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Hot springs and beer in Haeundae

The "onmaek ticket" booth at Benikea Hotel.


Anyone who has spent any length of time in Korea knows it sure loves its portmanteau, combining two larger words to create something completely new. We are talking about the delicious combination of stir-fried shrimp (saeu) and small octopus (nakji) known locally as "naksae bokkeum." And, of course, Friday nights are party nights when friends convene for some "chimaek," otherwise known as fried chicken and maekju, the Korean word for beer.

Now, here is a new portmanteau for you to sip upon and enjoy:"onmaek." The opening paragraph to this story gave away half of this fun word. Meanwhile, the first half refers to lovely oncheon, the Korean word for hot springs. This story is getting better and better. 

Busan and Haeundae-gu (district) are offering throughout the entire year a special "onmaek" ticket, which combines two great tastes that taste great together: hot springs and beer.

Head to the first floor of Benikea Hotel, located near the Haeundae-gu district office to purchase your 10,000 won "onmaek ticket" from an onsite vending machine. You can then visit one of five local hot springs facilities without paying an additional fee. After you are thoroughly relaxed from your time dipping into the hot, relaxing water, redeem your onmaek ticket for one glass of tasty beer at one of several participating businesses nearby.

This promotional event is being conducted to help raise awareness of Haeundae's hot spring options. Participating hot springs are Benikea Oncheon (at Benikea Hotel), Haeun-dae Spa Center, Hill Spa, Benecity Spa and Haeun Spa. The participating beer destinations include Dongbaek Theater, Purple B and Muse On, all of which are centrally located in Haeun-dae. Entrance to these hot springs typically costs between 7,000 and 8,000 won, while draft beer at the participating businesses typically costs between 4,000 and 5,000 won.

"Haeundae Beach is such an entertaining place in both summer and winter," an official said. "Hot springs and the Haeundae light festival during the winter season are a great way to warm yourselves up and make some great memories."