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Guide for Living in Korea

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Use of Convenience Facilities

01 Beauty Salons

Salons provide a range of services including hairdressing, makeup and manicures. Regular haircuts arenormally around KRW 10,000~30,000. Perms are very diverse, ranging from KRW 20,000 to morethan KRW 100,000.

02 Types of Public Bathing Facilities

Public baths are called Mokyoktangs, Saunas, or Jjimjilbangs.

  • Mokyoktang: A place that is equipped with hot tubs and showers. It costs around 5,000 won to 6,000 won per person.
  • Sauna: Equipped with bathtubs, showers, and resting areas. Service charges differ depending on facilities.
  • Korean Dry Sauna (Jjimjilbang): Equipped with bathtubs, showers, resting areas, and sleeping rooms. Other than bathing areas, both men and women can share the rest of the areas together. Service charges differ depending on facilities.
  • For sauna and Jjimjilbang, usage fees for internal facilities, such as rest rooms, sleeping rooms, exercise equipment, etc., are included in the admission fee. You must pay extra to purchase food, or to get a massage or other beauty services. You can also opt to pay for a full body scrub in the bath section of the facility.
  • Hot tubs are kept at temperatures of 43 to 45°C, while the temperature in "Korean dry sauna (Jjimjilbang)" can range from 40 to 70°C; the temperature in "dry sauna rooms" can range from 70 to 100°C; and the temperature in “sweat rooms” can be anywhere from 70 up to 130°C. When used properly, hot baths and sweat rooms can help you sweat out toxins, reduce stress, and ease muscle pain.
Useful Information
Public Baths

Korea has a well-developed bathing culture. People typically visit a public bathhouse once or twice aweek to relax in a hot tub and get a deep down clean.
Since people get entirely naked at a bathhouse, Koreans go to the bathhouse together only afterthey’ve reached a certain level of closeness. This may feel awkward to foreigners who are not usedto bathing with their colleagues or friends. Some foreigners insist on wearing clothes, even in thehot tub, which makes many Koreans feel uncomfortable. Proper etiquette is important for ensuringthe comfort of others at the public baths, as many people must use the facility together. Those whoare uncomfortable with bathhouse customs are encouraged to refrain from using the bathhouse orwait until they are more comfortable.

Please observe the following when using a public bathhouse:

Even if you are healthy, do not stay in hot rooms or hot tubs for extended periods of time. Pregnantwomen and people with preexisting heart conditions should avoid the steam rooms entirely.
Drink a glass of water every 30 minutes in order to avoid dehydration from sweating. Drinking wateris provided free of charge, and sodas and other drinks are available for purchase.
After a late night of drinking, a Korean friend may suggest staying overnight at a Jjimjilbang, andgoing straight to work the next morning. Please remember that alcohol makes your body lose water,and sweating in a steam room after drinking is a very dangerous idea.
Also, if you have a skin ailment or infectious disease, never go to a public bathing facility.

Bathing in the Public Baths
The following are some instructions for use of the public baths.
  1. 1Take a shower and wash your hair before sitting in a hot tub.
  2. 2Stay in the tub for 5 to 10 minutes to allow your body to sweat.
  3. 3Take a seat outside the tub and scrub yourself off with a bath towel.
  4. 4Try some steam rooms or a cold tub if you want.
  5. 5Take another shower before leaving.
Public Bath “Don’ts”

Do not wear underwear in the tub.
Do not scrub yourself in the tub.
Do not wash your clothes in the tub.

03 Hospitals

Hospitals and the clinics are for medical examination and treatment, and are equipped with facilities toprevent diseases and provide rehabilitation services. They include regular hospitals operated accordingto department of diseases, general hospitals managing all kinds of diseases, and Oriental medicineclinics that treat patients through Oriental medicine. The cost of medical treatment varies dependingon the condition of the disease and the treatment method.

  • For details about hospitals, refer to ‘Chapter 7 Health and Healthcare > 3. Medical Institutions’

04 Pharmacies

A pharmacy is a place where prescription pharmaceuticals are dispensed for the purpose of treatment,and it is also a place to sell healthcare and health-related medicines. Pharmacies are specially controlledwith a restriction that they can be operated only by a nationally certified pharmacist or herbalist. Witha prescription obtained from a hospital, one can buy prescribed medicines from a pharmacy.

05 Marts

A mart (supermarket) sells various kinds of groceries and daily necessities in multiple categories. Dependingon the size, they are classified as small or mid-sized grocery stores to large retailers. With pleasantenvironments, fine customer service, and product quality, they provide customers with economicalshopping opportunities, when you can buy goods at discounted prices depending on the time.

06 Cinemas

A cinema is a cultural space where movies are screened. Recently, cinemas have theaters with differentfeatures including special screens for 3D and 4D movies while providing various services for theconvenience of users. They also offer a wide choice of screening times for moviegoers, from earlymorning until late at night.

07 Neighborhood Parks

Such parks are designed for the residents to use freely. Their sizes vary depending on the area, andin general, they have a playground for children and exercise equipment for adults helping to improvehealth and foster well-being for the residents.

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