When you are stressed out from work and want to go relax, where would be the place you get rid of stresses? It must be some comfortable spot to lie down, spa or massage shop. However, in South Korea, there is a place called JJim Jil Bang which has all three facilities with amazingly cheap price.
JJim Jil Bang(찜질방)is public family Sauna which is popular places for Koreans to go and relax. There are mainly two types of saunas: mogyoktang and jjim jil bang. They both offer Jacuzzis, showers, dry and wet saunas. Since jjim jil bang becomes the place that family hangs around, and gets relaxed, jjim jil bang offer a lounge that has snack shop, PC rooms and relaxation lounges which are open 24 hours a day. Also jjim jil bang gives customers uniform (most likely blue for man, pink for woman) and uses lounge and facilities together. Of course shower facilities area separated.
Jim jil bang usually have excellent facilities, as an economical spa, such as many types of hot baths, of which some are made with clay, ginseng or green tea. There are also different types of saunas and afterwards it is possible to have facials, body scrubs (in the Korean tradition bathers scrub each other’s back with special sponges, but in some places there are also beauticians available) and massages (traditional Korean massage is called Ji-ap). Also, typically Korean is a kiln sauna, called han-jeung-mak, which is a heated stone dome with a small low opening.
Most of foreigners firstly feel uncomfortable about going in to heated room with bunch of strangers. However, most of them pick up Korean culture of going public sauna and getting rid of tiredness in warm relaxing room and find some attractiveness from it. Don’t feel afraid of trying something new. You will love jjim jil bang. By the way, when you go to jjim jil bang, “Yang Mu-ri” (sheep head) is another unofficial thing that people often do in jjim jim bang .