(Happy feet: Muddied footwear!)
How I wished that the Boryeong Mud Festival was just in Seoul. But I wondered, if it were, could I go home to my Hannam-dong neighborhood riding the subway and the bus all muddied and dripping in gray dirt, and shunned by the rest of the passengers like I were a carrier of an incurable disease called 'mud addiction'? Ha-ha-ha!
Unfortunately, the Boryeong Mud Festival, which celebrates the local mud's therapeutic values mixed with summer fun, is held in Boryeong City in the South Chungcheon Province on the western side of the Korean Peninsula, which is a two-hour drive from Seoul.
(Happy to be a mud man!)
(A helping muddy hand)
But fortunately, no matter how far Boryeong is from wherever you live in Korea, you're sure to have a lot of fun this summer if you make it there!
I have been to the mud festival a few times already, and each visit is even more enjoyable than the previous one. Although the festival center is by the Daecheon Beach, there are also other activities at the mud flats on the other side of the city.
(Buying their entrance tickets)
(First aid booth)
At the mud flats, they hold the mud race for everyone who doesn't mind sprinting, sliding and stumbling in the mud while trying to finish the race. I didn't bother joining the race as I knew I would have more fun by just watching and taking photographs of the very competitive and muddied racers. Everyone was advised to wear disposable socks while running as the shells on the beach could lacerate one's foot.
(Participants on the muddy crawl awaiting their turn)
(Either the festival staff doesn't like the original color of her dress, or he's just muddy cruel)
(Crawling through the tunnel)
At the mud flats, they also hold what the organizers call 'mudflat extremes', where all participants wear fatigue pants and black long-sleeve shirts while being ordered by a commanding officer to do push-ups and other military-type exercises on the mud. And did I mention there was also mud wrestling?
(There goes his white tee)
And for those participating at the mud race and the 'mudflat extremes', the event organizers provide water trucks where participants can shower off the mud and dirt. Changing rooms are also provided. After cleaning themselves, the participants are ferried back to the main events area near the Daecheon Beach by bus.
But at the muddy city center, where all the action is, the Mud Square has all the less-strenuous, but equally muddy fun activities like the mud slides, mud prison, muddy tug-of-war and other challenges...all in the name of mud!
And since it's all about getting dirty, I suggest you don't wear your most expensive, white shirt or shorts to the festival. I always wore my Nike water-proof blue shorts paired with a non-white dry-fit shirt. These are very easy to wash after. Also wear rubber sandals or maybe aqua shoes for the same reason.
(Sisters in muddy arms)
By the way, you don't need to bring your smart phone to the mud square. Just bring your point-and-shoot camera protected by a waterproof case and sling it around your neck. This way, you can still capture your muddy fun moments that you can upload later on Facebook or on your blog. Make sure the battery is fully charged, too! And don't forget to bring some cash for the entrance fees, food and drinks in case you realize drinking muddy water doesn't exactly quench your thirst. Ha-ha-ha!
Since the final days of the festival is on a weekend, I would suggest you spend that weekend at Boryeong to maximize your time at the festival. During the day, they hold the very crazy rave party at Daecheon Beach, and at night, revelers enjoy the open-air concerts within the festival area featuring well-known singers and performers. And both events are free!
So, who else is heading down to Boryeong City to get muddy this summer? This year, the fun starts on July 21 (Friday) and ends on July 30, Sunday.
(Covering their ears from the mud)
(A free-for-all mud splash!)
You can either drive, or take the bus or train to get there. Here's the official Boryeong Mud Festival website for details on how to get there and get all muddied up:
(These ladies are saying that the Boryeong mud
is indeed good for your skin!)