Jjimjilbang: The Korean Bath House Experience

BTS at a jjimjilbang for an episode of Run BTS.

Korea is one of the most desired travel destinations. The increasing popularity of the Hallyu wave has encouraged people from all over the world to visit Korea to get a taste of the food, culture, and music. After enjoying everything Korea offers, indulge yourself in a luxurious experience in a Jjimjilbang. Take advantage of resting and relaxing on your next vacation to Korea with a traditional Korean bathhouse experience.  

What Is a Jjimjilbang?

Jjimjilbang translates to a heated room but offers so much more. A jjimjilbang is a traditional Korean bathhouse experience that includes various experiences and amenities to rest, relax, and get clean. It's a part of Korean culture that has withstood the test of time.  

What Do You Do in a Jjimjilbang?

Some amenities that visitors of jjimjilbangs can take advantage of are the saunas, concession stands, massage areas, communal sleeping rooms, hot and cold baths to soak in, and seshin sessions, also known as professional scrub. You can find noraebangs (karaoke booths), PC bangs (internet cafes), hair and nail salons, and exercise rooms in more modern facilities. 

What Are the Rules When You Go to a Jjimjilbang?

When visiting a jjimjilbang, there are a few basic rules that visitors must follow. 

  1. Pay to play. Pay the admission fee to receive access to the jjimjilbang and the special uniform you will see all visitors wearing, including a shirt and shorts, along with a towel and a key that you can wear around your wrist.
  2. Get changed. Visit the changing room to put on your jjimjilbang uniform and store your belongings in a locker corresponding to your received key. Ask a staff member for help folding the towel into the traditional Korean lamb head style, which will help keep the sweat out of your eyes. Remember that the changing and wet areas of jjimljilbangs are segregated by gender, but the common areas are co-ed.
  3. Get squeaky clean. Before soaking in the baths, visitors are required to shower. Bring your own toiletries or purchase small ones at the jjimjilbang. Remember to bring a hair tie, as many people tie their hair up after showering to keep it out of the bath waters.
  4. Be polite. Jjimjilbangs are a place of relaxation, so it is discouraged to talk loudly and frowned upon to splash in the baths. 
  5. Enjoy your jjimjilbang experience. With so many things to experience, decide what you want to share first, whether it be detoxifying in a heated Himalayan salt room or getting baby-soft skin after a seshin session. 

FAQ

#1 How Are Jjimjilbangs Different Than Saunas or Spas?

Jjimjilbangs are different from saunas and spas because it creates a truly immersive experience where you can indulge in both sweating it out in a sauna and taking advantage of the treatments spas offer to many other amenities, just in a large community setting. 

#2 Are Jjimjilbangs Open 24/7?

Most jjimjilbangs are open 24/7, and it is common for people to spend the night in a jjimjilbang.  

#3 Where Can I Visit a Jjimjilbang?

While you can find jjimjilbangs in Korean communities worldwide, experiencing them in South Korea is the ultimate experience. For the Daebak fam who lives in America, check out these jjimjilbangs in the United States. 

What Are the Best Jjimjilbangs in Seoul?

Planning your next visit to Seoul and need to find the jjimjilbang to visit? There are so many great choices to choose from that will have you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed after a visit. 

Dragon Hill Jjimjilbang in Seoul is a 24-hour spa retreat open all year round. In addition to the usual amenities, make sure you check out the ice room, which features freezing temps that most people can't handle for more than two minutes, and the crystal sun salt room, which is filled with salt pebbles. With over seven floors to explore, you'll have the opportunity to get an authentic jjiljimbang experience.  

You can give yourself an at-home jjimjilbang experience with k-beauty products like face masks and cleansers. Enjoy some ramen as well to round out your jjimjilbang relaxation session. 

Another unique jjimjilbang experience can be found at Spa 1899. They are known for their full body massages and baths that use red ginseng extract beauty products. This is the place for you if you're looking for a more intimate jjimjilbang experience.  

If you can't make it to Seoul, you can still get all the benefits of ginseng sent right to your doorstep with Sulwhasoo's Overnight Vitalizing Mask.

Siloam Sauna is a jjimjilbang loved by both tourists and locals. Their six floors feature medicinal hot baths that include mugwort, a jade fomentation room, a red light sleeping room, and a yummy menu of classic jjimjilbang foods. Their traditional rice punch is a must-try!

With so much to do in a hustle and bustle city like Seoul, visiting a jjimjilbang is an excellent opportunity to slow down and relax while still immersing yourself in Korean culture during your trip to Korea.  

Want to learn more about Korean culture and places to visit where you can immerse yourself in Korean culture while traveling in Korea? Check out these awesome Korean culture and Korean travel blogs from The Daebak Magazine. 

 

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