Monday, July 20, 2009

Boryeong MUD Festival

Let's go to the West side! - We're off to Daechon Beach in Boryeong on the coast of the Yellow Sea . . . in search of MUD!

A quick stop to change at our Minbak and we were headed to the beach to see what "Mudfest" was all about. (our Minbak was booked with 20 people in one room - "packt like sardines in a crushd tin box").

Glorious Mud!! Luckily, I found a special waterproof camera bag in E-Mart a couple weeks earlier so I was able to jump right in the action without fear.

Shawna, in her pristine Mudfest shirt, about to hit the mud bath zone. Mud flinging was inevitable so its better if you dive right in and get it over with.

The mud in Boryeong is supposed to have special properties that are good for the skin. The directions were: 1 Get really muddy, 2 let it dry in the sun, 3 wash it off in the sea, 4 Repeat steps one through four.

That's the spirit!!!

We looked out to the sea and heard its siren song calling us but we knew we weren't muddy enough to warrant a dip quite yet.

For some reason I had the feeling like we were being watched all day. I don't know. . . maybe I'm a bit paranoid. . .

Our jolly friend Thomas had the good sense to 'bag-up' his wallet and cash. All safe and sound when we hit the 'Colored Mud' section!

How'd he do that?

Taking a well needed rest...

The obligatory 'girl-on-shoulder-giving-the-double-peace-sign' shot

I think she may have gotten more mud than she bargained for.

These guys just looked creepy . . .

Call me 'crazy' but I still feel like I'm being watched. . .

4 Canucks in-a-row . .

Shawna: "I'm looking for a white guy covered in mud - has anyone seen him?" The majority of foreigners in Korea hit this festival every year - it has gotten pretty famous in the past few years and has become one of the "Don't Miss It" events.

Okay, now its time to jump in the Sea . . . so exciting!!

One last shot together before the mud goes away.

Good ole' Thom - reminding us all to avoid any heat-related illness we must stay 'hydrated' in the hot sun. Safety first!

Good Samaritan Thomas was actually helping the girls clean off as well. What a nice guy. First Suzanne . . .

Then, Alex . . . good job, Thom!

Fun in the sun . . .

Back to business. Our Mission: walk through the streets, continue to enjoy the Mudfest, avoid the mud. GOOD LUCK!

And then it was dinner time. Soju, Seashells, and Samgyeopsal(BBQed bacon).

And then came the rain. If it was going to rain on any festival it might as well be the 'Mudfest'.

It didn't slow things down at all. When night fell there was concerts, music, dancing, and fireworks.

Great times at a great festival . . . and my skin feels as smooth as silk . . .

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The East Sea at Night

Our stomachs were full so we went off in search of more fun.

Soju, gunpowder, sand, and sea = good times!!

We met a group of people on the beach and they offered to take our photo for us.

Hana, Dul, Set, . . . Kimchi!!

Shortly after this photo I ended up in the sea with the man behind the camera.

I dried off as much as I could and we were off to the first Noraebang (singing room) we could find. It was pretty shady, as far as Noraebang's go, but they had microphones and music so it was good enough for us!

Well, after an hour or two of singing - we were off to bed.

In the morning, we found ourselves back on the beach for a couple of hours before heading home.

We weren't the only ones trying to leave Gyeongpo. . .

Next blog entry: We hit the West Coast to see the Yellow Sea!! Assah!!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thee East Sea

After our visit to the Penis Park, Jon W., Cassie, Shawna, and I decided to extend our weekend trip to Sunday. We had nothing planned so we decided our best bet would be to head to the nearest large city and see if we could find something interesting. We took the bus an hour north on the coast to Gangneung. Hopped off the bus, went outside the station, and we were on our way . . . but where to go? We started walking . . . and . . . not much . . . more walking . . . nothin'. So we took out our trusty guide books and hopped in the first cab that we could hail. Cassie pointed to an interesting picture of a harbour and we were off. . . in search of fun! About 15 minutes later the cab fare was up around 10 000 Won and we saw a sign for our destination "19 KM". So, Cassie made an executive, on-the-spot decision and we changed our plan before the cab driver could take all of our money. We convinced the driver to turn at the nearest beach on our map, Gyeongpo. . . JACKPOT!! It was an awesome beach-side vacation spot with hotels, restaurants, sand, sea, and lots of happy people (including us).

We had some coffee - found a motel - and built up a serious appetite. We were given a nice preview of dinner when we walked down the main drag. Endless tanks of delicious sea creatures swimming in Purgatory - between the Sea and our plates.

We did a bit more exploring in Gyeongpo - some of us a were little more curious than others, perhaps?

On one side of our motel was the East Sea and on the other was a big lake. We left our hotel for dinner just in time to catch the sunset over the lake. We parked ourselves beside some ambitious amateur photographers with expensive equipment and took some quick snapshots.

What a colourful sunset!!

Our stomachs were growling. We were off in a serious hunt for food. We decided not to heed the advice of this tour bus operator and eat where his group was going. I don't know what it was but something about the whole operation seemed shady. . .

We were on our own so we decided to go back to the main street by the beach and hit up one of the live-seafood restaurants. We'd be fools not to!

Mmm. . . we found a place . . .now we had to decipher the menu. We fancied some BBQ so we mustered up all the Korean/finger pointing/charades we could and got exactly what we wanted.

The chef chooses his victims and scoops them out of the tanks.

Fire's up our charcoal. . .

. . . and the cooking begins (with a little guidance from our waitresses, of course).

Everything was delicious - a few bottles of Soju and a few dozen sea-creatures - who could ask for anything more????

Well, we didn't but we got some more anyway - "I'll have the fish-head soup for dessert, please?"

It was a really neat experience to eat seafood with the waves breaking just over your shoulder.

Now, with our bellies filled, we could commence the partying . . .

. . . more to come from Gyeongpo very soon!! (the night didn't end there!)