So over a month ago Josh and I visited the Boryeong Mud Festival, and I really should have had this blog post up a while ago but working during the day and getting ready for Japan got in the way…so better late than never, here it is! We went as a group with 4 other teachers from our school and honestly having done NO research on what the festival was all about I was pretty excited to go! After doing a little research and now having attended the actual event I can say it was OK. Boryeong is a very small town near the ocean with great beaches. But, there is very little draw to the actual area, hence the creation of the Mud Festival. The Mud Festival must be the town’s main source of income as there really wasn’t much else to do there besides go to the beach. The Festival itself is extremely small…and strangely enough not very muddy… don’t let pictures on the internet fool you, there is a scarcity of mud and you can hear many people complaining. If you pay about $10 you have access to long lines and about 6 inflatables that you can race in…but that really just doesn’t do it for me. On top of this the festival attendees are about 85% really drunk foreigners…think Cabo Spring Break only with a little mud added. Not to say the entire trip was a bust, but it was definitely not what I was expecting.
STAYING IN A PENSION
For the trip we left Daegu early Saturday morning and stayed that night in a pension. A pension is a cheaper way to vacation in Korea, there are various different levels of pensions- the one we stayed in was basically an apartment building with studio apartments. The 6 of us shared the studio and slept on thick blankets on the ground. If this sounds horrifying to put it in perspective there were up to 12 people staying in slightly larger pensions…sharing 1 bathroom. So, we were pretty happy with our setup as it was relatively cost efficient (everything is WAY overpriced for the festival) and we didn’t have to share a room with naked British guys.
At the festival there were 4 wells (yes despite the huge amount of people the Festival only provided 4) of mud in which you are supposed to cover yourself in mud. From what I saw the organizers filled these wells every hour (the wells were very shallow and didn’t hold much mud to begin with) and then around the afternoon just stopped filling them altogether, so what you are left with is a bunch of people scraping mud off the side of the wells and just sitting around complaining there is not mud. That is unless you want to pay an additional $10 to get your own dry mud and then make it yourself. This seemed to be the theme of the festival…just trying to make money any way possible.
THE BEST PART…THE FOOD
So, going in to the Mud Festival our tour group Enjoy Korea emphasized that there would be a lack of food at the festival but that they would be selling food so that we wouldn’t starve. This was BS as their food was overpriced and tasteless and there was PLENTY of great food at the festival. Our first meal we were too trusting and bought overpriced burritos from Enjoy Korea (they were meh at best). Later while wandering the festival we found a huge array of tasty food- better tasting and cheaper burritos, chicken and sausages on a stick (everything is better on a stick), pizza and cheese fries, just to mention some!
I know this blog sounds pretty negative but life is what you make it to be and Josh and I weren’t going to let stupid people get us down. So we put on what mud we could find, ate meat off of a stick and enjoyed what the festival had to offer!