Saturday, 18 October 2008

Fun with Water

Actually we wanted to go to a Jjimjilbang, a Korean sort of sauna or public bath, a man from my mother's childhood offered to bring us there by car. Before he brought us to the Jjimjilbang in Gimje, however, the showed us around The Byeokgolje Museum of Agricultural Culture. Byeokgolje being a historical water reservoir in the Gimje Area; Gimje is the next biggest city near my granny's village and know as the city of rice for the area's famous fertility.

There's a myth about a woman - Danya - who fell in love with a civil engineer who had to calm down a terrible dragon. I didn't quite get it. Whatever, here are some photos:

Needless to say after a thorough visit of the Byeokgolje complex (we had just missed the Horizon Festival that had been held there :( ), we only got to the Jjimjilbang rather late. The fee was 5000 Won (roughly 3€), we bought some beauty articles of which we only used the shampoo in the washing area. Then there were three warm/hot pools (36캜, 42캜 and 46캜). 36캜 seemed a bit cool for me, 42캜 is the temperature I prefer my baths to be (but hadn't taken a bath in over half a year, only showers), yet, 46캜 was a bit too much for me to bear over extended time. The women who did stay longer came out with red skin :P. There were two sauna rooms, one was over 50캜 and the other one seemed to be even hotter w/ cold water you could splash over yourself yeeha! There was a cool pool (for after saunaing I guess?) and a mild pool with water massage STRAHL. For 13000 Won each, we treated ourselves to the luxury of getting scrubbed with Korean WASCHLAPPEN, which took about 20 mins or so. My skin never felt so good!!!
But it wouldn't be Korea if there wasn't more entertainment involved. In the changing area there was a TV where the ladies could see the latest episode of their favourite Korean soap opera, there were snacks and drinks sold, in the next floor there was a relaxation area w/ more snacks, another huge TV (Korean TV industry excels in big, flat screens), a restaurant, an internet caf? sauna rooms (orange shorts and t-shirts for women and green ones men were given to you on entrance), mats and cushions to lie on and having a nap and massage chairs. Very efficient 10 mins of massage for only 1000 Won (about 0.60€). I bought two obligatory seasoned cooked eggs and drinks. There's the possibility to stay overnight, too!
We had to get the last bus back to the village, though. Yet, we didn't know where the right bus station was. Asking people didn't help much and only made us run around the area back and forth. Eventually a man who had previously sent us the wrong direction called the bus company with his cell phone and told us to get a cab to catch the last bus. We did. For only 1800 Won got to our bus (of course the taxi driver went especially slowly so that we would miss the bus). When we got to the bus, the bus driver just bickered (???) at us, but he did with every one who got on, obviously he was in a bad mood, but the way the bickered at anyone was just funny.
When we got back home, totally and perfectly clean and scrubbed, it felt as if we had had an adventure!

24h Jjimjilbang and Sauna

Posted by mer-q-ree at 12:32

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