I had a visitor this weekend, aka the boy. Markie, the boy, and I were able to meet up at Sala Thai (using the $20 for $40 groupon). I was very happy to see Markie, and she finally was able to see my apartment 🙂 She developed an attachment to my panda. I seriously thought she might kidnap him. Anyways, if you’re feeling stressed or tired … and you’re in the DMV area (or look for such places if you’re elsewhere!) here’s a suggested itinerary for a lazy Sunday:
We found this place through google/yelp. It’s a good idea to read some of the reviews on yelp, especially if you’ve never seen an Asian “spa” before. Or you can read my “Guide to Spaworld in Centreville, VA” starting now – Let’s pretend you’re a woman (this will also sort of apply if you’re a man). You walk through the entrance of this place. It looks kinda funky since it’s in one of those Shopping centers you’d expect to find a K-mart or Food Lion in. When you walk in, do not be afraid, walk through the foyer area and you’ll see a counter to your left.
You should ask for the sauna + poultice room package ($40). Pay for it, you’ll receive an orange uniform (see right) and then place your shoes in the locker area for shoes. Here you’ll take a bracelet that comes with a key. Make sure you carry this at all times.
Now turn to your left and walk through to the women’s sauna area (or men’s if you’re a man). You’ll be greeted with a locker room, reminiscent of any gym locker room (see photo). Find your locker number. Do not be shocked if boobs/butts are hanging out, because soon yours will too. Once you’ve found your locker, strip down. Don’t be shy. You should have walked past a door to a pool area. Go there now and pick up a towel or two on your way in. Make sure to stop by the showers before heading to the the Bade Pool area. This is a pool area that has different stations for different types of massage therapies (imagine jet streams of all kinds). Read up on the most efficient way to tackle this pool (http://www.spaworldusa.com/pool.html).
You’re going to see women (or men) of all sorts, shapes, sizes, skin tones. If you were ever slightly uncomfortable with your own body, you’ll be afraid no more! When people are unclothed in movies, their skin seems flawless. No stretchmarks, no wrinkles, even breasts, flat stomach… Here, oh you will be greeted with predominantly older Asian women in the early hours and middle age women in the later hours. You’ll see that gravity effects everyone and voila! You’ll find yourself happy about the way you are and comfortable about your own body. I cannot make this claim for men! Sorry! You’ll just have to go see for yourselves!
Once you’re done with the massages, hop into one of the two hot tubs. If you’re feeling adventurous (and if you’re in the mood to drop some $$, make an appointment with one of the older Korean ladies in black lingerie. They’ll give you a really nice body scrub). After you’re done, make sure to stop by both the Steam and Dry Sauna and take a shower again before heading back out to the locker room and changing into the orange uniform you were given previously. It’s time for the Poultice Room. This is just an open space where people like to sit/sleep to relax. Surrounding the open space are a couple of rooms + cave like domes that house the center’s different saunas. They range from the 60-something degrees F (I think) Blue Onyx Ice Room (see photo to the right
) to the 160 degrees Red Clay Room. I like to go to all the other poultice rooms, saving the Blue Onyx Ice Room for last. Once you’re done experimenting, feel free to join the other customers on the floor. There is also a row of couches at the end of the room near the Drinks/Snacks bar.
If it’s after ~9 AM, feel free to step into the Restaurant for some delicious Korean meals. 🙂 You use your key bracelet for the snacks/drinks/meals… and then you’ll pay for them when you check-out.
That’s most of the spa! Feel free to wander between the poultice rooms and spa. They have free wi-fi. And just be lazy! You’ll feel refreshed when you leave. If you’re in the mood to spend some more, they do offer massages, the body scrubs (as previously mentioned) and they have a fitness center + sleeping rooms. But yep, make sure you go!
I also found this Hot Pot place in Fairfax, VA but since I’ll be making another trip this weekend, I’ll save the details & pictures for then 🙂
(All photos are taken from Yelp)