안마 (anma, 按摩) is an upscale massage parlor normally offering illicit services. The anma signs can usually be seen ablaze throughout the night sky, often at the tops of buildings with the windows covered.
A typical upscale anma usually will include all or some of the following:
- After paying, you will be escorted by hand to the sauna, which will house lockers and have the amenities of a typical mogyoktang.
- Then, you are led to your own private, lounging room, where you can rest on ondol floors while watching TV. The rooms will have free cigarettes, plus a mini-fridge with water and juice.
- You then might expect a blind masseuse to visit your room and give you a thorough massage for 30-45 minutes. Blind masseuses are noted for their heightened sense of touch and feeling in their hands, as a result of their lack of visual sense.
- You will then be escorted to another private bath and massage room, where you will be bathed by a new masseuse.
- Eventually, you will then receive a nude bodyrub from the nude masseuse. Everything else from that point on would be considered 'full-service'.
- You will later be escorted back to your original private room. Depending on the time of night and how busy they are, you might be allowed to sleep the rest of the night there. ie., if you get back to your room by 4-5am, chances are they will let you sleep the rest of the night, as business is winding down. They will often serve free ramyeon, if asked.
Anmas can be found in the form of upscale barbershops, which can be found for as cheap as 100,000won. But traditional anmas with full amenities and private resting rooms usually cost between 170-200,000won.
Many anmas will refuse foreigners, unless you are going with a Korean friend.