Boryeong Mud Festival in Korea
I have to admit I had serious reservations about attending the Boryeong Mud Festival held annually at Daecheon Beach, South Korea. Firstly, it’s well noted for being over-saturated with foreigners and I typically prefer events that are culturally rooted. Secondly, I was sceptical of whether or not I should bring my dSLR given the forecast weather and obvious culprit, also know as mud, which apparently isn’t all that fine and dandy to have smeared all over your camera. Well, I can honestly say attending this festival was one of the best decisions I’ve made in recent months. Not only did I have a blast getting covered in mud but I also feel I’ve captured one of the best photo sets this year. Head over to Backpacking Travel Blog to see my sister Boryeong Mud Festival Photo Essay once you’ve of course perused this set 😛
The Boryeong Mud Festival is a spectacle that takes place annually in Boryeong during the monsoon season in South Korea. The first fest took place in 1997 and in recent years participants have been crowding Daecheon beach in record numbers that exceed 2+ million. Major attractions include all day music concerts, mud wrestling, mud pools, mud mazes, mud jails and general beach activities along with copious amounts of alcohol and plastered mud. It attracts an enormous foreign crowd (known locally as Waegooks) that include ESL teachers, American military personnel and others who specifically come to Korea for this event. It’s not easy to book cheap holidays when thousands of revellers descend on this small stretch of beach, however, it truly is an event not to be missed in my opinion.
Photo Essay: Boryeong Mud Festival
A Korean girl flashes an authentic smile while enjoying a moment splashing around in a floating tube at Daecheon Beach, Korea.
You wish! A lady is being carried on piggyback through the crowd.
A candid shot of a Korean man wearing a ‘distinct’ Korean style cowboy hat near the beach.
Everybody getting their muddy boogie on during the musical performances.
Mud flying everywhere! This mud wrestling event covered the crowd just as much as the participants. I’m certainly glad I wrapped my dSLR in plastic.
A dude carrying a random ‘old school’ boom box entertains the wrestling crowd with music.
Two foreigners covered in mud engage in a friendly pre-ceremonial ritual before wrestling one another.
A Korean family enjoys a water gun fight with plenty of squirting and even more smiling faces.
An ecstatic lady covered in mud flashes a lovely smile while posing for the camera.
A Korean lady flashes a peace sign and an even bigger smile near the music stage.
Two Korean boys enjoying digging sand in what appears to be an early foundation of a sandcastle.
A Korean boy charges into the water with his water tube firmly gripped.
Two foreigners enjoy a candid smile near the mosh pit / concert area of the Boryeong Mud Festival.
A drummer plastered in mud without a shirt smiles while entertaining thousands with his slick skills.
A Korean lady bows during a traditional Korean religious ceremony that was taking place mere meters away from all of the drunken festivities.
Sounds and looks awesome! Everyone seems to be having a great time anyway!
Thanks Victoria! They sure were.
Oh my) They say that mud can be good for our skin)) When I look at these happy people, I must say this festival is defnitely good for health in general. Thanks for this awesome share.
Awesome photos! Hope your DSLR walked away dry. I’ve had my reservations about attending also and for the same reasons you’ve mentioned. But damn, those are some really great shots you walked away with! Loved the ‘You wish’ shot !
Thanks Christine! It was more fun than I had anticipated 🙂 I was very lucky to have walked away with my camera completely unscathed.
I revisited this post today…
i think it is my 4th time. it makes feel better 🙂 love happy faces!!
and YOU WISH is a sweet capture 😉
Great photos mate! Captured the atmosphere perfectly.
How crazy is this? Love the photos – they really seem to capture the energy!
Thanks Callie, I think a lot of expats blow off a lot of steam during this event. It takes place just before a lot of people have summer holidays.
I loved these photos and my fave darn, so many hahaha. “You Wished” really is one thing to look at these crucial events. 🙂
Hahaha, thanks! I need to get a pair of shorts like that after I get back in shape 😛
Could this be the ultimate dirty weekend Sam, looks like some worthy additions to your smiling faces blog here as well.
It sure is! I’ll definitely have a batch making their way over to Smiling Faces sometime soon 🙂
Great pics, Sam! I got a new camera the week before the event (if you remember it from the Seoul meet-up?) but I was TERRIFIED of taking it to MudFest so avoided it. I swear I met one of the people in your photos, but I could be completely lying. I ended up being totally surprised, too (I was expecting it to annoy the shit out of me) but in the end, it ended up being one of the funnest things I’ve done so far this year!
That’s great to hear you enjoyed it! I seriously was sceptical. Apparently it keeps growing each year and that a lot of foreigners actually come to Korea just for the event. I still think I was a bit nuts bringing my own camera…lol
Even if I’m not the first one to say so, I still feel the need to congratulate you for the amazing shots you took!
The only time I have been involved with mud was at a Music Festival in the UK, where it rained really heavily the all duration of the festival (3 days)… that was a bit tedious considering we were camping (in the mud at the end) but we enjoyed the music and the atmosphere anyway! 🙂
Sometimes you get an ‘unexpected’ mud festival. The UK sure gets awesome music fests every year!
Cool shots! looks like a really fun festival despite all the outside foreigners. 🙂
It really was fun!
You really did get some great photos here. It is indeed good that you went. I want to go!
You’ll have to check it out sometime Sabina.
Wow, this is one festival that will surely bring out the child in all of us. I hope that I will be able to experience this myself.
I hope you can as well Helen!
That looks like so much fun! Amazing photos as always — I’m stuck on that very first one. Love her!
Thanks Abby 🙂
This looks like an incredible experience. Your photos really capture the fun.
Thanks Stephanie, it was a lot of fun.
Great pics! I’ve never been but I love this festival for the great photos that come out of it (http://www.roryandjamie.com/boryeong-mud-festival). I posted last year about it and shared many pics I found. I’ll direct people to this set as well. Cheers!
Thanks! Your photos are awesome.
Who knew mud could be so much fun? Or that it mixed with music? Sounds like a blast!
There was lots of music as well. The stage was rocking.
Looks wicked, mate. I’ve done a tomato festival, a water festival and more than one beer and food festival; it seems only right that I should do the mud fest one day!
LOL, it’s definitely the next logical progression for you then 🙂
Looks a lot like Tomatina, which was pretty bad. Though I imagine having the beach there to wash off helps and if it is all day atleast the insanity is spread out a bit. Though I do remember the wrapping of camera in plastic. Not the best pictures from it through the plastic, but better than a lost camera.
That’s smart you wrapped your camera up. Mine would have been totally ruined had I not.
Great pics… that looks like it would be great fun! And I hate being dirty! 🙂
Yeah, getting muddy wouldn’t be my first choice but in a mud festival you can get away with it 😛
Too dirty for Hogga… but I like to laugh at the muddy suckers, even if they do look like they are having fun. Hmmm… maybe I should change my tune?
If you saw how much fun everybody was having I bet you’d be getting muddy as well 😛
Some really ‘fun’ looking photos Sam, nicely taken. The ‘ecstatic lady covered in mud’ is really cool.
Thanks Sam! It certainly was a ‘fun’ time 🙂
Love the shots, but the old school boom box is hilarious! Love how he’s holding it up!
LOL, that’s one of my favourite memories. It was just so random. Where does anyone even get one of those these days? 😛
It is always pleasure to watch people, who have fun. Mud festival is always interesting, fun and relaxing.
I agree with you!
That looks like a blast!
Great shots! I had a lot of reservations about going as well, but ended up having a good time. I was too scared to bring my camera anywhere near the mud, though, so I unfortunately only have a few really crappy photos.
Glad to hear you enjoyed it Amanda! I still think I was a bit nuts bringing my camera along with me…LOL
I’m curious about the camera as well. I have no idea how you managed to get some of those close ups without going through DSLRs like they were disposables. Or without a tripod in the case of the shots with frozen mud and water droplets. Great pictures.
I had my reservations even when I had the camera wrapped up well. This is a video I made explaining how I did it:
Great shots! I would love to see what your camera looked like wrapped up… what did you use?
Thanks Brooke, I made a video about it actually:
I heard about this from someone but it did not match these pictures! Wow… I did not expect it to be this muddy… I can see why you had reservations about bringing your camera… not sure if I would’ve been that bold! Seriously though, great shots… looks like a lot of fun!
Yeah, it sure does get muddy! If I hadn’t wrapped it up so well I would have been nervous the whole time.
Fabulous captures! Captures the spirit of the fest!
That looks like fun, though I’m more of a water guy than a mud guy. Great photos as always!
I hear you! When everyone else is doing though it’s a lot more fun…LOL
I actually went to this a few years ago and I’m sure it wasn’t that much fun!
Great pictures, you really captured the day.
I guess the event has grown quite a bit in recent years!
Such awesome photos!!
“You Wish” hahaa.. I laughed! 😉
LOL, I need to get a pair myself 😛
Excellent pictures, you always catch perfect moments!
Thanks Angela 🙂
Looked like an epic time! Sometimes events are popular with tourists for good reason, i.e. they’re awesome as it looks like the case with this one.
Thanks Jeremy, I agree with you…not everything is over-rated
Glad you took your camera! Your pictures really capture the fun and festivity of the day.
Thanks! It definitely had the spirit of a true festival.
Cool photos. Looks like a fun festival; definitely something to visit when in South Korea.
Most definitely! It’s held in June every year for those wanting to go.
Where’s your muddy face, Samuel? 🙂
Hahaha, the truth is it didn’t get as muddy as I would have liked it to 😛
Your photos are very impressive – really good in my opinion.
Thanks David! 🙂
Happy days indeed! Looks like a great party, which ‘serious’ travellers are allowed to do 😉
It definitely was a great party! 🙂