When it comes to South Korea, you will definitely think of K-pop and Kimchi. Besides, South Korea is also well-known for is distinct bathhouse culture. Seoul’s jjimjilbangs (Jjim jil bang, Korean jimjilbang, Korean bathhouse) are becoming social hubs for whose seeking for an escape from the hassles of the daily life for a while.
Experience a bath at a Jjimjilbang is one of must-do things when heading to Korean, South Korean. We had super interesting experiences from culinary to culture, fashion, etc in our trip to Seoul. Especially, we visited the legendary public sauna that we had always wanted to explore when watching Korean drama.
In Korea, there are 3 types of public bathhouses:
- Regular bathhouse: Only featuring shower, large public bath for bathing
- Sauna: equipped with bath, shower system and resting places
- Bath and Sleep House (Jjimjilbang): This is the most liked and popular type of bathhouse for South Koreans. If you are genuine of Korean dramas or game shows, then you will find this public bathhouse super convenient, like a miniature world offering almost all your needs.
As Jjimjilbang (Jjim jil bang, Korean jimjilbang) is a very popular activity to South Korean, there is a wide range of Jjimjilbangs for you to choose from. After some confusions, we decided to take Siloam based on Google Search. Siloam (Siloam Jjimjilbang Seoul, Siloam spa, Siloam sauna) is one of the largest and most rated public bathhouses in Seoul. You can search for further information if you want to try other public bathhouses. Now, let’s join us to review one of the best Korean Jjimjilbang (Korean bathhouse, public sauna) at Siloam Sauna in Seoul below.
Because the area is quite large, so these public bathhouses are quite isolated from the shopping center. If you want to experience a public bathhouse, then you should spend a whole day to enjoy fully. Although it is said to be far away, we have no difficulty to find it at all because there is Google Maps app. It will show you from where you are to where you have to go, how many stations or how to transfer. In general, just listen to Google’s words, you will get to where you need to go.
For example, I am right at Hongdae and want to go to Siloam Spa, you can just type the destination and you will receive such detailed instructions.
Siloam Jjimjilbang Seoul: How to get to Siloam Spa?
- From Exit 1 of Seoul Station on Subway Line 1&4, go to the main road. Turn right, walk along the main road until you meet a road intersection. Cross the road, follow the road inwards until the first intersection, turn right and you will see Siloam Jjimjilbang.
About a 10-minute walk.
- Chungjeongno Station (Kyonggi University.) (Seoul Subway Line 2 & 5), Exit 5.
About a 10-minute walk.
- Seoul Station Seobu Bus Stop
- Blue Bus: 173, 261, 262, 463, 503, 604, N16
Siloam Jjimjilbang Price: Detailed price list of Siloam Spa
This is the price list of Siloam, and is also the common price of most of these public bathhouses in Seoul.
Note: This fare will include all public bath services but does NOT include:
- Food and drink.
- Hiring someone to do exfoliate.
- Some rooms or equipment in the entertainment floor.
Siloam Sauna Review: How to buy tickets?
There are 2 ways to buy tickets to public bathhouses: Buy in advance on Kkday or Klook or buy directly when getting to the place. The only advantage of pre-purchase on KKday is that it is cheaper around $US2, while the ticket quality is the same, no more benefits are added. Your ticket will include a set of clothes to wear in the bathroom (Female: orange, male: brown, small children: blue/pink) and towels, shoe locker and wardrobe locker, personal belongings.
One thing to keep in mind about Korean public bath culture is that only people with close relationships can invite each other to a public bath. Because before going to the sauna or relaxing entertainment room, firstly everyone has to wash and soak in herbs in the basement. And this stage, everybody is totally NAKED!.
However, there are gender-separated areas where men and women are split into two isolated areas. You will feel awkward if this is the first time you experience it, it is actually a bit embarrassed, but once you are familiar with it, it is wonderful to give it a try. Not to mention that when we first entered the closet, the “aunties” were very innocent, going from the bathroom and still naked as if they owned the place. All you need to do is relax, act confident and comfortable. Otherwise, South Koreans will stare at you thinking “so typical of tourists”.
Siloam Jjimjilbang Seoul: How to use rooms in public bathhouses?
If it was the first time you are in the public bathhouse, especially Itaewon, you would be stunned and confused by the scale and the process of using the rooms in the public bathroom.
There are 5 floors in Siloam with a number of about 20 rooms including bathrooms, saunas, sleeping rooms, entertainment room, restaurants, and so on.
After you have finished storing your personal belongings, you go down to B1 floor to wash your body and steam first. When going down to B1, it will be divided into 2 sides: 1 for men and 1 for women.
When you get down to this floor, you MUST have your towels “removed” to enter the shared bathroom. Firstly, you need to clean yourself carefully from the faucet and then go to the sauna and soak in hot water, coal and cold water baths.
Note: Those who have blood pressure or heart disease should not soak or sauna for more than 30 minutes, if staying in this room for too long, they will have headaches, difficulty in breathing or chest tightness that are not good for health.