Get Dirty at the Boryeong Mud Festival in Korea

Are you making your way through Asia on a small travel budget? You can save money on the cost of an expensive spa treatment by simply attending the Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea! This unique event will have you covered head to toe in nutrient-rich healing mud, for free! It’s a very messy affair, but the mud is said to be extremely good for your skin so you will emerge afterwards with a healthy glow.

Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea: Need a drink!
Need a drink! Mud Fest 2008: Photo Shawn Perez CC 2.0

Boryeong, South Korea is located along the coast of the Yellow Sea. The mud that can be found in this region is incredibly rich with minerals, and is famous for its health and beauty enhancing properties. It is used an an ingredient in many high end cosmetics, and every year in July it is celebrated at the Boryeong Mud Festival.

Attendees go all out when they join in the fun, jumping in the mud pit and getting completely covered. It’s hard to even recognise your friends, everyone turns into dripping, grey mud monsters.

Origins of the Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea

Strangely, the event began as an advertisement for a South Korea cosmetics company. Rather than spend money on commercials, they started the festival so that they could create a spectacle out of people pampering themselves with the healing mud – the main ingredient in their products.

During the Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea, huge amounts of rich mud are dug up and brought by truck to the beaches. Festival goers frolic in the slippery mud, coating their skin with it. There are muddy obstacle courses and bouncy castles to play on, mud wrestling competitions, mud painting, and even swimming in a mega-tub of slippery mud.Those who simply want to relax can enjoy a therapeutic mud massage. You can also take part in mud slides and mud skiing if you are feeling more energetic. There is also a photo competition for your best shot of the goopy, muddy festivities. Make sure that you wrap your camera in a sealed ziplock bag before taking part in these festivities – the mud could really ruin your equipment!

Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea: Love those sunnies
Love those sunnies – Mud Fest 2008: Photo Shawn Perez CC 2.0

All ages are welcome and the admission fee is 10,000 won for adults and 8,000 won for teenagers.

The festivities are concluded every evening with music and fireworks on the beach. The beach itself is beautiful and worth the visit, even if you aren’t interested in playing in the mud.

How to Get There

You can reach Boryeong by taking a bus from Seoul Central City Bus Terminal. The express bus will take you right to the Boryeong Bus Terminal and from there you can take a bus bound for Daecheon Beach, which arrives within 10 minute intervals.

Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea: Final touches
Final touches – Mud Festival 2011: Photo Jirka Matousek CC 2.0

Would you go to Korea to experience this strange and very messy event? Let us know your thoughts on the Boryeong Mud Festival in the comments below.

About Kelly Dunning


A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word. She and her English boyfriend Lee run, packed full with travel guides, stories and inspiration for those who dream of travel. They have been location independent and travelling the world digital-nomad style for the last three years, with no address, no car and no fixed schedule.

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