The Boryeong Mud Festival is famous in South Korea as it allows people living in Korea to escape the summer heat. The festival lasts from July 15th until the 24th and is held at Daecheon Beach in Boryeong. Many tourists come to Korea just for this mud festival. It is very popular with locals as well as foreigners and is a great chance to have some fun while also meeting people from many different nationalities. In 2019, the festival drew over 300,000 foreigners but that only accounted for 10% of the total visitors. However, in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, the festival drew far fewer people. Therefore, once the coronavirus pandemic settles down, many expect the number of visitors to go back to where they were before the pandemic.
The Mud Festival offers various mud activities such as a mud marathon, mud wrestling, mud football, and a huge giant mudslide. It is considered the most famous festival in South Korea. If you are not a fan of getting dirty in the mud, here are some of the coolest places to visit in Seoul. Below are some tips when traveling to the Boryeong Mud Festival. You’re welcome!
Book in Advance
If you are going on the weekend make sure you book your transportation in advance whether it is a bus or train. If you book it for example on Friday, you will not be able to get tickets. It is crucial to book AT LEAST 3 days in advance. Go to the Central City bus terminal next to the Gangnam Seocho terminal. The terminal to Boryeong is called Honam Line Express bus terminal. It will take 2hrs and 10min and will cost 10,400KRW(regular bus) or 15,200KRW(Delux bus). It is possible to get a ticket if you are going there by yourself as they are seats scattered around but if you are going with a group booking 3-5 days in advance is advised. On weekdays, there will be no reason to worry about pre-booking.
Don’t overpay in advance
Pensions, motels, and even buses offer early bookings but are usually overpriced. You will always be able to find a motel or a place to stay once you get there because it is such a tourist attraction. The number of motels and pensions outnumber tourists. A vast majority of visitors don’t stay overnight and usually come back the same night. Boryeong knows how many tourists the Mud Festival attracts so they seem to have overcompensated by building so many accommodations. Don’t get ripped off, you will always be able to find a place to stay a day in advance or even the same day.
Leave Expensive Items at Home
Don’t bring anything that you will be crushed if you lost. You are going to a MUD festival…you WILL get dirty and you WILL lose something. The festival itself isn’t as big as one thinks but it is crowded. In a crowded area, there is always the risk of having your belongings stolen. In addition, it is easy for rings, necklaces, and bracelets to get stuck or slip off while you are in the thick mud. Leave all your valuables in your motel/pension or a locker.
Get a plastic bag case
If for some reason you do take something of great value like an iPad or iPhone, make sure to invest in a plastic protector bag they sell all across the festival. These plastic bags go for 3,000 — 5,000 won, it will protect your valuables from water and mud. You can even buy a zip lock bag and share it with your friends. You can just imagine the number of phones inside the mud pits.
Apply the Mud all over your skin
It might feel strange at first to submerge your whole body in warm dirt and water but the mud at Boryeong has several health benefits. One of the key benefits of mud baths is their anti-inflammatory properties. Applying the mud all over your body can help alleviate aches and muscle pain. Also, the mud can be very soothing with its high mineral content such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
You can negotiate prices
Feel free to bargain with vendors and motels to get the best deal possible. Since the Mud Festival attracts so many tourists that might not be able to speak Korean, it is easy to take advantage of them. A good guideline for rooms is about 50,000 won. If you negotiate just right, you might be able to get it down to 40,000 won. Remember there are plenty of rooms to go around. This can be said for street vendors. If they don’t have a price always assume they are charging you double so try to haggle your way down to that point.
Don’t take sneakers or any new clothes. They are going to get covered in mud, beer, and who knows what…..the fewer clothes the better. However, if you go bear foot remember the walkways could get slippery. Slippers or sandals are perfect because they are easy to wash and clean.
Get a disposable camera
If possible I would leave your smartphone in a locker or your room. It is not worth having it lost or ruined. At the mud festival, there are lots of disposable cameras for sale to capture all the fun moments. Also you can also buy plastic smartphone waterproof cases you can hang around your neck or waistband.
Don’t over drink
Drinking at the Mud Festival is a must, but there is such a thing as drinking too much and no one wants to over drink at the mud festival. One terrible way to run all the fun would be to vomit inside the mud pits and ruin the experience for everyone. Remember to pace yourself as the heat could really affect your ability to process the alcohol. The festival lasts all day and night it is important to pace yourself. Also, it gets very hot and humid and you will quickly get dehydrated. Alcohol makes you dehydrated even more which is why you need to be careful.
Remember to use sunscreen
While it is true that the mud will give you some protection from the sun, it is still not enough. Remember most will be out in the sun for over 3 hours and the risk of getting sunburned is very high. Also, you will be near the beach and once you go swimming the mud will be washed off and you won’t have protection. Make sure you have UVB protection of 30 or higher.