Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mud Fest

During my second-to-last weekend in South Korea (for a bit, that is), I was able to travel to famous Daecheon Beach for the Boryeong Mud Festival. Boryeong's mud is famous for its minerals--in 1998, a small "mud festival" was started as a way for the small, west-coast city of Boryeong to attract health-centric Korean people interested in purchasing cosmetics made from the mud.

Fast forward ten years or so, and the event has turned into a debaucherous, booze-soaked spectacle for pretty much every party-happy person living in Korea: the festival now attracts over a million people every year. There was mud-wrestling/mud-painting/mud-fighting, which were all a ton of fun. Another side-show: hordes of soju-quaffing drunk foreign people, which occasionally gave the whole thing a bit of a SPRRIIIIINNNGGG BREEAAAKKKK/Girls Gone Wild kind-of feel at times. In my opinion, most tom-foolery was 96% hilarious, 4% revolting and definitely made for some hilarious people-watching:


Completely covered


I was terrified to take my camera into the scrim for fear of mucking it up

My favorite part of the festival, by far, however, was the beach. Daecheon Beach was a complete surprise: gorgeous, clean, and relatively uncrowded. I love the beach, and did my fair share of body-surfing/paddling around in the waves/lying out/getting sand in uncomfortable places/beer-drinkin' by the sea. Being at the beach always reminds me of growing up in Maryland, and my summers spent marinating by the ocean in Virgina Beach/Ocean City:


The weather was GORGEOUS on the second day


Someday, I swear I will live within walking distance of the ocean

Even though the weather sucked on the first day (rain on and off), it was gorgeous on Sunday, and there were spectacular fireworks on Saturday night--by far the best I've seen in Korea. I had a blast, hanging out with my friends and remembering all of the fun times I've had since I've been teaching here for nearly a year...

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