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Saunas????
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Cabbit



Joined: 19 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 5:51 am    Post subject: Saunas???? Reply with quote

Hello
I have been in Korea a while now but am still too chicken to go to a sauna. I would like to hear stories of women who have been and what it is like. My Korean friends keep asking me to go with them but I am very shy about it.
thanks
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ChuQi



Joined: 17 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 6:17 am    Post subject: saunas Reply with quote

not a woman, but i love the saunas and can relay a few female experiences from friends of mine. i love the saunas and go atleast every week. you have to find a good one, they have multiple saunas with different temps, showers galore, (with hot water, in a hot room, etc, not like an apatu bathroom) and lovely spas, and if you find a good one, you will get a tea spa, a saltwater spa, a freshwater spa and a cold pool. also a sleeping/resting room, and the wonderful scrub hand thingies that peel the dead skin off you/.and for 10000 you can have someone else do it. be careful, it can hurt. overall it is wonderful though. as far as women going the ones i know have enjoyed it with the occassional stare, maybe better to go with friends, and a few ith lightert colored hair have had there pubes pulled by youngsters in there with their mothers, but the foreigner, and mothers alike were all embarrassed and it wasnt too bad, not compared to how good the sauna is. GOGOGO.
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captain kirk



Joined: 29 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 6:44 am    Post subject: Saunas???? Reply with quote

when i first came to korea about seven years ago i was in kwangju with a roomate. it was winter and the bathtub was so small. in a fetal position with the hand sprayer all crunched up 'having a bath'. my roomate mentioned there were saunas around but he hadn't been. so i noticed one and paid the 1500 won it was back then and went in.
i'm in taiwan now but coming back to korea in a month. i miss the korean saunas. in taiwan a sauna is part of a 'spa' and it's twenty bucks!
in korea it's like the 'roman baths', affordable for all people.
there is a very hot water tub, ahhh. and a cold water tub which in some extra great saunas (the layout is different at each sauna) is a long pool to dive and glide to the end in. from hot to cold numerous times and i leave the sauna feeling right perked up.
sometimes there is a hot water tub in addition to the basic hot water tub that has an electric current generator plate. if you get too close to it your knee or elbow will automatically 'jerk' commanded by the electric current.
the standard hot water tub has a spigot two inches in diameter so you can flood the tank with more hot water.
if i'm tromping around on a city hike and it's a weary five pm a stop in at a sauna sign is a reminder it's the weekend, and rejuvenating mid-tromp.
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chiquita



Joined: 03 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 7:22 am    Post subject: oh sister i know your fear!!! Reply with quote

hi,

I was just in Korea for 14 months, and I didn't allow myself to be dragged to the sauna until near the end of my time there. I was so petrified. I was scared of being stared at for being white, for not being 110 pounds, for having a tattoo and a few peircings... it was the idea of all those eyes on me at once. FINALLY I went, but not with Korean friends, actually I was the only female going so I was on my own, which I thought would be ideal at first but once I was in the changeroom I was scared of being not only naked but lost!! So I ws standing there naked, trying to figure out how to use my washcloth-sized towel most strategically... but of course I'm the only woman in there trying to hide myself. No one, not a soul, was looking at me. Except for one sweet middleaged lady who must have noticed that I wasnt sure where to go (this place was huge). She couldn't speak a word of English and my Korean wasn't fantastic but she motioned for me to come with her and she just sort of guided me through the whole thing. First we shower , then the hot bath,then the cold one... I don't remember the order but we spent about 10 to 15 minutes at each 'station'. Gradually as I realized that all of these other naked women were completely at ease being naked I began to relax. Going to a Korean spa is one the the most wonderful things you can do for yourself. You scrub yourself clean and then just chill out in all the different tubs and the saunas. The first step is just forcing yourself to get as far as the changeroom, then there's no turnung back right? After my first time I was addicted and continued to go almost weekly thereafter. I wish I had done it sooner. You will absolutely love it!! It's really cool to watch these seemingly ultra-conservative women strutting around in all shapes and sizes, completely naked, and honestly, too busy scrubbing to look at you.
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Howard Roark



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 7:32 am    Post subject: Dry sauna Reply with quote

there are also dry saunas that are co-ed. you wear shorts and t-shirts. you could do that if you're not ready for the naked bath thing.
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sparkx



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: thekimchipot.com

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They don't screw around here I tell ya. The sauna I go to is always hovering around the 110 degree C mark. I defy anyone to endure a bbq like that for more than 20 minutes. It is invigorating though...
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atina



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 7:32 pm    Post subject: jim jill bang Reply with quote

THere are baths and there are "jim jill bang"s.

The baths are just communal showers and not a bing deal and not really fun because the women there really can't take your eyes off you and some are extremely rude about it... some HATE you because your body is way better than theirs...

The Jim Jill Banga are AMAZING... and the one I go to you wear shorts and a tshirt and it's co-ed-- so it's great.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't go often, but the saunas can be very refreshing. As chiquita said, you just gotta get past being naked around a bunch of other people.
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Cabbit



Joined: 19 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all your advice!
I think I will have to gather the courage and go.....eeeeep
chiquita, did you go to the Sauna in Seoul?
I like the idea of the jim jil bang, are they more like steam rooms?
Thanks
Cool
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chiquita



Joined: 03 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I went to one is Seoul the first time. It was really close to the train station.

The rest I've been to were all in Busan.
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Homer
Guest




PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2003 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saunas are a blessing!
I go to the public bath next to my appartment every morning before work and to the spa every saturday morning.
Its great for relaxing and chilling out.
The public bath next door costs me 500won now since the old dude running it decided I was a "regular".....Smile
The spa in Busan is a little more expensive but well worth the price.
The first time you go is a bit unsettling but that goes away after 5 minutes.
No stares at all...its just comfortable.
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waygooksaram



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: Pohang

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2003 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Cabbit,

It depends on the sauna you go to. I've been to a couple of saunas in the neighborhood, and was completely embarrassed by the stares. Once, I was surrounded by naked adjumas pointing at my tattoos; every now and then they would slap each other if they said something (rude?) to me; this was only an assumption, as I couldn't understand them, of course. However once they realized I couldn't understand a word they were saying, they had an even better time. One adjuma insisted that I use her shampoo; another wanted to help me scrub my back. Sweet gestures, BUT....

Avoid busy times, such as dinner time, weekends, and holidays. I've been to nicer saunas, or in bigger cities than Pohang and noone pays any attention to me. I would suggest you go. It is a true cultural experience.
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chi-chi



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2003 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the way I feel after the sauna...very relaxed.
I've stopped going as much, though, because the kids keep following me around from pool to pool going "Megook! Megook!"
And some of the kids I teach go in there too and follow me (as mentioned before I live in a small town.)
Maybe in the cities they're a bit more "chill" about it...
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Harpeau



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: In Hannam-dong, Seoul.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2003 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The saunas are what I miss the most about here when I'm back in Canada. I go to a couple in my neighborood and have it down to a "religious ritual" that basically takes 70 min. or 25 min. (depending on the day).

I'm in Bundang and people mostly ignore me. I get the odd guy who strikes up a conversation and that can be interesting.
Going from the hot pool to the cold pool to the wet sauna is very satisfying.

What I love is the scraping/massage table. It's about 10,000 won and the guy is very good at what he does. I feel so relaxed after.

Sometimes, if I'm feeling really sleepy, I'll hit the sleeping room. There are more 24 hour ones and it's usually more expensive to stay the night, but people might want to consider their sleeping rooms as a pretty good alternative to a yogwan when coming up on the weekend.

I really reccomend you to check it out. I'm cetainly glad that I overcame my fears and went for the first time.

Harpeau
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rasta man
Guest




PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2003 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

all this sauna stuff sounds good given my back problems, now where are the good ones in Kwangju?

An idea: maybe we can get a list of the good ones in the various cities/neighborhoods
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