I call it my “poor girl’s vacation.” Whenever I’m stuck in a rut and crave the exotic, I hop on the 10 freeway and drive north to Rampart and Wilshire, where a monolithic building called Wi Spa is, at 48,000 square feet, the largest spa in Koreatown. As I park in the secure lot, I realize that the on-site auto detailer will do for my car what the spa is about to do for me.
This is where I go to be immersed in another language and culture, one that has a long history of honoring the body with communal bathing–a concept that seems completely foreign to someone who was raised in a little Quaker town and is self-conscious in the extreme. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Wi Spa attracts local Korean families and jet-lagged travelers on long layovers from Seoul who see this ritual as a way to get scrupulously clean, relaxed, and recharged, a tradition born in ancient Korea where most homes lacked bathing facilities. Continue reading “When in L.A., Nourish Your Seoul” »