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!
Where to Stay
Boseong doesn’t have many hotels, and the two you can find listed on English travel websites like Booking.com are both expensive and located a fair distance outside of the city. The one good thing about Boseong is that it has quite a few motels, and they are rarely full. You can literally take a bus, walk a few meters from the bus terminal, and book a room at the nearest place you see!
Since I live in Boseong, I’ve never really stayed at any of the hotels here, but please know that anything that isn’t a love motel is likely to be a traditional Korean pension. This will mean sleeping on the floor. And I don’t mean sleeping on a futon, I mean sleeping on a few thin quilts on, quite literally, the hard floor. My family and I learned this the hard way when we booked a Korean pension overlooking the tea fields. The view definitely made up for the bedding situation, but I can’t say we slept particularly well!
Many Korean pensions, guesthouses, hotels, and motels have different hourly, weekday, and weekend rates, as well as high/low season rates. The default display for prices in this blog will be “weekday/weekend” unless otherwise specified. For example, if a room cost ₩50,000 on weekdays and ₩60,000 on weekends during low season, and ₩60,000 on weekdays and ₩70,000 on weekends during high season, it will be written as “₩50,000/₩60,000 regularly and ₩60,000/₩70,000 a night during peak season.” Many pensions accommodate large groups by providing floor bedding. If a room is listed as accommodating 2-4 people, the lower number (2) will be the number of people that can sleep in a bed (usually a double or queen) and the higher number (4) will be the maximum number of people. Extra people beyond the lower number will be provided with floor bedding.
Peak season is typically the beginning of July to the end of August, and the beginning of December to the end of January. Which…actually works out great, as the heat/humidity of July and August make those months (in my opinion) the worst time to visit. Come in April, May, or June instead!
Pensions & Guesthouses
Although they are a bit more expensive, staying in a Korean pension or traditional hanok house is how the locals prefer to travel! In Korean culture, families and friends will rent entire homes and all sleep together, often on bedding laid out on the floor. Be sure to confirm if a futon mattress is actually provided or not, or you may have a bit of a rough night’s sleep! Most of the lodging located in the tea fields themselves is of the pension/guesthouse variety, so if you want to be in the heart of nature and waking up to stunning views, these places are the way to go.
If you want a good night’s rest, English-speaking hosts, a stunning view, and have the money to splurge a little, this is where you want to stay! Rooms run from ₩80,000 for a double to up to ₩150,000 for a family-sized space, though the price includes breakfast. Note that the road leading up to this place is very steep, and can be tricky in winter. The pension is located between Boseong town and the official Daehan Tea Fields (대한다원), but I wouldn’t recommend walking between the two. The only downside to this place is the fact that it’s a bit of a pain to access if you don’t have a car. See booking info and reviews on Trip Advisor/Booking.com for more details.
Unfurling Green Leaf Pension
(초록잎이 펼치는 세상 펜션) $$$
This is where my family and I stayed when they came to visit me. First and foremost, the view is STUNNING. I think of all the pensions I have listed here, this one has the best view by far. The rooms open directly up onto a balcony that overlooks local tea fields. I actually like this view better than the one at the official Daehan Dawon fields, and this is the field that has the light festival in winter! They have large rooms (that sleep up to 7) and small rooms (that sleep up to 4), but no western-style beds. This is a traditional, Korean-style pension!
Both room sizes cost ₩70,000 a night regularly, but the larger rooms cost ₩90,000 a night during peak season as of August 2015. Each room had a private bathroom with Korean-style shower, closet, A/C unit, cable TV, mini-fridge, and kitchenette. The top floor/main entrance has a cute cafe that’s perfect for drinking green tea away from the crowds (this is where you can get real green tea ice cream, by the way), though their gift shop is on the pricier side. It’s also within walking distance (about 1km) of the official fields and Botjae.
Phone: +82.010.7663.4663 ~ 전라남도 보성군 보성읍 사동길 52-2
Greenville is a beautiful pension collection halfway between Boseong town and the official tea fields. They offer both rooms in a modern home and traditional Korean hanok houses for rent. The rooms in the modern houses are like mini–apartments and cost ₩80-90,000/₩100-110,000 regularly and ₩100-110,000/₩120-130,000 a night during peak season. There are also hanok options for both individual rooms and a full house rental.
For the individual rooms, you can rent suites for ₩90,000/₩110,000 regularly and ₩110,000/₩130,000 a night during peak season to sleep 2-4 people. There is one very large hanok room for rent for ₩250,000/₩300,000 regularly and₩300,000/₩350,000 a night during peak season, which sleeps 6-15 people. Finally, you can rent an entire house for a large group too! The smaller of the two houses sleeps 4-8 people and is ₩100,000/₩120,000 a night regularly and ₩120,000/₩150,000 a night during peak season. The larger sleeps 6-15 people and is ₩200,000/₩240,000 regularly, and ₩240,000-₩300,000 a night during peak season.
All rooms include shower, sink, A/C, a fridge, cable TV, hairdryer, WIFI, coffee pot, rice cooker, toiletries, and a microwave. You can also rent grills for 2-4 people for ₩10,000 and 6 or more people for ₩20,000, which includes charcoal. The pension is closer to the tea fields than Golmangtae, but is still a bit of a walk from them and is outside of Boseong town. Best accessed by car.
Phone: +82.061.853.8787 ~ 전라남도 보성군 보성읍 녹차로 899
Sunflower Home is located in the same little neighborhood as Greenville, but does not offer any traditional Korean hanok housing. This is a more reasonable pension option if you want to be out in the countryside closer to the tea fields. They offer three rooms with a single queen-sized bed, two Korean ondol style rooms (floor bedding), one apartment-style room, and a family suite. The standard rooms with beds and ondol rooms sleep two with the option of additional floor bedding for 2 more people, and cost ₩50,000/₩60,000 during low season and ₩100,000 a night flat during high season. The apartment-style room has a division between the bedroom and the living area, and costs ₩70,000/₩90,000 during low season and ₩130,000 a night flat during high season. The family suite appears to be ondol style as well, and sleeps 4-8. It costs ₩100,000/₩120,000 regularly and ₩160,000 a night during peak season.
Boseong Green Tea Resort
These Euro-hanok fusions dot the green tea fields with their little orange roofs–you can see them across the highway from Botjae! The Boseong Green Tea Resort is located right next to the official tea fields and is just across the road from Botjae, so there is fairly regular access by the local bus service. Their houses seem to have a mix of beds and ondol-style sleeping, so confirm how many physical beds are in a house before booking if that is a necessity for you.
The smallest house sleeps 2-4 people, and costs ₩70,000/₩90,00 regularly and ₩100,000/₩130,000 a night during peak season. Three houses sleep 4-8 people and cost ₩140,000/₩160,000 regularly or ₩190,000/₩220,000 a night during peak season. The majority of the houses are medium-to-large and house 8-18 people a piece for ₩240-250,000/₩280-290,000 regularly and ₩330-340,000/₩350-360,000 a night during peak season. Finally, there are two very large houses on site that can house 10-22 people! These cost ₩340-350,000/₩390-400,000 regularly or ₩420-430,000/₩480-490,000 a night during peak season. There are BBQ grills available for rent, as well as a convenience store and gift shop on-site, and every apartment comes equipped with a full kitchen, rice cooker, fridge, cable TV, couch/lounge area, dining area, WIFI, basic shower amenities, and the medium and larger homes have two bathrooms to accommodate groups.
Silver Sea Pension
This is a pension owned by the uncle of one of my students, and came highly recommended by a fellow coworker while I was writing this post. It’s located a bit further from Boseong town and is closer to Yulpo Beach and Hoecheon-myeon, so you would need a car to access it. It is, however, right near the Bibong dinosaur site and museum, which is a more unique tourist attraction in Boseong, and in a very quiet, beautiful area on the sea.
It has two main houses with rooms. The Starlight Pavilion is a collection of small apartment suites. Rooms cost ₩60,000/₩90,000 for a room with a large double bed (additional floor bedding for 1 more person available) during low season and ₩110,000 a night flat during peak season. There is also a room with one queen-sized that sleeps 4 (floor bedding for two, and additional floor bedding for 2 more people available) for ₩110,000/₩130,000 regularly and₩170,000 a night during peak season. The other option at this pension is to rent out an entire floor of the Moonlight Pavilion. The first floor sleeps 6-8 (one queen-sized bed, the rest is floor-sleeping) and costs ₩110,000/₩140,000 regularly and ₩180,000 a night during peak season, while the second floor sleeps 8-15 (two queen-sized beds, the rest is floor sleeping) and costs ₩160,000/₩190,000 regularly and ₩240,000 a night during peak season.
Cheonglokdang Traditional Korean Guesthouse
This is one of the more expensive and remote places to stay in Boseong, but it’s a fully-immersive Korean experience! Run by a couple who privately owns a traditional Korean farm and tea fields, this traditional Korean homestead (하녹 hanok) has been in their family for over 400 years. This place is located between the towns of Beolgyo and Boseong, so it’s unfortunately not really on the way to any of the other sights or restaurants. However, your ₩320,000 a night rental of a two-bedroom villa can sleep up to 6 and includes a full breakfast every morning. They do have a smaller room that is attached to their main house, but as of spring 2016 it was under construction. See booking info and reviews on Booking.com.
Hotels & Motels
If you aren’t too keen on being so far removed from town, or are traveling on a bit more of a budget, there are plenty of classic hotel/motel options in Boseong too. Most of the motels are a bit dated, but with the tea fields a quick bus ride away, you won’t be spending much time there anyway. You won’t get much of a view, but you have the convenience of restaurants, coffee shops, and access to public transportation.
Boseong Tourist Hotel
Located almost right next to the Boseong Bus Terminal, you can find the Boseong Tourist Motel. The hotel itself is pretty old and dated (like most hotels in Boseong) but it’s location is perfect for bus hopping into, around, and out of Boseong. This hotel has 24 western rooms, 6 ondol rooms, and 4 suites. Despite having what I would imagine is an incredibly popular location, I had a difficult time finding information for this place online in both Korea and English. While I can’t give you prices, I would imagine its rates are similar to the White House Motel and Aria Motel (see below).
White House Motel
Located a short walk from the Boseong Bus Terminal, the White House Motel is pretty standard as far and older motels go. It offers standard rooms for ₩35,000/₩45,000 regularly and ₩40,00/₩50,000 a night during peak season. They also have a presidential suite for ₩40,000/₩50,000 regularly or ₩50,000/₩60,000 a night during peak season. I’ve looked on two different websites for information about this place, and it appears to have both ondol (traditional Korean-style) rooms as well as more western-style rooms. All rooms include toiletries, a hair dryer, vanity, bath amenities, A/C, cable TV, a fridge, phone, and Internet.
Phone: +82.061.852.1441 ~ 전라남도 보성군 보성읍 갱맹골길 236-7 ~ reference site
Also very close to Boseong Bus Terminal, Aria Motel has typical western-style beds and the aesthetics of a typical Korean “love motel”. It’s also located in a quiet corner of town. It offers queen or twin sized bedrooms for ₩30,000/₩40,000 regularly or ₩50,000/₩60,000 a night during peak season. Each room comes with general toiletries, a hair dryer, vanity, bath amenities, A/C, cable TV, phone, and a fridge.
Good Morning Motel
Nestled in the heart of “downtown” Boseong, the Good Morning Motel is a short block from Boseong Station and very close to several coffee shops and convenience stores. There’s also a taxi stand located right next to this motel, in case you need to hitch a ride to anywhere outside of the town or up to the bus station. Standard rooms are ₩30,000/₩40,000 a night and a standard room with a computer (internet connection) is₩35,000/₩50,000 a night. There is also a presidential suite that costs ₩50,000/₩60,000. During peak season, their standard rooms are ₩40,000 a night, computer rooms are ₩50,000, and the presidential suite is ₩60,000 a night. There is no weekend pricing during peak season.
The Scent of Green Tea
A classic Korean love motel, this place has full muintel (무인텔) service where you can drive up and never even speak to anyone! In typical love motel fashion, they also offer hourly rates at 50% of the room cost. Standard rooms are ₩40,000 a night, semi-suits are ₩50,000, full-suites are ₩60,000 per night, and drive-in accommodations are ₩50,000 a night. Just drive or walk up and use the computer screen to book! The decor is rather dated, but all rooms include full toiletries and bath amenities, a hairdryer, cable TV, a tea kettle, phone, and WIFI.
This hotel is a bit older, but is built into the mountainside overlooking the same view as the Unfurling Green Leaf Pension. The rooms are similar to love motel standards and are reportedly a little worn, but the place is kept clean and has a stellar view. Rooms include toiletries, shower amenities, tea kettle, TV, desktop computer with internet connection, and a balcony. Rooms cost ₩35,000/₩40,000 regularly or ₩70,000 a night flat during peak season, and the hotel is best accessed by car.
The Beach Condos
I’m actually a frequent visitor of The Beach Condos because of their awesome spa! The Condos are a very large, beautiful hotel overlooking Yulpo beach down in the nearby town of Hoecheon. The rooms are a mix of western-style and traditional ondol style, and are up to typical 4 and 5 star western standards. You must specify if you want western-style beds when booking! Rooms are equipped with queen-sized beds, but are fairly large and Korean-style bedding can be provided for additional guests for ₩5,000 per person. The VIP room is the only exception, with two double beds and a king-sized bed being included with the room price.
During peak season, rooms cost ₩180,000 for a family room, ₩230,000 for a suite, ₩310,000 for a “royal” suite, ₩380,000 for a deluxe room, and ₩1,060,000 a night for the VIP suite. During low season, there is a 35% discount from the peak season rate on weekdays, a 20% discount on Fridays, and a 15% discount on Saturdays and Sundays. There are both regular and “garden” view rooms available, and all rooms come equipped with a desk, sitting space, general toiletries, hair dryer, and kitchenette. Don’f forget, there’s the attached green tea spa/bathhouse as well!
Alright, I think that’s enough! You now have fourteen places to choose from, and shouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to crash for a weekend in Boseong. Again, most of these places (especially the hotels in town) are barely filled up and will gladly take walk-ins. Many of the Koreans who visit Boseong like to rent the traditional pensions in the tea fields themselves, since they drive their own cars. If you don’t speak Korean or have Korean-speaking friends, you can always call the Korean tourist hotline at 1330 (dial +82-2-1330 if calling internationally and press 2 for English) and give them the phone number for the hotel you wish to have booked. They’re always happy to help.
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 how to get to Boseong from major Korean cities, click HERE!
For info on restaurants, coffee shops, & special foods, click HERE (soon)!
For info on the tea fields, hiking, & other activities, click HERE (soon)!