Monday, December 29, 2014

[Living/Press Article] Jjimjilbang, the Korean Sauna in Daegu Elybaden

Jjimjilbang, the Korean Sauna in Daegu Elybadin
Elybaden is one of the many spas in Daegu, but it is also one of the best because of its size and quality. “Jjimjilbang” is the Korean word for spa, but a Jjimjilbang is quite different from a spa at home. Jjimjilbangs typically consist of gender-separated changing rooms and hot tubs where people are naked. You are given clothing to wear while you are at the Jjimjilbang. There is then a mixed-gender area with saunas of varying temperatures and a large resting area. Some are open 24 hour a day, and you can even sleep in them overnight. Elybadin has all of this and more.

The big pool in Elybaden
When you get to Elybaden, you will pay for your entrance at the front desk. The all-inclusive ticket costs 22,000 won on weekdays and 27,000 won on weekends and holidays. This ticket will get you into the Jjimjilbang, saunas, food court, and pool area. If you do not wish to use the pool area, the Jjimjilbang ticket, which will work everywhere else in the building, is 10,000 won. Instead of a ticket, Elybaden provides a waterproof bracelet that can be used to get into various areas of the building. This bracelet is also used in lieu of cash throughout your stay. There are several additional-cost items, and the bracelet collects these charges you make, and you pay the difference upon your check-out.

After receiving your bracelet, remove your shoes and put them into your numbered locker. Be aware that there are different banks of shoe lockers for men and women. You will then go into the gender-separated locker rooms where you will be given a few towels and your Jjimjilbang uniform. Change into your comfortable outfit, and put your clothes into your locker of the same number as your shoes, using your bracelet as a key to the locker.

The customers who visted the sauna gathered in a hall

Customers use massage chairs
After you are changed, you can go into the traditional Jjimjilbang area. There is plenty of space to rest, read, or sleep, and Elybaden provides thin mats to lie on. You can also go into the saunas. Be careful to check the temperature of the sauna, posted outside the door, before entering because some are very hot. Spend as much time in the saunas as you wish. There is even a cold room for you to go in and cool off afterwards. In the resting room, there is a snack cart where you can get a few different foods or a drink, all paid for by tapping your bracelet to a special machine. The hard-boiled eggs are quite popular. Elybaden also has a reading room with a lot of comics and a few rooms with massage chair in them. For just 2,000 won, you can get a 15 minute massage. The chairs are great, and you will definitely want to try it more than once. Simply tap your bracelet to begin the massage.

A man reads a comic book in the comic book corner
There are two areas of Elybaden that are less traditional but still common to the larger Jjimjilbangs: a pool and a food court and entertainment area. On the second floor, there is a food court, DVD bang, and video game area. Movies are shown at various times throughout the day. Unfortunately, the movies are in Korean only. The food court offers an array of typical Korean options, all relatively inexpensive. Again, order whichever food you’d like and pay by tapping your bracelet. Elybaden encourages people to stay longer by providing food. You can grab some lunch and go back to the saunas.

Kids play in the water pool
Elybaden’s pool is fun for people of all ages!There is a fun play structure and water slide for children, and a large pool and hot tubs with jets for adults to enjoy. There is even an outdoor area that is heated, so it is open year-round. You have to wear a bathing cap when you’re in this area, but you can rent one from the staff by the pool for a small fee. The pool if filled with sulfur water, so it might not smell the best, but it is good for your skin.

Before you leave for the day, you may want to do as the Koreans do and take a dip in the hot tubs that are a part of the locker rooms. For this traditional and important part of Korean culture, you are supposed to be completely naked. You can go into any of the hot tubs that are set to different temperatures. Don’t forget to shower and scrub your body afterwards, and make sure you bring all your toiletries for this. 

Elybaden is located in Sangin, in the south west of Daegu. Take the red line on the subway down to Sangin Station. Go out exit 6, and you’ll see Lotte Department Store on your right. Continue walking down that street for about 20 minutes. You will pass an elementary school on your left at about the half way point. Elybaden will be on your left. You can also take a taxi for under 5,000 won from Sangin station if you don’t want to walk.

Elybaden combines traditional Korean Jjimjilbangs with modern conveniences and fun. It is a great place to warm up on a cold day in winter, so if you’re looking for something to do on New Year’s Day, why not rest and relax at Elybaden?

[Elybaden Spa & Sauna]
-Address: 1558, Sangin-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu


  1. Is it possible to exit and enter again later the same day with the same ticket or is it for one entrance only?

  2. I'm a foreign worker here in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. A Korean friend invited me to visit her hometown Daegu. I thinkI will try this one

    1. Great idea! I hope you have fun with ur friend!