jimjilbang

10 Things to Do in Seoul


The Sounds of the Jimjilbang

I recently mustered up enough courage for my first trip to a Korean spa, locally known as a jimjilbang. Lots of public nakedness was had by all, and I left feeling relaxed and squeaky clean. While parts of it might be a tad exaggerated for comedic purposes, this song I made pretty well captures the experience, which was great but also slightly scarring. Apologies in advance for my mediocre singing voice, ‘guess I need to hit the norebang more often. Enjoy!

The Sounds of the Jimjilbang

 


JPD does ROK’s Most Read Posts (So Far)

This was a very fun list to put together, bringing back a flood of memories that occasionally feel like they were yesterday. Then I realize, some of them are almost a year old. It also reminded me of all those cheapo “best of” posts Patch forced us to do instead of real news.

To celebrate my recent decision to create a Facebook page dedicated to this blog, as well as the upcoming one-year anniversary of my return to these Asian shores, and to celebrate what will hopefully be a great new job, new apartment and new adventure in Gimhae, South Korea, I wanted to share what have been my top five posts so far on JPD does ROK. Enjoy.


Let’s wrap this up?


My First (and Last) Overnight at a Jimjilbang

At least I didn’t have the chubby, possibly drunk Korean man constantly rolling over onto my feet or face depending on which direction I was facing at the time. But, I did end up losing my sleeping mat at 4 a.m., possibly to a pair of giggling girls.

Last weekend, a group of us traveled from Busan to Gwangju to explore the sixth-largest city in South Korea and hike to several peaks in Naejangsan National Park, a beautiful place.


The Colors of Korea: Orange

Over the past month, a number of Korea bloggers have come together to participate in The Colors of Korea, a unique blogging project that aims to share with the world the beauty of South Korea's food, culture, and destinations.  Each participant of the project has been assigned a different color and will write a post to illustrate various aspects of Korea that represent his or her chosen color.  The posts will be published throughout this upcoming week and once all participants have contributed, a complete compilation will be released, cataloged specifically for your viewing pleasure.

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Orange may not be the first color that comes to mind when thinking of Korea.  In fact, the more obvious icons that represent the nation exclude orange all together.  It isn't until one looks beyond the surface that the color's significance in the country's culture and history becomes apparent.

Busan 25KM Ocean Walk

Busan Segal Walk

On the weekend David and I decided to walk one of the seagull trails in Busan. We headed to Busan on Friday night and stayed near Songdo beach. The next day we woke up early and started our 25km hike. Most of the trail was flat and it was located along the coast so it was pretty and relaxing. We started the hike near Songdo beach and ended it six hours later in Taejongdae. In Taejongdae there was a tourist park and here we took a Danubi shuttle train (costing 1,500 won) to sight see the local sights.


I finally experienced a Korean jjimjilbang (찜질방)! They are best...













I finally experienced a Korean jjimjilbang (찜질방)! They are best described as large, gender-segregated public bathhouses. Admittedly, it was a little nerve-wracking because a good part of it is spent naked, but I had a really good time. I enjoyed hot baths and saunas.


Jimjilbanging: It’s kind of like eating kimchi, but you’ve got to get naked.

 

ktfac
photo credit

Korea is lovingly known as The Land of Kimchi, but I argue the slogan could lose kimchi and replace it with jimjilbang and no one would throw a fit. Kimchi and jimjilbangs are both well-known elements of Korean culture. Jimjilbangs are large public bath houses (mostly gender-segregated) and can be found on almost every street in Korea. Some are more fancy than others, but most have a handful of hot baths, showers, saunas, massage tables, lockers, sleeping areas and social meeting spaces. Jimjilbangs are usually open 24 hours a day and many people visit them to bathe, relax and sleep. Most rooms, including the saunas, have special minerals, woods and stones to create a soothing sanctuary and provide elements of traditional Korean medicine. The Korean jimjilbang is a familiar and calming oasis for all Koreans. Each is a mini spa that caters to your every need. They are more prevalent than Starbucks shops and you can spend a day in one for the cost of a latte and a snack. They sound perfect, right?


Welcome to Spaland

I was given an unexpected day off yesterday as my school was closed for it’s birthday celebrations. Apparently in Korea this is something worth celebrating, and although I was confused I was certainly not complaining. I had planned to spend my day shopping for a birthday present for myself but realised after about an hour that there was nothing I really wanted or needed that could be purchased here. I considered buying more Korean cosmetics (my never-failing fallback) but made myself leave the shop empty-handed after considering how much excess baggage I am likely to have to pay already upon my return home.


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