Boryeong Mud Festival Saturday 19th – Sunday 28th July 2012
What with all the slipping, sliding and wrestling, it seems the skin rejuvenating property of the mud on Daecheon Beach in South Korea is the last thing on anyone’s mind. Not only does this earthly goo tackle wrinkles but it also removes excess oils from the skin and supposedly improves blood circulation. Yet everyone has reverted back to the joys of childhood and the good, clean fun that comes from getting dirty.
How to be a mucky pup…
There’s every kind of mud related activity on the menu so you can take your pick from body-painting contests, mud massages, mud sculpting competitions, a mud beauty contest or just some good old fashioned mud bathing. Grey not your color? Try one of the free body painting stands and pick from a more flattering shade of green, red or blue. Events continue into the night with fireworks, games and a general party atmosphere. Don’t worry, there are showering facilities to hose yourself down.
The Boryeong Mud Festival’s origins are rooted in commercial ventures it was in fact, initiated by a local cosmetic company wanting to promote the benefits of using their mud skincare range. More than a million visitors now flock to the festival every year.
Chucking mud at each other is hard work so sample a bucket of clams from one of the seafood houses along the beachfront, known as hoi jips. The clams are so hot, you’ll get a pair of gloves to tackle these sea babies. The menus won’t be in English so we suggest you keep it simple and ask for ‘hoe-dop-bap’ pieces of raw fish served in a spicy sauce and piled on top of rice.
- Bus – From the Seoul Nambu Terminal, take the bus towards Daecheon which operates between 9:20am-6:40pm. The journey takes just over 2 hours but only 4 buses leave each day.
- Train – You can take the train from Yeongdengpo to Daecheon and it runs between 5:48am to 8:28pm. It departs every hour and takes approximately 2hrs 30 minutes. From Daecheon station you can continue your journey by bus to the beach which takes a further 20 minutes.
Why not catch a ferry from Daecheon Harbour to the West Sea islands. The islands vary in size from rocks scarcely with their heads above water, to larger and inhabited islands supporting fishing communities. The Dadohae Haesang National Park protects much of the area including offshore regions. A trip to the villages on Hongdu or Heuksando will offer the most authentic of Korean experiences as well as dramatic hiking opportunities.
Thanks to Stinkie Pinkie for the images from Flickr! Please note, all images were used under the Creative Commons License at the time of posting.
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