Korean Bath Houses: Spa Valley

I regret to inform you that there will be no nude photos on this here blog.  Not regret actually.  I’m perfectly fine letting you know that important piece of information, just in case you came here with impure intentions.  I’m talking to you, Chester.  Move along now.  Just move along.  Mmm-hmm. Buh-bye, now.

Apparently, up until and into the 1970s, most Koreans didn’t bathe in their homes.  Once a week, the family packed up their toiletries and headed to a local mogyoktang, or bathhouse.  For a nominal fee, one could soak in a hot spring bath, jump into a cold tub, and scrub oneself from head to toe at seated showers, all whilst nude and in the company of others (genders are segregated).  At the more elaborate jimjilbang, one can even stay overnight! Think I am kidding?

I am so not kidding.

The good news: we have indoor plumbing and have never been forced to shower in public.  The even better news: these facilities still exist, and sometimes they are awesome!

Gianna and Aliya say: BRING IT.

Spa Valley: Daegu, South Korea

Bade Pool: similar to a wade pool, only awesome-er.

All around the pool are alcoves with jets.    The round ones are for standing, but they have ones that you can lay in, too.
See that metal structure waaay in the back?  That is a monkey bar set!!!

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They have a thing about walking on rocks here.  For circulation? I dunno.  the rocks are everywhere though: parks, by the river, near playgrounds.  And here.

This is a dry sauna, with an herbal foot… rest? Not quite sure about this.

1 of 2 outdoor jacuzzis

I finally did it!  Fish pedicure!  Weird but not gross feeling.  No amazing results, either, but I may try again somewhere else.

Not photographed: segregated male/female locker rooms, saunas, showers, jacuzzis, cold soak tubs, massage rooms… I think that’s all.  But you get the idea.  Fun for the whole family and a new twist on of an ancient tradition.


  1. 1. I just about fainted dead when I saw your fish pedicure picture. I am not even slightly exaggerating when I say that this is the stuff of my nightmares.

    2. It looks like an awesome waterpark. Without the nasty chlorine. Which is both awesome and problematic.

    3. I’m glad to see that someone’s Korean-to-English translations are just as sketchy as my English-to-French ones.

    • 1. I’m so sorry! I totally should have included a warning. Irresponsible blogging, to be sure.

      2. Yes! I was baffled by the lack of chlorine, too! But they have it figured out because the water is immaculately clean and my hair didn’t feel like a pile of straw afterward. Miraculous!

      3. My favorite thing about Korea.

  2. Cari, stay away from Latvian salons and the Doctor fish tank in the City Museum in St. Louis. My fear about the fish, once they eat all my dead skin, will there be anything left?

    • Cari- avert your eyes. Jessica: the fish were all over my feet! And on my legs! And I was yelling at them, “Get down to my callouses you morons!” But they didn’t listen. So yes, I share your fear.

  3. I LOVE THE CITY MUSEUM!!!!!!!!! pam

  4. The indoor water park that is fun for the whole family!! Did the fish tickle??? I don’t know if I could take it!!! 🙂 Blessings to you this Lent, my #pray2lose Twitter friend!!

  5. AHHHH I’m so jealous!!! I think they banned the fish pedis around here??? I totally want to try it!!!!

  6. This is the second indoor water park pictures I have seen this week and I am totally jealous!