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East Asia, South Korea, Transportation, Traveling

The Ultimate Guide to Boseong, South Korea: Find It!

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!

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At the official Daehan Tea Fields (대한다원)

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.

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A map of the Seoul subway system, highlighting the Yongsan train station.

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!

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Train times from Yongsan to Boseong.  Option 1 is the direct mugunghwa, where options 2 and 3 involve a transfer at Gwangju-Songjeong Station.  There are several other Yongsan/Gwangju-Songjeong KTX times, but I’ve listed the three most practical ones for catching the connecting more limited Gwangju/Boseong train.

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!

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A map of the Seoul subway system, highlighting the Gangnam Express Bus Terminal.

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:

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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!

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Note that I did not put train times from Busan to Suncheon for transferring, as there is also only one train per day–it’s the same one that goes to Boseong!  If you want to make a stop in Suncheon for the day and take a bus to Boseong later in the evening, the train arrives in Suncheon at 10:54.

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

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A map of the Busan subway system, highlighting the Sasang Bus Terminal.

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:

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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)!

13 Comments

  1. Nari

    This info is very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

    • No problem! I know English information on Boseong isn’t the easiest to find, but it was such an amazing place to live. Most people who travel to South Korea miss out on it, but it’s actually quite accessible ^^

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  3. P.An

    Hello, I plan to visit Boseong, depart from Gwangju and get to Suncheon in the end. The big problem is I have luggage. Do you have any idea that can help me?
    Thank you very much in advance.

    • nomadicmadda

      Hi P.An! Sorry it took me so long to reply to you!

      How easily are you able to carry your luggage, and is it possible to store it? I know that there are places in Seoul that offer luggage storage, and places in Gwangju should as well if you don’t need to carry everything with you on your trip. I’d actually strongly recommend contacting Butlers Korea at http://butlerskorea.com, because this is exactly the kind of stuff they can help with!

      If you need to keep all of your luggage with you, then you have a few choices depending on how much money you want to spend. When you arrive in Gwangju, you will have two choices:
      1a. Take a taxi from Gwangju to the U-Square Bus Terminal directly. This will cost around 10,000 to 12,000KRW.
      1b. Take the subway from Gwangju Songjeong Station (located right outside the train station) to Nongseong Station and go out exit 5. You will then have to walk 1km north from Nongseong Station to get to U-Square Bus Terminal, so if your luggage is really big the taxi is probably worth the money.
      2. The bus from Gwangju>Boseong will have storage under the bus for your luggage, so this part of your journey won’t be a problem!
      3. The bus from Boseong>Suncheon will also have storage, so your only other challenge will be getting it to your hotel in Suncheon after you arrive.

      Alternatively, you can just book a hotel in Gwangju near the U-Square Bus Terminal for your entire stay. I suggest this because it’s easy to do both Boseong and Suncheon as day trips from Gwangju, as each one is about 1hr away from Gwangju. Boseong is also about 1hr from Suncheon. It honestly might be worth saving the energy and effort to travel Gwangju>Boseong>Gwangju one day and Gwangju>Suncheon>Gwangju the next day instead of doing Gwangju>Boseong>Suncheon. This way, you can have a ‘home base’ for your luggage, won’t have to take it with you on your travels to the tea fields and bay, and you don’t have to re-pack every night! If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me! ^^ Happy travels!

  4. Fiona

    Your blog has been the most informative for boseong travel! Thanks so much!

    May I know if it’s advisable to do from Seoul to Gwangju (stay 1 night) -> Boseong (should I stay 1 night) -> move to suncheon (stay 1 night) Then head back to Seoul back.

    Much appreciated! Thank you!

    • nomadicmadda

      Hi Fiona! I would say this depends on if you are coming down to Jeollanamdo in the morning or in the evening, and if you’re coming to sight-see in Gwangju as well as Boseong and Suncheon. If you live and work in Seoul and need to make this a weekend trip, I would recommend:
      1. Travel via KTX from Seoul to Gwangju on Friday evening, and spend the night in Gwangju, ideally near the U-Square Bus Terminal
      2. Get up early Saturday morning and catch a bus from U-Square from Gwangju to Boseong.
      3. When you arrive at the Boseong Bus Terminal, you should decide if you want to spend the night there or in Suncheon. While it is normally easy to walk into a hotel and find a room available, during special events it can be difficult if you haven’t reserved in advance. In this case, purchase your tickets for Suncheon right when you arrive and plan to leave Saturday evening instead of Sunday morning. If you want to stay in Boseong and are visiting during a non-event time, then you shouldn’t have a problem finding a place. You can try and buy your tickets for Sunday morning to Suncheon when you first arrive on Saturday, but they prefer to sell them as walk-ups at the time of departure and may refuse to sell them to you until Sunday morning!
      4a. Saturday evening, catch the bus to Suncheon and spend the night there.
      4b. After spending the night in Boseong, catch the Sunday morning bus to Suncheon.
      5. Either way, I would strongly recommend reserving your train tickets back to Seoul on Sunday evening in advance. Even better, purchase them for a set time before you even leave Seoul to ensure you have seats! This way, you can enjoy your time in Suncheon and won’t have to worry about the train being full.

      If you’re traveling in Korea and have an open schedule, then I would recommend leaving from Seoul to Gwangju by KTX in the morning, or taking the very early direct bus to Boseong from the Express Bus Terminal in Gangnam, Seoul. The express bus will take you straight to the Boseong Bus Terminal instead of cutting through Gwangju, and will have you there by 3PM. In all honesty, taking the Seoul>Gwangju KTX + Gwangju subway to the U-Square Bus Terminal in Gwangju + the Gwangju>Boseong bus will take about the same amount of time. The only way you can “save” time by taking the KTX is if you are renting a car in Gwangju and driving to Boseong yourself, so if you’re only using public transport, take the Seoul>Boseong express bus!

      Whichever way you get down there, you’ll have plenty of time to sight-see. A lot of Boseong’s attractions outside of the tea fields are only truly easy to access with a car, so you’ll find your time at the tea fields and in Boseong itself can pass by pretty quickly. Suncheon is a bit larger of a city, so even if you go to Boseong in the morning and catch the bus to Suncheon in the evening, you won’t feel rushed. I hope that helps, and if you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask! ^^ Happy travels!

  5. Christina

    Is there any information about the last local bus from the Green Tea plantation back to Boseong bus Terminal? Thanks!

    • nomadicmadda

      Hi Christina! I just checked with my friends who are still living there, and the last bus departs Yulpo Beach at 8:50, which means it should arrive at the tea fields around 9PM and Boseong Bus Terminal around 9:10PM. The current bus schedule for the entire day will also be posted at the fields at both bus stops, so you can see all of the times it passes by. I was just down there visiting in May and they made a lot of improvements to the area to help out tourists, and as long as the fields are open to the public, buses will definitely be running. Taxis will also be waiting nearby!

  6. Kevin

    Thank you for your article, it is very helpful !

    I am currently in Busan and I’m thinking in stopping by the tea plantation on my way from Busan to Mokpo. Unfortunately, I cannot stay in Boseong as I have already booked a room near Mokpo.
    I’m wondering whether it is doable or not… Assuming I arrive from Busan around 13:00 by bus, how long it is needed to see the plantations and how many buses are there to go to Mokpo from Boseong? Would you have a timetable Boseong-Mokpo by any chance?
    Would you know if there are any lockers in Boseong terminal to store a big backpack during the visit?

    Thanks !

    • nomadicmadda

      Hello Kevin!

      As of my last visit to Boseong in May, there were not any lockers at the bus terminal.

      I would say you need about an hour to see just the main tea fields, though you could spend me time here seeing them, the free fields at the cafe down the road, and Yulpo beach if you wanted.

      Unfortunately I don’t have an up-to-date time table for the Mokpo buses in English. But, if you call 1330, the free Tourist Information Hotline can give you exact times! I’d recommend purchasing your ticket for Mokpo once you arrive at Boseong terminal so you for sure have a ticket out for the day. You could also always buy a ticket for the last bus and exchange it for an earlier one if you find yourself back in Boseong town earlier.

  7. Jojee

    Hi! Thank you for this, as my husband and I are planning to visit the tea fields end of march next year before we head to busan. Would end of march be a good time to go? Since we’ll be visiting busan for the cherry blossoms anyway we thought it would be great to pass by here as well as im a huge fan of the Legend of the Blue Sea. We’re only in SoKor for 8 days. Mar.24-Apr.1. We plan to take the train from Seoul to Gwangju and transfer trains there. Then we take the bus the next day to Busan. Do we have to book our tickets in advance for those trips? 🙂 thank u!

    • nomadicmadda

      Hi Jojee!

      The end of March is a great time to visit—it’s actually the time I most strongly recommend! It isn’t “high season” for the area so prices are reasonable, and all of the flowers and trees in bloom are absolutely stunning. It’s also the best time to visit the fields because the other plants haven’t grown in yet but the tea is green. It also isn’t hot, which is ideal for hiking up and down the fields, and there will be fewer tourists.

      As for traveling there, I’d actually recommend taking the KTX train from Seoul to Gwangju and then taking the bus from Gwangju to Boseong. The Gwangju-Boseong train is actually a different train station than the KTX you’ll come in on from Seoul, it’s times are very limited (like only twice a day or so), and it’s VERY slow. When you arrive at the KTX train station, you have two choices for catching the bus. If you don’t have a lot of luggage and are feeling adventurous, you can ride the Gwangju subway all the way to the far end, Sotae Station. This takes about 30min and you can buy the bus tix at an electronic kiosk that should also have an English language option. If you stand outside the Sotae subway station you can then flag the bus down. If you don’t want the hassle or have a lot of luggage, then I’d recommend just taking a taxi from the train station to the bus terminal in the center of town. This is the same bus that stops at Sotae, only it’ll be at a large bus terminal and you’ll buy your ticket from an actual person.

      Just make sure the people at the bus terminal know you want a train for BOSEONG (보성) and not Busan (부산). Sometimes they think foreigners are mispronouncing Busan since Busan is the bigger city! If they look confused, unsure, or you think they’re misunderstanding you, say “green tea”. It’s really famous among Koreans, so they’ll know you mean the small village.

      The bus to Busan from Boseong is pretty easy. I think the Boseong bus terminal has an electronic kiosk nowadays too, but otherwise you can just go to the terminal the day-of and get tickets from the teller for the next bus. You can buy them for a specific time the morning of, but the last time I was there they wouldn’t let you buy them the day before. Friday night and weekend times might be busy, but anything else you should be able to walk up and buy a ticket for right before the bus leaves. Hope that helps!

      ~ Madda

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