Wednesday, August 5, 2009

King Spa & Sauna

Above is a picture of me pre-King Spa & Sauna magical experience. I walked in at about 6:30pm, and left just a little before midnight- a changed woman.

I arrived feeling pretty good- like my normal self. I've got a few little aches and pains nagging at me, which I tend to ignore and tell to "shut up", like many people do. But after getting a 40-minute accupressure foot massage and then laying around for hours in different rooms that ranged from 35*F to 175*degrees, I think the little aches and pains finally got the attention they wanted and I felt like a brand new girl! Sorta like what I imagine the Tin Man must have felt like after Dorothy used that oil can on him.

The King Spa & Sauna is a Korean spa. As soon as you arrive, they give you little uniforms to wear- gym shorts and t-shirts in extra, extra large sizes. Pink for ladies, and gray from men. I went into the ladies room to get changed. But I was reprimanded by not following the rules... which are: you have to scrub down in a communal shower area, get in your choice of several hot tubs (of varying degrees of heat), and then hop into freezing cold water and THEN you get to put the clothes on. I didn't mean to break the rules, I just wasn't clear on them. So then I said to the woman, "Oh, okay. So where are the towels then?" and she then pointed to little white hand towels. Being the modest girl that I am, I felt a little nervous about the walking around naked and showering and bathing with strangers, but, when in Korea....

I then dried off, put my ugly-pajama-looking-uniform on and met my brother out in the main area that is like a little Korea! We were some of the very few Americans there.

We had about an hour before our scheduled foot massages, so we visited a few of the sauna rooms. From the outside, they sort of looked like igloos, but most of them were hot saunas. And people were laying on the floor. The first room we went in was about 120*, and then we moved on to the 35* room, which felt really refreshing. And before we new it, it was time for the foot massages.

I am not exaggerating when I say this foot massage was the most incredible massage of any kind that I've ever had. Magic. From what my brother told me, his was equally as great. 40 solid minutes of accupressure on our feet.

Then we went to an "oxygen" room, then a room that was 175*, and then a few others...But honestly, they all start to blend together once you're that blissed out. When you're not in one of the rooms, there is a huge area with lot and lots of recliners that people lay around it- talking, reading, eating a snack, or napping.

There's also a movie theater and a karoake room there, but we didn't use those. There just wasn't time.

We finally decided it was time to go home. But we could have stayed as long as we wanted- Well, up to 24 hours, anyway.

It's only $18 to get in. The massages and food cost extra. It's open 24 hours a day. It's family friendly. And it's really clean. (Thanks in part to the mandatory showers at the beginning of your visit!)

I'm going back often. Those Koreans seem to have it all figured out. The body deserves rest. That's how it heals. I'm a believer.


fleetwood said...

Great description from a fine "Field Reporter".

Anonymous said...

I used to be painfully shy about changing in ladies locker rooms. But the spa helped me to overcome that shyness. I'm a straight female, so don't get the wrong idea. But I have grown to prefer the freeing feeling that you find at the "nude spa's." It's kind of nice being able to walk around in the buff with other ladies without it being sexual or a judgmental situation. Once you adjust, you'll prefer the casual atmosphere when it comes to nudity at the spa.

I'm glad you enjoyed your spa trip!