The Green Tea Fields of Boseong


Every year in early Spring the first pale green leaves from the tea plant peek their little heads, waking up from their winter sleep. The earliest leaves of the season are the most highly prized. Hand picked by sun-wizened local ladies, they are the most expensive. From early April through early September, the tea leaves are harvested in Boseong, a beautiful hilly area of Jeollanam-do (South Jeolla Province).

Tea drinking has been a part of Korean culture as far back as 661 AD, starting with the Emperor Suro who founded the Gaya Kingdom, during the Korea’s Three Kingdom Period. The seeds traveled here mostly likely from the Yunnan province, as Buddhist monks brought them during their travels.

Although the tea plants are grown in various parts of the country, the most popular is Boseong, where you’ll find the Daehan Dawon (a.k.a. the Boseong Tea Plantation).

I went in late April last year during the second harvest (there are 4 major harvests throughout the year) and watched the rural women picking those tender green leaves by hand. Here, I caught a shot from the top of the fields during their tea break. I thought it was ironic that they served the ladies some cream bread and cans of chilled green tea.


If you get a chance to visit Korea, I highly recommend making a special trip to Boseong. Not only will you get to see the gorgeous tea fields, but somehow drinking a cup of tea from the region creates a sense of calm and appreciation difficult to attain otherwise.

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9 thoughts on “The Green Tea Fields of Boseong

  1. I haven’t seen the drama so I can’t say, but most likely yes, since these are the most famous tea fields in Korea. If you do get a chance to visit, you should. They are absolutely gorgeous, especially when the fog is just lifting in the morning. And even beautiful covered in the hushed white of snow in the winter.

  2. Good question! From the Seoul Express Bus Terminal, there are only 2 buses daily to Boseong (the last time I checked they were at 8:10 am and 3:10pm, but you may want to double check the schedule, of course). The ride takes about 5 hours and takes you to the Boseong county bus terminal. From there, you can catch a local bus to the tea plantations (ask the bus driver if he goes to “Daehan Dae-up”) or a bus headed for Yulpo. The Yulpo-bound bus runs every half hour and takes about 15 minutes to get to the plantation. Most of Boseong’s local buses run on 30- to 60-minute schedules, so plan ahead, if you don’t want to get stuck waiting. Alternately, you can catch a taxi from the Boseong bus station (there’s a queue out front).

    The train from Seoul only goes as far as Gwangju (It’s the KTX and the ride is about 3 hours.). From the city’s train station, you’ll have to take a bus to the Gwangju Intercity Bus Station to Boseong (their buses run about every 30 minutes and the ride takes about 100 minutes). Then, you can catch a local bus to the plantation (as detailed above). Getting there is part of the fun!

    If you do make it out there, let me know how your trip went.

  3. wow thank you ! I guess it’s better to go with a tour group. Is there any other places you would recommend for a day trip out of seoul ?

  4. There are so many great places to go as day trips from Seoul. You should just get my book and follow my advice! (haha!). But really, it depends on what you’re into. For short trips, you can go to Icheon and check out the pottery kilns (and soak in the hot springs), go to the traditional village, walk around the fortress and eat galbi in Suwon, take the subway to Incheon and explore the coast and the small Chinatown there. You can go to Chuncheon for the dak galbi and take a boat across Soyang-ho (the lake there) to visit the fabulous temple Cheongpyeongsa. Of course, you should take a guided tour to the DMZ, just for educational/historical/touristy purposes. Of course, I can go on and on.

    Most of the other provinces like Gangwon-do, Jeolla-do, etc., you’ll want to do as longer than a day trip. For a small country (as it looks on a map), there sure is a lot to do!

  5. Hi there,
    I just happened onto your website and was delighted to read your posting on Boseong Tea. I have just started to learn the art of tea, and have managed to find Boseong tea at my local korean grocery. However, I would love to visit Korea one day, and the Boseong Tea Plantation would definitely be one of the highlights.

    I love korean food, so I will be checking out your other postings.

    Thanks a bunch.

  6. Hi everyone,

    I just stumbled on this website and thought I should share a little more information for getting to Boseong (I actually live there and sometimes make the trip up to Seoul). If you can’t make one of the two buses from Seoul you can also take a bus to Gwangju and then hop on the local bus to Boseong which runs every 40 minutes but does take an hour and a half.

    If the bus scene isn’t your cup of tea you can also as a previous poster said take the KTX to Gwangju-Songjeong station. There are then about five Mugungwa(?) trains that leave this station and stop in Boseong. If you take the train exit the station turn left, and cross the bridge across the tracks. There is a bus stop on the other side of the bridge where most of the buses go to the green tea fields. Hope this info helps.

  7. Hi! Great post. I am guessing that Boseong would be an easy day trip from Gwangju? I am heading to Gwangju today and might go to Boseong tomorrow. If anyone could also recommend some nice hiking near Gwangju, that would be great! I am thinking of half a day in Mudeungsan or maybe a full day in Jogyesan Provincial Park.

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