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Travelling to Turkey

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Women visiting hamam question
(85 Messages in 9 pages - View all)
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1.       Elisa
0 posts
 18 Mar 2005 Fri 03:51 pm

I was wondering: when I go to a hamam, do I have to undress completely? Or do I get a towel to wrap around myself? Or do I have to wear a bathing suit?
It's not that I am very self-conscious, I'd just like to know the routine because I have heard different versions of stories and visits.



2.       guzel kiz
0 posts
 18 Mar 2005 Fri 10:10 pm

Hi Elisa! Regarding your question,I wore a 2 piece bathing suit and felt pretty comfortable. Two other girls who went with me did the same thing.

3.       Sertab
136 posts
 19 Mar 2005 Sat 12:03 am

ha interesting topic.. & güsel kiz, could u exactly tell us wht they do to u in a hamam? i mean, i've read in some books there's a woman that helps to wash yourself.. is it true? tell me a little more about it pls! i'm really curious (:

4.       Elisa
0 posts
 19 Mar 2005 Sat 12:07 am

Thanks Güzel Kiz! In which city and to which hamam did you go?
I found this on www.turkeytravelplanner.com (http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/Articles/TakingTeaInTk.html):
"...the Turkish bath, for a restorative soak and massage. Men are given a light towel modestly to gird their loins, and it will not do to let it drop even while washing down there. Women, on the other hand, may be greeted by gales of derisory laughter should they attempt to keep any part of their anatomy covered. And it's depilatory all round."

Uhhmmm, does that mean that in some places you really can't wear anything? And do I have to shave "it" all of then?? :-S

(itchy) Elisa

5.       Sertab
136 posts
 19 Mar 2005 Sat 12:13 am

LoL (: In this movie i saw once: "Hamam, the turkish bath" it seems that the women didn't wear anything and yes, they have to shave "it" all hahah at least that's wht i understood from the movie..

6.       Elisa
0 posts
 19 Mar 2005 Sat 12:45 am

Now I'm really curious!! Is pubic hair considered dirty to muslim people?
In a week I'll be in Istanbul, I really don't want to be kicked out of a hamam because I'm a "dirty girl"...
Please help me out! :-s

7.       guzel kiz
0 posts
 19 Mar 2005 Sat 01:36 am

Last year I took a trip to Turkey, I staied in a hotel called 'Maksim Ottimo' in a small town Konakli near Alanya. Before I went to get a Turkish bath, I did not know very much about it, just heard from friends that it would be a nice experience. Our tourist guide provided an entertainment list which included a visit to a turkish bath. It looked interesting, so me and two of my travel companions decided to sign up for it. The hotel where we stayed provided this service and the guide tald us that would be the best place to get it. Since it was our first time in Turkey we did not feel comfortable experimenting,so we decided to go to the Ottimo's hamam (if we went to a city hamam, the price would be about 3 times lower than the services provided by the hotel). Even though it was a little bit pricy $30 per person,the experience was worth it. I may not remember all of the details of the whole process, but I remember that after I left hamam I felt like a new person. Here comes the description... A nice lady greeted us at the reception of the hamam. She gave us small linen towels and walked us to the changing room. When we asked if changing to the bathing suits would be appropriate, she said yes. After we changed, the same lady took us to the steam room and left us there for about 10 minutes, she said it would be a good idea to use the towels that she provided to cover our heads, to avoid our hair getting too dry. Once we staid long enough in a steam room, we were walked to a large room with a big marble stone in the middle of it. There were faucets with running water on every wall of the room. There were two men in that room, the hamam workers. They told us to lye on the marble stone, which turned out to be very warm. One started working on me. He got a pot with warm water and started pouring it on my body. After doing so a few times, he got linen and poured aromatic foaming soap on it, bit the linen with his hands to make the soap more foamy and than poured this stuff on me, covering me with the linen for a few moments. Than, he put on a glove (the glow had a sandy surface) and started scrubbing my body with it, everything but the face. The straps of the bathing suit were a little bit on the way, but not too bad (one of the girls that came with me, took the top off, but I did not feel comfortable). While scrubbing and massaging my body, he kept pouring warm water on me from the pot and than again pouring the foaming soap. The whole process lasted, I would say, about 20 minutes. It was incredibly relaxing, the pleasant scent of the soap was adding to the experience. Once the scrubbing part was over, the men told me to get up and took me to one of the faucets. Than he poured some warm water, to wash all the scrubbed stuff off, than he got another pot of water and poured the water on me again. I was startled! This time the water was freezing cold! I don’t know if he did it just to make a joke, or to bring me back to reality. Next pot of water was warm again. Once I was washed off, I was wrapped in a big warm towel and walked to another room with a few reclining chairs in it, there was a quite sound of a beautiful music. The lady that met us at the entrance in the beginning of the story told me to sit in one of the chairs and to relax for a few minutes. She brought a cup of Turkish apple tea and some clay in a cup. She said she would give me a clay face mask. After the clay on my face dried and I washed it off, I was taken to a small massage room. Here I got one of the most relaxing massages in my whole life. It lasted about 30 or 40 minutes, was done with different aroma oils by a lady who seemed to know what she was doing. When the massage was over, I felt totally renewed. It was time to leave the hamam. I am glad I did not go to a town hamam, it may have been less expensive, but I would have to take a trip back to my hotel, which meant I would have to wait for the bus to take me back. The only thing I wanted was to get promptly to my room and to fall asleep. I was very happy with the experience I had. I don’t know if at other hamams they do things differently. You may have a different experience I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!

8.       alyaa
115 posts
 19 Mar 2005 Sat 12:05 pm

hi guzel kiz,
well i felt so excited for reading ur experience i asked what if i went throught it by myself??

but if u want the truth?? frankly i think that the hamam u took u can find in any good hotel in other countries what i want to say is that these things has no relation to any turkish traditions!!
ok do u undersatnd me because i dont think in hamam were people go would prefer to be washed by aman ok and also u didnt unswer elisa about her queston?
ok what did u saw is it true

9.       Sertab
136 posts
 19 Mar 2005 Sat 12:26 pm

Güsel kiz thnks very much for sharing your experience with us.. i enjoyed myself reading it

alyaa, yeah, maybe u r right and she went to a more modern hamam.. but i think it mustnt b very different from a traditional one ¿?

and i'd like somebody to answer elisa's question.. i'm so curious (:

10.       Elisa
0 posts
 19 Mar 2005 Sat 02:07 pm

Thank you for sharing your story güzel kiz, I also enjoyed reading it.
But I also think that a hamam in the city is quite different. I've never read that people had "relaxing massages" over there. On the contrary, it can be rough and painful if you're not used to it. But that won't stop me from going though

One question remains, who would be so kind to answer it?

Here is some info on the Cemberlitas hamam: http://www.cemberlitashamami.com.tr/

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