Friday, March 11, 2011

Boryeong Mud Festival

One unique experience I had in Korea was a summer mud festival in Boryeong. It was a ton of fun.

Boryeong is located on the Yellow Sea on the west coast of South Korea.  Daecheon beach has mud that apparently has cosmetic properties. I guess that is the point of the whole festival.  I went by myself, not with a specific group of people, but knowing a lot of people who were going.

Basically, the first thing you do when you get there is cover yourself in mud. I mean literally covered, head to toe...including your face and for most people hair. I had my bag and camera when I first met some people I knew getting covered in mud and decided I better find somewhere for my camera and bag so they didn't get ruined. Good call. The only problem was I didn't take a lot of pictures, because I didn't keep my camera. Don't fret though, I have found pictures to share.

After you are 'muddified,' you spend the rest of the day chilling on the beach, drinking beer, swimming and remuddifying yourself when the previous layer either drys or washes off in the water.

So, I had beer, sunshine, a beach and the socially acceptable norm of being dirty. What more could you ask for? There were also so many foreigners from all over the country there which was awesome. Teachers, soldiers and just tourists. This was the first time in 6 months of living in Korea that I felt like I wasn't in a foreign country. If the foreigners didn't out number the Koreans it was close to 50/50. With all the foreigners around it meant that Korean children wouldn't point you out to their parents, stare at you with their mouths open or say hi to you every 5 seconds.

There were also a lot of other activities to do. There were inflatable mud slides, mud wrestling pits and mud obstacle courses. All were fun and full of mud.

Not having a specific group I felt obligated to hang out with, I wandered between group to group of people I knew there. Usually I think I left a group of people when I needed another beer. I also found a group of people playing frisbee, so you can be pretty confident I spent a lot of time there.

The mud also worked as sun screen...which was good because I didn't put any sunscreen on. Unfortunately, I didn't get my neck very good, and as a result was sun burned pretty badly. You apply the mud with paint brushes, and if you look closely at my neck you can see the paint brush stroke sun burn.

Great weekend and a great experience. If you're in Korea in July you should check it out.

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