standing in the mud at the Boryeong Mud Festival looking down at just my legs in the photo

Boryeong Mud Festival: Getting dirty for beauty in Korea

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The Boryeong Mud Festival is a popular event that takes place every year on the west coast of Korea. What started as a marketing campaign for a cosmetics brand, has become an annual festival that locals and foreigners have come to love.

Every year thousands of attendees descend on Daecheon Beach to get down and dirty in the Boryeong mud. With over 2 weeks of events, there is something suitable for everyone. From waterslides, mud wrestling, dance-offs and pet-friendly zones, you’ll find multiple events to take part in to enjoy the festival.

The mud is believed to have positive benefits for our skin and people love an excuse to take part in something a little bit quirky. There are festivals of all kinds around the country and world so there really is no surprise that this one on the Korean west coast is popular too.

Especially when you consider the beauty standards in Korea, locals love trying out skin treatments to amplify their beauty regimes. That’s where the mud comes in.

Country:South Korea (Republic of Korea)
Currency:South Korean Won / KRW
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Stone with the "Mud Plaza" title in Boryeong
The large rock sign at the entrance to the Mud Plaza
Me standing in mud at the festival of Mud
Me standing in the mud pool in the regular zone

How To Get To The Boryeong Mud Festival

Location: Mud Plaza, 5 Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do (충남 보령시 해수욕장10길 5)

The Boryeong Mud Festival is located on the west coast of Korea in the South Chungcheong Province. It is only a few hours south of Seoul and is well-connected to other cities such as Daejeon.

Most of the festival takes place within walking distance of Daecheon Beach so I’ll direct you there.

Public Transport

Check out this pass that allows you a discount on the KTX with unlimited travel!

Whether travelling from Seoul or Busan you will need to follow the same directions to reach the festival by train.

For example, from either city (Seoul Station or Busan Station), you can take the KTX to Cheonan-Asan Station and then transfer. From Asan Station, just a short walk away, you can take the Mugunghwa train to Daecheon Station.

From Daecheon Station, you can walk to the bus station a few minutes away and take bus #100 to Daecheon Beach using your T-Money card. This part of the journey will take 27 minutes.

From Seoul, this journey will take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

From Busan, this journey will take approximately 4 hours and 45 minutes.

You can take buses the entire way too, but this will add a significant amount of time to your journey so I’d highly advise taking the train if you have to rely on public transport.

By Car

300*250 RentalCars English

If you are fortunate to have a driving license and your IDP, then you can certainly rent a car and make your own way instead. If travelling from Busan it will take just over 4 hours to drive from the city centre to the festival site. If travelling from Seoul it will instead take 2 hours and 30 minutes.

The zone ticket booths with signs listing costs
The ticket booth for the regular zone. Each zone has different tickets

Boryeong Mud Festival Tickets

There are two ways to get tickets to the Boryeong Mud Festival. You can either purchase tickets individually through the official website for the event, or you can take an organised tour which includes your ticket and transportation.

Where to buy

Each year there is an official website run by the Korea Tourism Board ready to give up-to-date information about the festival. The link for 2023 to buy your tickets may not be available for future years so I will make sure to update it with the next year’s link when it is available closer to the time.

Below are two tables of the ticket costs for the Regular Zone and Family Zone. If you happen to be travelling in a group of 20 or more people, you can get discounted tickets from the available prices below.

Regular Zone

Ticket TypeMon-Thu (1 pm – 6 pm)Fri – Sun (10 am – 6 pm)
Adult10,000 won / £614,000 won / £8.50
Teenagers9,000 won / £5.5012,000 won / £7.20

Family Zone

Ticket TypeMon – Thu (1 pm – 6 pm)Fri – Sun (10 am – 6 pm)
Parents4,000 won / £2.306,000 won / £3.60
Kids (3 – 10 years old)9,000 won / £5.5011,000 won / £6.60

Want to visit some more festivals in Korea? Check these out:

Some marketing campaigns at the Boryeong Mud Festival
This is the marketing campaign for one cosmetic skincare brand with their adopted dog, Muddy
Covered in mud at the festival
Me with some of the Boryeong mud on my skin

History of the Boryeong Mud Festival

Boryeong has long been known for its naturally produced mud and clay. Then, back in 1997, a cosmetic company decided to use the local mud to create some clothing and makeup products.

One of the main selling points of these products was that they contained beneficial minerals such as magnesium, zinc oxide, silica, calcium oxide, sodium chloride and more. Each of these minerals is naturally found in the local mud so it’s a win-win.

In order to promote these products, the cosmetic company decided to hold a festival as a large city-wide marketing campaign. It was such a hit that they decided to bring it back each year, and now the Boryeong Mud Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Korea!

Please note: The clay will dry out your hair so after washing, give yourself a deep conditioning treatment!

The Itinerary and showtimes for hte 2023 Boryeong Mud Festival
An overview of the festival grounds and schedule

What to Expect at the Different Zones

There are multiple zones set up for the festival scattered around the city of Boryeong, all within walking distance of Daecheon Beach. The Mud Plaza is generally classed as the centre of the festival and it is closest to the showers and locker rooms. Plus, it’s right next to the beach if you’d like to take a break from the festival to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

A group of attendees sitting in the pool at the Boryeong Mud Festival
People sitting in the shallow mud pool before some challenges and games

Regular Zone

This is held at the Mud Plaza. This is the central hub for the festivities. It’s here that you’ll find the large mud pool where many games and challenges are held. Games such as “Find the Marbles”, mud wrestling and more. Each day there are different events being held here, and every day brings more opportunities to coat yourself in the mineral-heavy mud.

Family Zone

This area is for children (3+), teenagers and their parents only. Other adults with no children are not permitted to enter.

As the name suggests, this area is for families and children only. You will have a different coloured wristband for entry into this section and the tickets cost slightly less too. In this area, you will find large inflatables, multiple swimming pools, a small stage and some games similar to those found at a fairground.

Periodically throughout the days of the event, the small stage will have Kpop music dance-offs and

A small dog stanind in a mud pool at the Boryeong Mud Festival
This is Muddy, a dog adopted by the staff at the event, enjoying her mud bath

Pet-Friendly Zone

The name speaks for itself. Just hidden behind the Family Zone, there was a new area created for the 2023 Boryeong Mud Festival. A pet zone which includes mud pools for your pets! You’ll find market stalls ready to purchase pet-friendly treats and lots of small inflatable pools filled with mud for your pet to roll around in.

But you won’t need to worry about your dog messing up the house when you return home because there are dog grooming stations nearby. They’re ready to help you wash and dry your pet after their mud spa session.

Market stalls

There are market stalls with items to purchase found in more than one location at the festival. As with many events you can expect to purchase a variety of things from the market.

There are home furnishings made from local materials, local breweries offering beer, cosmetic brands offering skin treatments and even merchandise such as t-shirts and badges. All of which are related to the main event – MUD.

Concert Zone (Special Stage 1 & 2)

This zone doesn’t really hold any events until later in the evening, typically after 8 pm. On the weekends the two stages will hold concerts by popular Korean artists. One of the biggest events held here is the EDM mud party and the Night Mud Mobscene.

This is also usually an adult-only area so it is not advised to try and take any children.

People standing in front of the main pool in the Mud Plaza with one person wearing a black tshirt dress and holding her hand in a peace sign
Me in my Mud Fest merchandise T-shirt in front of one of the mud pools

What to bring to the Boryeong Mud Festival?

As you can imagine, there will be a lot of mud and water at the festival which is right next to the beach. So it’s a good idea to prepare for a beach day – while expecting to get muddy too.

Most attendees of the event wear swimwear with t-shirts over the top. Anything that you are happy to get wet, especially if you plan on taking part in the activities in each of the festival zones.

There is minimal shade coverage so it’s highly advised to bring sun protection too. This event takes place in the middle of the Korean summer so the sun can be extremely strong.

  • Swimwear or clothes you don’t mind getting wet or muddy
  • Sunscreen (preferably waterproof)
  • Towel
  • Bag to keep your things in
  • Sunglasses or hat since there is no shade coverage
  • Waterproof phone case

If you don’t wish to bring your own things, you can rent a towel and buy small packets of shower gel, shampoo and conditioner to use in the showers near the mud plaza.

There are lockers for you to keep your belongings in during your time at the festival. So if you bring towels but don’t wish to carry them around all day, they will be kept safe in the locker room underneath the Mud Plaza.

These lockers cost 2,000 won / £1.20 and there is no time restriction. However, you must collect your items before they close at 9 pm.

The small train car for children near the beach and Mud Plaza in Boryeong
The Mud train

Where to stay for the Boryeong Mud Festival

Normally I’d recommend hostels as a way for social backpackers to meet other like-minded travellers, but Boryeong is relatively small so there don’t seem to be any hostels. Plus, if you’d like to stay near the festival, it’s best to stay near Daecheon Beach. It’s more convenient to stay here instead of in the centre of Boryeong, 30 minutes away.

You can have a look at below to see what accommodation suits your needs. You can use the map feature to find properties closest to the beach.

Final Thoughts on the Mud Festival in Boryeong

This is a festival that has been around for a number of years and has no signs of going away. It’s getting bigger each year as more people learn about the quirky festivities.

If you’re in Korea at the time this event takes place, I certainly recommend checking it out at least once during its 2-week run. And even if you don’t enjoy the festival itself, the beach is beautiful!

Have you been to the Boryeong Mud Festival before? What did you think?

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