여보세요 (Yeoboseyo) Hello everyone. As most of you know, South Korea is popular with high-quality cosmetics. Koreans know how to take care of their appearance and their health. And, what better way to stay healthy and relaxed than a day (or night!) at the bathhouse? Today, I will be sharing some interesting details about visiting a Korean bathhouse – Jimjilbang. If you ever find yourself there, don`t miss the opportunity to chill with Jimjilbang as one of the top reasons to visit South Korea!
What is Jimjilbang?
First a little more about what exactly Jimjilbang is. Jimjilbang is a traditional Korean bathhouse, which simply means “heating rooms”. There, local people “chill” no matter what age they are. Jimjilbang significantly helps with weight loss and reduces fatigue and stress.
The rooms in which you will find showers, hot and cold bathtubs, traditional Korean massages, and saunas are divided for women and men. In Jimjilbang you will find two separate areas, dry and wet premises. Although the rooms are different for women and men, you need to know that when you enter the wet areas, you will have to undress naked but don’t worry, as for Koreans this is absolutely normal. So, take a towel and let yourself enjoy visiting a Korean bathhouse, a Jimjilbang!
Are Jimjilbangs Hygenic?
Here you may be thinking “Thousands of people use these baths” or “Are they clean enough?”. Don`t worry, you can forget about these worries because hygiene and cleanliness are paramount for Koreans. Before entering the rooms, everyone must take a bath and scrub very well. Don’t be surprised if you see people scrubbing each other, as that’s absolutely normal as well.
If you want to experience Jimjilbang to its fullest, you can get a scrub (seshin) from ajummas (older Korean ladies) that will scrub you perfectly. Don’t expect it to be light, but the result is absolutely worth it.
What Experience Does It Offer?
Jimjilbangs are open 24/7 and you can even sleep there. Sleeping places are large open spaces, which, however, are not divided between women and men. You will get a mat to lie on and a plastic block to use instead of a pillow.
If you want you can take some toiletries and beauty cosmetics like shampoo, conditioner, scrub for face and body, shower gel, and bottle with water. For people with long hair especially, a hairband, because you must have your hair tied when entering the pools. Don`t worry if you forget to take with you toiletries, Koreans are witty enough and you will be able to buy them at most Jimjilbangs.
And now step by step how to immerse yourself in your Jimjilbang experience
1. Pay the fee and take your key for a locker in which to store your belongings. In addition, you will be given pajamas – a shirt and shorts, you will only have to wear them in dry rooms. You will also receive two small towels.
2. Here comes the moment when women go to the female and men to the male. You will need to undress and put your shoes in a locker.
3. So … It`s time to take off your clothes and put them in the locker along with everything else (money, phone and etc.).
4. You are already in a wet zone, here are the cold and warm pools. It`s very important before you start using anything to take a bath and do it very well. If you wash your hair, you will need to tie it again.
5. You can alternate hot and cold baths for about 10 minutes each. This contributes to good blood circulation. There is usually a sauna in this area, but if you want to use it, you have to take a shower again.
6. Once you finish with the pools, take another shower, and head to the locker rooms. Put on the pajamas you got from the reception and go to the dry area (you can pick up your phone if you wish).
7. The time has come when you can try saunas. Here women and men are all together. Each sauna has a different temperature and theme. Don`t worry about sleeping.
8. You can now take advantage of the common areas. There are shops here where you can buy food or drinks if you are thirsty. In some Jimjilbangs, you can find a lot of entertainment, such as karaoke, ping- pong tables, cinemas, massage, and manicure. If you decide to sleep in Jimjilbang here is where you can get a “pillow” and a mat.
9. And here comes the moment when you finish. Return to the locker rooms, if desired you can take a shower again. When leaving, leave your pajamas and towel in the designated basket, take your shoes and clothes, and return the key to the reception.
Do you like the Korean way of doing bathhouse? Would you be visiting a Jimjilbang a Korean bathhouse? Share your thoughts in the comment section!