After going around Gwangju on our first day, our group was sent to take the Boseong City Tour bus from Gwangju U-Square Bus Terminal. I think it’s really cool that there are such services taking visitors around other nearby smaller cities from a major city like Gwangju in a convenient and easy way. Boseong isn’t the only city with a tour bus from Gwangju, another WOW Korea Team went to Gangjin too with the Gangjin city bus tour.
How to Use the City Tour Bus from Gwangju
The bus will pick up passengers at 2 points: Gwangju U-Square Bus Terminal and Songjeong Station at 8.20AM and 8.45AM respectively.
The bus ride for the whole day cost 10,000 KRW, very reasonable! It will take you from Gwangju to Boseong, 7 stops at Boseong and then back to your departure point. The bus will take you to one place and the guide will give you the time that you need to return to the bus for the next destination.
Although 7 places sounds like a lot, it was not very rushed and we could see all the places pretty thoroughly. They gave us more time in bigger and more iconic places like the Greentea Field and shorter time in smaller places so the timings were pretty appropriate.
The only thing is that the guide will mostly be speaking in Korean although she does know some English. However, I would still highly recommend anyone to take this bus because of its convenience. I also heard that this bus only runs until the end of December 2016 so do hurry and make a visit to Gwangju if you want to take this bus 🙂
You can get tickets by contacting:
Here’s a review of the places we visited using the city tour:
Tibetan Museum and Daewonsa Temple
These two places are right next to each other and we were given around 1 hour to look around. The guide also gave a tour around the temple but she was speaking in Korean so I just went around on my own with my group 😉
Daewonsa temple is apparently one of most well known temples in Boseong. They also have temple stay programs that you can attend if you are interested. The temple grounds itself was really beautiful with many beautiful photo spots.
The Tibetan museum was quite eery and I personally didn’t really enjoy it, maybe it’s just me. There were many historical artefacts about Buddhism in Tibet, some Tibetan clothes and accessories that you can try on and some places to pray in if you are a Buddhist. Entry tickets are 3000 KRW for adults and 2000 KRW for students. Oh, the tour bus does NOT include all these entry tickets so if you do not want to enter, you can choose not to.
I think the most creepy part about the museum was the “Experience Death” room where you can lay in a coffin in a very, very, very creepy room in the basement. There were also photos of babies that were killed and eaten in a traditional ritual in Tibet in the olden days. Told ya’ it’s creepy.
The Philip Jaisohn Memorial Hall
The next stop was the Philip Jaisohn Memorial Hall which is.. a memorial hall for Mr Jaisohn. Ok sorry for being lame. Anyway, it’s basically a museum documenting Philip Jaisohn’s life.
If you’re wondering who is Philip Jaisohn, I had the same question too. He is apparently one of Korea’s (and America’s) freedom fighter. He is also the first Korean to be a western-educated medical doctor.
Most of the description was in Korean but there were some in important ones in English. It’s pretty cool to see what the western newspapers wrote about him and his family and also to see the olden days items he used in his life.
Boseong Bangjin Hall
Th Bangjin hall is another, super tiny, museum that you’ll go to on the third stop of the tour. I think the real highlight was that we got to play traditional games in the courtyard of the hall because the content of the museum itself was not very spectacular. We spent around 45 minutes there playing with the various games!
Finally lunch time came. We were brought to a market but it was pretty dissapointing because by the time we reached, all the smaller stores were closed. Only the restaurants were open so we could not see what the other stalls offer there.
Anyway, lunch is not included in the tour so you can choose your own restaurant and pay by yourself. They do have 4 recommended restaurants in which you will get 10% off if you show that you are part of the tour that you can choose from.
We eventually chose to eat Deok-kalbi and kalbi-tang which is pork patty and beef ribs soup that is quite famous in Boseong. We spent around 9,000 KRW per person and the dishes were delicious~
Botjae Green Tea Market
After lunch, we went to Botjae Green Tea Market which is a newly built tea house in Boseong. The building’s roof is shaped like a green tea leaf, making the building look pretty unique. The view of Boseong green tea plantations from the second floor is also something really beautiful to look at.
Inside the building, there is again a mini Boseong historical museum. But the highlight is the second floor where there is a cafe with many different green tea products to try and the green tea product market itself.
Tip: Buy green tea chocolates here, do not buy the tea or the other products because it’s cheaper in the next destination. The chocolates are more expensive in the next one.
Boseong Green Tea Field
Finally, definitely, the highlight of the trip! Boseong green tea field *squeels*!
When you arrive, purchase an entry ticket (4,000 KRW for adults) and then walk through a miny forested area. Then you will find the area of green tea cafes selling various green tea food and snacks. They even have green tea ddeokbokki :o. Walk straight ahead and you will find the flight of stairs up to the green tea plantation area. I sure did not expect it to be an uphill climb but it wasn’t too bad.
The place is pretty big and we were given around 1 hour and 45 minutes to explore everything. We did not climb up to the top because we wanted to sit down and get some ice cream but i’m pretty sure it’s the same on top too.
Interestingly, the cafes sold their green tea ice cream at different prices although it tastes the same. Go to the cafe on the right side when you come in from the entrance (near the gift shop) to get the cheapest price, 2500 KRW per cup. Also, if you want to buy green tea products, here’s the place to buy 🙂 I got a box of 50 tea bags for 46oo KRW 😮 and a bag of green tea cruchies for 5,000 KRW – it’s really good too!
The last destination on our itinerary before going back to Gwangju is Yulpo Beach, a popular beach to visit in Boseong.
Nothing much to say except that there are some pretty photo spots in the beach. It was pretty cold when we came to Boseong so we didn’t stay out for too long. After all of us came back to the bus, we headed back to Gwangju and arrived at around 6.30PM at the U-Square bus terminal which is concludes our day.
We moved on to Yeosu city for our last day after we arrived back in Gwangju.