CONTRIBUTED BY STACEY PETERS
We stumbled upon the Korea’s Tea Museum after seeing a sign at the turnoff to our intended destination–the Boseong Tea Plantation
. Happy accidents like this make travel unpredictable and sometimes ends up being the highlight of my day. We walked into the museum not knowing what to expect. We didn’t know if the exhibits would have English translations or if we’d spend a few walking around looking at pretty pictures.
Today it looks like a work in progress even though its been open for business since 2010. The day we visited, workers were busy laying bricks for a facelift and what looked like the beginnings of a fountain in the courtyard of the building. We actually paused a moment not sure whether it was open to the public yet. Luckily it was.
The front desk attendant handed us a program in English and held up one finger to indicate it would cost 1,000 Won per person (less than an dollar per person).
The Boseong Tea Sound Culture Park
When you first drive up, you’ll pass a large golden statue of a woman serving tea. Row after row of tea trees cover the hills behind her. This is the Boseong Tea Sound Culture Park, also known as the Korea Tea Culture Park, and the entrance to the Tea Museum. The park is designed to combine the aspects of nature, relaxation, education, and experience and depict all of the above in relation to tea.
The Korea Tea Museum is a reparatory of extensive information about everything you’d ever want to know about the production of tea, found on three floors. The museum is located next door to the area’s largest tea plantation– Daehan Dawon.
Tea Culture Hall
The first floor of the museum includes videos, a diorama, different types of tea, graphic panels on the cultivation and production of tea. What you’ll notice right away is the social aspects of the tea process… none of it is done alone.The diorama and the video of the Korean Tea ceremony (even though I couldn’t read it) were my favorites parts of the museum. Can you blame me… who doesn’t love a good diorama?
Tea History Hall
Tea History houses a great exhibition on the history of tea. The history of tea is long and complex, spreading across multiple cultures over the span of thousands of years – most likely originating in China – spread globally by monks and priests who traveled.
Tea Life Hall
And finally, on the 3rd floor visitors can learn about the culture of tea in Korea, Japan, China and Europe. One of my favorite traditions is the tea ceremony
PRO TIP: The gift shop prices are generally better than the prices at the Tea Plantation next door.
The gift shop sells ice cream and ice cream bars, candy, cookies, lotions and perfumes and diffusers and tea sets and yes, they also sell tea too.
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Boseong Tea Museum
Open Year Round, with the following exceptions:
Closed: Jan. 1, Mondays, New Year’s, and Chuseok (also closed Tuesday if Monday is a holiday).
Summer (March – October): 10:00 – 18:00
Winter (November – February): 10:00 – 17:00
*No tickets issued 30 minutes prior to closing
Admission: 1,000 W; children under 6 should be accompanied by an adult.
Address: 775, Nokcha-ro, Boseong-eup, Boseong-gun, Jeollanam-do
전라남도 보성군 보성읍 녹차로 775 (보성읍)
GPS Coordinates: 34.7198297, 127.08197530000007
How to get there:
Bus: The only bus option requires you to travel to Seoul first. From Seoul Express bus terminal there are 2 buses per day direct to Boseong. There are also several buses to Gwangju and from there you can take a second bus to Boseong.
Train: This is the option we took. The two nearest stations to Osan AB are pyeongtaek and suwon, either of which are accessible by car or subway. There is only one train per day from each of these stations that leaves mid-morning and arrives mid-afternoon. The journey takes approximately 5 hours. You can buy online at the Korail website but the train is very rarely full so we just bought at the station. Note: to buy tickets online it requires you to enter your passport number and accepts both Korean and foreign cards.
Drive: Parking is free at the site. However, this is a lonnnng drive so I wouldn’t recommend unless you plan on staying awhile in the area.