Monday, February 2, 2009

Going to the spa. Take two.

Korea is famous for its public baths, which are an amazing (and terrifying) experience. They're comparable to spas, equipped with dozens of different saunas (hot, cold, salty, steamy), and an array of baths and showers. There is also a coed area where you can just relax on the hot floor, watch television, sip drinks, get massages, or various beauty treatments. A girl's dream, right?

My first experience (almost a year ago, when I first got here), was rather unpleasant and humiliating. I didn't know where to go, or what to do, and I felt so uncomfortable the whole time. Last night, when my friend suggested we go relax at the spa, I decided to give it a second chance. And I loved it!

The place we went to was definitely more upscale, and much bigger and cleaner. We first changed into the (ugly) short and t-shirt combo, then headed to the hottest rooms to sweat and reminisce about our year in Korea. We alternated between very hot, and very cold rooms, and sipped on a traditional Korean drink made of rice and sugar. We even got massages, and ate some snacks while watching game shows.

Then, the scary part. The baths! I tried to get over my fear of public nakedness and actually enjoyed relaxing in the hot water, followed by cold dips and a few deep breaths in the aromatherapy steam room. The spa even has an outdoor area with more tubs, and it was my favorite part. The cold winter air, and the hot water. Such a relaxing time (after all), and no major incident except for getting caught stealing another girl's shampoo. (I thought she was done and just left it behind, I couldn't pass up on Aveda).

I regret not going more often during the year, as it's a wonderful time (you can stay as long as you want, it's open 24 hours, and it only costs 10$). I felt so relaxed, refreshed and energized. I might have to go again next week.

9 comments:

shannon said...

ha I went with Laura and Sharon the first time Sharon came to visit me...kinda awkward, but a good experience. we actually decided to go all out and get the nude scrub downs from the ajummas...now THAT was pretty embarrassing but after I was squeaky clean and soft as a baby's bottom. you should check it out if you get a chance^^

thevoyageofv said...

Wow, that sounds nice... I try to use the sauna at my gym a few times a week and it really does make life a little brighter :-)

Vivian said...

shannon- yea i saw the scrubs, but the ajummas are WAY too rough for my taste!! haha. i'd have to get drunk beforehand.

Coffee_c said...

yeah viv, you'll definetly HAVE to go back next week...with me! lol
I wanna try the scrub as well!
xxx
see you soon

shannon said...

oh they are ROUGH...it is certainly not for the weak spirited. they scrub you down hard and then rinse you by throwing cold water from a tub on you. it is NOT therapeutic! and especially for foreigners they will not so subtly just examine your body, and we had tats so that was particularly interesting for them. BUT if you can stomach that, you will come out feeling cleaner than you can ever remember^^

Vivian said...

omg that is scary!! i'm already scared of ajummas, i'm not sure i'm ready for a scrub!!

annie- yesss we'll go! je te laisse essayer le scrub, je ne suis pas courageuse!

seasonal lust said...

only $10 for all that?? stop making me want to go... =(

Kelly said...

hmmm those sound interesting! i'd definitely would want to try that! I'm not too sure how i'd feel on the public nakedness as well haha but i guess you do it for...the experience?

Melvin said...

Interesting stuff...
thanks for sharing....

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