Wednesday, July 20, 2011

There Will Be Mud: The Boryeong Mud Festival

The Boryeong Mud Festival was the perfect experience for our first trip out of Suncheon. We took a bus to Gwangju on Friday and spent the night in a Jjimjilbang (Read about our experience here). We woke up on Saturday and took a bus directly to Daecheon Beach for the 14th annual Mud Festival. We had heard a lot about it and decided it was something we did not want to miss.

The festival was super fun! You could wander the central area and play on the mud slides and mud pools. You could relax on the beach or in the water. You could grab some food or drinks and experience some of the best people watching in Korea. There was even a colored mud painting station where we were able to get painted in some refreshingly cool colored mud (pictured above). It was like our own colorful version of sunscreen!

After a mud paint job and several cold beverages, we made our way down to the beach dance area, where a giant cannon was blasting the crowd with water. After joining the crowd, we suddenly saw these strange things being thrown in our direction. After one hit someone near us, we realized what it was -- a small baggie filled with mud. We had just walked into the front lines of a mud war! We quickly realized we were on the receiving end of this war, as we were getting pelted with mud yet had to rely on picking these bags off the ground if we wanted to return fire. No worries though, we were already covered in mud, sand, water, and a little bit of beer. It was all in good fun. A little more mud never hurt anyone.

See our photos of the Boryeong Mud Festival weekend here.

Tips for future Mud Festival travelers:
1. Booking a hotel ahead of time is not necessary, but be prepared to pay a high price. We just showed up with no set plans and were able to get a room in a motel right on the beach. It was really expensive (a decent room with Queen sized bed and bathroom for 180,000 Won) but with several of us sharing a room, it was only about $30 each. I am sure you could find a cheaper price by walking further away from the festival, but expect to pay more for everything during the festival.

2.If you are on a tight budget and want to avoid the high prices, you could probably spend a night in a nearby city. Then take an early bus to Boryeong and spend the day at the festival. You really only need half a day to get the full festival experience. Get there early. Soak in the sun. Play with the mud. Drink and eat and swim in the water. By 4pm, you will have had you fix and you can make your way back home.

3. Bring a swimsuit, suncreen, and a pair of sandals or flip flops that you don't mind losing or breaking. We were able to buy a cheap pair of flip flops for a few dollars. You definitely don't want to be walking around the festival in shoes, and anything you bring with you might break or get lost. People are constantly taking their sandals on and off to jump in the mud. Nothing will get stolen, but everyone is drunk so things sometimes get misplaced.

4. They offer free lockers rentals for foreigners. The lockers normally cost 500 Won and there was a table set up where they would give you a 500 Won coin for free to use. It helped us greatly. Best advice we can give is to bring a digital camera but leave it in the locker. We saw so many cameras get wet and damaged from the mud and rain. We just left it in the locker for most of the day and then went a took it out for short periods of time to take some photos.

5. The festival seems to change every year. We were told if was different in 2010 and we expect it to be different in 2012. This year was the first year that festival goers were charged 5,000 Won to enter the main area with all the mud activities. You can still have a good time without buying the entrance ticket, but you will miss out on the opportunity to do a lot of the group mud events (wrestling, slides, etc.)

6. Be prepared to be around a ridiculous amount of drunk foreigners. No getting around it: This festival is dominated by Non-Koreans. It really boils down to the fact that everyone is drinking a large amount of alcohol while playing in inflatable mud pits like uninhibited little kids. A combination that is guaranteed to put a huge smile on your face.

 Get more information about the Boryeong Mud Festival at the Official Website (English)


  1. Awesome info Maggie~!!

    Cant wait to see you guys this wkend!

    1. Yes! Can't wait for Mudfest, round two with all of you!