Review: Sun Massage — Seoul, South Korea
Sun Massage is one of several massage parlors operating in the Unseo section of Incheon in South Korea. Unlike a lot of the anma adult oriented massage facilities in Seoul and the rest of South Korea Sun is open to foreigners. This isn’t necessarily obvious since the only has signs in Korean.
I’m not an expert on the geography and organization of South Korea but it seems that Unseo was designed as a sort of transit town for people visiting the airport. Although it is right next to the airport Unseo is usually pretty empty. That may seem surprising but I think I understand it. The Incheon international Airport is almost like a city in and of itself containing everything from a hotel to an ice skating rink and movie theater. It is unlikely that many people would wander into the nearby area looking for the same.
Don’t get me wrong. The area is not a ghost town. It is just not as busy as one might expect. Koreans make up a bulk of the people around. There are also some Chinese tourists who seem to come in group tours. Other foreigners are pretty rare though there must be someone around keeping the massage parlors in business.
Sun is on the third floor of a building housing multiple businesses. It is located just a few blocks from the Unseo train station which directly connects with the airport just two stops away. Signs for the business are bright pink and can easily be seen. They could possibly be missed in the mix of all of the other signs around though they tend to stand out thanks to the color.
Customers can enter the building that houses Sun massage freely. It is open around the clock. A large flight of somewhat worn out stairs leads up the third floor. It is lined with plenty of signs pointing to Sun.
The glass door entrance to Sun is marked with another sign in Korean. Just inside there is a nice lobby that looks something that would be seen in a spa. A desk near the door has a credit card payment center and a notebook with 150,000 Won ($135 USD) written on it. This is the price of a standard full service session.
The women who do the massages at Sun also work the front desk. They can speak a few words of English necessary to get through their sessions with foreign customers but that’s about where there knowledge of the language ends. There are a few women on staff. They tend to be in their thirties and fairly attractive for their ages with very nice bodies. I’m sure most have children but if so it isn’t very obvious.
Once customers pay the fee for a session at the front desk they are led to one of the nearby massage rooms. These are in noticeably worse condition than the aforementioned lobby though it is unlikely that anyone is visiting for the facilities. In any event they get little use.
Once in the massage room customers take their clothes off and place them on a provided hanger. The hanger is then placed in a recessed locker in the wall. Customers are provided a pair of shorts and slippers to put on.
Once a customers change into the provided lounge wear a masseuse appears wearing an attractive and colorful dress. She leads customers down a winding set of hallways to what looks like a dead end. There some Dragnet type action leads to another hall lined with massage rooms and a shower.
The tiled shower room is large and filled with the standard wash table and shower head along with a variety of soaps and other items. Once customers enter they strip and lay down on the wash table. The masseuse also takes it all off in order not to get wet.
The routine at Sun Massage is something like a half-assed version of what goes down in adult oriented Korean massage parlors in the United States. Masseuses use a soapy puff ball to quickly wash down the customer’s backside. Then they wash the front. The customer than flips over once again for a brief *soapy style body-to-body massage.
Once this is done the masseuse rinses off the customer and then cleans herself. Following this the full service begins right there on the table. This is the norm in the area. In the minds of management this probably makes things easier since the table is behind closed doors and there is no need to walk back and forth.
Once the service is complete customers are instructed to clean themselves before heading back to the massage room to change back into their regular clothes. There they are provided with a glass of ice water before departing.
At any place with more than one person on staff there will be differences in service. Even with one person there can be differences depending on the customer and the situation. While Cool Massage nearby has a few women on staff who appear to be quite passionate about their work at Sun service tends toward the quick and mechanical. If the women aren’t clock watchers that’s only because the sessions don’t have any set time limit. I’m sure Korean clients get a better and more thorough treatment but then again Korean guys have access to countless superior shops throughout South Korea so it would surprising if they go to places like Sun in great numbers at all.
Sun is a fair example of a foreigner friendly full service massage parlor near the Seoul airport. It operates like most others around with just a bit of variation. I give it two stars.
Sun Massage. Incheon, South Korea. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Click here for a map.