Korea in Three days (Part 1): Boseong Green Tea Festival

This past weekend was Children’s day, so my friend and I took advantage of the holiday and traveled to Boseong (보성) and Busan (부산). There were many events going on this weekend including the Green Tea Festival in Boseong (보성녹차축제) and the Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul, and both festivals were on my “must do” list while in Korea. With the end of the semester coming up, we didn’t really have any other opportunities to travel to Busan, so we decided to add Busan to our journey. We ended up doing a very concentrated three day trip from Seoul to Boseong to Busan.

The first journey we made was to Boseong green tea plantation which is south of Seoul (서울). Since we intended to be back in Seoul for the Lotus Lantern Festival on Saturday, we purchased a 3 day pass with the KTX. We took the KTX train at 6:37 AM, and we traveled from Yongsan Station (용산역) in Seoul to Gwangjusongjeong Station (광주송정역) in Gwangju (광주). If you do not have a reserved seat on the KTX, you will have to stand inbetween the cars. For the first part of our trip, we were able to sit in the two seats inside of this compartment which was very fortunate because it took approximately two hours to get to Gwangjusongjeong station. From there, we took a train to Boseong which only runs a few times a day. Once in Boseong, there is a bus stop directly outside of it where we hopped onto the bus called ‘Nok Cha Bot (녹차밭)’ which led to the green tea fields. I was really unsure which bus was called Nok Cha Bot, but there were many other Korean people there, so my friend and I decided to just follow the crowd when the bus came. Luckily, when we were boarding the bus, many people were saying “Nok Cha Bot,” so we knew we were on the right one.

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I understand this way of getting to Boseong is rather difficult, so if this method of travel does not suit your plans, I also recommend reading this article (https://myhubs.org/2015/04/06/boseong-green-tea-fields/ ) to go via bus. We were able to find out information on how to get to Boseong by actually going to Seoul Station and asking at the tourist information desk. There, they were able to help find buses and trains, and there is even a train from Seoul to Boseong which might fit an optimal time frame for you!

Once we arrived at the plantation around noon, it was very lively. From the entrance of the plantation, you could see many vendors in the parking lot and many people were going through the rows of the green tea bushes. While you might think the vendors would be selling green tea, they were actually not. These vendors sold many traditional Korean snacks like rice crackers or other street food like a spiraled potato on a stick. There were also vendors selling bags of rice or unusual snacks like dried persimmons. It was really fun to try all of the different snacks!

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Walking up the main road of the plantation, there was a huge painting on the ground of a leaf floating on a stream. Up this road was the main event of the festival. There was an area where there was a stage and seats for the audience. There was also a large tent where, for a fee, you could experience the drying of the leaves and a tea ceremony. Because of my restricted timeline, we did not pay to do this. However, I did get to watch people drying he leaves in a large silver pan and also rolling the leaves in a fabric which was very interesting.

Going to the green tea plantation was very beautiful, and it was so nice to see how green the whole area was. While there were many people there, it was mostly Korean tourists, so I felt it was a very local and native experience that I highly recommend.

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Article by Catherine from the U.S.A.

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