Oh my goodness I am so behind in sharing my travels with you. But, I have some free time right now so I figured I’d share with you a trip I took a few weeks ago.
A friend and I both signed up with Enjoy Korea to visit the Jindo Sea Parting Festival and Boseong Green Tea Fields. I’ll admit that I wasn’t so thrilled about the sea parting festival as I was about the tea fields (which was on my Korean Bucket List).
The ocean near the island I live on usually parts every single day, allowing people to cross to other smaller islands for a short time. So, understandably, at the sea parting festival I was like, “This isn’t such a big deal.”
However, I discovered that the ocean only parts on this island about 3 times a year, making it especially extraordinary.
My friend and I left Seoul Saturday morning and took a 4 hour bus ride to the festival with our tour group. When we arrived, it was nice and warm, a welcome change from chilly Seoul.
There were food vendors and people selling clothes and art. I’ll be honest and say that the festival didn’t impress me much. Once you’ve been to several festivals in Korea, they all seem to blend into each other. There are usually the same types of food and entertainment. But, I enjoyed eating nonetheless.
They had some foreign dancers and a wrestling competition, in which they recruited several foreigners to fight against Koreans.
After the wrestling match, my friend and I walked around a bit more before heading to the ocean for the sea parting walk. At first, I wasn’t going to spend my hard earned money on the boots they were selling, but I’m glad I did. Once the sea parted, I realized that if you didn’t wear the boots, your shoes would get RUINED.
At one point, I was nearly knee high in the ocean.
The sea parting walk was really nice and since we were almost at the front, it wasn’t too crowded. There were also some people playing traditional music. It reminded me of the Israelites crossing the red sea.
And just as soon as we walked out, the tide started coming in and we had to walk back. The sea only parts for about 1-2 hours so we didn’t have a whole lot of time.
Afterwards, we ate a quick dinner from the foreign stands where I met some new people who were also on our trip. We didn’t talk long though, as we had to board the bus for another hour ride to our hotel.
The hotel was really nice compared to the hostels and jimjillbangs I’m used to sleeping in. It was also conveniently located right across from the beach (an actual beach!). My friend and I bought some ramen at the convenient store and sat on the beach for a while. We wandered for a while, trying to find something to do. We hadn’t met very many people on this trip and were pretty discouraged when I ran into the group I had met from earlier. They were super inviting so we hung out with them for a bit.
The coolest part of the night was when we walked out to a dock and saw millions of plankton lighting up the water like stars in the night sky. I wish I could’ve taken a picture of it, but it’s just one of those things that you can’t capture on camera.
The next morning, our tour group ate a western type breakfast in the hotel. It was okay, but afterwards, my new friends and I walked around the beach a little more before heading to the bus yet again.
This time, our stop was the Boseong Green Tea Fields! I was SUPER pumped for this, as I’ve been wanting to go to this place since arriving in Korea. I love tea and I love green fields so it seemed like the perfect combination for a fun Sunday.
When we first arrived at the tea fields, our tour guide gave each of us a time for a tea tasting. Becca and I had an hour to kill, so we walked around the bamboo forest section of the tea fields. Super random, I know. But it was really interesting. Also, it was selfie central.
Finally, the time came for our tea tasting so we headed to the meeting spot. At the tea tasting, one person at each table had to be the leader, performing the tea ceremony. Making and pouring tea isn’t as easy as you think it might be. There was a whole process to make sure it’s performed just right.
I was chosen to be the leader in my group, and was the one performing the ceremony. It was a long process, and a lot of pressure. You have to make sure you’re holding the right cups in the right hands and whatnot. At one point, I accidentally dropped one of the cups and it made a big bang. Of course.
We got through it though and tasted the tea, which was a delight. But by the end of it, my group was so tired that they just told me to give them the tea without going through the ceremony. When you want tea, you want to tea.
Afterwards, Becca and I went through the museum in the building. It was somewhat interesting, and showed how the tea is formed and served.
When we finished walking through the museum, we headed back to the green tea fields. The scenery was so nice though that we had to stop for a few photo ops. And of course, it being a hot day, we needed some sustenance in the form of green tea ice cream. Oh my lanta was it delicious. I’m a fan.
We also ate some lunch of green tea dongasu after our ice cream. It was the nicest day ever outside, and I was in heaven.
Finally, after we were full and satisfied, we walked to the actual fields. I was nervous that because it was not fully spring yet, the fields would be dead and brown. Thankfully, they were vibrant and green. The place was absolutely beautiful and reminded me of Alice in Wonderland.
Becca and I hiked all the way to the top, where we were met with a refreshing breeze. On our way down, we ran into a “waterfall” and then sat in the fields for a nice while.
I could’ve stayed in those fields for ages, but alas, we had to leave eventually and head on to what would be a 6 hour bus ride back to Seoul.
Overall, the trip was much more relaxing than the majority of trips I’ve been on. I saw some beautiful sights, brushed up on my not-so-classy green tea serving skills, and nearly slept amongst gorgeous scenery. And of course, there was the ice cream.