Hi all, long time no post!
I’m here today to tell you about Mudfest. In a nutshell: It’s one of those things you have to experience as a foreigner in Korea, but you shouldn’t despair if you don’t have the time or don’t think you can make it through the noise and craziness of half-drunk foreigners.
I went with IFX, a local travel group. When I went with them to Seoraksan, I had a terrible time because I was hassled on the bus by a drunk guy who was mad that I didn’t want to be in the group photo. I figured that I wouldn’t go with them again because of how I felt IFX doesn’t expect good behavior from their members. But here I was again! (Fortunately the drunk guy wasn’t in the group this time).
In the beginning, this group was offering a day trip. This was my preferred choice of trip, seeing as I could get in the mud without sacrificing a night of good sleep at the hands of loud drunks. So I signed up for it. Unfortunately, after I signed up I found out that the day trip option was canceled. They didn’t get enough people who wanted that option. I then had the choice of a refund (which I nearly took but I found out I had friends going on the trip and thought it would be nice to know someone in my group) but I didn’t take it. Instead I paid a little extra and took them up on the two day one night option.
On Saturday morning, we set out from Bupeyong station, and a few hours later we were there. After putting our things by the door, my two friends and I (along with a few others) walked into the mudfest area. We saw that some people were painted in multicolored shades of mud, so we waited 2 hours in line to get it done to ourselves. It was fantastic! I bought a disposable camera and so I have pictures of myself painted, but I don’t know when I’ll get them developed. Afterwards we went into the Mudzone, paid for beforehand with our trip fees. The lines were long and not marked at all, so it was hard to tell which line you were waiting in, how long it would take, and where the line ended.
We got to do a slide where you climb up on the ledges and slide down, one where you are tethered to the end and you run up and hit the bell (called “Mud Love Love” hahahaha) and the Mud Pit (unofficially the Mud Wrestling pit). My favorite was the Mud Wrestling pit, despite the awkwardness of someone in what appeared to be a speedo hip bumping me! In between doing the first slide and the Mud Pit, my friends and I took a dip in the ocean. It was a pleasant temperature.
Once we were done, we discovered the showers were cold thanks to everyone coming back at the same time. Dinner was somewhat hard to get, and several places were reported to have run out of food! (The town that this is held in thrives on the money they make during the two weekends of Mudfest, but it is surprising that they run out of food). Someone told us of a Pizza & Chicken restaurant and led us there. It was lightly raining, something which felt good during the day but was now making most of us soggy and slightly miserable. The atmosphere in the pizza place was obnoxious. Most of the foreigners treat this weekend like Spring Break, and don’t act much better than what I have heard of people doing when they go to Florida in that time. We were so hungry we felt almost like punching the drunken dancers. But then we got food 🙂
On our way back, we stopped near the pension because someone told us that there would be fireworks. They didn’t start at 10 as the person said, but rather around 10:30. Once they started, they lasted maybe 10 minutes. We enjoyed watching them though, and they were nice fireworks. I only wish the show could have been longer! It made up for me not getting to see any Fireworks for the 4th of July this year. After dinner and the fireworks, some of the group wanted to stay out longer. I didn’t. I was tired and irritable and I knew that hanging out with people becoming progressively more drunk (not necessarily my friends, the people around us) would not help me in any way. Despite getting back early, I couldn’t sleep. There were bouts of song breaking out every few minutes, and sometimes they would stomp in time. It didn’t help that another girl didn’t feel good and came back in early with her boyfriend. He turned off the air con because of her headache, and I insisted we at least keep the main window open, or I’d be sick too. Sheesh. I was SO hot without the air con on. I turned it on again, but apparently when her boyfriend came back he turned it on. It was one of those nights. I think I got to sleep by 1:30 or 2am, though.
The next morning, we discovered our 6th person sleeping in the room. She had friends in the other room and stayed with them until it was time to go to bed. 😛 We thought she would have just switched with someone else if she didn’t like our room that much. Then there was this other girl no one knew until she finally woke up and recognized the girl with the headache.
The leaving time was originally 6 on Sunday afternoon, but thanks to my friend Caitlin, it was moved up for one bus, and then for all of them. We wandered the beach for a bit, got a small free gift for turning in our bracelets (it was a little bar of ‘mud soap’ and hand sanitizer with .1% mud silt from Boryeong (sp) ), learned CPR (well, I kinda did, everyone else in our little group knew how to already apparently) and enjoyed the sun. We got back around Dinnertime, which is exactly what my two friends and I got when we returned.
Did I have a good time? Yes, I did. Would I go again? Probably not, since it’s really more for the party crowd. Overall though, it’s fun to get muddy 🙂
edit: I was tagged in photos! here’s one of me and Kimberly.