When it came to figuring out what to share with you first about my trip thus far and the exchange, I wasn't sure what I should start off with - things like culture shock, getting around Seoul, etiquette and so on, or should I start off with something fun. Clearly by the title of this blog post, fun was the winner in the end since nearly the day after I arrived in Seoul, the international student's office was ready to take us away for the weekend to the Boryeong Mud Festival, and since that is basically how my exchanged started its a fitting start to this series of blog posts about travelling here in Korea.

Like I said, the moment I arrived in Korea and unpacked my luggage in my dorm I found myself packing my backpack up again the next day to be taken to some very interesting historical sites, including Hwaseong in Suwon. But that is not what this post is about, this post is about a festival which involves you basically nearly drowning in mud while playing games that look ridiculous to watch, but awesome to play.


When we arrived in Boryeong after a couples of hours on and off the Hankuk Univeristy bus, I was really surprised to find out where we were staying. We had been told that the Univserity had a resort in the beach city, but we were all pretty sceptical as to exactly how resort like the space would be. Most of us expected a hostel situation (not like the movie...more like the bed layout), but we were surprised to find out that basically each room was a small apartment, which included a kitchen and television which allowed us to dine like broke queens on instant noodles while watching Korean dramas on the floor. It was interesting to stay in a space with 4-6 other girls while sleeping on traditional Korean futons not even a foot away from each other in one room together. Luckily I was with friends in that room, and even luckier...none of those friends snore.

Lucky for them I mean.

People who snore are on my hit-list in life.

But I digress.

Long story short, we get into our rooms and settled in for the night after exploring the city a bit, which included dinner in one of the many restaurants along the seawall as well as enjoying some company and beverages of the adult sort on the beach while listening to karaoke being sung somewhere down the beach from us while mosquitoes ate us alive.

May I just say, Boryeong beach is beautiful. I never actually looked into the area since the day I arrived was the day I found out we would be going and it never even dawned on me to google it.

So after figuring out where to put our futons and also figuring out how 5 girls were supposed to use one bathroom (spoiler alert, no one killed anyone with a hair straighter), we passed out to get ready to, unbeanoest to us, freeze our butts off at the Boryeong Mud Festival.


It was pretty ironic to all of us that the one weekend we packed only for hot Korean summer weather, it was the one weekend with high winds and rain. Waking up to go to the mud festival and seeing the weather, we were not really discouraged, I mean we were going to get dirty and soaked anyways from the festival. So changing into our least liked clothes we made our way there and found out that the mud festival was basically a massive space with 8-10 activities you could take part in, all involving either falling into mud, having mud thrown at you, people soaking you with mud, or rolling around in a giant zorb full of mud.

What was amazing about the festival was the amount of people that were there and how excited everyone was. It was a space, filled mainly with adults, going out and happily getting dirty and soaked in mud like kids on a sugar rush. I just found that to be very cool. Most likely because it gave me the reason to try and soak my friend during the zorb activity (apparently we are both very competitive so eventually it became a survival of the fittest situation).

Unfortunately I wasn't able to get any good pictures because as you can imagine; cameras, mud and water don't really get along. But one friend managed to snap a couple of photos, so I stole one to share here; Angela approved and all.

When it comes to the festival,I do have a couple of tips;

  • wear clothing you don't mind throwing away if the fabric doesn't mesh well with mud
  • don't wear contact lenses, or your friend will throw mud right in your eye and you will be forced to take out said contact and be half blind for the duration of your time there (Thanks Jay)
  • do take sandals with you, but don't wear them in the festival area, it's not cool to walk barefoot down the boardwalk and you will need those clean sandals when your done
  • don't run around screaming like an idiot - your going to annoy everyone, local or not
  • do be prepared to get mud in your ear and to still have it there from 2-4 days after the festival
  • try not to stare and shirtless mud covered men...apparently it's awkward...whoops
  • try to not go in the morning, only because there is a chance that it will just be too cold both in the mud and with the sun not totally being out yet, coupled with the wind from the ocean. Aim to go in the mid-afternoon, the lines may be a bit longer but your fingertips won't go numb


Now, seeing Psy for free. That was unexpected.

Anyone who does not live under a rock on Mars knows who Psy is, and we found out the day of the festival that he would be playing for free after the festival took place. This portion of the post is going to be small but I just had to say that, he is really a great performer and it was awesome to see how excited everyone got to watch him preform. The older gentleman in front of me was jumping and fist pumping so hard that he didn't even noticed the 10x he jumped on my feet - honestly I couldn't even get mad-he was having so much fun and I did not want to be a buzzkill for this man.

It was also great to see how excited the organizers of the field trip from the international office were that we, their new exchange students, would get to see this concert because they didn't even know it was happening till the night before. It just made the experience even better to see the people in charge as excited and involved with the festival and concert as we were. Plus they were more than happy to help you out and answer any questions we had.


This post ended up being way longer then I had planned, but I guess I had a bit more to say then I thought! I hope you have enjoyed it and keep your eyes peeled for the next post.

Not I am going to wander off and go do my homework because as much as I am travelling in Korea...I am still a study with looming presentations to finish up.

xoxo Nicola

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