Christmas in Seoul Part 2

On Saturday, I woke up at about 7:30. Naturally. I floundered in bed a while before heading downstairs for my free breakfast. I wasn’t expecting much, but was actually really happy with what the hostel provided. There were scrambled eggs, ham, toast with strawberry jam, OJ, and coffee. Then, I waited for Steve to wake up.

He got up earlier than I thought he would, around 10. I met him at his hostel and we set off for the Dragon Hill Spa. We got to the door only to find out that it’s currently closed for construction. So upset! Quickly, I took out my phone to find another jjimjilbang (spa) in the area. We found one called Siloam Sauna and made our way there.

It cost 10,000 won per person to use the sauna and the baths. We were given “uniforms” and directed to the men’s and women’s changing rooms, respectively. There were naked people everywhere. I changed and headed upstairs to the “fomentation” area (saunas). First, I went into the charcoal room and laid down on the floor. It was calming. As I was leaving, I saw Steve. We decided to explore together.

There was a salt room, a jade room, an ice room, a dugout room, and a Loess ball room, among others. The Loess ball room was my absolute favorite. When you walked in, there were two giant pits of little ceramic balls. They were hot and you laid in them. It was like dipping your entire body into a sack of grain, a sensation I thoroughly enjoy.

When it was too hot to take, we left and got some bingsu, a shaved ice dessert topped with red bean and fruit. The jjimjilbang was amazing. There was a food court, a norebang (karaoke room), a PC room, a hair salon, a nail salon, you name it.

When we were finished we the saunas, we went back to the segregated rooms to use the baths. You had to take your clothes off, but I sucked it up and did it anyway. Most of the baths were way too hot for me, but I found that I liked the jade bath. I was going to do a body scrub, but I chickened out.

Overall, it was an awesome experience and I would do it again. We left feeling so rejuvenated.

After, Steve and I made our way to Namdaemun Market to have a look around. It was so crowded! We stopped for what was probably the best mandu (dumplings) we’ve had yet and later, kebabs. Street food is so cheap and delicious.

At night, we went to Lotte World, which is the biggest indoor amusement park in the world. There was some confusion with the ticket types, and we might have spent too much money, but it was worth it for a really cool evening. The wait times for the rides were ridiculously long, so I only went on two, one of which was the monorail. I love monorails. It was seriously fun just walking around and seeing how extravagant everything was.

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After Lotte World, we figured we’d go hang out in Gangnam because well, it’s Gangnam. Total disappointment. We couldn’t find any bars or anything else to do, for that matter. I’m not sure if we weren’t in the right place or what.

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At that point, we were just so exhausted and went back to go to sleep.