The Jimjilbang (찜질방), the sauna, the bath house.. it’s known by many names and chances are, if you’ve never grown up with them the whole experience may be a bit intimidating.  After moving to Korea, it took me years to work up the courage to go into one, despite having friends rant and rave about how fantastic they were.  I will also admit that the first time I went into one was because the pipes froze, and we had no hot water.. for 5 days!  I went to a friend’s apartment to take a shower and their pipes had frozen too!! (Korea can get pretty cold in winter, though it’s no polar vortex!)  Needless to say, I was feeling uuber gross and grimy and the thought of showers and steaming hot bathtubs won out over my fear of being naked in front of a lot of people.

And so, for me, the Korean sauna experience was an extremely satisfying one that lead me to return again and again (though I admit that it’s been way too long since I last went to one.)  I still get shy about going, and I’ve never been to one by myself other than at a hotel.  And at that time I felt a bit awkward, didn’t have anyone to talk with and so I rushed through the process.  I really have got to get more comfortable in my own skin!

If you’re thinking about coming to visit Korea, there are honestly jimjilbangs all over the place.  But, perhaps the best one in Seoul (or at least the most famous) is The Dragonhill Spa at Yongsan Station.  As Yongsan is one of the major metro and train hubs it’s conveniently located and you can pretty much find any and all spa treatments there.  The basic fare is 10-12,000 won and let me tell you, the entrance fee is more than worth it!

So if you come to Korea, I hope you check it out! :)

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