Welcome to ‘K-pop Destinations,’ the series that helps readers travel across the world. We’ll show you where hit shows and videos are filmed, where top performers are giving concerts, or where your favorite stars take their vacations. That way, the next time you take a vacation, you can make sure to incorporate a little K-pop travel into your getaway.
This week we’re headed to one of the Korean locations that Psy helped popularize with his global hit, Gangnam Style. Some of the scenes from his video showed the star lounging in an iconic Korean home of rejuvenation: the jimjilbang.
Jimjilbangs are 24-hour bathhouses that are found all across Korea. They range in size and quality, but all share a few common characteristics. Each feature both common and gender-segregated areas with small pools, saunas, and mineral rooms meant to rejuvenate bodies, soothe aching joints and mind, and improve overall circulation and wellbeing. It’s also a great place to socialize with friends or just let your mind and body relax away from the hustle of the city or the stress of the office.
In the gender-segregated sections, you can also get a full-body nude scrubdown. During that, older Koreans aggressively scrub all the dead skin you didn’t even know you had off your body and then deeply cleanse and moisturize it, allowing you to leave feeling like a whole new person.
Steven Yeun and Conan also took a memorable trip to a jimjilbang when the late night TV host visited Korea:
Good news for those of you that want to get your scrub and sweat on outside of Korea – you’ve got options. If you’re near one of these international cities, check out your local jimjinlbang soon!
This is a favorite among Los Angeles beauty and wellness editors. It has an especially great variety of mineral rooms, as well as unique treatments like milk and honey moisturizing scrubs and oil scalp treatments.
This has all the luxury of Vegas for when you feel like you need a good scrub down to wash away the vices of Sin City. The Korean feel is a great alternative to some of the trendier, cookie cutter spas in this indulgent town.
Sulwhasoo is one of the most sought-after Korean skincare brands, and at this branded spa in Hong Kong, you can have the total Sulwhasoo experience, with a special emphasis on revitalization and renewal. The spa takes its new and innovative skincare products, masks, and treatments, and combines it with ancient Korean wellness traditions. The hospitality is A+, and everything from the cool porcelain finishes (believed to heighten the brightening effects of products) to the temperature of the towels is prepared with care.
K-pop fans in the Philippines won’t just love this spa because of its wide array of massage offerings and lounge areas – they’ll also love it because it’s very authentic Korean, complete with Korean snacks and magazines full of their favorite idols.
This giant spa in Queens is the Americanized version of a jimjilbang. It has most of the Korean elements, like the pools, scrubdowns, and mineral rooms, but it also has a rooftop teeming with families enjoying the pools and super strong jets of the whirlpools, and an extensive food and beverage menu. This is a full day experience, especially in the summer, when you can enjoy the sunshine and outdoor pools.
This is another one that’s great for big groups and families – there are lots of open areas and several pools for mixed groups. The mineral rooms are also a big hit, with guests getting to indulge in amethyst, salt and charcoal rooms.