Located in South Jeolla Province (전라남도), Boseong county (보성군) is most famous for lush mountains, tiny seaside villages, and local green tea. In fact, green tea has been produced in Boseong for the last 1,600 years, and according to the Boseong County website, 37% of the country’s green tea exports are produced here! Mornings and many evenings are often heavy with fog, which is why the region produces such high quality tea–the mist both keeps hydrated and shields the tea from harsh, direct sunlight.
I noticed there isn’t much information available online about Boseong, and after living here for two years and running an Airbnb, I wanted to share many of the amazing spots I’ve found. The county is so stunning and has a lot to offer, but it’s pretty far off the beaten tourist path. Boseong also isn’t the most English-friendly town in terms of translations, but the locals are incredibly kind and are more than happy to use gestures and a smile to communicate with you. I hope travelers can use this particular collection of posts as a reference for where to go, what to eat, where to sleep, and what to do in Korean tea country!
This post is part of a four-part series on the area.
If you have any questions about Boseong, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment!
Getting There & Away
You’d think this information would be obvious, though it seems to be a bit scattered online and often unavailable in English. The most helpful resource I’ve found has been this website run by the Boseong Tourism Board, which has flight, bus, and train times. Please refer to that site for current flight, bus, and train times! Otherwise, I will go into greater depth in this post detailing how travelers (especially those who cannot speak or read Korean) can get to Boseong from Seoul/Gwangju or Busan/Suncheon.
From Seoul (and Gwangju)
I highly recommend taking the bus over the train from anywhere in Korea. The only train that services Boseong from Seoul is the mugunghwa (무궁화) train, and it’s exceptionally slow. If you’re partial to train travel, you can find more info here on the Korail website. If you are coming from Seoul, select “Yongsan” (용산) as your departure station, NOT “Seoul”. “Seoul” refers to Seoul Station, and “Yongsan” refers to Yongsan Station, both of which are in the heart of Seoul. The total travel time is approximately 5 hours and 20 minutes, and tickets cost ₩26,500 for regular seats and ₩22,500 for standing (non-assigned) seats. Children’s tickets cost ₩13,200 seated and ₩11,200 standing.
If you’re okay with transferring and spending a little extra, you can get to Boseong more quickly by switching trains at Gwangju-Songjeong station. You can first take a speedy KTX train from Yongsan Station to Gwangju-Songjeong Station, followed by a transfer to a slower mugunghwa train at Gwangju-Songjeong for Boseong Station. For the KTX, the total travel time is approximately 2 hours, and tickets cost ₩65,500 for first class, ₩46,800 for regular seats, and ₩44,500 for standing (non-assigned) seats. Children’s tickets cost ₩42,100 for first,₩23,400 for a seat, and ₩22,200 for standing. The mugunghwa train from Gwangju-Songjeong is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, and tickets cost ₩4,300 for a seat and ₩3,700 for standing. Children’s tickets are ₩2,100 for a seat and ₩1,800 for standing. Please note that there are only three trains from Gwangju-Songjeong to Boseong per day, so time your route accordingly!
Otherwise, I strongly recommend the bus. The bus departs from the Express Bus Terminal in Gangnam (고속터미날) at 15:10 every day and arrives in Boseong at approximately 20:00. There is also an additional departure time at 8:10 only on Saturdays and Sundays that arrives in Boseong at approximately 13:00. Note: the bus will make a stop at Beolgyo (벌교) a neighboring town in Boseong county. Boseong town will be the last stop on the bus, so don’t get off prematurely!
When returning, the bus departs from Boseong Bus Terminal at 8:20 in the morning every day and arrives in Seoul at approximately 13:20. There is also an additional departure from Boseong at 15:20 only on Saturdays and Sundays. Both buses will make a stop about halfway through the journey for a 15min rest break. Be sure to check the license plate of your bus, and confirm you’re getting back on the right one by noting the lit up time/destination sign in the front windshield. The bus between Seoul and Boseong costs ₩33,600 and is a higher “grade” bus. Finally, again, please check the Boseong Tourism website for up-to-date times!
As these times are limited, travel snags are bound to happen. Don’t panic! The other reason why I recommend the bus is because a bus terminal is the most flexible jumping-off point. If you are coming from Seoul and miss the bus to Boseong, simply catch the next bus down to Gwangju. You don’t have to change bus terminals or anything! The reverse goes for trying to get home and missing the bus departing from Boseong; just ask for Gwangju instead.
Click here to check out the KoBus website and see bus times between the Express Bus Terminal in Gangnam (Seoul) and Gwangju. Sometimes the website doesn’t let you select the right cities, but don’t worry–buses depart between the two in both directions every 10 to 15min, and even during peak holidays I’ve never waited more than an hour for a bus. If you’re traveling on a national holiday and it puts your mind at ease, go purchase a day or two in advance. The bus between Seoul and Gwangju costs between ₩17,600 and ₩28,700 depending on the “grade” of the bus, and the trip takes about 3 hours and 20 minutes.
Once you are in Gwangju, there are regular departures to Boseong as well. These are NOT listed online and can only be purchased at the U-Square Terminal in Gwangju. Tickets cost less than ₩10,000. However, here is the most recent list of bus times that I translated:
Please note that the last bus from Gwangju to Boseong is at 21:40. This means that you should catch a bus from Seoul to Gwangju no later than 5PM! I would even recommend getting a bus before 16:oo or 16:30 due to heavy rush hour traffic in Seoul.
From Busan (and Suncheon)
Many travelers have also come to Boseong from Busan, and here the train vs. bus options are a bit more equal. The train is a Saemaul (새마을) instead of the mugunghwa, and takes 4 hours from Busan to Boseong, and 4 hours and 20 minutes from Boseong to Busan. Tickets are by assigned seat only, and cost ₩28,600 for adults and ₩16,100 for children. There is only one train per day, so make sure you don’t miss it!
If you’d prefer to travel by bus, there are departures from Sasang Bus Terminal in Busan that leave every 30 to 40 minutes, beginning at 6:20. The last bus departure, according to the Boseong Tourism Website, is at 24:00. However, I would be wary of these bus times and recommend booking your ticket early the morning of for the general time window you desire, or even booking the day before. They tend to sell out quickly! Unfortunately I cannot find this info online even on the Korean KoBus site, so I cannot tell you how much it costs, but it should be between ₩20,000 and ₩35,000
Again, if you happen to miss your bus to Boseong or they’re all sold out, don’t panic! You can catch the next bus to Suncheon instead. There are currently 8 buses that depart from Busan and arrive in Suncheon daily, which is only an hour from Boseong. Tickets cost between ₩12,500 and ₩20,000 for a one-way ticket, depending on the “grade” of the bus. They depart at 7:00, 9:00, 11:00 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 19:30, and 22:00. The total trip time is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Once you arrive in Suncheon, you can catch a bus to Boseong for ₩6,300. This is the bus headed for Gangjin (강진), which means it will stop once in Beolgyo (벌교) before arriving at Boseong and continuing on to other cities. These buses depart regularly every 30-60 minutes. There are buses headed towards Mokpo as well that will stop in Boseong too, so if you walk up to the counter and ask for the next bus to Boseong, they’ll get you sorted. Don’t worry!
Please note that the last bus from Suncheon to Boseong is at 20:35. This means that if you catch the 19:30 or 22:00 bus from Busan, you will not be able to make it to Boseong that evening! Your only option would be to hire a taxi for ₩56,000 (yikes!), or stay the night in Suncheon, so make sure you catch the but at 17:00 or sooner. (However, Suncheon is quite pretty and you can check out the beautiful Suncheon Bay (순천만) while you’re in town. Many of my guests coming from Busan do Suncheon one day and Boseong the next!)
When departing from Boseong and heading back to Busan, we fortunately have a list of times posted here in our local bus terminal. There are only 8 buses a day. All of these buses pass through Suncheon, and some make a second stop in Gwangyang. I have translated and listed all times for Suncheon buses, and noted whether they end in Suncheon or continue on to Busan or Yeosu below:
There are 26 buses a day between Suncheon and Busan. The first one departs at 7:00 and the last at 21:30 in 30-50 minute intervals. Please note that in order to make the last bus back to Busan from Suncheon (21:30), you must leave Boseong no later than the 20:05 bus! There is also a risk of that last bus being sold out, so unless you came from Suncheon and purchased your departure ticket in advance, I wouldn’t recommend winging it. If you can read Korean, you can check out the photos of the Jeollanamdo bus times and prices to all major cities here on the U-Square Bus Terminal website.
That should about cover it! Again, PLEASE confirm bus and train times using the following resources:
- The Boseong Tourism Board’s Website (English) (Korean)
- KoRail Website (English)
- KoBus Website (English)
- U-Square Bus Terminal Website (Korean) Click the little red bus on the right sidebar for schedule searching!
You can also call the Tourist Hotline by dialing 1330 and pressing 2 for English.
Once you’ve arrived in Boseong, you can use this interactive map to get your bearings. I’ve marked out all of the above lodgings, transportation hotspots, restaurants, and activities in the area below:
If you’d like more detailed information on restaurants, activities, and how to get to Boseong, please see the other three posts in this series:
For info on hotels, motels, pensions & other lodging, click HERE!
For info on restaurants, coffee shops, and special foods, click HERE (soon)!
For info on the tea fields, hiking, and other activities, click HERE (soon)!