I’ve never been a big tea drinker. I’ve always preferred swigging back pots of coffee until I’m doing laps around my house like a jack russell terrier.
So, when I found out I was going to be teaching in Boseong, a town renown in Korea for its green tea production (40% of Korea’s total green tea production), I wasn’t the least bit excited. Why couldn’t Boseong be abundant with coffee plantations instead?
Luckily, I’m a huge fan of tea-infused snacks (well, snacks in general – I don’t discriminate) and of hiking through dramatic landscapes. And, this is exactly what my town’s green tea fields have to offer.
Just a short, 5 minute car ride from my doorstep is the Daehan Dawon Tea Plantation. Korea’s most famous green tea field. Though, not quite a green tea “field” as most people describe it. Rather, the Daehan Dawon Tea Plantation is comprised of rolling, lush, vibrant green hills, nestled in a dramatic mountainscape. Rows upon rows of green tea shrubs coat the hillside, giving the effect of dynamic, swirling patterns throughout. The rows are separated by winding trails. These can be walked along, with some pathways being easier to navigate than others. I’ve tripped my way through some of these trails, while continuously being scratched by the prickly tea bushes. It’s harder than it looks, although when submerged in a mass of green tea foliage, the views are pretty worth it.
But, the best view of the whole tea plantation can only be seen from the top of the mountain itself. A sweaty, steep, upward hike along the hillside will lead you to the breathtaking viewpoint that overlooks all of the very, very, very green, green tea fields accompanied with an awesome ocean backdrop. If you’re easily excited by cheesy photo opportunities, or, are asked to hold a random Korean man’s baby, then the hike can take up to two hours. But, if you have a good sense of self-control while photo-taking and can avoid awkward social interactions, then the hike will only take an hour.
The most exciting part of visiting the tea fields is the snack selection (of course). I am an avid consumer of ice cream, in a constant pursuit of discovering the best ice cream. Naturally, when visiting the green tea fields, I find myself immediately gravitating towards the ice cream vendors. Several ice cream vendors can be found both before the entrance and within the actual grounds of the plantation itself. I’ve tried both options and was not disappointed with either. The green tea soft serve here is definitely the best green tea ice cream I’ve ever had.
To know: The entrance fee to visit the tea fields is 4,000 won. The hours of operation between March to August are from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and from September to April are from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
How to get there: From Boseong’s bus terminal, local busses run regularly (about every 30 minutes) to the tea fields. Take the bus towards Yulpo Beach and get off at the Daehan Dawon bus stop. If you are impatient like me and want to get your hands on a green tea ice cream immediately, you can catch a taxi for about 15,000 won from the bus terminal instead.