Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Last Saturday, I went to Boryeong Mud Festival with a group of friends. Our coach left Seoul Station for Boryeong (near Daejeon in Chungcheongnam-do) at 6:30am. The journey down South took about 2.5 hours with a halfway stop at Haengdan-do Service Area (행담도 휴게소).

Our coach (6호차) arrived at Boryeong a little after 9am.

The two mascots of the mud festival sitting on an event information board at the entrance. We will be like them soon - all covered in mud.

The entrance to the festival site - Boryeong Beach.

One of the two mud slides at the festival. Long queue at the slide.

Though we arrived early, the beach area was already packed with people.

The first thing we did was to look for lockers to place our belongings. The thoughtful festival organiser provides free lockers for foreigners at one corner of the beach. Along the way to the locker room, we dropped by the Information Center for Foreign Tourists to register and get some free festival badges. By the time we were ready to get dirty, it was about 10am. We only had about 5 hours of playtime before we had to wash up and leave by 4:30pm.

The road to the foreigners' corner. Information center for foreigners is along the way. It is very hard to keep yourself clean especially when the place is packed with people covered in wet mud. If you can't beat them, join them.

I used to think that the mud used in the festival comes directly from the Boryeong Beach itself but I was wrong. The mud actually comes from elsewhere, either from nearby riverbank or field, but definitely not from the beach. Hoses are used to fill up the basins at the beach with wet mud. From the basins, people apply mud to their face and body either with the brush provided or directly with their hands. Mirror is provided at each basin so that people can see how they look like in mud. Of course, there are faster ways of getting muddy, like doing a mud bath, but that will get you very dirty. If being wild is not your cup of tea, a tone-down way of enjoying mud is to apply coloured mud. My friends showed how this can be done. See them in the news. More pictures on the festival here.

The open-air stage by the beach.

Rubber dinghies for people who enjoy floating around.

"Mud Massage Zone" was crowded with mostly foreigners.

A mud basin which comes with a mirror. Mud ran out faster than it could be refilled when the crowd grew rapidly in the afternoon.

While mud is the main festival theme, equally important to the festival is the overwhelming presence of non-Asian foreigners. Their presence really adds life to the festival. They are definitely having a lot of fun and crazy times, if not, the Boryeong Mud Festival will not be voted as the number one festival in Korea.

Equally omnipresent at the festival is the 'photographer battalion'. It is a 'high-risk' activity taking pictures in a wet and muddy environment especially when it is ultra-expensive camera they are carrying. But yet, they are everywhere. The photographers are up on top of buildings, sitting by the window inside a cafe on the second floor, walking by the beach, standing at the end of mud slide, all for the sake of getting a perfect shot.

Overwhelming presence of non-Asian foreigners. For a moment, you may think that you at a beach in Miami.

Another mud slides at the beach. You can see a few photographers around.

Boryeong Beach on Saturday afternoon was packed with people. They don't call it the number one festival of Korea for nothing.

Although camera dislikes mud and water, taking a few photos is still a must.

As for me, I was also caked in mud. I did some mud prints of my hands on my shirt but little did I know the mud prints are not easy to remove. Anyway, there are plenty of make-shift shower points around the resting area. Usage of shower facility is not free though. I have to pay 1,500won to have a thorough wash down.

It started to rain in the late afternoon as we were preparing to leave the place. It was fortunate that we chose to go on the first Saturday as it rained heavily the following day and rain is also forecast for the coming weekend. By the way, the festival is from July 11-19.

Our coach left Boryeong at 4:30pm and stopped halfway at Anseong Service Area (안성 휴게소). We were back in Seoul after 7pm. By not staying overnight at Boryeong, we missed the opening concert and fireworks but still it was a fun day.

Sitting comfortably inside my coach while it rained outside.

Now for the NG scenes.

1. I had a hard time removing the mud from my clothings. Fine sands kept coming out from my clothings despite washing them many times over. After several soak-wash routine, I managed to remove most of the fine sand particles but it was rather back-breaking.

2. I thought I lost my T-money card (remaining value of more than 20,000won) at Boryeong. I did a thorough search of all my clothings and was quite certain that it was lost for good. But the 'impossible' happened. After washing my clothes and had them dried in a dryer, my T-money card dropped out of the dryer when I opened it. I think there may be some true in the sayings that seeing four-leaf clover makes a person lucky ^^

P.S. Thanks to my friend for organising this outing and for 'waking' me up at 4:50am on a Saturday morning. I am quite sure you are capable of setting up a travel agency if you want to (I am partly serious and partly joking ㅋㅋ).


  1. i wanted to go last year, but was to lazy to do so. :)

    glad that u had loads of fun!! :P

  2. i guess you are more interested in shopping :p

  3. 한눈에 확 들어오고 정리가 되네요
    우리가 잃어버린건 왜 안썼어요~
    이산가족 됐었는데..
    너 혼자 점심먹구~

    original time stamp: 16 July 2009 13:27

  4. 왜 안 썼냐면 그 부분이 재미없다고 생각해서요.

    original time stamp: 16 July 2009 23:48