I have been a fan of Jjimjilbang since I experienced one in South Korea a few years back. Since then, I have frequented Lasema in Makati being the closest that offers a true Korean experience. Thinking about breaking the monotony though, I thought of Escaping The Metro To Gong Hang Spa Clark.
Gong Hang Spa is located inside Clark Freeport Zone, about a little over 90 km away from Manila. It offers a Jjimjilbang where you can spend 12 hours rest, a wet area with a barbershop, a gym, a cafe, a food store, massage, and other spa services.
I drove about 40 minutes from San Fernando, Pampanga where I went to church that day. It was a Sunday so the roads were pretty much free from traffic, so I used the city roads instead of the expressways.
They have enough parking spaces around the building so you do not have to worry about where to park. Their reception is on the side and it was so easy to check in. Upon approaching their front desk, I was given a locker key and number. They asked me if I wanted some uniform, which I did and it was of no extra charge.
The male lockers and wet area were on the right side, but before you enter you will have to leave your shoes in their separate shoe lockers.
Entering their wet area, I undressed and went to clean myself first before soaking in their hot tubs. Yes, you will have to be in the nude to enjoy the wet area. If it is your first time, it may feel weird at first, but you’ll feel comfortable eventually.
They have two hot tubs, two cold tubs, a dry, and a wet sauna, and their shower area where you can thoroughly clean your selves. They also have beds where you can lie down and get a good body scrub.
I soaked in their hot tub for a while before going to the massage area. Their massage is also reasonably priced given that it is inside a spa.
The massage area is inside the lounge area. I approached the lady at the desk where it seemed like where they take orders for massages. She then led me to a room where I waited. I took off my shirt when the therapist arrived and then lay down. He prompted me to take off my shorts as well. But I had nothing under so I was in the nude again. I am not sure though if they normally ask everyone to undress or if it was just because I was their lone customer at that time in a two-person room.
The massage was great. I asked the therapist to give it his best because I like it hard. I find it relaxing to feel the relief after that painful massage session.
After my massage, I headed back to the lounge area. I was just lying on the floor mats. It is how I actually typically spend my time in a jjimjilbang. Just doing nothing, as Julia Roberts said, “Dulce Far Niente!” I think I slept for about an hour or two. I woke up feeling a bit hot. I found that none of the air conditioning units were on. I don’t know why though, I did not ask, or maybe there was one but it was not enough.
Feeling a bit hungry, I approached the cafe counter and noticed they have one kimbap ready. I asked for the kimbap and order a sikhye to pair it up with. I took my time enjoying the dish, it was savory and I really appreciate every bite of it.
The prices of their food and services are very affordable yet the service is really excellent. I might be just one not-so-demanding kid but for real, comparing my experience from Seoul and this place is very much close!
I hanged out a bit more in the lounge area for the next couple of hours. It was awesome to find that the wall sockets have USB ports where I could charge, so no need to bring your portable chargers.
I checked out at about 5:30 PM as I had dinner plans that day at Patches Thai Restaurant. Overall the experience at Gong Hang Spa Clark was okay. If you want to experience authenticity, like how Koreans would experience it on a usual day, and not the touristy luxury type, come here! The food is great, the staffs are wonderful and the service is great! I had no regrets spending my birthday here!
Gong Hang Sauna Clark (공항사우나 마사지)
Address: BLDG 7256, Claro M Recto Hwy, Clark Freeport, Zone, Pampanga
Modes of Payment: Gcash or Cash only.
Disclaimer: Reception and Collage photos are from Gong Hang Sauna’s Facebook page. Gong Hang building photo is from google maps.