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COMMENTS

This weeks TL;DR Thursday (Too Long; Didn’t Read) is a topic that Martina is very excited about! Ausoul from Sydney asked us if we have every been to a jjimjilbang, which is a public bath house.

To be more specific a jjimjilbang (찜질방) is actually not a bathhouse for cleaning your body. A mokgyoktang (목욕탕) is a bathhouse, but if you go to a big jjimjilbang or a 24 hour one, you will have access to both. Also, you can pay entrance for one or the other, or for both.

So a jjimjilbang is kind of a well-being center where any gender can hang out fully dressed in the comfy shorts and t-shirts provided, and chill in various rooms. There are dry heat rooms of all degrees, cold rooms, rooms for extra oxygen, rooms to pay for a foot massage or back massage, and areas for sleeping overnight. Many people will crash there at nighttime when the subway and buses are not running. For around $6.00-10.00 a night, who can complain? Well, be aware that you do have to sleep on the floor and with a pillow that is so hard it could kill someone if you threw it at them, but still…at least you can sleep! You can eat ramen, eat a delicious baked egg, and drink some seriously refreshing shikhye (which is an ice cold sweet rice drink). Some of the more elaborate jjimjilbangs even offer PC rooms and/or even singing rooms.

Blowdry Crotch

You thought we were joking?

Simon has never been to either of these places after having some frequent and uncomfortable experiences when he went to a gym in Korea. It wasn’t anything serious, but whenever he was about to take a shower there he’d notice swarms of guys blowdrying their crotches and spraying perfume on said crotches. No joke. Not that there is anything wrong with that, he just suffered some serious culture shock at seeing that so out in the open…and surrounding him. Every since then, Simon kind of lost all interest in going to a jjimjilbang, but also, (what Martina thinks is the real reason) Simon really hates when the air is hot and steamy.

Martina actually loves hanging out at a mokgyoktangs with her closest Korean friend. She prefers to go late at night, as in after 11:00pm because they can be really reallllly crowded with families on the weekends or right after school. She is usually gone for hours, seriously, HOURS just chatting buck naked with her friend, putting on face masks and deep hair treatments, soaking in hot tubs, and scrubbing off dead skin. Maybe it’s a guy thing, but how can anyone bathe for HOURS! Anyways, she absolutely loves it. The concept of chilling with your friend in a bathhouse and scrubbing your backs is looked at as really a bonding experience that only family and the closest of friends can experience. It’s like going to a spa with your friend to unwind, but you don’t pay a stranger to take care of you. You take care of each other! Yay!

Some people are worried that as a foreigner it might be uncomfortable if you’re totally naked and being stared at, but honestly, after a couple of surprised glances, no one cares. The surprised look is from the Korean mindset that most foreigners are uncomfortable being naked in front of their friends/family, and we think that this stereotype is actually pretty true for majority of North Americans. Somehow we feel like some European countries might be more comfortable with this concept of naked bathing, but we’re not totally sure why. Anyone? If you’ve been to a jjimjilbang or mokgyoktang in Korea, we’d love to hear about your experiences. How about everyone else around the world? Would you be comfy getting naked with your (same gender) friends and scrubbing dead skin off each others backs? Let us know!

ToFebruary
Gmarket
  1. Hello Simon and Martina, always love all of your video and finally I already decide to go to Korea next autum and I really wanna try jjiljimbang.
    But now I’m worried, I already know that korea is famous with one size concept, so for me who are a plus size woman, is that okay to go to jjimjilbang, do they provide bigger size sauna clothes?? I’m a size 16 btw.
    What happen if their clothes do not fit in me? :(
    I really need your help… Looking forward for your reply :D

  2. Loserx0rz
    Loserx0rz

    Yay, first comment being a member! I feel so involved. :) Anyway! When I was a junior/senior in high school, I went on a two-week travel abroad to Japan. I think my biggest regret of the trip was that I let my body insecurities keep me from going to one of their bath houses–we stayed over night at an onsen/hot spring, but I didn’t want people seeing me naked. Totally kicking myself for that now! I’m planning to teach in Korea, and will DEFINITELY be partaking of the Jjimjilbangs and public baths. As I am older and wiser now, I realize that nobody really cares what I look like. xD And I want to get out there and have all kinds of cool experiences!

  3. Hello! I’m from America, currently staying in Pyeongtaek, and my first jjimjilbong experience was at Dragonhill Spa outside of Yongsan station.(Exit 4, and then it’s across the street on your right) Nakedness with strangers isn’t common in the states, but because I’ve always been a bit more liberal and open-minded I didn’t have any problem stripping down. (My coven performs out Samhain ritual skyclad, you kinda have to get over some of those body issues!)

    I was alone during this trip, and while I initially got a few looks (which I was told later might have been because I keep clean-shaven downstairs :P) nobody really stared or anything, and I didn’t get bothered by anyone. It was a relaxing and fun experience! I think anyone who comes to Korea should visit a bathhouse at some point. I promise, so long as you wash yourself well before getting into any of the communal tubs no one will care about your body, cept you.

  4. whats the little mitten thing “death star” really called? And can you get it in Toronto?

  5. I’d love to know which ones you recommend visiting!

  6. Did anyone catch the Trogdor ref? Simon and Martina you two are brilliant!!
    :D

  7. Tiffany Lee

    I laughed when Martina mentioned BOF! It was so funny ~ however that may be what I would be like since I’ve never been..
    I have a question..if you go to public bathhouse/mokgyoktangs with your friends, do they just help you scrub your back and you do the same? Or is it only the case for Martina?

  8. bill bo

    Excellent video especially because many people confuse a bathhouse and jimjjilbang. I’ve been going to bathhouse, several times a week since 2000 and so far have been to about 30 different establishments. I agree, most foreigners don’t like them. However, they provide a really good insight into Korean culture, especially ‘skinship.’ Indeed, for Koreans, attending a bathhouse with a friend adds a deeper bond to the friendship.

    From a western perspective, bathhouse are probably one of the most  unexplored destinations and  few foreigners take to plunge – indeed I’ve only seen 10-15 westerners in all my visits. Forget the Boring Boryeong mud festival, if you want a unique, bizarre and totally Korean experience, you should visit one. I also have a blog dedicated to them, Bathhouse Ballads. (elwood5566.net)

  9. Anonymous

    I know it’s an stupid question, but are woman or maybe girls shavedyou know down there ?
    so embarrassing ^^° 

  10. Elise Jerez

    When visiting Korea last october, i went to a jjimjilbang in the Sinsa area after clubbing. I basically got there at 2:30 am and experienced sleeping on the (warm) floor. You’re right about the pillows, they’re super hard ^^ But it was definitely one of the best things i got to do there and when i go back to Seoul for Christmas, i’ll go get my scrub and hot water bath. 
    I’m French by the way, and the whole “being naked around strangers” thing felt really weird to me so the first minutes were awkward. But as you said, nobody paid attention so it felt easier after some time. I think most Europeans, or French at least, would feel awkward too, as there are not many occasions here to get naked together with your friends/family/anybody. That would rather be considered totally inappropriate.

  11. Heidi Hickman

    The thing I’ve been wondering is not “Have you ever been to a jjimjilbang” but “Have you ever been denied access to a jjimjilbang for being foreign?”

    A fellow teacher (from New Jersey) spent the weekend in Busan with her Korean friend, expecting to spend the night in a jjimjilbang. She was forced to scramble for a Plan B, however, when the man behind the desk basically told her friend, “We’ll let you in, but we don’t serve their kind here…” with a nod in her direction and no explanation as to why! She’s been to several across SK in the past few years without encountering anything like this.

    For my part, I’ve only been once, and it was with complete strangers. (A male student took my husband and myself – after having warned us several times, “I tell you again: ‘all clothes off.’ This ok?” – to the sa-u-na. So that I wouldn’t be alone on the girls’ side, he decided to rendezvous with his sister and her bff.) I was actually way more comfortable than I expected, and perhaps even more comfortable than I would have been with friends! Not sure why that is.

  12. now when simon says that … all i can think of is Teen Top “Don’t Spray Perfume”

  13. What’s the real name for the death star? And can you get it in America?

  14. Hair dryers for hair on head only. LOL :))

  15. You know I’m American and I think im pretty open to the idea of visiting a jjimjilbang or mokgyoktang…I’ll try it! Also im goin to use the word nakers for now on…i think its cute lol

  16. Hey Martina

    my friend and I are here in Seoul and we were looking for a good jimjibangs to go to.  We are staying in the Jongrogu area of Seoul.  

    Thanks a bunch

  17. Anonymous

    i’ve never actually been in a bathhouse, but i can probably help explain your feeling about how some Europeans would handle it. they have nude beaches in Europe, remember? it’s not the same as a bathhouse, but it’s still being naked around other people in a way that’s not supposed to be sexual.  also, when we went to a pool in Italy, we went to a shower room after.  we were there with our friends who were living there, and they had lived there for 5 years by that time.  it was a big room with a bunch of shower heads, no privacy from the other women whatsoever. we didn’t get strange looks for not removing our bathing suits to shower, but the other women there had absolutely no shame about removing the tops, and i would be willing to bet that there are plenty of women who’d be perfectly ok with being totally naked in there.

    I also remember seeing some old public baths–it’s not real common in modern Italy, but way back when (especially in Roman times) they used public baths. it’s not quite as foreign a concept to them as it is to us North Americans.

    my biggest culture shock in Italy, i think, was the unisex bathrooms.  they aren’t everywhere, but they aren’t uncommon either.  also, some bathrooms charge for you to use them.

  18. I have a question for Martina.
    Are you addicted to Korean dramas??

  19. Conductor 37

    I apologize if this has been asked already, but what’s the real name of that Death Star scrubber?

  20. LOL…as i got that i don’t really like Jimjilbang, it’s okay for the dry heat rooms, but not for the Shower…
    is it different with Onsen in Japan?

  21. I am an American in Taiwan for the summer. Went to the hot springs here which are really relaxing but FREAKED OUT about having to be naked in front of people I had just met that day, strangers, etc. I am not comfortable being naked in any situation, even alone! To make things worse I am African American so I already get stared at, it was nice but I don’t think I could do it again.

  22. LMAO. Seeing that Mr. Ausoul is from Sydney, I think he meant AU-Soul. AU meaning Australia and SOUL. XDDDD

  23. Anonymous

    Wouldn’t be an issue for those of us who come from Iceland - http://blog.icelandexpress.com/iceland/2006/11/24/reykjavik-swimming-pools-the-naked-truth/ and I think this is true for all of the Nordics (Norway, Sweden, Finland & Denmark) – even though you might have to look long and hard to find anyone willing to scrub the dead skin of your back :D

  24. downthelane

    Went to korea for a month, and a korean friend insisted that I go to the hot baths in our neighbourhood. I loved it! It was pretty cheap and really really nice, the only problem (as you put it ) is the nakers bit. I am from Canada aswell and people really do not get naked in any situation (even in changing rooms you would hide behind a towel). So everyone was naked and I was like ahh self concious-ness! After a while I was like w/e, look at my white bum I don’t care! You can wear a towel, or something of the sort but pretty much everyone is full blown naked washing there hair and bathing. I actually paid a woman to give me a full scrub down. I layed on a table  and she scrubbed me raw. I had taken a shower that day so I was pretty sure I was clean, But the skin and dirt they scrubbed off me was gross. I bought a scrubbing thing like you guys too, it helps alot :P
    I would recommend anyone to go, It is relaxing and nice. The salt rooms can be hot tho if you are not used to it.  I would recommend the oxygen rooms, I fell asleep for 5 hours, and I felt awsome after. Also I did go in the really hot sauna thing, It looks like a giant clay kiln, or cooking stove they give you a timer and you go inside. It was super hot; although apparently really good for you. I did NOT enjoy it and unless you are going with someone who knows about how it works or has done it before I don’t think I would recommend it at all.
    I am only upset we do not have these in canada, or the states ( cheap ones I mean) I would do all the time, it is so good for you and I think it helps with your self esteem, you learn that people are just people, you see what a woman actually looks like and that being naked is not a bad thing it is natural.

  25. Nakers, ha ha ha! I’m going to use that term from now on XD As an American, I would feel really uncomfortable being nakers in front of my friends and family; I even feel uncomfortable changing clothes in the locker rooms after practice O.O But hopefully, when I do go to Korea, I’ll overcome that uncomfortableness, and be able to dance around nakers in the public baths! :D The back scrubbing deal sounds really… scary! Black skin coming off…? O.O But I’m super curious now! :O When you mentioned Jun Pyo from BOF, I flipped out majorly *cough cough fangirl cough cough* 

  26. i got a big issue with saunas and places with hot air…i don’t think i can stay in a public bath for a min at all lol

  27. wait wait wait!!!! like naked NAKED…not naked with a wrapped towel around??!! because i’m from the US (grew up in VEGAS .< i would feel completely awkward. but i LOVE lonnngg baths and this experience would be hard to turn away from but i'd feel like there are just somethings you need just for yourself like it's just a reallly intimate thing and it'd be a privilege to be naked together with someone like a significant other. i can't imagine just nonchalantly sharing with the rest of the world (or at least the bath house). i don't think there is anything wrong with it. but it just feels wrong for me.

    please please please tell me you can run around in a towel and jump in the spring or pool naked and then rush out in a towel again LOL..because i'd be SOO down haha!

  28. Rebecca DiCandilo

    Im american and yes it was uncomfortable the first time I went to a jimjilbang.  However, I have gone 4 more times since then and I really do love it and feel more and more comfortable each time I go.  I especially love the mineral waters on the east coast near Sokcho and Gangneung.  I had some digestion issues and within 15 min of being in the water, my stomach started moving and gurgling.  That bath said it was good for that and it really was!  Maybe Im a bit slow, but someone showed me that if i go into the cold bath and then the sauna, i can stay in there so much longer.  or you could do steam room, cold bath, steam room and wow is it refreshing!  Ideally its not crowded and no one is dying their hair next to you leaving the packets and chemicals on the ground.  Oh and once there was a little girl with a nose bleed next to me and i was downstream from her so i was a bit irritated.  

  29. I’m from a small european county – Lithuania.(I’m currently studying in the capital-city Vilnius and there live Lots of Polish people. dunno why i’m mentioning this XD)  and yeah… being naked in front of Anyone but your lover is seen as a weird/akward thing.

  30. I think I would feel fat between those really skinny korean girls ._.

  31. I’m from a small town outside of Boston in the U.S. and even though I’m open to new things this is still a bit of a culture shock.  There aren’t a lot of saunas around unless you go to some expensive country club and even then people usually go in after they’ve been swimming with their bathing suits on.

  32. Julia Lee

    lol I’m korean living in canada but funny thing is that in my high school law class there was a case where there was a public bath house in canada but it was being used as a gay hook up joint haha and I thought that was so funny since its such a normal thing in korea

  33. I’m an American (currently studying in Seoul) and I have to say, back home, I never would have thought to go to a bath house. People in the USA are super sensitive about their bodies and that’s in general something kept private. But when I first came to Korea, a friend said that I really needed to go to the baths and saunas.
    That being said, I went to a 목욕탕/찜질방 about two weeks ago and loved it. I’m dying to go back (which shocked my host mom. She tells everyone who will listen that her host student loves 찜질방!). I have no idea why, but after about a minute, the idea of being naked in front of people stopped bothering me. It was all really refreshing and I got to learn a lot about Korean culture!
    One thing I found really interesting is that I was actually stared at less in the bath than I am on the streets or on the subways. I am very very much a foreigner and tend to stick out, but in 찜질방 there seems to be an understanding that you come as you are and people accept it.

  34. Anonymous

    Simon really hates when the air is hot and steamy.  <————— HOT and STEAMY right XD

  35. Suus deKock

    I’m from the Netherlands (though I lived in Canada for awhile) and it’d take some getting used to, since hanging out nekkid is noooot really a big thing here. But I think in the end it’d be fine, we’re pretty open-minded people over here.

  36. I live in the netherlands and Well at gym class in elementary school they shower in one big shower (girls and boys apart ofcourse) and at pools/at the sea you can see women with their tops of or little children naked ._. But probably 90% will feel awkward at a bath house o-o i will …

  37. Hey! so in Germany where I live they have bath houses, they even have a whole city that is known for their bath houses called Baden Baden. (sounds like bath bath to me!!!) But in all honesty people go to the pool naked in Germany (at least where I live) especially little kids. I’ve never seen an american do that though…

    • Mara Winter

      I think in Germany there are those who go to the sauna naked and those who wear bathing suits (such as my mother). It really depends on where you live. Small children usually are the only one’s naked where I always go to. Where I have been people wear their swim stuff (I have been in the northern regions and live in the South of Germany)

  38. I used to go to overnight camp in Muskoka, Ontario, and everyone had to shower in shower houses (one for girls and one for boys) which until a few years ago did not have curtains.  Anyway, it pretty much forced me to be comfortable being naked in front of other girls.  No one really stares at you and you talk to your friends while your shaving, rinsing, or washing your hair.  I don’t think a Korean bath house would bother me, but then again they are bigger than camp shower houses, so it might be a little awkward at first.  Not sure if I could deal with the back-scrubbing, though… a little too personal, I guess.

  39. katarina ringenson

    I’m Swedish and currently visiting Seoul for summer college (which is great btw, I totally recommend it), which includes a lot of hanging out with Americans, especially Korean Americans. When I told one of them that I wanted to visit a sauna, she warned me: “Yes, but there is one thing you should know… you have to be naked in there” and I was like “…yes?”
    In Sweden, any regular bathing house (for swimming, not getting clean) and any gym will have a sauna where the rule is pretty strict: you can’t wear any clothes, but you have to sit on your towel. I seriously don’t get how North Americans use a sauna. Do you go to the sauna with clothes on even if it’s gender divided? Why? You would still see each other naked in the shower OR DO YOU ACTUALLY SHOWER WITH YOUR CLOTHES TOO? (just kidding)

    • well also Italians feel unconfortable about being naked so when I´m in Italy I am the one feeling awkward cause I´m used to Germans and for Germans is completely normal to be naked in a sauna!

      sorry if I bother you but I will go to Seoul and I´m actually looking for some summer colleges so I was wondering if you could ge me some advices…
      if you want you can write to me on facebbok

    • Keltik S

      In North America the showers are usually curtained off so you cannot see each other while cleaning, and so no, even though we don’t wear clothes in the shower, we also don’t see each other naked in the shower. And in saunas, usually North Americans go to them after swimming and keep their swimsuit on so that they are not naked in front of everyone else. In fact many places ban you from becoming naked as they feel it can be a privacy and hygienic issue. I live in the U.S. and pretty much the only places you see other people naked are 1) in your bedroom with your lover, 2) at a hot springs with some hippies, or 3) the occasional school locker room that doesn’t have curtains. I’m not sure why we are so private, it might just be that we are a bit shy and self-conscious about our bodies. I am glad your country feels open enough to have people that are not afraid to try such cultural things as going to public baths naked, I wish we had more people like that so we could be less prudish lol.

    • Mimosa Sillanpää

      Do you have any idea how warm is it in “their” sauna?

      Hello from Finland :)

  40. Anonymous

    I live in the Washington DC and we have a Korean bathhouse called Spa World in nearby Centerville.  My husband and I love it.  It has both the jjimjilbang (찜질방) and mokgyoktang (목욕탕).  My favorite hot room is the “clay ball room.”  It is very hot and the floor is covered with little hard balls, which feel really good when you lay on them.  if anyone is in the DC are I highly recommend Spa World.

  41. Im a girl and Ive never been naked in front of anyone my age lol so that would be pretty freaky for me let alone letting someone scrub my back lol. still it sounds cool to go to 

  42. Oh yeah, one other thing…I wouldn’t mind going to one of these places with some of my home boys, but seriously, I’m not sure about asking one of my buddies “Hey, bro, do you mind rubbing my back and getting the dead skin off me?” 

    That would be totally weird. Also, weird because I’d be naked! The thought of that just makes me CRINGE! :)

  43. As European it depends on person. I’m quite shy, so i’m not that comfortable to be naked, but we have some lakes around town and they are like half nude- which means if you want to you can have swimsuit, but it’s not big deal if you are naked. 

  44. Have you guys (or anyone here) ever tried Dr. Fish??

  45. i’ve always wanted to try th epublic baths as soon as i go korea im draggng my friend to the baths

  46. I think europeans might not get so uncomfortable because there were a lot of public baths (like 200 bC)? They may don’t use them anymore, but it’s already deep in the culture? XD

    And, I don’t know… here in Brazil the only place you can stay this way naked is like half-public swimming pools, in the bath/changing room (not in the pools! LOL)…
    I would feel uncomfortable, at least at the beggining, but I would like to try out at least once, absolutely! I would not have many chances to go to Korea to try out the 목욕탕, right? :D

  47. I think that I would be really embarrased at the beggining, but ill eventually get used to it, and I also think that is very convenient for me, since I am a dancer, and of course I sweat a lot during practice, so if I go out from the studio, and have to go to other place, and home is far, I just go to one of this places, and blam!! like new, XD totally clean and fresh, and also, if it is too hot during summer this would be really refreshing

  48. Scrubbing thing is also something traditional as well and in the past there existed a bit similar here as well. My mom and my grandma are so pro-scrubbing LOL

  49. Megan Maliczak

    haha we have a ton here in california! (: and seriously…..there are ZERO foreigners there  LOL and when me and my friends to go there…whoa whoa whoa.the little kids just stare in amazement haha…and yeah..when i ask my other white friends if they wanna go…HAHAHA…yeah its a no for  them :p
    oh! oh! i loveee shikhye~ ^^ so refreshing~

  50. I always see those places in dramas and korean reality shows , I really want to go there !!!
    I’m from Mexico and must of the people wash and change together in sport centers.
    I love your videos <333333

  51. I’m so glad you made a video about the bathhouses! I had a chance to visit one while staying at my Korean friend’s place, but I was wondering if the differences I realized between that place and Japanese ones I’ve been to were general, or specific to that particular complex!
    Anyway, as for Europeans being more comfortable naked… well, I’m Polish and I have no problem at all. It might be in part because I’m short sighted, cause even if people actually stare at me, I just don’t realize… (can’t see=can’t be bothered) However, when my mum and best friend visited Japan last year I took them to a Japanese bath house, a pretty big one too, and they were both perfectly fine.

  52. OH MY GOD THIS POST IS SO TOTALLY FOR ME TO COMMENT!!! I just came to Korea and we decided to stay in jjimjilbang overnight because it’s cheaper than a regular guesthouse/motel, and also we wanted to experience the said “Korean culture”. Me and my friends are from Singapore/Hongkong, jsyk. And we were completely, totally culture-shocked when we realized we had to strip completely naked at the resting area and bathe in a communal area! We thought there would be at least individual cubicles but noooooooooo, we have to be naked. We were extremely uncomfortable with that because it really wasn’t part of our cultures, so we settled without showering and washing our hair in the toilet sinks instead! LOL! Of course, we got a lot of stares from the Korean ahjummas and some actually came and told us to strip and go into the bathing area, but we *successfully* avoided them by pretending we didn’t understand them. The sauna (common plaza) area was pretty nice, though watching everyone sleeping on the floor kinda made me LOL (I thought it looked like a slave house) but after my 2nd time going to a jjimjilbang, I’m pretty much used to it. I just try to bathe when there are lesser people there. :)

  53. Haha, they have the same thing in Morocco! Different rooms with different levels of heat, the special hand exfoliater things (excuse spelling), and they use a special black soap to clean themselves before scrubbing down. You go in, thinking you’re clean, and then all the dead skin rolls off your burning red skin…yikes.

    The only huge difference seems to be at the end. Once completely done scrubbing, washing hair, conditioning, etc., you go dump freezing cold water over yourself/jump in freezing cold pool. 

  54. you know ın turky there thıs called a human that you have to clean theere where you dont have clothes but boys and gırls have dıffert places but the gırl dont have cloths ıf you lıke you can but a towle or you dont need to but the boy but a towle and you can eat there XD and yes my mom as the same thıng at that back soup thıng ıts HERTS XD

  55. I think the persons name is meant to be AU SOUL. AU = Australia so it would be pronounced as individual letters, and then just the word soul.

  56. i want to go there now and get my back scrub!!

    but i got man boobies!! :O

  57. Ausoul. Hmm. Nice name! This makes me wanna go to a jjimjiibang now.

  58. Sara Eden

    I love 목욕탕!!!! I’ve been in Korea for six months and me and a few of my expat friends go on a regular basis. It’s SOOOOO relaxing. It sounds like I’ve had really similar experiences to Martina. But Simon, I have to say, you are really missing out. Granted, this isn’t for everyone and you might hate hot air, but the you get used to the hot air after a few minutes maybe? Our male counterparts LOVE going to the bath house. In fact, usually they’re in there longer than we are. They just shoot the shit in the hot tubs and have a great time. I don’t know if they scrub as incessantly as the women though.

    If you want a GREAT jimjilbang recommendation – try out Vesta Spa in Busan. Has a million dollar view of Haeundae beach for only 8,000 won.

    For whoever reading this, don’t be put off. You get over being nakers (^^) in 5 minutes. Even my friends who were very shy and conservative enjoyed themselves immensely after they got over the initial discomfort.

  59. I swear these TLDRs just keep getting better and better!
    I love you with all of my ♥, Simon and Martina!

    p.s. the scrubbing sounds really painful. :P

  60. From a New Zealander’s point of view, the majority of us wouldn’t even think  about going to a public bath..Kiwi’s are really quite conservative :P I can’t think of any of my friends that would volunteer to go somewhere and get naked O.O Man, even I feel embarrassed writing this! :P I personally wouldn’t go if I had to be naked. However, if I could wrap up in a towel or something..i’d imagine it would be quite a relaxing experience! :D 

  61. Strangely the only person I would feel comfortable doing this with is my best friend. Maybe because of her cultural heritage (she’s part Japanese) or maybe she’s just that way, but she has no problem with stuff like this. And to echo previous comments, it wouldn’t be awkward if the people you were with didn’t find it awkward. Maybe I would try it……maybe…..

  62. Lol no worries Martina, I turn into a lobster too. XD

  63. What jjimjilbangs would you recommend around the Seoul area?

    • 영민 ì¡°

      There are a lot of jjim-jil-bang in Seoul.

      I recommend you’d better to go there with your closed friends which is located near your hometown.
       
      Have fun. :-)

      • 조영민 씨,
        감사합니다, 하지만 제 친구 모르겠어요. 미안합니다, 저는 한국 사라미에요, 하지만 저는 한국말 잘못
        í•´ìš”.

  64. My first experience with a bathhouse was also one of the first times hanging out with my new in-laws.  I believe I may have entered the seven rings of hell before I got over the mortification and tried to relax.  

  65. Anonymous

    Haha, oh, man. Public baths! When I was little, I always loved going there with my mom and aunts whenever we visited our relatives in Korea. I think it was because I was a little kid then, but I didn’t really mind being naked in front of all these other ajummas and other kids my age who followed their moms there, haha. But now… I don’t know if I’d be so comfortable being naked in front of strangers. o///o My bathroom at home is my mogyoktang, now… haha. Once in a while, I’ll ask my mom to scrub my back for me and vice versa, and it feels really good. :D I guess if you haven’t grown up with it and have it done on you for the first time, it can really hurt. (Or if you keep scrubbing the same place a lot) Does it still hurt when someone scrubs your back, Martina (and Simon if you do this)?

  66. This was a very funny video. I likee ^^

  67. Pronounced oz-soul I would think…interesting video. I was keen on going to a jjimjilbang when I go to korea…I’m not sure if I will yet though.

  68. Simon, I think your experience was pretty unique. I’ve been in oncheon and bath houses across Korea and haven’t seen anything like that. Anyway, glad you guys threw your hat in on the subject of public bathing. IMHO, it’s one of the best parts of living here; I can never seem to feel clean when I go home and just take showers. Gotta have a good 1-2 hour scalding soak on occasion.

  69. Oh… this is weird!! When you say naked is… NAKED-NAKED?? Without underwear??? O_O wow that really extreme! This TLDR was so funny! ^^

  70. Anonymous

    Oh the sauna and naked baths, how you aren’t actually awkward in real life. I remember when I went, they legit had large flat-screen televisions in the largest medium-heat sauna room. I personally really hate saunas though. Sweat. Gross.

    I totally agree about those pillows being a waste of time. Heck the mats they give you do little than prevent you from sweating on the floor while you sleep. Worst night of my life trying to sleep at one. 6:00 wake-up call by an Ajumma crushing ice in a blender. Gotta love it.

  71. mrredsun

    I went to a jjimjilbang somewhere between Seoul and Pusan called “Spa World”.  There’s a large locker room and shower area (separate for each sex, of course) for changing into and out of your swimsuit for the co-ed bath/spa areas.  Well, my brother and I had adjacent lockers and we changed as surreptitiously as we could.  We met up with our English-speaking Korean cousins in the spa area and spent an hour going about to the various spa stations, hot pools, and saunas.  My brother wanted to go back to the hotel room and sleep a bit more, so I gave him my locker key to fetch the room key.  He got the key and gave me back my locker key.  After another hour, we all left the spa area and I went to my locker.

    My key didn’t work.  I was nakers and had no hope of getting to my clothes.  Somehow, my brother gave me HIS locker key and returned mine.  I didn’t speak enough Korean to let the spa employees know my horrible, horrible situation.  Eventually, my uncle (who also spoke no English) came down to see what was holding me up.  It didn’t get better.  I couldn’t even say “my key doesn’t work”.  All of English-speaking relatives were women and couldn’t sort it out in person.  After half-an-hour of intense discomfort in a sea of man nakedness, I was able to get my locker stuff out.

  72. For me, it depends on the person I am with. If the friend I am with doesn’t care about being naked and is like whatever, then I don’t care either. But if I go with someone who is super conscious about the situation and feels awkward, then I feel awkward too.

  73. lol I laughed A LOT in this TLDR! extreme steam!  thats one of the many reasons i love watching your videos so much… your humor is HIGHlarious! keep up the great work guys! 

  74. omg this video was so funny!!

    as an asian american, i don’t think i’ll ever go to a public bath. 
    ive always thought sitting in a tub where everyone else’s nakedness has been was kinda gross. hahahaha

    so all that skin that you scrub off just ends up in that tub of water? i’ll stick to bonding with my friends over coffee or beer hahahahah

  75. Joy Mac

    Yah, I don’t think I’d ever be cool with it even though I’d like to spend hours in a bathhouse.

  76. Ha ha ha. Awesome topic for discussion. Ok – so from a Korean American perspective…

    I’ve always ask my Korean American friends here in the states if they’d want to go to one of these bath houses with me. There are, in fact, many bath houses in major metropolitan cities like New York City and especially Los Angeles where many Koreans reside. 

    And let me tell you this – Korean Americans, for some reason, squeal at the bathhouse idea. They think I’m the strangest dude in America!

    The reason I like the idea is the simple fact that people can spend some quality time together. It’s not like I want to see my friend’s private parts! I’d probably throw up! Sickness!I always tell my homies to go, but again and again, they refuse! Absolutely refuse! Goodness people – I just want to spend some quality time together! Geez. Sometimes, people are so up tight!Thanks for the hilarious video!

  77. Did this person who asked the question just get you guys to basically say ‘asshole’ on tape with that user name of theirs? ^ ^

  78. Umm, all Finnish families go to sauna naked together (duh, even the word sauna is Finnish language), both genders… Of course when you grow up you might not go with your parents anymore but still many people do though. And many even bathe with their friends of both genders. I’m a little awkward with that but with the same gender no problem at all…? O.o I never got what’s the big deal with being naked anyway, but I guess it being so natural to Finnish culture takes all the tension away. Like public pools always have saunas (different for both genders of course) and you’re not even allowed to wear your bathing suit there or in the showers for hygienical reasons… So your guess about nudity being more comfortable for some Europeans applies really well at least to Finland. :)

    That being said, I still regret I didn’t visit jjimjilbang when I went to Korea… :(

  79. Anonymous

    Nakers? I have a feeling that new vocabulary term will be used by my little sister and i now :P but i do wish I could try this. Ya I know it would be super awkward (so i think a swim suit would be used), but i bet it would also be kind of funny! I need to convince my Korean friend to take me. Also! Dont worry Martina! Being a ginger i turn bright pink too in hot conditions!

  80. My mom would use to take me to Mok Yok Tang when i was a little when i visit her shop because she had no time to bathe me at home because she worked all the time. So she’d take a break and we’d go together. I asked my mom one time if I could bring a bathing suit so I can swim in the cold tub (not cuz i was embarrassed but for the sake of having a bathing suit and wearing it cuz bathing suit was a new thing to me XD and it was cool). five years ago (i live in Georgia now), I visited my friend in NJ and we went to a korean mok yok tang there they just built and I saw a black lady and I was surprised because like you said I really was surprised that an American was there because I thought Americans were a little homophobic as well as hate seeing each other naked. but she was just sitting there scrubbing the crap out of herself and I laughed because she looked so korean right then. So comfortable in her own skin and doing what she needed to do.

    but you can hang out in jjiim jil bang also because of the FOOD. you pamper yourself, you get clean, and you pig out. i guess it really is a girl thing. its like the ultimate sleepover with spa+masks+food XD. I chat with my friends, lay down watch tv, then we sleep in the aromatherapy room, and then do it all over until we decide its time to wash ourselves. I can’t sit in teh hot tub for long because 1.) i get bored and 2.) I fall asleep and then I might drown XD.

  81. OMG, there is no waaaaaaaaay in the world I would be naked in front of my family, let alone my BFF. Id be too embarrassed. 

  82. LOL @ the guys blow drying their crotches.  I’ve seen this many times myself.  Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your point of view, I’ve become used to it now :P

  83. I would never feel comfortable being naked in a public place, and even worse if I have to be with my friends or family HAHAHA seriously, not even to mention the scrubbing part xD

  84. Haha, jjimjilbans are not as terrible as you can imagine. We even spent all night there and it was very nice. Yes, it was a little hard to sleep because of the extremely high temperature))) But, really, spending a time in a public bath will make you feel much better. I thought I’d be uncomfortable, but everyone was very kind and helped us since it was our first time))) And of course no one pointed a finger at us with ”외국인!!!” shout))) 또 가고 십다…

  85. Rucksee Georgescu

    Awesome guys!!! a tad scary to think of, :”>
    hey, d’u know this song bout bath houses? pretty funny! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukrneA7WCYQ

  86. Martina I feel your pain as a ginger my freinds like to mock mt white ness and pinkness all the time! They even use their finger nails to draw on my cuz they know that it’ll show up pink :< It's not funny to pick on the pale folk!!!
    (Even if I'm not offended I'm sure some other ginger/vampire is!)

  87. I’d be totally comfortable bathing with one of my close friends. In gym, we change in front of each other, (while cracking pervy jokes) so bathing with her would be totally okay.
    A lot of my other friends would be soooo awkward though >.>

  88. I’m Finnish and as some of you know, we have saunas. But some of you don’t know, that we are naked when we go to the sauna. Of course, in public saunas, males and females are separated. 

    I personally think, that we aren’t embarrassed about being naked. Since teenagers are growing up, they might not want to go sauna with their parents, but with friends some of them think it is OK. Adults don’t care about being naked.

    Reason for that might be, that sauna has been part of Finnish culture for hundreds of years. Everyone who is born in Finland must have been in sauna at least once. It is very usual to us.

    I can’t wait that day when I’m in Korea, and I can test all kinds of Korean things what I want to do. 찜질방 and 목욕탕 are part of my plans.

  89. Korean public baths are seem weird for me ^^ In Russia we have public paths and Russian baths as well and it’s pretty different from Korean one.. I think I’ll don’t like jjimjilbangs.. I more like privacy ^^ But still wanna go there ^^

  90. cloiebuggeater

    On nudity and Europe:  In high school, my German teacher would show German movies.  She would forget about the nude scenes and always had to run up and cover scenes, usually while complaining about american hang-ups with nudity. She was from Germany and totally couldn’t understand why parents got so upset by it :)

    I’m not sure how comfortable I’d be getting naked with a bunch of strangers, but I would love getting my back scrubbed.  I’m pretty comfy with in home /family nudity though, so I’d probably get over it and go.

  91. Glen Lee

    Is that called BJ? lol I think most Asian guys have totally smooth skin but some specific area have more hair than you guys???.. Sorry man too much information.!!!

  92. You did more mind reading! I was going to ask whether you have any experience with jjimjilbangs, but you did a video before I even asked. Yay! I’ve been curious about it, since it’s been pretty much in almost every drama I’ve seen. 

    I guess it varies for Europe whether people are ok with being nude. Reminds me of my English teacher (from Scotland) who once told me, that she doesn’t understand how Czech women can walk around naked so easily in the changing room, while she walks around wrapped up in a towel. 

  93. Is it ironic that since you started the TL;DR Thursdays, I always read the description before watching the video? xD

    I think those sound really cool and I definitely want to go to one! But it does sound really strange to me, haha. On the one hand, I would want to experience it. On the other hand… AWKWARD.

    I am an American and I think we are very uncomfortable being naked around each other. I change in public changing rooms (a lot of people, especially younger girls/women, change in the bathroom stalls), but I used to be really freaked out about it. Now I don’t mind all that much… But both my mom and younger sis are really awkward about changing in front of others. We wouldn’t go to one of these together. It’s even a little weird when we’re just in underwear and bras… I had gym with two close friends in high school, and we would change around each other, but that was also in underclothes. So I just don’t know. I don’t think I would mind being topless at all, but totally nude… Idk. D=

    I will definitely go though!!!

  94. Rachael Murphy

    Very interesting. I think I’d have to work myself up to go to a public bath house. I think, though, that going with a friend would help soften the blow. It certainly sounds like it’s fun and refreshing.

  95. Europe is pretty much like America, except for more central Europe? They have nudist beaches…The further west, the more people there want to cover up….it’s strange o__o

  96. One of the most hilarious TLDRs EVARRRRRRR. LOL but I think that username was probably pronounced aw-soul like…Aussie Soul? IDK. XD

  97. I never thought you guys would make a blog about my dreams (martina all naked like in a hot and steamy room)

  98. where can you get some of those back scrubbers ^_^ thank you

  99. I’d definitely go there one day!! Thanky you^^

    But how much does it cost?

  100. I asked this before on your FB. :D

    When I lived in Korea as a child, my mom would take me and my sister with her to a bath house, every now and then. There, we would get scrubbed down and washed by her or an employee. I remember it hurting like crazy because they used a scrub cloth meant to “scratch” off dead skin. After that, Mom would instruct us to soak in the hot bath tub for a little, come back to finish off any other cleaning, and only then could we play around in the cool water tub where most of the children stayed. With that and refreshing juices, I would think we stayed there for maybe an hour each time.

    Jump to this Spring, during our visit to Busan. Our mom kind of tossed in a Busan visit before we arrived, so she was the only one who had an idea of what we were going to do. She mentioned that we’d be able to stay overnight in a bathhouse with individual rooms. I don’t know why we thought we’d be able to avoid others, but… yeah. None of us American gals felt great about being in a public bathhouse, but we were fine with being able to sleep in a sauna room overnight with no nudity required. The next morning, I actually decided to just jump on into the bathing area alongside my mom, who does this type of thing all the time. Her being so comfortable helped, and I could tell she was slightly concerned if I was okay with it. The bathing room was similar to the one I recall from childhood, just bigger. There were only a few ahjumas in and outside the bathing room, so there were beginning stares that led to attempted conversation with me. LoL.

    • Oh, and I has a picture of me and mah mommeh in the room we stayed in at said bathhouse. :D
      I have a picture of her in the pink PJs they had for the… smaller sized folk. xD I’m a big gal, so I had boring ol’ gray.

  101. I would totally feel weird being naked around a bunch of strangers, I would truly be a 외국인 in S.Korea

    ps. I like the word nakers 

    • haha dont worry im korean and I feel awkward too. well maybe cuz I stayed in America too long but its that first part where you take off your undies you feel most awkward. after that, you feel incredibly comfortable. There’s nothing like bonding with your friends while seeing each other naked. thats truly bonding XD

  102. That was definitely one of my most memorable experiences living in Korea!!! I’ve never felt so clean in my life! I felt like I lost 5 lbs every time I came out. My after mokgyotang drink was always the grape juice in the can.  :)

    • you should try the coffee that comes in this triangle plastic bag. It’s a staple and I used to drink it all the time and its a mok yok tang/jjim jil bang thing. I used to just drink it while I was in the hot tub.

  103. interesting video… can’t wait to share this. ^_^

  104. Soooo Strraaaange~~! Very strange ~~~!

     And thank you for the video ~~~ Make me happy each time~~

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