There must be literally hundreds of hotels / inns / B&Bs just within the Seoul metropolitan area itself. Going through and evaluating the entire list online has only left me with the disheartening impression that even minuscule guest rooms the size of my bedroom closet would cost a pretty penny in outrageously pricey Seoul.
Seriously, if I were to fork out more than a thousand bucks for a measly room, it had better come with a reasonably satisfying lap-dance from a hot muscled Korean boy the likes of Choi Siwon.
Contemplating the different alternatives for temporary hostelry has made me look at the jimjilbang in a different way. Basically it's a large public bathhouse in Korea. If you've ever sat through a Korean drama, chances are you'd probably catch the protagonists relaxing in quaintly color-coded gender-specific garments in a jimjilbang.
Siwon : You want me to give you a lapdance?
Paul : Yes, is that going to be a problem?
And occasionally you'll see the protagonists struggle their way there after falling desperately into sadly significant financial insolvency. For a meagre sum, you get a place to lay your head for the entire night. Seems the have entire cinemas, cybercafes and restaurants in there.
And a hot bath, don't forget that.
Unfortunately you gotta get totally naked for that. Hmm... I'm a bit iffy about stripping down in broad daylight and then parading au naturel in front of a whole bunch of staring strangers - especially in surprisingly homophobic Korea, where a whole room of naked virile men doesn't exactly translate to full-scale buttsex orgy. Honestly I'd be a little more understanding if it did lead to a little naughty bump-and-grind.
But no, apparently they actually head to the bathhouse purely for what it says on the door. A bath. So nothing kinky going on there despite everything flapping in the breeze.
So getting naked.
Hmm. Unless I looked like the aforementioned Korean hottie Choi Siwon, I doubt I'd be able to shed my inhibitions as easily as my robes at the door. If all Korean men are genetically slender yet sculpted with military-trained muscles, I'm going to have to decline. Definitely a stumbling block at the jimjilbang. Fortunately I haven't reached such dire straits yet when it comes to looking for available rooms but with the sinfully expensive prices they're charging at the hotels, it's worth keeping in mind.