Watch the video: 찜질방 A Quick guide to Korean Jjimjilbangs | Korean Bath house & Sauna If you can’t view it here, go to :https://youtu.be/nNdt0BDSdOs . If you’ve followed any of my adventures while I was living in Korea, you’ll know that I love jjimjilbangs (aka bathhouses in Korea)! The reason is that Koreans know how […]
So, I’ve promised some of you the inside tip on the best jjimjilbang in Seoul… After the disappointment of Seoul’s much hyped Dragon Hill Spa, I was reluctant to return for another night of overnight non-thrill on a hard wood floor. Fortunately, a friend offered me an alternative suggestion…
On my return to Seoul, there was one “luxury” jjimjilbang I’d heard hype about. Dragon Hill Spa has been raved about by CNN.com, The New York Times and bloggers being one of the deluxe spas in Seoul, where celebrities frequent and TV broadcasts like Yoo Jae Suk’s show, Happy Together (I think), occasionally film. It was a spot I’d been dying to try.
Musangsa Temple, Day #2, South Korea. It’s 3:10A, the wooden moktak is struck and it’s barely audible. Fortunately, someone had set their alarm. Monks must be light sleepers. We get dressed and go to the meditation room.
My eyes emerge from their crusted vision and recognize the cushion situated a few centimeters before my feet. The room is toasty and tinged with a faint incense. A two foot tall golden Buddha sitting in lotus position in the center of the room, mediates the sexes- men on one side, women on the other. The monks file in. Our teacher, the foreboding but jolly Lithuanian stood across them, keeping a guiding eye on us. The wooden moktak is struck again. Some sticks are clacked and in unison, we begin.
108 prostrations in silence.
I was in the home stretch with only two hours to go. Each bent joint in my body wanted to scream with spasms.
What the hell was I thinking?
Staring at the wooden wall before me for the past seven hours, the knots and natural grain of the wood were beginning to form a cackling witch.
Who am I?
This was a good one. These past weeks I’ve wrestled with the rocking crests and uncertain footing of that question. Nearing 40 and still single, the world is mine to create and to accidentally slaughter. Stay in Korea and develop a career in education? Follow my passion for travel and yoga to India? Root down, find a husband and make babies? Everything felt like it should be the right answer.
We arrived in Sochko at Chocksan Spa around 11PM. The spa had already closed, so we checked into our room. A small room, there was no traditional bed (well no, let me take that back)…there was a traditional yo (a Korean floor bed, where comforters are put down for padding), and just enough floorspace for a five-person squeeze. The room was well-sized for either the standard four-person Korean family or a midget. We got a coffee table with a hotpot, some cups and a hotel refrigerator stocked with items “for purchase”. While the latter is common to hotels in the
So it was another weekend romp in Korea with my travel BFF, Chance, my new (but used) Canon 550D and part 2 of the Korean Love Motel Tour. Again. Why? Why not?! On our way back from a misty day at Boesang Tea Fields and a relaxing green tea saltwater spa treatment at Yulpo, we decided to stopover in Suncheon for the nite. I had read there’d be many accommodations to choose from in Suncheon– from [More…] hostels, to jjimjilbangs, hotels and love motels. Of course, if you’re like me, you gravitate towards the more marginal experiences…
Yulpo Beach is about 10-minute bus ride from the tea plantations, which makes it great for a stopover. Many guesthouses overlook Yulpo Beach, but I didn’t really want to stay at a minbak. The weather was a dreary, overcast and the quiet town didn’t welcome much life. Summer resort season in Yulpo had long ended and the nearby water theme park was as dried up as the town’s streets. An eerie calm and the instinct of rotting corpse of fish was in the vibe. Seaside towns make me nervous when they get like this.
Without further ado, I’ll introduce some of the digs and dives from our Korean Love Motel Tour. Apologies in advance for the shoddy photos. Much of my instances were low-lit/dark and I wanted to be quick in taking them (guess the only real shady thing about the love motels was me!). Here’s a brief look at some gems we found: