After our shark dive in Busan, my friends and I took a bus to the southwest province, Jeollanamdo, to visit the famous green tea fields at Boseong. We originally planned to spend the night in a jjimjilbang, or Korean sauna, but a quick Google search showed that there were none near the bus station of this tiny rural town. Instead, we spent the night at a motel in Suncheon and took the intercity bus to Boseong the next day.
Before coming to Korea, I didn’t enjoy drinking green tea. Although green tea-flavored foods (ice cream, cookies, bingsoo, etc.) are popular in Korea, coffee is usually the hot drink of choice. Because I don’t drink coffee, I usually drank green tea when the English teachers took a coffee break after lunch. With our everyday coffee/tea breaks last semester, I acquired a taste for Boseong’s specialty.
We arrived at the plantation around 9:30 and spent the morning walking around the fields. We ate green tea ice cream, drank hot tea, hiked through the fields, and learned about the different types of tea that were harvested.
The plantation wasn’t crowded because we were there so early, but by the time we left in the early afternoon, more tourists were swarming in. An hour to Suncheon and three more to Gimhae, and I was home.
Though I enjoyed the visit, I would have liked to have spent more time in other parts of the province too. Jeollanamdo is a far trip for me and more than twice as far for my friend who lives near the DMZ. If I didn’t have to be back in Gimhae that evening, I would have liked to have traveled a few hours north to see the bamboo festival in Damyang, too. So much to see, so little time!