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Bike Touring South Korea and visiting jimjilbang spas

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Bike Touring South Korea and visiting jimjilbang spas

Old 09-20-22, 09:09 AM
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PedalingWalrus
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Bike Touring South Korea and visiting jimjilbang spas

Has anyone bike toured South Korea and visited their bathhouses during the tour? I am particularly wondering about the logistics of leaving our bikes outside or being able to bring them in somewhere safe, especially if we decide to spend the night.


Thanks. Cheers!
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Old 09-24-22, 11:20 PM
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Since no replies yet, I thought I would pipe in with useless comments. I've been to South Korea many times on business. People are friendly and the country is beautiful. Good food too.
I've never visited bath houses. I wish you the best and I'm envious.

Pictures.
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Old 09-25-22, 03:28 AM
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I was hungry though, and starting to question my own judgement a little. Just then, I rounded the corner and saw Dragon Hill. Although I hadn't been there, I knew this was one of the more touristy jimjilbangs (spa/sauna) in Seoul. These places are generally open all night and people often sleep there. It was definitely a Harry Potter Room of Requirement moment. They let me stow my bike and stuff in a luggage room. After a shower, I managed to get some bibimbap in the restaurant right before it closed for cleaning, and then went to check out the baths.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/..._id=494184&v=r
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Old 09-25-22, 06:02 PM
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Cool
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Old 09-27-22, 09:14 PM
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Thanks for the link @saddlesores . It brings back good memories. In Busan, we often went to a restaurant that our rep's called the seashell restaurant. I'm not that big on that type of thing, but it was excellent. I was working at Samsung in Busan and one of my few not so great meals came in their cafeteria. But they get a pass because they are feeding thousands of employees and visitors like me.

By contrast, one of the more memorable meals that I ate was at a factory in Inchon. The factory and the cafeteria were relatively small and the staff and the food was excellent. Often our rep's took us out to eat, but this place was great. Oh, yea, they also let us eat for free. That was usually an employee perk, but they were such generous hosts.

I am glad to hear that the jimjilbang worked out.

I am checking out your other 11 pages now.
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Old 10-15-22, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
Has anyone bike toured South Korea and visited their bathhouses during the tour? I am particularly wondering about the logistics of leaving our bikes outside or being able to bring them in somewhere safe, especially if we decide to spend the night.


Thanks. Cheers!
I crossed the ROK a few years back. Don't know about the baths. I don't know about the bathhouses but everywhere I overnighted, mostly love motels which are everywhere, cheap-ish and quiet, I was allowed to bring my bike into the room. This was also the case in my tiny cell of a room in Seoul.
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Old 11-14-22, 01:30 AM
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Jimjilbangs were hit quite hard during the pandemic, so some may still be closed or have restrictions. I believe masks will no longer be required indoors soon, but many people are still wearing them in South Korea, and jimjilbangs may want you to wear them, although the last time I visited a jimjilbang was in late 2019, so I do not know. It probably changes from place to place, but you kind of need to know that attitudes towards masks here are quite different to other places I guess, and Koreans don't have a huge issue with wearing masks indoors and even outdoors. But when are you coming? Winter is almost upon us, and bike touring will be kinda chilly for a while. If you're coming next year in spring, the situation will probably have changed, although cases are up around 60,000 per day right now, so masks may still be on people's minds, even if deaths are down.

You usually can't take your bike inside a jimjilbang, and trying to lock one up inside the foyer of a building, where the sauna only occupies the basement, will have building guards melting down and people frantically looking for the bike parker. Petty crime is fairly low in Korea, and depending on the area, CCTV on the building and the provided bike parking, things can be very safe. Just bring a lock and consider an airtag or something, but in general, it's safe to lock your bike outside. Take all the lights and things off it, though, as middle school aged boys can steal them sometimes. Massive pain in the ass, because they're cheap, but finding replacements is annoying. Not hard to do, but just unnecessary.

People are coming back to Korea and cycle touring, but the mask thing can throw people off a bit if the mask thing is different and was controversial in their home country. Koreans see masks differently and there has never been an issue with them here in Korea, by which I mean, they've never stirred controversy like they did in other places and many here wear them voluntarily.

Note that I am neither agreeing nor disagreeing with Korean mask mandates and have absolutely no control over official Korean government public health policies.

Edit: As stated above, Love Motels are fairly cheap, about double the price of a jimjilbang for the night and you will often be able to take your bike in the room with you.

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Old 11-17-22, 09:26 AM
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Our dates are April 16 to April 29

We have spent 3 weeks in Japan a few years ago (before the pandemic) and are familiar with the masking preferences.
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Old 11-22-22, 06:13 PM
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Yeah, things should be quite different by April and I will ask about Jimjilbangs and get back to the thread; I have been avoiding saunas since 2019 due to several outbreaks linked to them so I am not current.

The only reason I mentioned masking was due to a friend's visiting parent not handling Korean masking policies very well. At all. At times there can be a distinct cultural difference in attitudes towards some things that may have been a little politicized in the last few years in other countries.

Jimjilbangs are a great way to travel, but just remember there are a huge range of options, some of them extremely affordable:

Sleep | Where to Sleep While Cycling in Korea | Korea By Bike
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