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Proper Bath House Procedure
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Skippy



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: Daejeon

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 6:20 am    Post subject: Proper Bath House Procedure Reply with quote

Simply put the title. I am going to the Bathhouse quite often and am wondering what is the proper sequence to using the bathhouse. I shower sitting down first then I go into the hot water then the sauna and then a standing shower to get the sweat off.

Skippy The Eviltwin Twisted Evil
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indiercj



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SCRUB!!!

It feels good.
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Chopster



Joined: 12 Mar 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 5:19 pm    Post subject: Plunge pool Reply with quote

Don't forget to give yourself a minor heart attack by going directly from the hot pool into the cold one, it's a good way to cool off.

If your sauna room has a bowl of salt in the middle you can use the salt to rub into your hair and on your feet - it's meant to be good for you and I've seen many Koreans doing it.

The advice to scrub is a good one, the towels and abrasive flannels are usually infront of the door to the pool area, use the flannel, or bring your own deluxe one, to get a good lather with the soap and then scrub yourself down. Often Koreans scrub each others backs but i haven't got enough Korean to ask for that yet.

I've only been openly stared at a couple of times, mainly by kids but the older guys are more discreet. One group of kids blatently swam towards me in the plunge pool wearing goggles. I just ignore it and get on with relaxing.

If you're feeling rich you can get your shoes cleaned, hair cut, etc.

I think the saunas here are great, the most I've paid for a visit is 4,000 won. Can't imagine getting the same experience back in London even remotely as cheap.
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meb125



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 8:46 pm    Post subject: bath house rules Reply with quote

I have been going to the bathhouse for over a year now with my Korean bath house buddy. The only hard and fast rule in the bath house is that you gotta be squeaky clean before you hop into the hot tubs or cold pools. So don't be shy and lather up all your unmentionables and rinse well. (The same rules apply for Japanesse bath houses) The salt in the saunas can be applied all over your body and you can bring drinks into the sauna.

You can also get a wonderful full body exfoliation and a massage as well. (The reason why your Korean girlfriend has wonderfuly soft skin) But be aware they do go right up your leg. Shocked

I have had some wonderful massages at the bathouse. The scrubs and massages are more expensive but worth it!!

I like going with a friend. It's a nice place to relax and gossip!
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mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 8:59 pm    Post subject: procedure... Reply with quote

As far as I know the sequence you are following is correct. I've had ajumas come over and tell me how (and in which sequence) to scrub myself with the little scrubby thing before. I think you are technically supposed to scrub without soap first and then scrub with soap. Anyway, I just do what I want to.

Jjim Jil bang (찜질방) are fun too and usually cost about 5,ooo won for the sauna and bath house experience. I like these because you can go with a friend of the opposite sex for the sauna portion (you wear shorts and a t-shirt that are provided). I guess some people even spend entire nights there rather than pay for a yogwan. You have to be careful of groping if you fall asleep though--this from a Korean friend. Anyway, they still have the mogyotang/bath house, but more elaborate saunas and fun massage chairs, etc.
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indiercj



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And don't forget to refresh yourself with one of those cold banana flavor milk or shikhae with ice! It's a must after every hot korean saunas.
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The Bobster



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually finish off by eating a few hard boiled eggs and drinking some Bacchus-F. Yeah, I know the stuff ain't healthy (I hear there's nicotine in it, yeah, sure why not drink a cigarette?) but it wakes me up in the heald while still leaving the body relaxed and, of course, clean.
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also a regular user & big fan. If you're near mountains you'll probably find mineral hotspring facilities ('oncheon'). Koreans claim countless health benefits, I'm skeptical but you do get a nice lift. My favorite place boasts a high concentration of lithium (among other things) in the water -- maybe thats why I always leave grinning!

Seems like no two spas are alike -- each has something unique to offer. Sauna rooms tiled with amethyst or jade (for more of those mysterious healing rays), steam rooms aromatic with bundles of herbs, 'event pools' that are infused with green tea or mugwort ('sook'), saltwater spas that feature hot & cold seawater pools & jacuzzis. We've got a big waterpark in our town, with slides, wavepool, & a series of different outdoor pools all filled with natural hot mineral water -- a real treat in winter, imagine snowball fights in your swimsuit!

Someone above mentioned the cold plunge -- right on, a highlight of any visit. Deepest winter or summer scorch, it resets your thermostat & leaves you comfortable.

I'll second the notion of jjim-jil-bang too. A recent cold rainy sunday a friend & I happily hung out in one for 5 hours. Lounge on the floor, chat, snack & drink beer, watch tv, read a book, have a nap (I've come to like those wooden pillows!) -- just idling, warming, relaxing among Korean families doing the same thing.

A lot of these facilities have an unadvertised 2-tier admission system -- if its in your residential vicinity, you can often get a nice discount just by asking & showing your address on your alien card.

Happy bathing!
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Rand Al Thor



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: Locked in an epic struggle

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

been here almost 6 years and haven't gone. No nerve. Plus I'd rather go with someone who knows the ropes than faking it by myself.

I'm not much into public nudity - I hated public showers back home too...at the gym etc
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BTM



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Back in the saddle.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same here, Thor. Ah well.
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2003 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me too -- I was deeply squeamish about 'exposing' myself in group situations in Canada, all my life. As if there was something indecent about it -- a weird indoctrination that 'private parts' must be kept hidden. Plus the fear of lurking glances & anxiety that 'average' didnt measure up!

Well phooey on that nonsense. From my first visit to the bath houses here I've felt liberated from selfconsciousness about my body. It is what it is & I'm comfortable in it. Most Koreans are very relaxed about same-sex nudity & discretion is the norm -- everyone just goes about their own business.

(Maybe a little different on the women's side? Friends tell me Korean women can be quite open in their scrutiny & comments, but most of my friends just shrug it off.)

It's a neat feeling when you can be naked in front of strangers & not give it a second thought. I was in a spa the day Kim Dae-jung flew to North Korea to meet Kim Jong-il, we were maybe 50 naked men & boys standing glued to the tv as DJ walked across the runway & the two of them shook hands. We all spontaneously applauded & several older men wiped away tears. Unforgettable.

Or the time I was in a hotsprings showering next to a western friend on his first visit & I'd forgotten my shampoo. The look! & then the laughter, when I asked him, Can I bum a squirt?
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Homer
Guest




PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2003 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear ya Thor,

I was exactly the same before...then my roomate took me to the bath house in our neighborhood and I was hooked.
The nudity thing wears off fast, and its rejuvinating.
I go every day to my local bath house and once a week to the spa in Busan (onchinjang).
Its just the best.
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rudyflyer



Joined: 26 Feb 2003
Location: pacing the cage

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2003 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok how about a list of the good ones by city and when is the best time to go. Last time I went about 6 years ago was on a Sun PM and the place was crawling with kid
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mack the knife



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: standing right behind you...

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2003 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i like to stick my thumb up my butt and dance around like a chimp on meth. then i usually get the best seat in the pool...and people avoid looking at me after that, so i feel comfortable...

TIC Wink
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mack the knife



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: standing right behind you...

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2003 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTM,

my wife is sitting on my lap cracking up at your avatar...once again you have brought some sunshine into our lives...please post more more more!!
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