Another bucket list item for every Chungdahm teacher living, working, and playing in gorgeous Korea is to experience a traditional jjimjilbang 찜질방 or Korean bathhouse. I had the pleasure of visiting Siloam Sauna (실로암사우나찜질방) located in Jung-gu 중구, the historical heart of Seoul. Jung-gu is one of the 25 districts that form the city of Seoul 서울 and is just north of the Han River.Read More
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
Rain Rain go away! Now that we are in the midst of summer, monsoon season in Korea seems to be finally kicking up. Korea experiences four distinct seasons, with monsoon/the rainy season beginning in the middle of June. "Jangma, 장마" aka the rainy season brings heavy rainfall with lots of heat and humidity. Seoul experiences an annual precipitation average of about 1373 mm, mostly during July and August.Read More
The word ‘bang’ in Korean (방) is one of the words that most foreigners should know once arriving to Korea. This word means ‘room’ and it can be attached to many different types of places where people can gather and spend their weekends or afternoons. Here are the 4 types of ‘bang’ you should know and some of my favorite ones.
If you are moving to Korea, there are many things you have to experience before leaving. Call it the English Teacher in Korea Bucket List. Obviously there are things like the Boryeong Mud Festival, trips to Busan, the Korean War Museum, the DMZ, and maybe a quick expedition to China or Japan, but there are other important must-do's that are far more convenient. What I did today is definitely on the English Teacher in Korea Bucket List and that was a trip to a Jjimjilbang! You can take a look at what they say on Wikipedia, but I would just describe it as a traditional Korean Bath House.
After Nampo and Jagalchi, I thought I would introduce my family to the jimjilbang, or Korean spa and bathhouse. The most famous one I had heard of is Spaland, which is located on the first floor of the Shinsegae Department Store.
The Korean jimjilbang is right up there with kimchi and they may in fact both compete for the top spot. They are well-known elements of Korean culture. Jimjilbangs are large public bath houses (mostly gender-segregated) and can be found on almost every street in Korea. Some are more fancy than others, but most have a handful of hot baths, showers, saunas, massage tables, lockers, sleeping areas and social meeting spaces. Jimjilbangs are usually open 24 hours a day and many people visit them to bathe, relax and sleep. Many rooms, including the saunas, have special minerals, woods and stones to create a soothing sanctuary and provide elements of traditional Korean medicine. The Korean jimjilbang is a familiar and calming oasis for all Koreans. Each is a mini spa that caters to your every need. They are more prevalent than Starbucks shops and you can spend a day in one for the cost of a latte and a snack. They sound perfect, right?
Most neighborhoods have similar stuff going on unless you get to live in one of the more exciting areas of Seoul like say Hongdae (university party scene.) But a lot of times teachers get into a groove and don't even explore their immediate location. Just to educate and maybe motivate, here is a short list of what I dig around Pyeongchon and Beomgye station.