Monday, January 30, 2017

Boryeong Mud Festival + Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)

One of the advantages of studying at Yonsei were the additional excursions you can sign up for when you register. I opted to attend the one day trip at a the annual summer mud festival in Boryeong, and it was my far the best decision after landing in Korea. It's not everyday where you can see visit an adult playground where it is acceptable to get dirty and roll around in mud. The mudflats in Korea are known for health and beauty benefits. The mud festival itself is a weekend long event--each day there are special activities and possibly even celebrity guests. This year Psy was invited as the guest, but unfortunately we attended this event on Friday, and he was only there on Saturday.

The benefit of attending this event with the school instead of going on your own is that the entire day's itinerary is planned out for you. We had 2 rest stops, once for lunch at a Korean buffet restaurant and the other for a quick bathroom break. Once we arrived at the beach, we checked in our bags at the entrance and received a bag number and wristband for entry.
Korean Fire Truck Station
The event has 3 sections, the first part was more geared towards kids, so not many people were there. The 2nd section had massive mud slides, wrestling mud pools, etc. Finally, the last section was the beach--there was a huge stage set up with dancers, and music blasting--edm, kpop, etc. It reminded me of summer music festivals back in NYC, except this one was upgraded because each side of the stage had these machines that would spontaneously spray water at the audience. Definitely helped with cleaning off some of the mud from our skin!

Towards the end of our stay, there was also an aeroplane show which was fascinating and extremely loud. The group of planes circled around in in intricate patterns, leaving behind streaks of colors in the sky. After spending a few hours frolicing around in the mud and trying out each of the activities, it was finally time to clean up and head home. Away from the games were public shower rooms (one for men and one for women) that we could use--the rooms were simply a container with shower heads lining up all the walls, and a small section in the front that was divided so people could change and use the lockers. There weren't enough lockers for everyone, so a majority of us left our belongings on the floor as we changed. Unfortunately for me, I left my towel on the hooks and completely forgot about it when I left because it was really crowded inside.
The bus ride back was nice and quiet, all of us were exhausted and slept on the way back. By the time we got back, the sun had set and it was past dinner time. A few of us decided to grab dinner near the dorms before heading back to properly shower and knock out.
Entrance of DDP (connecting to train station)
Dongdaemun's Design Plaza reminded me of my trip to Miami, where Ocean Drive was filled with buildings lining the street with colorful lights. The architecture of the building was an interesting shape, the gray walls lighting up with scattered while lights. But the prettiest attraction of all was the plastic flower garden past the flea market and down the stairs to the lower level. There are also food stands in DDP that sell various street foods and drinks.

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