Lilypie - First Birthday

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jjimjilbang Revisited

This is my second time visiting a Korean jjimjilbang 찜질방. The first one I went to was in Seoul back in 2004 with the MESCORP girls where we were forced by our loud and obnoxious Korean lady tour guide to strip bare immediately upon countdown (10, 9, 8, 7...!) and were then confronted by the terrible sight of this wrinkled old lady which had sagging boobs that looked like wind-dried prunes. We all dropped our towels and ran back into the locker room.

To quote from Life of Pi, "First wonder goes deepest. Wonder after that follows in the impression of the first." After that initial fright and one more experience at a naked hot spring in Taiwan with my best friend, I thought nothing could amaze me this time.

Wham! They were in my face. Naked boobs, naked thighs, naked buttocks, fleshy women, thin model-like chicks, ajumma with permed hair, innocent young kids, all gathering around the hot pools like animals at a waterhole. For all my experience, I still felt shell-shocked. Some people can go around like it's the most natural thing to do since creation but not me. Feeling really self-conscious, I used my arm to cover my upper half and thankfully, I had my toiletries basket for the other half.

Till now I still can't understand the rationale, nor the fun of bathing naked, en masse.

But the physical feeling of enjoying a hot spring is a totally different thing, altogether. Janice had brought me to this place which is the largest hot spring in Busan near Oncheonjang 온천장 (温泉场) subway station. If someone hadn't showed me the way, I don't think I would have imagined there would be a hot spring there because the area is not like Taiwan's Beitou 北投 at all where all the hot springs are so concentrated. After leaving the subway station we went up an escalator to a street mall and down another escalator, crossed the road and entered a hotel through a side door (picture above). One more escalator up and we had reached Hurshimchung "The Best Spa in the World".

Janice said the receptionist guy was posing for me to take pictures.

We got our keys and entered a locker room to put our shoes. Then we went into another locker room to take off our clothes. This was the area where everybody started walking around naked. Then we entered the spa area... which was huge! It had like this large dome above our heads to let in sunlight and two big pools in the middle for kids and adults to soak themselves. At the sides were smaller pools of varying temperatures which boasted champagne flavor, herbal flavor, heated wooden floor and jacuzzis.

After a while I couldn't stand the trapped heat inside the indoor area and guess what? They had an outdoor area too! We stepped through the double doors and enjoyed the soak in the hot tub with the cold air blowing in our faces. There were many sauna rooms too but they were mostly full. My partner went for the 20,000 won cucumber massage and exfoliating scrub while I went to the bathing area and scrubbed myself facing a mirror, together with other people. What a weird feeling to be bathing together with so many other people! Still, it was a nice time to thoroughly cleanse myself and relax...

Then we dressed in bathrobes and went down a flight of stairs to a common area (unisex) with heated marble floors and enjoyed hot-spring eggs and red bean ais kacang. Yummy! Then off we went to another hot sauna and a cold sauna shaped like an igloo with 10 degrees Celsius and one more round of shower and left the place.

The whole experience cost me only slightly over RM30. That's so worth it! Considering the number of naked bodies I've seen...

15 comments:

Janice said...

Let's go again to another jim-jil-bang some other time. I don't know when will be a good time because i don't think you would wanna go during summer! HAHAHA.

Xweing said...

Let's go that Haeundae one!

Janice said...

sure.
But of course not now la.. My skin is super smooth and soft now. At least 1 or 2 months later.

josze said...

that is so cheap!!! but good experience ha i don't think i'm comfortable walking arund naked also..esp with friends. but they separate the guy and girl right? lol

leonardlcy said...

Dang... by the time I visit you it will be summer...

Xweing said...

Josze, ya, imagine u getting naked w all your galfriends or your mom and ur sis... @_@... but after a while u kind get numb to it. Although still uncomfortable. Seperate lar.. wahlao.. if not I damn "sit daai"...

Dearie, yeah... so u hv to come visit me again in winter!

josze said...

nola where got sit daai. u also get to see them mar lol

libelly said...

ei...2 pix only meh? upload more especially in the shower ma...

Xweing said...

cannot take photos in naked room larr... wahlao u wan me kena beaten up by all those ajumma meh...

Adelene said...

I agree la. The only time I stripped in front my friend was in bali spa..but that one also not all bare naked. Still got one disposable underwear to cover my dignity. But after awhile..you just totally numb la.haha.

DREAMARTZ STUDIOS said...

halo,首次拜访呢!!
哇,你目前的生活还在korea吗??哇……好羡慕!!

我来自puchong,雪隆...

欢迎浏览:《爱上熟女漫画部落》

A Bookaholic said...

wah lau ehh! all tht experience for RM30???? i m soooooo going to korea one day....ONE FINE DAY! muahahahaha :D

Xweing said...

Adelene, yeah that's right. Imagine my feeling walking around naked w Janice... @_@

Dreamartz, Halo!... 哎,说真的,没什么好羡慕的... 得空可以到这里来旅行!Oh, I'm surprised... you're a guy but you draw women's comics??

Bookaholic, Yeah!! Come try it out yourself!

DREAMARTZ STUDIOS said...

噢,原来你在这里reply呢……
??画,没分男女的……

哈哈,常来哦……你在那里修读什么?

Xweing said...

Haha... 我在这里念电讯工程系研究所...