs whenever she has time and bathes according to suggestions the clinic made for her.

[Interview : ] "It feels great. My shoulders feel much better."

[Interview : ] "The temperature of one of your hands was low, showing poor blood circulation. There was a big difference in comparison."

[Interview : ] "One can simply test a difference of 0.8℃. Now, both hands are equally warm."

She says that hot springs alone have played a big role in her recovery.

[Interview : Seo Gyeong-ja, Patient] "My hands were very numb. When I slept, I couldn't sleep on this side because it hurt. Now, they have healed a lot, and it feels much better."

It is important for visitors to choose the right type of tub based on their body constitution.

These specialized tubs will undoubtedly provide the remedy that each visitor seeks.

[Interview : ] "Yes! It feels great!"

Those who don't know their body constitution type don't have to worry.

There is an examination machine that can easily determine a user's constitution at the clinic.

[Interview : ] "I have a soeum constitution."

[Interview : ] "The biggest problem for a person with a soeum constitution like you is that when you take a hot bath, you feel very tired afterwards. To take care of this problem, splash your head with moderately hot water held in a large bowl ten times to enhance blood circulation in your head, and then begin your bath. Be sure to bathe for 10 minutes, and then take a break for 10 minutes."

[Interview : Yun Min-ji, Visitor] "Since hot springs are good for the body, I am going to follow the instructions I got and use the hot springs."

Hot springs can provide many kinds of health benefits.

How about submerging in a warm tub filled with natural hot springs, and have a healthy and cozy winter


People love the way your skin feels after being in the hot spring water.
Frankly, I can't tell the difference.
But it's so nice especially if the springs are outdoors and you can be in nature on a crisp clear day.
And what's great about Korea is that there are so many options.
I love all the special event tubs.
Lavander is my favorite.
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