Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Gallery: Messy mayhem at mud festival

By Frances Cha, CNN
July 23, 2013 -- Updated 0845 GMT (1645 HKT)
South Korea's most popular festival kicked off in South Chungcheong Province last weekend and will run until July 28. Festival organizers are expecting 3 million participants, with 10% from foreign countries. South Korea's most popular festival kicked off in South Chungcheong Province last weekend and will run until July 28. Festival organizers are expecting 3 million participants, with 10% from foreign countries.
HIDE CAPTION
Boryeong Mud Festival
It was the only place he felt like he belonged ...
Mud bath
Eye masks
Tourist magnet
Free facials
More than just friends
Her newest Facebook photo
Beer festival
Cosmetic benefits?
Watch your back
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Millions of visitors get filthy in Boryeong, South Korea
  • Organizers aim to make mud festival more family friendly this year
  • Everything mud-related goes
  • Festival originally launched to promote cosmetic mud treatments

(CNN) -- Call it the world's biggest mud fight or its largest group cosmetic treatment -- either way, millions of visitors are making their way to Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province this week for South Korea's most popular festival.

The 16th annual Boryeong Mud Festival, which kicked off this past weekend and will run until July 28, hopes to beat its record of 3 million participants last year.

Organizers say this year's mud bath is expected to attract 300,000 foreign tourists, up 22,000 from last year. Korean media have reported that trains to Boryeong are already packed with dirt-ready foreigners.

50 greatest summer music festivals

This year's festival

Originally launched to promote the cosmetic benefits of the local mud, the festival has become an annual frenzy in which visitors take part in numerous mud-related activities, including mud wrestling and a mud marathon.

"This year, we amped up the Famiily Zone to meet the demands of people traveling with children," say event organizers. "There are many foreign families traveling to Korea just for the festival."

Local beer company Hite Jinro (maker of the best-selling selling liquor in the world) is throwing a rock festival in Boryeong for the first time this year and hosting K-Pop concerts and "garden beer parties" until August.

How to survive a Korean drinking session

To cater to the tastes of foreign visitors, some area restaurants are being converted into pizza and hamburger joints during the festival to provide dining options beyond traditional hoe-jip (Korean sashimi restaurants) or restaurants selling grilled shellfish.

Boryeong Mud Festival

July 19-28, 2013

1029-3, Sinheuk-dong, Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea

Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese travel hotline: +82 2 1330

The world's messiest festivals

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Based on the votes of over 330 industry experts, the 2014 winners include bars from 27 cities in 14 countries.
October 12, 2014 -- Updated 2231 GMT (0631 HKT)
Careening down an active volcano at 95 kph on a thin board? It happens only at Cerro Negro in Nicaragua.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1337 GMT (2137 HKT)
Tips and techniques for those who want to turn their vacation into a rewarding family history lesson.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1953 GMT (0353 HKT)
From savory power snacks to beloved Indian ice cream, here's how to do Delhi street food right.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
La Chaux de Fonds, Avenue Léopold Robert. Neuchâtel: Phototypie Co., Postmark 16.6.1919
Long before our traveling friends had Facebook and Instagram to taunt us, they had postcards.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 0625 GMT (1425 HKT)
After slurping down noodles in 1,000 stores, the "ramen guy" untangles the complex flavors of Japan's diverse dish
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
A visitor lies down to take a selfie on the new glass floor at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Mayor of Paris says 125-year-old landmark's new attraction will prove to critics the city still has some magic.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 0244 GMT (1044 HKT)
These days, some of the best running trails can be found in the world's busiest places.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 0625 GMT (1425 HKT)
A 1939 Bugatti 57C in the Cite de l'Automobile in Mulhouse France.
Midlife crisis males have nothing on Bugatti-obsessed brothers behind vast sports car collection.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
When it comes to air travel, courtesy and common sense are often the first two things to fly out the departure gates.
ADVERTISEMENT