The COVID-19 pandemic caused many events to be canceled throughout Korea in 2020. Typically during the Christmas season up to mid-January, Boryeong hosts their annual Winter Sea Love Festival.
Known for its annual Mud Festival at Daecheon Beach, the Winter Sea Love Festival attracts couples from throughout Korea to spend a romantic weekend at the beach. While swimming is discouraged, it’s not uncommon to see couples walking alongside the waves in the evening or taking in the sunset.
Once the sun goes down, the various installations on the beach light up to allow for some Instagram-worthy photos.
The 2019 Winter Sea Love Festival saw various lantern statues set up representing famous movie and television characters. It reminds me of the Lantern Festival held in Seoul albeit on a smaller scale. While the festival has been canceled, you can still see the lanterns at Daecheon Beach Square until Valentine’s Day (subject to change).
While at the beach, you’ll probably get hungry. Luckily there are many restaurants and cafes along the beach. Boryeong is known for its fresh seafood that’s brought in daily. Haemul kalguksu is a popular dish that includes noodles, shrimp, clams, and oysters and is fairly affordable. There are several Korean BBQ places along the beach as well.
On a clear day, you can see several of the islands that are a part of Boryeong. There are around 70 in total, and several of them are inhabited. You can visit these islands by ferry nearby Daecheon Beach.
If you want to get your hands on some of the beauty and skincare products made in Boryeong, head over to the Mud Museum. Please note, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the museum may be closed during your visit. If they’re closed, you can also purchase the products online. Some popular items include their Mud Essence facial masks, Cleansing Foam, Clay Pack, and Cleansing soap. The museum is nice to walk through and learn about the history of the Mud Festival and how they make various products.
Hopefully, next year’s Winter Sea Love Festival will return normally. The city normally sets up an outdoor skating rink overlooking the beach as well, so there’s a lot to do in Boryeong in the wintertime.