Why are saunas popular in South Korea?
With roots in the Joseon Dynasty, South Koreans have long visited "jjimjilbang" (heating room) as a place for bathing, relaxing, and community bonding. These 24/7 gender-segregated saunas offer a range of amenities beyond typical steam rooms and showers. Patrons can unwind on heated floors, take in TV lounges, or catch up among mineral clay areas. Many feature nap rooms, fitness facilities, outdoor terraces, and snack bars serving common remedies like ginger tea. Unique traditions also persist - guests relax in loose light garments called "gunaebang" and many older patrons scrub their skin with Italy towels for natural exfoliation.
Today, these same facilities and traditions persist, even at gay saunas in Seoul. But visitors are likely to find more at these particular establishments, including dark rooms and play areas.
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