Not only for sanitation but also for relaxation, taking baths has never been as exciting as in experiencing it in a JJIMJILBANG!
Korea is a country rich in their love for culture and tradition. In many different ways, they showcase their pride for their nation’s history and heritage. It can be seen not just in their periodic dramas and movies but also in their modern-day lifestyles. One of the evidence is their traditional bathhouse which is popular not only to locals but especially to foreigners.
You don’t have to be a K-Drama fan or a K-Pop stan to know and experience what a jjimjilbang is, but it is definitely an edge because if you are, then you are most likely familiar with it!
People come to this bathhouse to get rejuvenated and de-stressed. It is a great site for families, friends, couples and even soloists to enjoy refreshing pools and saunas. After a long day at work or during your first ever trip to South Korea, nothing beats the one-of-a-kind experience in a jjimjilbang!
These Korean bathhouses are famous not merely because of visual entertainment but because they are really delightful and awesome! Visiting at least once is a MUST for every traveler in South Korea! Know that there’s more to jjimjilbangs than what you probably heard of. What makes them even more precious is that there are things found in them that immediately let you know that you are in a jjimjilbang indeed! That’s something like their trademark!
If you crave to know more about these renowned traditional bathhouses, you better not skip a bit in the list below. Here are 10 things that you will see and experience in a jjimjilbang! Note that they usually are the signifiers that you are in it. Read on!
1. LAMB HEAD TOWELS
You will not just feel peaceful; you will also feel cute!
One of the top indications, when a certain K-Drama’s setting is in a jjimjilbang, is the towels wrapped uniquely around people’s heads. Undeniably, they are eye-catching and distinct because they are shaped like lamb ears — thus the name “lamb head towel” or “sheep head towel”.
These head towels are confidently worn by guests in the bath house as they serve a very essential function. Different rooms have different temperature levels, and if you are choosing where to relax, see to it that you can take the heat or the cold. To prevent the ears as well as the hair from burning or hurting, these lamb head towels are used. As much as they can, they keep the head dry and the ears snuggly.
Besides the protection that these charming towels provide, they let you sweat even more, so it aids to replenishment! These lamb head towels are adorably donned by little kids, but the adults are also as dear!
But here’s what you must remember! You cannot simply find this towel in the jjimjilbang. You need to make it by folding a plain towel. Not everyone knows how to do that though, so if you’re curious, look up some how-to tutorial videos, or simply ask someone who knows!
2. VISITOR CLOTHES
Fabulous outfits are not necessary in this bathhouse. No matter how expensive they are, you cannot show them off here because in jjimjilbangs, there are two choices: wear nothing or wear the same thing as the others. Well, for the first one, you only have to do that in rooms where men and women are not together. The latter is the main point here.
In communal spaces, all the ladies and the gentlemen wear the same pair of clothes. After registering in the bathhouse, you will be given a key to your locker. You will be directed to the changing rooms where you have to change into the provided uniform or jjimjil clothes.
You may choose your size if the jjimjilbang allows, but for some, you have to use their free-size pairs. The same color could be for all sexes, yet many of these houses designate two different colors — one for males and one for females.
It’s a requirement to wear these in the respective rooms, not an option! Trust that they are safe and clean to wear if you make sure that you are in a reputable bathhouse.
3. SAUNA-STEAMED EGGS
Seriously, it isn’t a favorable place to chill and ease off in if there’s no food in it! Good thing, jjimjilbangs know what tired bodies and hungry tummies need. Snack bars filled with sumptuous meals and treats are there!
Patbingsu and iced coffee are famous in jjimjilbangs, but you can’t leave this place without trying their eggs! Hearing that, anyone would think they are JUST eggs, but the truth is they are special! Why? Eggs in jjimjilbangs are steamed inside the oven-like saunas! Yes, they are cooked in those rooms where people stay in to sweat off. Seeing how they turn really brown, you will realize how hot it really is inside those rooms!
Munched like hard-boiled eggs, these roasted eggs are said to be the national jjimjilbang snacks! You will notice how popular they are in K-Dramas! And oh, don’t forget the sweet rice drink called sikhye to complete the traditional snack combo!
4. WARM THERAPEUTIC POOLS
Regret nothing in a place where you can pamper yourself while staying healthy!
After a cold or warm shower, submerge in warm therapeutic pools that will take your stresses away! Outstandingly, jjimjilbangs have several rooms of distinct construction materials that have positive health benefits. Salt rooms, jade rooms, ice rooms, hard charcoal rooms and oxygen rooms are among them.
These restorative baths are for proper blood flow, essential weight loss, effective stress relief, skin development and more medicinal properties.
5. SAUNA CABINS
You will see these chambers in these bath houses. They are sauna rooms that come in a number of styles. Some are mainly for relaxing while others are for healing.
6. MASSAGE CHAIRS
Commonly found in the entertainment spot of jjimjilbangs are massage chairs that only demand a few coins, then your body will be calmed! Many people fall asleep in these cushy chairs, so be careful not to drool as you doze off while people are walking by!
7. EXERCISE EQUIPMENT
In case you want to sweat off, not just while sitting in a steamy room, jjimjilbangs got your back! They have exercise rooms where health nuts can take pleasure in!
Depending on the size of the bathhouse, exercise equipment could be big or small to fit the spaces, but no doubt, it’s a wonderful time to get fit! If it’s a more sophisticated jjimjilbang, surprisingly, there are also scheduled group aerobics and dance workouts that will hype you up!
8. GAMING MACHINES
To keep guests off all ages busy, there are arcade games to enjoy in jjimjilbangs too! Playing and bonding with your pals are comfortable even outside your own homes. Grabbing a toy in those claw machines is a nice way to take home some remembrances!
9. KARAOKE (NORAEBANG)
Let the singers come out! Even the shy chums get to show their singing skills when it comes to karaoke! Astoundingly, jjimjilbangs have noraebangs (karaoke rooms) too!
This is one of the features that absolutely make these traditional bath houses a peerless pick if you are looking for a simple place to bond with loved ones. Noraebangs are sound-proof private rooms, so people using them won’t cause noise and disturbance to others who are resting or sleeping. Unlike particular bathing rooms, noraebangs are not shared with strangers but only with your companions.
Typically, these karaoke rooms are readied with tambourines and even disco lights for families and friends to liven up the mood while singing along together! Unquestionably, jjimjilbangs are multi-purpose venues where beautiful memories are tailored and remembered!
10. SLEEPING QUARTERS
Jjimjilbangs are operational 24 hours a day every week. That makes them a perfect place to drop by anytime regardless if it’s too early in the morning or too late at night. All the pleasant baths are here, yummy grubs are available, and cheerful recreation is met! Now, the cherry on top is the restful sleep that’s possible in such a public place!
Sleeping quarters in these bath houses are wide open rooms accessible for all sexes. They surely are homey with some mattresses and block pillows you can use; of course, you will sleep on the floor. In some of these places, blankets are to be rented. On the other hand, in fancier jjimjilbangs, the sleeping areas seem like capsule hotels which yield a more private sleep.
Staying in a jjimjilbang for a night is practical especially if you want to cut off a few costs from expensive hotel rates or are just waiting for the next bus trip nearby. You can have a sleepover in jjimjilbangs without spending loads of money!
There are various fantastic ways to spend your days in South Korea! From the joyful strolling and sightseeing in its tourist attractions and natural landscapes to the delectable and vast food culture, everything’s superb! It’s a bonus to see your favorite Korean stars!
And if you want to escape the cold for a while, you have an amazing option aside from down-home coffee shops and warm street food; jjimjilbangs are present! Baths intended for pastime, rest, bonding and invigoration are the best. On top of that, these warm soakings and cool dips boost good health from the inside out. Physical and mental benefits are manifested and reaped without a doubt!
Truly, people (not only Koreans) who visit jjimjilbangs find happiness and satisfaction in such soothing places. When you get the chance to visit South Korea for the first time or the nth time, gladly try them for yourself. You will never look at baths the same way again after experiencing jjimjilbangs!