Saturday, November 05, 2005

My First Sauna Experience

When I read about Asia's biggest spa in my Lonely Planet a few nights ago I had a nightmare about having to be naked. I'm not big on public nudity.

But I've heard a lot about Korean saunas and really wanted to see what it was like. I was ready to pass on the idea yesterday but D'Arcy wouldn't give up and we had nothing particular to do in the early evening.

We jumped in a cab and asked to go to the specific spa that is apparently famous. The driver kind of chuckled and pointed to a building down the street. Apparently we chose a well located Love Hotel. (I liked the round bed, by the way).

So we hesitantly walked into the spa and received a key. We first locked up our shoes in one locker and then proceeded into the ladies changeroom and grabbed the ugliest pair of shorts and tshirt I've ever seen; pink, floral, and hideous. We walked downstairs into something called a Resting Room where men and women were all lying on the floor, resting. Not too thrilling. But there were three sauna rooms lining this resting floor. One at zero degrees with snow in production, one at somewhere around forty or fifty degrees celcius, and one at eighty two degrees! I wonder if I've ever felt such heat before. The saunas had curvaceous ceilings and dim lighting and we laid on the floor with our heads resting on wooden blocks. It would have been a very relaxing experience had there not been a television in each room and children coming and going constantly.

Soon we had maxed out in the saunas and knew the time had come to take the plunge. I had serious nervousness. Did I mention why exactly? Here we go.

We went back into the women's changeroom and disrobed, then proceeded into the women's bathing area. Naked women were everwhere. Children, adults, seniors, and two foreigners. Children giggled and stared and a few even dared to say hello. Get outta here, dealing with this is hard enough without blatant mockery!

We jumped into the closest pool possible only to be told that we first had to shower, so shower we did and then back into the pool we jumped. Time passed and I started to feel more confident in all my naked glory so we went for an exploratory walk and checked out the rest of the facilities. There were different pools at different temperatures meant for different things but the most memorable for me was a waterfall type area where a very hard stream of water pummeled your back. Or your bum, stomach, and any other variety of private parts as some women chose to do, lying on the floor in all kinds of strange positions to get the best pummeling possible.

The next part is what really changed my life. But it's time to check out so I better leave you at that for now.


At November 06, 2005 2:10 p.m. , Blogger Blake said...

BWAHAHAHAHA! This post made me laugh.

At November 07, 2005 5:08 a.m. , Blogger Jessica said...

If only you saw the real thing.. we were struggling HARD to keep our laughter to ourselves.

At April 09, 2013 1:51 p.m. , Anonymous Neil Dalby said...

It’s hard being in a public sauna, especially when you’re not big on public nudity. I remember my first sauna experience, and like you, it was a funny experience. I noticed that nobody cares whatever the other person is doing. They’re just relaxing themselves and minding their own business. With that in my mind, I just relaxed myself and I haven’t noticed that more and more people are coming inside the sauna. Nudity was not a deal when you are used to this kind of practice. :)


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