Korea is known for green tea. Before moving here, I had read in my travel guide about the green tea fields in Boseong. I inquired about Boseong and tried to make plans to go there, but the distance from Dongsong proved to be cumbersome, and it looked like the trip might not happen. However, we took a few days off after New Year’s Day, and despite a few Koreans telling me not to go since it wouldn’t be pretty, we went anyway.
After our long journey by bus from Seoul (involving Matt sweating so much that he finally went to the driver to tell him he was hot, which resulted in the driver stopping the bus at a rest area because he assumed Matt was having a bathroom emergency) we arrived in Boseong. The town was nothing to write home about, and at 8 p.m. on a Thursday it was eerily desolate. We debated a few hotels and finally decided on one built above a fish restaurant, which made for an interesting smell while walking in.
There was actually a light festival going on that helped make the decision to travel to Boseong for me. I’m thankful that got me there, but that was not what made the trip, and in fact, that wasn’t actually that cool. But that first night, we hopped in a taxi and headed to the light festival, which we were told ended at midnight. After arriving around 10:15 p.m., the attendant said “10 minutes later, end.” So that’s how we saw lights in a tea field for 10 minutes.
The next day we woke early and hopped on the bus, expecting to go to the same tea fields. However, we got off at a different tea field, the Daehan Dawon Tea Plantation. Wow. I couldn’t believe how green the tea fields were on the second day of January. We also had the fields to ourselves, which I doubt happens when the weather is warmer.
After spending the morning at the tea fields, we got back on the bus to Yulpo, which is a small seaside town nearby. Yulpo is known for having a nice green tea sauna, and we decided to give it a try. It was interesting to soak in green tea seawater, and it did smell nice. Later we enjoyed some nokdon samgyupsal, which is pork from pigs primarily fed green tea leaves. The dish seemed a little hokey, and it was only OK. Later we tried some green tea nangmyeon, which is cold noodles, and it was the best nangmyeon I have had.
We decided to stay one more night and catch the sunrise again the next day. We then headed home to Dongsong, via a bus from Boseong to Gwangju, then Gwangju to Seoul, during which Matt threatened to take his pants off because of the heat; and finally from Seoul to Dongsong, a trip of only about 8 hours.