Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Muddy Affair

"Stay out of the mud!"
"Don't get dirty!"
"Keep those muddy feet out of my house!"

All of these are common phrases that any child hears at home growing up. Mud is a substance that is best seen, not played in/worn/digested...unless you're in South Korea in the middle of July!

The 15th Annual Boryeong Mud Festival kicked off last weekend (July 14th) and is rocking until this upcoming Sunday (July 22nd). The mud flats in this area are known for containing minerals that are good for maintaining beautiful, young looking skin. Back in 1996, some cosmetic companies, who used this mud in their products, decided to hold a festival to promote and sell their products to the general public. What started out as a promotional affair was slowly overrun by foreigners and has turned into an all out muddy brawl!

Held overlooking Daechon Beach, the festival has been a huge success! My brother, who was visiting for a few days, myself, and three other friends (Rachel, Tae Hooie, and Mitch) attended the festival with a travel group called Adventure Korea. We left Saturday morning, arriving at the festival grounds around 11:30. We got settled into our pension and headed out to check out the festivities.

The area where the festival was being held was filled with inflatables, body painting stations, and tons of various photo opportunities. I did not have my camera on me (didn't want it to get wet/dirty/ruined), so there aren't many photos. The real fun began when we arrived at the Mud Beach, about a 5 minute bus ride away from the festival grounds!

It was here that we participated in various games, like soccer, mud wrestling, chicken leg, and bounce-around-the-inner-tube-and-try-to-knock-the-other-team-off games. This was definitely the highlight of the trip! We all got caked in mud, ingested a good portion, and had an all around joll (good time)! It was so much fun just being able to play, splash, and throw this gooey, often avoided substance at each other.

After returning back to the festival grounds, clean and de-mudified, we grabbed some dinner and headed out to the opening concert. However, the weather had a different plan and the heavens opened up. Had this happened earlier, it would not have been a big deal. But by this point, we were looking to remain dry. We found shelter in a convenience store. Luckily, the rain passed in time for a magnificent fireworks shore right off the beach. After a late night stroll along the coast, we turned in for the night.

The next morning, Matt and I left before the rest of the group so that we could make it back to Seoul in time for his early evening flight back to the US. The festival was a great time and it was also great to see my brother. With only 2 1/2 weeks left here in Korea, the familiar face was exactly what I needed to get through the rest of my time here.

MudFest 2012 = EPIC FUN!

Enjoying life!
At the baseball game the night before MudFest!
(Check out this link for a video of MudFest 2012!)

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