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Revitalizing South Korea’s Oldest Spa Tradition

Clay and charcoal have long held secrets to health and wellness in South Korea. For the last 70 years, coal master Seo Jong-won and his family have kept Korea’s tradition of heat bathing alive by turning their charcoal kilns into natural saunas. After days of turning local oak wood into charcoal bricks, Won transforms his clay kilns into spas open to the public. Today, visitors from all over the world trek up the hills to the Gangwon Hardwood Charcoal Spa for the opportunity to sweat out their toxins the natural way.

This Great Big Story was made in partnership with Korean Air.


Hoengseong-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea

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