Monday, July 14, 2008

Gettin' Dirty at the Boryeong Mud Festival

Welcome to the 11th annual Boryeong Mud Festival here in Korea!

Yup, mud.

Continuing my "Dirty Festivals" travel experiences, I spent last Saturday covered in mud and loving it. This mud festival follows on the heals of last summer's La Tomatina Festival, where I partook in the world's largest tomato fight! Tomatoes, mud .... what's next?

Steve and I arrived in sunny Boryeong after a smooth 3 hour bus ride from rainy Seoul. The nearby beach (Daecheong) was where the fun was. This beautiful beach and the three or four streets inland become packed with both foreigners and Koreans every year for one week in July.

Coming from Vancouver, I've been missing the Ocean. Upon seeing the sea, we dove in and went for a swim. This was my first time in the Yellow Sea (Korea's West Sea)! One more sea to add to the list...

After cleaning off in the ocean, it was time to get dirty. Up the beach, hundreds of half-naked people stand around tables applying the warm, smooth grey mud to their bodies using their hands and paintbrushes. It was time to become "one of them..."

After experiencing the mud activities (mud slide, mud wrestling, mud pit, mud foot massage, mud jail, mud concerts, mud excetera... all too muddy to take photos, as you can imagine!), we spent the rest of the evening eating, drinking, and letting off fireworks on the beach. The night culminated in an amazing display of fireworks.

All in all, an amazing and messy experience! I highly recommend you check out the Boryeong Mud Festival and get dirty!

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