Monday, June 13, 2016

Silloam JjimJilBang 찜질방

^list of places on each floor of the Sauna

First full day in Korea, we decided to hit up a local sauna--Silloam Fire Pot Sauna (실로암불가마사우나). To get there, we took the 2 Line to Seoul Station, Exit 5. Outside is a Lotte Mall, If you walk through the overpass in the middle of the Mall and turn right after you go down the stairs, you should be able to see the Sauna building a few blocks away. It was 11,000 won per person, and there are additional fees to enter the bath room in the basement. It was a bit of a culture shock to me, because the locker rooms were really open. Changing rooms are separated by gender, and so are the baths. There was a lot of nudity in the locker rooms, so I did not take any pictures while inside. The process of getting in is quick and hassle-free. You pay the entrance fee, and they give you a change of clothes. Then go inside and take off your shoes right away by the changing room. There are lockers specifically for locking your shoes. You take the key from the shoe locker and bring it to the next counter, where you get another key for an assigned locker and 2 towels per person. There are restrooms in the back of the locker room and a section where you can blow dry your hair, moisturize, etc for the ladies.

^me at the jjimjilbang

The sauna/fermentation floor is open to both genders. When at the sauna, the iconic sheep towel fold is a must, just like how they always wear them in Korean dramas. Simply fold your towel into thirds length-wise and then roll up each end a few times until it fits your head. The sauna rooms range anywhere from 20 something degrees Celsius to above 60 degrees Celsius. The rooms were mostly too hot for us, so we didn't enter. Each of these rooms also had a different type of treatment (The floors were covered in different material). There was also an ice room that was -15 degrees Celsius. We took a nap in the Oxygen Room.

^Eggs and Sikhye (traditional sweet rice drink)

Another common thing to do at the jjimjilbang is to order sikhye 식혜 and eggs. For fun, we played a round of rock, paper, scissor to determine whose head we should crack the eggs on. Unfortunately I lost, and suffered a few times because the egg wouldn't crack. The was surprisingly stronger than it looked, and didn't crack easily. This was the reality versus drama scenario where it doesn't always work the way you see on tv. We gave up and ended up cracking the eggs on the wall. The inside of the egg was tinted brown, similar to Chinese tea eggs. The egg white was slightly rubbery and the yolk was dry, but overall, not bad. The traditional rice drink was overly sweet, but helped with the dryness of the egg yolk.

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