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I embarked on my second Jimjilbang experience with two of the school nurses – my new favourite people in the world.

The spa we went to was top-end – the ‘this is how it must feel to be really rich’ end.  Situated in the biggest shopping centre in the world, from the inside of the bathhouse area you could be forgiven for thinking you had accidently boarded the Enterprise.  In fact, if they wanted a Startrek remake that will actually get viewers, going where no man has gone before would probably be a good start.

So, it started with the baths: same same as my previous bath trip only with hardcore underwater jet streams situated to massage (pummel) different parts of your back, an outdoor Jacuzzi (used post-sauna), and a serious scrubbing from one of my comrades who tutted gleefully at the amount of dead skin that rolled off my back after she attacked me with a skin grater.  I returned the favour.

We then donned pyjamas and rocked upstairs to the massive chill out complex.  The concept on which these places are built sits (or rather, lounges) very close to my heart: I think I have known all my life, particularly when the alarm shouted or I was travelling via rush hour tube, that this land exists.

Relaxation begins, of course, with a heated floor, the eating of boiled eggs and resting heads on small wooden blocks.  The eggs, I am told, really are the Jimjilbang thing.  However, like my perception of pillows made from wood, nobody seems to know quite why they are intrinsic to the complete experience.

Next we walk through tranquil fountains and rows of soft beds to check out the movies showing at the mini cinema, and begin our round of the various heated rooms, all of which have a specific theme – from green tea and red clay to sound wave therapy and charcoal.

We spend ten minutes in a massage chair and have a nap in a dome.  After sitting for a while in the hottest of all the rooms, we put on the provided coats (over our matching pyjamas) and walk outside in a bubbling, ankle-deep pool, the floor of which is made from small rounded stones to massage acupressure points as you walk.  When we make it out for a well-deserved lunch I feel like a goddess, or a baby seal – or some other clean, pure creature.

All of this is bloody good stuff if you ask me.  Probably why I go on about it so much.

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