Boryeong Mud Festival 2018
Spring is long gone and the summer heat and humidity are in FULL force right now. These "hot days" are actually a series of nationally recognized days in Korea called Sambok (삼복) or Boknal (복날).
- Chobok (초복), falls on July 17th this year and signifies the start of the unbearably hot summer days.
- Joongbok (중복), is on July 27th, and is supposed to be the hottest day.
- Malbok (말복), is the third and final day, and falls on August 7th, which signifies the start of the cooler weather.
To help us get through the heat, we attended the Boryeong Mud Festival with some friends from down south. Supposedly, the mud from Boryeong does wonders for your skin, but more than that, you get all muddy with friends! And with this unbearable heat, it was a super fun way to cool down as well. About 2.5 hours south of us by bus, thousands of people - both natives and foreigners - gathered to partake in the mud-fest extravaganza. There was a giant mud pool, two slides, a mud pit with an inflatable raft where people wrestled each other, places to literally paint mud on you, mud dunk booth, and even a mud prison where you lined up (willingly of course) and they flung mud at you!
The only downside to all of these activities, is that each one besides the mud pool, had a crazy long line. Some went faster than others but it was insanely hot, drinks were not permitted inside the "zone" and I wasn't about to take my camera in the "zone" with me so that left only a few options. After a crazy dance party in the mud pool where water was being sprayed at us from every direction, we did a team mud wrestling activity on the inflatable raft (5 vs 4), and then relaxed in the mud pool. Others had the patience to wait in various lines, but I was never so satisfied just sitting in a pool of mud!
Eventually, we all went and rinsed off in the ocean and played around for a bit before truly cleaning ourselves off.
This brings me to one of the most unique and interesting experiences of my life...showering with about 30 other females of all ages in a room about as big as a small bedroom. And half of that space was lockers squished together. Nobody hid anything, people were bumping into other people, and I had no idea what to think haha! About 6 minutes later, I hoped I had scraped all the mud off (I didn't) and headed out to meet Luke. The first thing he said to me? "That was one of the most unique and interesting experiences of my life." Need I say more?
We met back up with everyone for dinner and drinks. Chicken and beer - a Korean staple, and always delicious! The night continued from there as we frequented the nearest CU or 7-Eleven for our next thirst quencher. We headed to a K-Pop concert but unfortunately only made it for the very end. We goofed around and had a fun night with our beloved chingudeul (친구들, friends) until Luke and I headed back to our campsite.
Oh yeah. We camped. Our friends stayed in a pension and slept on the floor of a room, while we stayed in a tent and slept on an air mattress outside. Ya win some ya lose some. Camping was fun though. This was the first time we actually camped in Korea not on the beach. And when Koreans camp, they camp much like when they hang out on the beach (see my previous post). They practically all bring a fold up lodge with at least two different rooms - each room being able to fit about 14 people + a baseball field. Then they each have a grill to cook their barbecue meals (which I'm always jealous of) and even a chair and table for every one in the family. What kind of camping is this?! Well, I guess it's the kind of camping that I wish I was doing every time I'm camping, and not doing it.