The town of BOSEONG (보성), midway between Yeosu and Mokpo, is famed for the tea plantations that surround it; visitors flock here during warmer months to take pictures of the thousands of tea trees that line the slopes. They may not be as busy or as verdant as those in Sri Lanka or Laos, for example, but they’re still a magnificent sight, particularly when sepia-tinged on early summer evenings. Pluckers comb the well-manicured rows at all times of year, though spring is the main harvest season, and if you’re lucky you may be able to see the day’s take being processed in the on-site factory. Green tea (녹차; nok-cha) rode the crest of the “healthy living” wave that swept the country in the early 2000s, and here you can imbibe the leaf in more ways than you could ever have imagined. A couple of on-site restaurants serve up green tea chicken cutlet, green tea bibimbap and green tea with seafood on rice, as well as a variety of dishes featuring pork from pigs raised on a green tea diet. There’s also a café serving nok-cha ice cream and snacks – if you’ve never tried a nok-cha latte, you’ll never get a better opportunity (though, admittedly, it’s on sale at pretty much every café up to the North Korean border).
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