Boseong is a county in the South Korean province of Jeollanam-do, or South Jeolla. The town is famous above all for its green tea fields which are a highlight of any visit to South Korea. The town's production counts from approximately 40% of that of South Korea.
Aside from visiting the green tea terraces, we suggest a short trip out of town to Yulpo. This small town was once a simple fishing village and while this trade still goes on today, thanks to Boseong's green tea fame, many tourists come here to visit and Korean families frequent the place for short breaks. It is worth getting up early and arriving to catch the sunrise here and take in the peace and quiet, the typical boats coming in to shore and observing the locals going about their business. Yulpo is also famous for its seawater and green tea baths.
By far and away the main attraction in Boseong are the absolutely stunning green tea fields. Contouring the rolling hills of this small town, the fields are immaculately kept and provide a fantastic backdrop for a stroll. The most famous plantation is Daehan Dawan which was founded by the Japanese in 1939 when they saw the potential for tea growing on the hills. For a few years prior to 1957 it fell into disuse but was then reopened after being bought. It has since flourished and is today not only the largest plantation at 561 hectares, but also an important tourist attraction with its own restaurant and shop. Most visitors do not venture too far away from the entrance and the fields around the visitor centre, however, take the time to walk as far and as high as possible and you will be rewarded with the most magnificent views of the water and mountains in the distance. It can get quite warm so pace yourself and bring plenty of water but we assure you the effort is well worth it.
There is no direct train from Seoul to Bosong. Instead, catch a trani to Gwangju and then hop on a bus to the town, which is an hour and a half's journey. There is a bus which goes to Boseong directly from Seoul (five hours) as well as from Suncheon, Yeosu, Busan and Masan.
Boseong is a very safe place to travel just like the rest of South Korea. There are no particular things to avoid here, apart from perhaps sticking to the paths when visiting the green tea fields and not stepping all over the plants. There is a very strict social etiquette in place in Korea and one should always follow this so as not to offend the locals. Always nod slightly or bow when greeting someone. When entering a private home or restaurant, remove your shoes and leave them at the entrance (making sure you do not enter with bare feet). If invited to someon's home, bring a gift with you and insist they accept it even if they appear to be reluctant to do so. Make sure you offer it with both hands, or, if that is not possible, with your right hand. There is no culture of gratuity in South Korea and tipping my be seen as insulting.
Green tea is such a major crop here that even the pigs eat it! The speciality in Boseong is nokdon samgyeopsal, grilled pork made using pigs that have been fed green tea leaves.
No surprises here, the one thing that you should bring back from Boseong is of course green tea. There is no shortage of it here! A good place to buy is at the Daehan Dawan plantation.