Apr 062011

the sign to vesta spa and jjimjilbang, dalmaji hill, haeundae

Contrary to its appearance, this is not a photo from the 80s. I just took a picture with a cheap camera and 100 speed film.

I don’t know how, but I used to be opposed to the idea of going to jjimjilbangs. My fiance would go with our friends, and I would stay at home and go for a run and watch Beerfest over and over instead. My spitefulness towards jjimjilbangs didn’t have anything to do with the naked thing; being naked is awesome. I just thought it would be boring to sit around for a couple hours getting pruney and doing… well, nothing.

But then I tried it, and it rocked. Doing nothing is awesome. But it’s not even like you’re doing nothing. You’re showering, hanging out, eating, talking; really, the time flies.

I’ve admittedly only been to a handful of spa/jjimjilbangs, but my favorite (by quite an amount) has been the Vesta spa and jjimjilbang on Dalmaji hill. It requires slightly more effort to get to than other parts of Busan, but the quality of the baths and the views from up on the hill make it definitely worthwhile. The coolest part is that Vesta has hot tubs outside on balconies that overlook the ocean. Pretty awesome, especially in cold weather.

It costs 8,000 to enter and 15,000 for a body-scrub, which is fairly universal for spas and jjimjilbangs in Busan. The girls are on the 2nd floor, the guys are on the 4th floor, and the jjimjilbang and restaurant area is on the 3rd floor between the two. As is true with all Korean spas (that I’ve been to, at least), guys, if you go with a girl, bring her some extra towels when you meet up in the jjimjilbang – while the boys get unlimited towels, the girls only get two.

The only criticism that I have of Vesta is that you need cash for everything – for food, for scrubs, and for buying toothbrushes. The lockers are never far away, though, so it’s not that hard to run in and grab a few thousand won.

So check out Vesta, the spa and jjimjilbang with the best views!

Directions: Take the 1003, the 100 or the 139 (other buses too) to the Seongsim Byeongwon (Seongsim Hospital) stop. If you’re coming from the west (Haeundae and the rest of Busan), get off the bus and do an about-face. Walk down to the intersection, turn left, and walk up the hill (it’s the street with the boardwalk). If coming on the bus from the east (Jangsan), then get off at the hospital stop and just turn left at the big intersection and walk up the hill. Vesta is on your left!

Alternatively, you can take a taxi (Just say “Dal-mah-jee  Bes-uh-tah  Own-chun” and throw in “Sa-woo-na” if they’re a little confused. That should do the trick. OR you could take the metro. Line 2 to Jung-Dong (between Haeundae and Jangsan), go out exit 5 and walk straight out past Rodeo shopping center and then straight up the hill (the road will curve to the left). Vesta will be on your left then too. It’s about a 20-ish minute walk from the metro.

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  2 Responses to “Vesta Spa and Jjimjilbang, Dalmaji”

  1. Hi Davex,
    Are there any spas in Busan that doesn’t require getting naked? Thanks.

    • Tough one. At all the spas, there usually is: a locker room area, an area with hot baths, and then a coed area with hot sauna rooms. You will be expected to shower, and most of the showers will be open ones. The area with hot baths you’ll be expected to be naked too… but then for the third coed area, you are given these pajama things to wear. You could just walk through the locker room area and the hot bath area, straight to the coed area with the special PJs, and that way, you could get part of the experience without getting naked. Good luck!

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