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Winter Sea, Hot Spring Water

Posted November. 27, 2002 23:09,   


Driving the Route 7 along the east coast of the country, you will be able to enjoy the scenic winter sea. From Hwajinpo up north to Guryongpo down south, you find roads to drive and small but cozy villages next to the sea. Seagulls are flying high over the beaches and you suddenly feel like staying a night at a spa. Here are some popular spots you can drop by.

●Cheoksan Spa in Seolak

If you are lucky enough, you will get there on one snowy day and mesmerized by the overwhelming sight. A mountain, the sea, a valley, a lake and a spa - there is nothing else you could ask for. This place deserves to become one of the Eight Scenic Places in Gwandong. Let’s make a new one.

Walk up to Misiryeong from Sokcho. You will find Daecheong Peak and Ulsan Rock in Mt. Seolak along with a white stream of ice down to the valley. In the morning of one find winter day, you could see the ridge of the mountain that divides the sky and the land. Your eyes get relaxed as you watch along the smooth line of the ridge.

After passing by a bustling town, you find Cheoksan Spa at the three-way juncture (Nohak-dong, Sokcho). If you think about staying for a little while after mountain climbing, this is the place. If you want to take a rest in an outdoor pool surrounded by scenic nature, you might as well go to Seolak Waterpia, a fancily equipped spa resort.

△Cheoksan Spa Resort

Located in Nohak-dong, Sokcho City. It uses dense alkali spring water from 452m underground. Admission fee is 5,000 won. A night stay costs around 40,000 to 150,000 won. Call 033-636-4000.

There are two more spa resorts nearby. Seolak Spa = 3,500 won. Opens 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Call 033-636-4581. Cheoksan Spa = 4,000 won. Opens 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Call 033-636-4806.

△Seolak Waterpia

It is a water park-type spa using hot spring water. It offers a wide variety of facilities including a slide and a sauna (open 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.), and spa facilities (open 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.). An outdoor pool and event pools are open all around the year. You have to wear swimsuit outside the sauna. It’s a place for family visits.

Swimsuit rental costs 4,000 won. Admission fee is 20,000 won. Discounts for credit cards – 12,000 won for Kookmin and Foreign Exchange, and 14,500 won for KTF cards. Visit the Website (www.hanwharesort.co.kr) or call 033-635-7711.

● Dukgoo Spa

It was a long southbound journey all the way from Sokcho. Just passing Yangyang, on the right, I could no longer see the traces of the Backdoo Mountains out of the window. Entering Donghae City through Kangrung, the mountains began to emerge again. The scenery along Rt. 7 started to change rapidly from this point. It was a road of winding up and down, and making sharp turns. It is likely to be distracted by the wonderful scenery, thus requires more concentration on driving. The road winds the rough mountains, which seems like diving straight into the sea. Climbing up a hill and then turning a corner, a beautiful beach shows up down the mountains. What attracts most is the fascinating scenery of Changho Yonghwa, which is seen from a hill sitting between Port Chogok and Port Changho Yonghwa (Samchuk City). When arriving at Hosan passing Port Limwon, take the coastal road. The gorgeous beach surrounding Hosan Beach Hotel (033-576-1001) is just cut out for taking a walk thereon. Take the road to Dukgoo Spa at Boogoo of Wooljin County, once passing Port Gopo. Drive 8.2km straight down.

△ Dukgoo Spa Hotel = Dukgoo is a unique spa in Korea, supplying through pipes, without heating or cooling down, the water springing up from the surface of the earth (41.8 C0). A public spa is only available in the hotel. Spa World, another hotel under construction, is scheduled to open on Dec. 15th. The Bade Pool, a hydro-treatment facility, and the outdoor spa will be opened in the mid-January, next year. Five thousand won for adult. 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. For an overnight stay, \124,000 (during peak, 140,000) is needed. www.duckkyu.co.kr 054-782-0677, 02-517-9286

● Backahm Spa

Wooljin is "famous for" its rugged terrain. Drive along the sea located in the Jookbyun area up to Mangyang after Wooljun Eup. Then, take a break there and tour yourself around the Mangyang Kiosk and have a look at the sea unfolded in front. Then, hit Rt. 39 toward Bonghwa and Taeback, putting the sea behind. Along the road, plenty of tourist places are dotted such as Cave Sungryo, Boolyoung Valley & Boolyoung Temple, and the Pine Wood area in Sokwong Ri full of Hwangjang Mok, which was used for making the royal furniture. From the Mangyang Kiosk, take the coastal road and enjoy yourself all the way down to Ohsan Port. To arrive at Backahm Spa, take Rt. 7 and turn toward the spa at Pyonghae.

△ Backahm Spa = Full of unique sulfur odor, the water maintains 48 C0. Each spa facility has its own water source. In the areas bordering the spa town, 10 accommodations are located, including 5 hotels and 1 motel. For more information, dial (054) 787 ① -3771 to reach Backahm Springs Hotel, ② -3006 to Backahm Spa Hotel, ③ -3711 to Sungryo Park Hotel ④ -3500 to Bachahm Hotel ⑤ -7001 to Backahm Hanhwa Resort ⑥ -3191 to Backahm Korea Hotel, and ⑦ -3881 to Backahm Taeback Spa Motel.