(This is an excerpt from my newest book, 7 days of Weird Korea. More on that in a minute.)
Maseok Chamsut Gama – a kiln for a sauna
Gyeonggi-do, Namyangju-si, Hwado-eup, Maseokwoo-ri, 21-1 마석참숯가마 – 경기도 남양주시 화도읍 마석우리 21-1
(GPS: 37.658250, 127.319014)
Maseok Chamsut Gama is one of the most unusual saunas in Korea. If you’ve been to a jimjilbang (찜질방) before, this is nothing like that. Try to imagine a more rustic form of a sauna instead of the typical gleaming walls and sparkling baths. These charcoal kilns offer plenty of heat, but don’t come here expecting a luxurious bathing experience.
Start by making your way to the bathing area – the lockers, for example, take up more room than the showers and single bath. The only actual ‘bath’ is black and smelly – but to be fair, it is a charcoal bath. The focus is clearly on the heat, not the water-based activities. Take a shower, stash your stuff, and head back to the kilns. While the kilns vary from room temperature to hooooooot, the charcoal supposedly prevents you from smelling despite the heat. Is that true? You be the judge.
Get back to Ungilsan station, and walk out straight from exit 2. Walk about 175 meters to the T, cross the street, and walk to the bus stop. Jump on bus 167 or 56 and ride for about 20 minutes (12-14 bus stops). Either way, you’ll transfer to bus 30-9 at 뒷골 (dwit-gol); if you caught bus 56, you can ride on another 25 minutes to 샛터삼거리 (set-teo-sam-geo-ri) and transfer to bus 93 or 1115. Whichever bus you’re on, get off at Maseok station (마석역 – ma-seok-yeok). From exit 1 and turn left. Turn left under the overpass, then right once on the other side. Some signs of the sauna will assist along the way – walk along the road (warning: no sidewalk!), then turn left before the World Golf Center. Climb the hill to the gray building.
Presenting 7 Days of Weird Korea, version 3.0:
Get ready to see the weird side of Korea.
Ask yourself: do you really want to go to the same touristy places as everyone else? Or would you rather return home with some unique stories to tell and some awesome pictures to brag about?
South Korea has plenty to see and do, but if you want to see the oddball sights and only have a few days, you need a plan.
One Weird Globe guides are your key to enjoying a city or area. Get off the beaten path and head to some awesome places most tourists have never heard of.
Revamped and updated for 2016!
Buy now and start exploring the awesome side of Korea.
This seven-day itinerary covers the weirdest places in Korea. A few highlights:
- The beach where naughty statues went after being displayed in galleries
- The spa that features a kiln for a sauna
- The museum featuring... chicken art?
- The temple of 10,000 plastic Buddhas
- The umbilical cord shrine for King Sejong's children
This isn't just a list of places to go...One Weird Globe's mission is to make travel awesome, and to set you up to succeed. That means giving you plenty of info to prepare before you arrive:
- Icons - know at a glance if it's free, safe for kids, easy to find, etc.
- A brief intro to the city / country
- Recommended hostels / hotels
- What to bring, how to get around, how to connect to the internet, safety warnings, and more
About One Weird Globe itineraries
One Weird Globe itineraries offer an unbiased look at a city or area/province. You get recommendations to what to see and do, where to eat, where to sleep, and most importantly, how to get there with clear directions and GPS coordinates. See also One Weird Globe introductions (great for a general overview of the country) and guidebooks (comprehensive looks at a country).
About the author
Chris Backe is the blogger behind One Weird Globe, a popular blog about offbeat destinations and life as an expat. His mission in life is to make travel awesome, and to set you up to succeed while traveling. He’s lived in Korea, Thailand, Colombia, and traveled to weird destinations across Europe. He’s also the founder of the Choose a Way series, the interactive travel guidebooks that put you in charge. He’s been seen in Atlas Obscura, io9, Fark, Mental Floss, Groove Magazine, and many other publications. When not traveling or writing, he enjoys swing dancing and a good game of Cards Against Humanity.