Tag Archives: Busan

Recommended Wellness Destinations in Korea

Medical Tourism in Korea has been actively promoted worldwide for years. Medical tour packages that include Western and Oriental medicines, cosmetic surgery, and wellness that suits that patients and/or tourists are offered.

Wellness is emerging as a major tourism theme worldwide today. Wellness tourism is about taking a break from the complex and boring daily life, and traveling to destinations where we can soothe our tired bodies and minds. Did you know that Korea is a great destination for wellness tourism?

Visit Medical Korea, the platform for Korea Medical Tourism, recently featured seven wellness destinations in Korea!


Cheongkwanjang Spa G. Type: Cafe/Tea Shop/Health Center

A spa facility recently launched by Cheongkwanjang, a high quality hongsam (red ginseng) brand of the Korea Ginseng Corporation. The specialized spa programs at Cheongkwanjang Spa G use six-year-old ginseng roots that have gone through rigorous testing and quality management. Spa G consists of five individual hongsam therapy rooms. Guests can receive water massage to stimulate blood circulation at the Hongsam Spa Room, detoxify and provide nourishment to the body through heat and steam treatments and application of red ginseng concentrate at Hunjeungyok, get stress relieving foot massages at Foot Spa Zone, and restore scalp health using red ginseng products at Head Spa Zone. All spa programs require reservations, and spa programs vary from 1 to 6 hours depending on the choice of treatments. The spa is open from 9 am to 11 pm.

Address: 416, Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 서울특별시 강남구 영동대로 416 (대치동,(주)케이티앤지 서울사무소)

Directions: [Subway] Samseong Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 2. Go straight 200m to arrive at the SPA G (Kosmo Tower, B2) on the left.

Operating Hours: 09:00-23:00

Reservations: Tel: +82-2-557-8030 (Available languages: English, Japanese)

Website:  www.spag.co.kr  (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1461568

Tea Therapy. Type: Cafe/Tea Shop/Health Center

Turning away from the conventional concept of a tea shop, Tea Therapy offers not only healthy tricks for home-brewed teas but also a relaxing foot bath experience.

The shop aired on KBS’s “Muhanjidae Q” due to its interior design and unique programs available where visitors can enjoy a tasty cup of tea but also rejuvenate by meditating, consulting with a professional dietitian, trying blending their own tea and more.

The tea selections and dessert menu items are plentiful, providing international visitors with a chance to become easily acquainted with Korea’s tea culture.

Address:  16, Eonju-ro 173-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul  서울특별시 강남구 언주로173길 16 (신사동)

Directions: [Subway] Apgujeong Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2.  Go 300m to arrive at the first corner, and turn left. The cafe is located on the left.

Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00-23:00 and Sunday 10:00-22:30

Reservations:  +82-2-518-7506

Webiste:  www.teatherapy.co.kr (Korean, English, Japanese)

Source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/FOD/FO_EN_6_4_4.jsp?cid=2020905

Sulwhasoo Flagship Store. Type: Beauty Complex/ Spa/ Boutique/ Culture Lounge

Sulwhasoo Flagship Store is the signature venue of the leading Korean cosmetic brand, Sulwhasoo, and is popular as a unique place of relaxation in the heart of downtown Seoul.

It offers tours for visitors, enabling them to experience the journey of beauty. It consists of spa, a boutique, a culture lounge, a gift wrapping center, and a roof deck. Guided tours start at 15:00 and 18:00 every day (duration: 40 minutes, not available on the second Monday of every month, New Year’s Holiday and Chuseok).

  • B1F- Sulhwasoo Spa- This is a premium Korean Herbal Medicine Anti-Aging Spa.
  • 1F- Heritage Room & Boutique- This is where guests can explore all of Sulwhasoo Flagship Store’s exclusive and new products, and seasonal offerings.
  • 2F- Gift Packaging Service & Boutique- Guests can test Sulwhasoo products and can get personalized consultations. The exclusive gift wrapping service uses the Ji Ham Bo which means a box and cloth containing wisdom.
  • 3F- VIP & Culture Lounge- The VIP Lounge is an intimate space for premium Sulhwasoo. Clients while the Culture Lounge is where guests can try various cultural and beauty classes.
  • 4F- Sulwhasoo Balance Spa- This is a contemporary Korean Herbal Medicine Balance Spa.
  • 5F- Rooftop- Guests can also relax and enjoy the view at the outdoor lounge at the top of the building.

Address:  18, Dosan-daero 45-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul  서울특별시 강남구 도산대로45길 18 (신사동)

Directions: [Subway] Apgujeong Rodeo Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, Bundang Line)

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday 10:00 – 21:00

Reservations: Sulwhasoo Spa(B1) 02-541-9272 and Sulwhasoo Balance Spa(4F) 02-541-9273

Website:  http://www.sulwhasoo.com/

Yakdabang Bomdong.  Type: Tea house/Traditional Korean Medicine Clinic

This traditional tea salon run by a traditional medicine clinic is famous for its tea masters who recommend and customize teas for patrons depending on their emotional and physical conditions.

Guests can enjoy customized teas, foot spa, and even consult traditional medicine doctors on site about their physical constitutions.

Features and services : 48 tea blends for tasting, traditional tea food, medicinal liquors (tinctures),
physical constitution diagnoses, consultation with doctors, and foot spa (30 minutes)

Address:  12-13 Worldcupbuk-ro6-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul.

Directions: [Subway] Hongik University (Line 2, Airport railroad ), Exit 1. Exit Gate 1, Hongik University Station (Metro Line 2). Turn right at the Hongik University Intersection. Cross the first crossroad and walk straight on. Turn right at the alley marked by the convenience store “Ministop”. Turn left at the building right next to Hanmi Pharmacy on the first three-way junction you encounter.

Operating Hours: 11:00am-11:00pm

Telephone: 070-4639-2221Operating Hours: 11:00am-11:00pm


Cheongna Sparex. Type: Hot Springs/Bath Houses/Spas/Jjimjilbangs
Cheongna Sparex, a major establishment located in the center of the Cheongna International City in Incheon, draws well over 1,000 guests daily.

Features on site include an outdoor charcoal-heated sauna, a sauna steamed with medicinal herbs, a germanium-steamed sauna, a cypress green shower room, a Himalayan salt sauna, an outdoor hot spring and outdoor earthenware tubs, as well as an outdoor pool and outdoor hot springs, which are open in summer.

The inside of the entire venue is decorated in traditional Korean architecture, and displays classical features such as jeongja(wooden pavilion) and pyeongsang(Korean-style sunbeds). The place is also equipped with a food court serving Korean food, a café, and a staff of professional masseuses.

Address: Cheongna Sparex (10F), 16 Cheongna Canal-ro 260-Beongil, Seo-gu, Incheon

I still can’t find much information on this.


CENTUM SPA LAND. Type: Hot Springs/ Bath Houses/Spas/ Jjimjilbangs

Spa Land, equipped with all the benefits of a traditional Korean spa, is located in ‘Shinsegae Centum City’ in Haeundae, Busan. Spa Land consists of 22 spas fed by two different kinds of all-natural spring water pumped up from 1000m underground, 13 distinctively themed ‘Jjimjil-bangs’ and saunas, and an open-air foot spa.

The 1st floor houses the Korean traditional ‘Jjimjil-bang’ and traditional saunas from all over the world. Visitor favorites include a radiant heat-based ‘Roman Sauna,’ which recreates the ancient roman bath using modern technology, and the traditional ‘Finnish Sauna,’ which is an all-natural, Finnish-style sauna said to keep you healthy during the freezing winter months.

Entertainment Zone on the second floor provides a range of beautification programs, a PC room, a restaurant, and a conference room. Spa Land is a refreshing place for relaxing with your friends and family.

Address:  35, Centumnam-daero, Haeundae-gu, Busan  부산광역시 해운대구 센텀남대로 35 (우동)


[Subway] Centum City Station (Busan Subway Line 2). The subway station is directly connected to the complex.

[Bus] From Gimhae Airport, take the Airport Limousine Bus for Centum City.
Get off at the Shinsegae Centum City. It takes about 50 minutes.

Operating Hours: 06:00 – 24:00

Telephone: +82-51-745-2900

Website: www.shinsegae.com

Source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1000306

Cimer Ocean Spa, Paradise Hotel Busan. Type: Hot Springs/Spas

A space providing a fantastic view as if floating on the sea. The floor is designed to be a little higher than the existing spas so you can enjoy the horizon view of Busan’s Haeundae Beach.

Dipped in a spa and looking at the wide-open sea, you get to focus on the comfort of the moment as if surrounded by the broad sea. The spa is famous for its odorless, colorless, and weak alkaline hot spring of seawater that boasts of great skin-improving properties.

Cimer is open for staying guests only. The guests can however invite friends and family to join them at the spa for higher admission fees.

Address: 1408-5, Jung-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan

Operating Hours: 8:00am-10:00pm

Telephone: +82-51-742-2121

Website: https://www.busanparadisehotel.co.kr/spa

Source: Busan Paradise Hotel website

Which among the seven wellness destinations would you choose? Participate in the 2017 Visit Medical Korea’s Wellness Tourism Promotional Event for a chance to win round-trip tickets to and from Korea or a three-night stay in a Korean hotel. Choose a wellness destination in Korea and tell them why you would like to visit that place.

Event period: April 11 to April 25, 2017

How to Participate:

  • Step 1. Go to the event website.
  • Step 2. Select one from the seven wellness destinations in Korea recommended by Visit Medical Korea (VMK), and share the reasons why you would like to visit that particular destination. (*Make sure to indicate the country of your current residence.)
  • Step 3. Share the news of the event and the reasons with your friends on social media.
  • Step 4. Wait until the results are announced.

More information on Korea Medical Tourism at the following links:



~~~ Personally, I would choose Cimer Ocean Spa in Busan, optimal venue for relaxation while enjoying the panoramic horizon view of Haeundae Beach. I love Busan and I’ve experienced the hotel spa at Westin Chosun Hotel which is also overlooking Haeundae Beach but indoor but basically was a luxurious Jjimjilbang, and seeing the pictures, Cimer Ocean Spa is much more beautiful and what is great is the outdoor pools and saunas. As a person who has a problem with acne, the spa’s hot springs which boasts skin-improving properties is what I need. Not only will it help improve my skin, but also relax my body and mind from all the stress in life. Cimer Ocean Spa has been on list and I will really save for at least staying at Paradise Hotel for a night to be able to try out the spa. That will complete an unforgettable Busan and Korea trip.

Follow Korea Tourism Organization on Facebook and Twitter, and Visit Korea’s website.

For Filipinos, you can follow the Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s Facebook page, Twitter, and KakaoTalk (@ktomanila) for more local updates on Korea tourism, events, and promos.


[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Ice Skating at Shinsegae Centum City

After the Barista experience at The Busan Coffee Gallery, we went to The Shinsegae Centum City our last destination and is the world’s biggest department store of the Guinness World Record. We were asked as to what we want to do. Jess and I chose to do ice skating while the others went to explore and went shopping.


Jess and I along with KTO staff, Sun’ssi, enjoyed skating. Crayon Pop girls!!! 🙂


We the English team (me from the Philippines, Jess from Indonesia and Shaima from UAE) together with our interpreter, Jiyeoun unnie, had lunch at the Shinsegae Foodcourt separately as Jess and Shaima could not eat pork due to religious belief. I was allowed to choose and I ordered Tonkatsu. The others went to eat Pork Soup with Rice which is one of the traditional dishes of Busan.

After lunch, we went to our bus and traveled back to Seoul. We arrived in Seoul at around 8:00PM near the KTO Headquarters and we bid our goodbyes and it was the end of the tour. KTO staff Sun’ssi was so nice to accompany me to the subway station as I was hurriedly going to my hostel in Wangsimni area to checkin and leave my luggage and then go to Achasan as I was going to watch SS501 Kim Hyung Jun(which is one of my fave KPOP group) play soccer at 9PM that night. What a great birthday treat, ending my birthday seeing him. 🙂 I extended my stay in Korea for another week exploring Seoul.

Thank you buzz Korea and Korea Tourism Organization for choosing me to join the tour! I enjoyed it very much, it was a learning and unforgettable experience, and I met new friends who share the same passion of LOVING KOREA. Hope this was not the first and the last time for me to join your tours. ^_^

Here is a short video made by buzz KOREA of the entire tour!

My travel diary of the 3 days and 2 nights buzz Korea: Sancheong-Busan tour!

Be a fan of the Facebook pages of buzz KOREA and Korea Tourism Organization for more info about KOREA.

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[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Barista Experience at The Busan Coffee Gallery

We are now on our Day 3 and the last day of buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan. We woke up early as we wanted to use the sauna since it was free to hotel guest/s and it was my birthday. 🙂 We went there at 6AM and there were already many ahjummas (aunties) and they were very friendly to us as Jess (Indonesian, my partner in crime throughout the tour) and I were the only obvious foreigners as the others on the tour were Japanese and Chinese.


The amazing view of Haeundae Beach while soaking on the hot pools and while watching a movie.

After the sauna, we hurriedly went back to our rooms to shower and had breakfast, and then met at the lobby at 8:30AM to avoid traffic as there was a marathon that will pass by our hotel that morning.

First destination was The Busan Coffee Gallery. The gallery had a quite collection of coffee equipments and such from the past. We were able to experience extracting coffee by ourselves and hand dripping.


My favorite would be the making of our own hot chocolate latte and then making a design on the milk bubble on top. And here is my design….


We were also able to taste the Gold Coffee (yes the one on top is gold) that was featured on CNN.


And finally the awarding of the 4 people who had actively shared the tour via SNS as the “Best Buzz”, and coincidentally the 4 of us were sitting on the same side. 🙂  We had presents from buzz Korea and KTO.


A group photo from the participants, KTO and buzz Korea staff, and Prain Global who organized the tour on behalf  of Korea Tourism Organization. We were then off to our next and last destination before going back to Seoul.

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Trying out Milmyeon and Fireworks at Haeundae Beach

After our yachting experience at Sooyoungman Yacht Stadium, we went to Gaya Milmyeon restaurant to have milmyeon, which is a traditional food of Busan putting noodles, pasted with grinded flour and starch, with salt water, in the soup of chicken, beef or pork.


Clockwise: Mandu, hot milmyeon and cold milmyeon (with ice)

We were asked to choose between hot and cold milmyeon, and I chose the hot one to be on the safe side as I haven’t had cold noodles in my life. Next time, I should really try the cold noodles. It was yummy and of course my favorite mandu (Korean dumplings)!

After dinner, we went back to our hotel and before going to our rooms, the KTO staff prepared an interesting activity of playing fireworks at Haeundae Beach which was just outside of our hotel, The Westin Chosun Busan.



I’m the K on this one! 🙂

I had fun doing this because on the same beach my favorite couple on the Korean variety show, We Got Married Season 1, which is the Lettuce or Ssangchu couple, Kim Hyun Joong and Hwangbo did this forming the letter L-O-V-E when they were with the Romantic Couple, Alex and Shin Ae. After that we went to our rooms to end the night. Oops, but the truth is that some of us went out again to party! 🙂

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Sooyoungman Yacht Stadium and Yachting in Busan

After exploring the Igidae City Natural Park, we then went to Sooyoungman Yacht Stadium to experience yachting and watch the marvelous landscape of the sea.

Sooyoungman Yacht Stadium

I was so excited about this as Busan yachting had been featured on the Korean variety show, We Got Married, so many times by the couples and was surprised that the yacht we were going was the same yacht that the Khuntoria [2PM Nichkhun and (f)x Victoria]  couple used.

Gwangan Bridge

We had a wonderful time looking at the panoramic night view of Gwangalli and Marine City while on the yacht for one hour.  We also tried fishing and one got lucky to catch a fish. The highlight of this was passing by the famous Diamond Bridge (Gwangandaegyo) and we were  photo bombing with the bridge on the background.

Gwangan Bridge

The KTO staff then asked us to go inside the yacht and to my surprise they prepared a birthday cake for me as it was my birthday the next day. They sang the Happy Birthday song and then we  had some BBQ and wine while blasting on KPOP music especially to BigBang’s Fantastic Baby! 🙂

Yachting in Busan

A flying lamp was also lit up and flown as we were nearing the dock. It was indeed a memorable and unforgettable experience, especially to me the birthday girl. After the ride, we were off to our next destination to have dinner.

Getting to Diamond Bridge:

More info at Visit Korea website

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Igidae City Natural Park


After visiting the BIFF Street, we then went to Igidae City Natural Park in Yongho-dong which is one of Busan’s best kept secrets.  This is a perfect place for nature lovers and loves to hike, and is still very much close to the city center too.  This too is a perfect place to enjoy the landscape of Gwangalli and Marine City which are right across the park.

P1110442Us with the balloons prepared by KTO staff.

I was amazed how the Korean government put so much effort and money to finance the infrastructures in this park. There were stairs on the shoreline trails, viewing decks, and suspension bridges integrating the cliffs.

igidaeLocals going on hikes and picnics.

igidae2cliffs being integrated by suspension bridges.

Getting Here:
Refer to cityawesome.com’s directions.

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] BIFF Street, Streetfoods and Shopping in Napo-dong AreaGukje Market

After our seafood lunch at Haelmulchunji in Buypyeong-dong, we then walked towards the Busan International Film Festival Street or Square in Nampo-dong. This is where BIFF has started in 1996. This had been remade as a cultural tourist attraction promoting the advancement of Korea’s film industry.


It was crowded as it was the 3rd day of the 18th Busan International Film Festival. A lot of fans were waiting near the stage for an open talk event wherein artist/s of a film participating will make an appearance and answer questions from the media and fans. 2PM’s Junho was scheduled to appear in a few hours when we were there but we have to leave.

KTO/buzz KOREA divided us into groups and the Chinese and Japanese teams went to shop and tried some snacks. We, the English team, together with Jiyeoun unnie our translator and video camera guy went on our way too.


First, Jessica and I tried  Hotteuk from a stand near the BIFF stage which I must say one of the Hotteuk I’ve tried in South Korea. Hotteok is a popular street food. It is a fried dough filled with nuts and brown sugar. And when we passed again the stall, there was a long line of people buying. We were lucky that when it was our time, there was no line.


We walked towards the clothes street and we shopped some clothes. It was cheaper in Busan than in Seoul. I should have bought more. 🙂

We then walked towards the food street and tried Patbingsoo. It is a popular shaved ice dessert in Korea with sweetened azuki beans (pat) with condensed milk and various fruits. It was my first time to know in Busan that there were two variety, the hot and cold ones. The stall beside where we were eating had a picture of the Running Man cast and the cast ate at that stall. Yey, video camera guy paid for our Patbingsoo. 🙂


Getting Here:
Jagalchi Station, Line 1, Exit 7,
5min walk from the station (Walk straight and turn left)
Source Visit Korea website,

Off to our next destination, Igadae City Natural Park.

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Seafood Lunch at Haelmulchunji, Busan

After touring Gamcheon Culture Village, we went back to our bus and moved from Gamcheon 2(i)-dong to Bupyeong-dong to eat our seafood lunch, which Busan is known for. Buypyeong-dong is very known to have lots of restaurants and among those are fresh seafood restaurants.

We ate at Haelmulchunji restaurant. We saw a picture of Wonder GirlsSun with her husband with an autograph. I guess this restaurant is popular among celebrities.


Look at that fresh seafood jjim (steamed). The waiter helped us cut it into bite pieces. Three of us were able to finish it all. It may appear of large serving but mostly it were shells. 🙂 We then added Kalgaksu noodles and enjoyed a seafood Kalgaksu.


I want to go back to Busan to try this again. 🙂

Next stop, BIFF street…

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan

We are now on our Day 2 of buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan. We met at the lobby at 9AM and then we traveled to our first destination.

GAMCHEON CULTURE VILLAGE: “Korea’s Santorini.” “Korea’s Machu Picchu.” “Lego Village.”

This terraced dwelling pattern descending from the mountain and the landscape of alley is the unique scenery of the Gamcheon Culture Village. The local artists and residents have started the project called “MaeulMisul” to strengthen these characteristics and historic value.



Gamcheon-dong in the Past
Taegeuk Village of Gamcheon 2(i)-dong started off as a humble makeshift abode for refugees from all eight regions in Korea who fled their homes during the Korean war. The small town has witnessed all the ups and downs of Korea’s modern history, the evidence for which is apparent in every wall and footpath. The village is situated on a hillside, like many others in the Busan region, which is blessed with both mountains and sea. Taegeuk Village’s pathways were paved by early Taegeukgyo believers in the early 20th centery, and the grid remains well preserved to this day, along with additional alleys and narrow passages.

Gamcheon-dong in the Present
As part of the art village project in 2009, alis “Dreaming of Busan Machu Picchu“, hosted by the Minsitry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, ten selected artworks were displayed along the hillside road. Gamcheon 2(i)-dong has opted for preservation and rejuvenation rather than redevelopment, using its resources to enrich the cultural content. It will set an example for all creative communities to come run by residents, professional artists, and the administration office.

gamcheongroup picture. buzz KOREA fighting!!!

b9a8a598393711e3b1d222000a1fb859_7We explored the alleys and the village and completed all the stamp sites.

I was so excited to visit this village because I became to know this place after watching variety show, Running Man, last year when Choi Ji Woo was their guest, and I watched KPOP idol group’s INFINITE, Busan Travel documentary and they featured this and also did the stamping sites but were unable to complete. 🙂

More post on our Busan adventure coming up.

Getting Here:
To Busan: KTX from Seoul Station to Busan (less than three hours)
To Taegeukdo Village: Catch the 17 or 17-1 bus across from Busan Station. Get off at the last stop. A short walk up from there you can catch the local bus (maeul bus). Take the bus and get off at Gamjeong Elementary School. From there you should see the village. (source from Visit Korea website)

[buzz KOREA Tour: Sancheong-Busan] The Westin Chosun Hotel, Busan

After a 1-1/2 hour drive from Sancheong, we finally arrived in Busan.

We went straight to our hotel, The Westin Chosun Busan. This is a 5-star hotel, the only hotel by the Haeundae beach, and one of the most expensive and luxurious hotel/resort in Busan. We stayed here for 2 nights and for FREE, all courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization/buzz KOREA.


Westin Chosun at night from Haeundae Beach and the lobby. And while we were at the lobby waiting for our room card keys, Taecyeon from KPOP boyband 2PM passed by coming out of O’KIMS. I noticed him and since he is one of my bias in 2PM, followed him and took a fancam. Apparently, artist/s came to O’KIMS bar of some sort of after party after the Busan International Film Festival Blue Carpet. We also saw some actors and actresses arriving at the lobby. I was just too tired from the activities the whole day (Seoul – roadtrip to Sancheong – activities – travel to Busan) to wait for other artist/s and went up to my room to sleep.


My luxurious room at the Executive Club Floor (7th). I was alone in this triple bed room with a computer. Can this be room forever? 🙂


View from my room when I slept and when I woked up. Hello Busan!!!


Buffet intercontinental breakfast served at the Executive Club Lounge in the 9th floor. Delicious foods with the amazing view of Haeundae beach while having breakfast. Bacon and sausages, heaven ❤

More post coming up about our activities in Busan. 🙂