Korea’s most popular summer festival, Mud Fest, is a truly unique and awesome one. It started way back in 1998 to promote the city of Boryeong as a tourist destination, and has risen in popularity each year since then. Every summer, Mudfest occurs along Daecheon Beach in Boryeong. It is located about 200 kilometers SouthWest of Seoul on the West Coast of Korea.
The most recent Mudfest 2014 (the one that I attended), a whopping 3 million people attended over the 10 day festival. It was pretty insane, to say the least. Daecheon Beach is the largest beach on the West coast of Korea, and it is well-known for it’s clean ocean water which is perfect for swimming!
You might be wondering, where does all the mud come from? All of the mud is taken from the nearby Boryeong mud flats, and they bring it over by truck loads to Daecheon Beach. The mud is actually considered to be rich in minerals and very healthy for your skin.
What to Expect
Expect to see a lot of foreigners (almost all expats), with a healthy mix of Koreans. It felt like almost half the people were foreigners and the other half Koreans. The energy-levels are insane. People pretty much go crazy for the entire day and night.
You will see live concerts- some k-pop bands but mostly DJ’s playing EDM on the beach. There are all kinds of unique mud-themed activities such as the Mud Pool Slide- where you can slide down a huge blow up slide into a giant pit of fresh mud. Mud Wrestling- which is held in a giant pool of oozing mud. You must pay 6,000Won ($6usd) to enter the Mud Slide and air-bounce area, and the line can get pretty long so get there early!
There are massive amounts of street food tents, Korean restaurants, souvenir shops and convenient stores all lined up along the beach. You can find almost anything that you need.
Most people go to Mudfest with a large group of friends, and they rent out a “Pension” or a Condo at one of the many complexes in the area. They are pretty cheap if you have enough people, and there are hundreds of options around Daecheon Beach so you can definitely find the right one for you.
At night, prepare yourself for the amazing fireworks show! The fireworks are displayed over the beautiful ocean, lighting up the summer sky and making everyone happy. There is also a photo competition, where the muddiest and most creative people will win a prize. Get creative!
How to Get There
Getting to Mudfest is very simple. If you are coming from Seoul, you can take a 2.5 hour express bus to Boryeong in Chungcheongnam-do Province. If you’re not coming from Seoul, then just take a train or a bus to Boryeong (or the nearest city) and then you can easily find the Mudfest Grounds.
Once you arrive in Boryeong, just head a short distance West to Daecheon Beach and you’ll stumble upon thousands of tourists and mud-festival goers. The entire city pretty much caters to this event, so it’s impossible to get lost.
I went to Mudfest in July 2014. I went on an overnight trip with a bus-full of English teachers from my hometown called Pyeongtaek. Everyone paid a fixed price, which included transportation both ways, a place to sleep, and breakfast the next morning. It was pretty convenient and everything worked out smoothly.
Our Pension was super nice. I think that 10 people crashed in our room and we were all comfortable. The only issues was that we were a little far from the main Mudfest grounds (30 minute walk), so I highly recommend choosing a place that is a bit closer!
We departed at 7AM from Pyeongtaek and arrived in Boryeong around 9AM on Saturday. After checking into our pension and dropping our bags off, we were off to the mud festivities.
It was an all-day drinking bender. We had a squirt gun that we filled up with soju (a popular Korean liquor) and were squirting it in people’s mouths. There wasn’t a moment of the day where I didn’t’ have a beer or a bottle of soju in my hand.
We lathered up in mud and explored the entire camp grounds. I thought that the mud would protect me from the sun, but I was wrong. I got SO sunburned on my face, neck and shoulders. You can see the exact outline of my tank top shirt on my skin. I learned my lesson…My friends and I decided not to enter the Mud Zone- where the mud slide and wrestling was- because the line was over an hour long. But, we still had a lot of fun without going inside and playing in the mud in other places. We spend a lot of time playing in the ocean water, which was cold as hell, but refreshing when you are inside. I had my Gopro camera and I was taking some awesome footage, which you can see in the video below!
Basically, the entire day was a good experience. Hanging out with friends, boozing on the beach, getting covered head to toe in mud, meeting some awesome people, and enjoying the lively Korean festival atmosphere. I would highly recommend this event to anyone that is visiting Korea in the summertime!
MAKE SURE YOU…
- Book a condo near the main MudZone Area
- Get there super early if you want to enter the Mud Zone
- Bring a Gopro
- Wear sunglasses
- PUT SUNSCREEN ON
- Get a waterproof phone case, or don’t bring your phone at all
- Bring extra towers (you will need one for the beach)