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|Boryeong Mud Festival 2015|
Korea has a lot of festivals; they have festivals for everything they can think of including the weird ones. There’s one for ginseng, for lanterns, for tomato and for MUD. Yes, you read it right. Korea celebrates the presence of mud in the world whilst other people in other part of the world, including me, hate mud. I mean, who would want mud? It’s like so dirty and stinky. However, of all the festivals in Korea, the Boryeong Mud Festival actually attracts a lot of people including the tourists. That is why I was so curious about this festival and I felt like my Korea experience will never be complete without attending this infamous event in Korea which happens every July of the year.
This year, the Boryeong Mud Festival celebrates its 18th anniversary and I was so lucky I have some adventurous friends who are as curious as me about this festival. So we decided to pack our bags and went to Daechon beach last July 18-19, 2015.
We were so overwhelmed by the presence of the international visitors. Well, we also considered ourselves in that demographic since we are foreigners in this country too. We saw as much foreigners as locals in the event. They said that Boryeong is usually a quite place, but not when we went there.
|International visitors at the mud festival|
The whole area from the seashore of Daechon beach to the neighboring motels and pension houses were all jam-packed with different people from different nationalities. A used to be peaceful streets has been turned into party venue. At the night of the first day of the festival, we went out to see the whole atmosphere and we really felt the festivity of not so much about mud but most of all the connections of every tourist who flock in the area to have fun. There were fireworks everywhere, there were parties and most people were drunk. We walked around the beach and around the area a little bit that night but we decided to reserve some energy for tomorrow’s mud event. It’s good thing that our accommodation is just within the vicinity of the event, we have all the freedom and the convenience to go back and forth.
|At Daechon beach for the opening of Boryeong Mud Festival|
On the second day of the festival, we woke up so early because we don’t want to waste our time. We went out at 6 in the morning for a beach walk. The atmosphere of the area in the morning is way different from the last night. Almost everybody was still asleep and tired for over partying, bottles of soju scattered everywhere in the street and few sober tourists were walking like zombies without slipper.
It was a cloudy morning but it was so perfect for morning beach walk. It was nice to be able to enjoy the beach with friends while others are still coping with their hangovers and whatnot.
|Morning walk(0r jump) at Daechon Beach|
|Available accommodations in front of Daechon beach|
After our long beach walk and breakfast, the fun had started when the mud square was opened at 9 am. We first had our mud painting which is for free. We had the colored mud painted on our faces. I don’t know how they put colors into the mud but I like the texture. It’s cold in the skin. We also saw several beauty products made of mud. Apparently, one of the beneficial properties of mud is that it is good for the skin. I am not sure what kind of mud is that but the beauty products say it all.
After we had our mud paint, we went to the mud square to enjoy more fun activities with….. ugh…. MUD… The entrance to the event is 10,000 won for adults and this entitles you to wear a bracelet that would give you access to enjoy not so mad mud activities. Teenagers and kids can pay lesser amount at 8,000 won to join the event. Kids have a separate area for this.
What are the activities in mud square?
Actually, there are a lot of activities you can enjoy there. I am not sure what they call them but one thing is for sure. Everything has something to do with mud. So to kick off our mud experience, we started at the prison mud. There’s a fake prison cell where the participants need to enter and the staff will throw you some….. I mean a looootttt of mud. We ended up soaked with this brownish and stick substance that I was trying to avoid all my life. I can’t believe I immersed myself to that. What’s even weird is that, I enjoyed it so much. The fact that I was coated with mud was so liberating.
|The mud prison|
After that, we tried other activities such as sliding in the muddy slides, mud wrestling, mingling with other people we don’t even know by splashing them some mud, played some weird mud games with strangers and me and friends bonded in the most unique way ever.
|Playing with the mud|
It was such a nice privilege for us to bond in a not so usual way. We used to go on trips, played bowling and ate in the buffet as a way of catching up to each others. But bonding in the mud? You would have thought it’s no way possible, but the truth is, it was way too fun.
|Having fun with the mud|
What is good about Boryeong Mud Festival is that they have a lot of activities. As much as we want to try it all, we only have limited time to stay. We need to go back to our respective places on Sunday afternoon, so we just tried as much as we can. Although we were not able to try all mud activities, we were not really mad at all. We had fun and all we can utter was we enjoyed wrestling in the mud.
If you are planning to go to Boryeong Mud Festivals, I have some heads up for you to fully enjoy the experience. You might want to check it out.
1. Know the direction to go to the event. Do not make the same mistake I did. I went there without really checking what to ride, and where to go. I ended up paying more than 100,000 won for a taxi. It hurts but I guess the moral lesson is to really check your direction so you will not get lost. Ask in advance, or better yet Google on How to Go to Boryeong Mud Festival. You would not want to pay as much as I did just for the fare, right?
2. Save your camera from damage by using a plastic pouch. Of course, you would want to take photos of you in the mud, or else, it didn’t happen. However, I don’t recommend you bring your DSLR or camera with you. In our case, we just used phone camera because it’s easy to bring, but you need to buy that plastic pouch where you can put your phone so that it will not get damaged by the mud and the water.
3. Bring a plastic with a zip lock for extra cash. When you are in the mud, you will get soaked all over your body. Not everything in the event is free, so obviously you need to bring some money for the entrance and other activities. You can still put the money in your pocket but you need to put it in a plastic with zip lock.
4. Book your accommodation in advance. For those who are planning to stay overnight or more, you may opt to bring a tent and install it by the seashore or book a motel or pension house for group. I suggest you ask assistance from Travel More Korea for bookings. They helped us a lot to get accommodation.
5. Bring extra shirt. In the mud festival, nobody is exempted. Everybody must experience the mud no matter how mad you think it is and everybody must be splashed with mud without having the license to get mad. So an extra shirt maybe necessary.
6. Have fun, Just have fun!!! This is an opportunity to make friends with people with different nationalities and culture. Learn how to be more interactive, don’t worry, the mud will help you a lot.
There you go. I guess this is one of the most memorable experiences I have here in Korea. At first I thought mud festival is such a mad idea, but when I experience it with my friends, it’s easy not to get mad when stained with mud especially if it is just for fun.