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Nak-An Castle – Boseong Tea Field

Posted April. 18, 2002 08:49,   


I woke up at a loud cry of a cock early in the morning. How long had it been, since I heard this sound? And even since I fell in deep sleep on an ondol room (hot-floored room) in a thatched house, listening to a dog barking at full moon?

It is the morning in Nak-An Castle Folk Town. I looked out the door after barely pushing it at the tip of my toes. There is a clear, blue sky up, and there is a smooth mud-yard down. As I was going over the threshold, I saw a strange thing on the floor. A kettle and cup held on a nickel tray, it was Jarikki (night-time drinking water). The Lodge-owner (Hwang Jung-Ae. 68) probably put it there last night. I could feel the delicate caring of the woman and also the warmth of remote countryside.

I sat on the house-floor, and observed in and out of the house. I could see an enormous ginkgo tree, which looked hundreds of years old, beyond the low fence. A broad flower garden below the fence formed a flower-palace. Violet magnolias grew over pink double-camellias, and the ground was covered with fallen blossoms. As if they were missing the passing-by Spring, royal azaleas, jasmines, red peach-blossoms, cotton roses, hydrangeas, etc, were in full blossom.

This ancient residence, which seemed to be over a hundred years old, was as clean as a special hotel. Besides, it was equipped with a flush toilet. Even city travelers would not feel uncomfortable there.

The castle’s morning shine was relatively late. It is due to the high mountains that surrounded the Nak-An plain. The best time to go sightseeing around the castle would be early in the morning, when tourists are scarcely around. I began on a walk, as I stood at the top of the castle-wall, looking down on the village. Thatched roofs’ smooth curves, narrow alleys along mud fences that are neither high nor low, authoritative government office and inn, and old trees next to them… Where else on earth could I welcome such a comfortable and beautiful morning?

The season now is Kokwoo (past 20 days), which means the spring’s end and summer’s beginning. I came out of the castle and headed towards Bosung, passing a boat-bridge. I was to find tea fields, where tealeaves were being plucked by Kokwoo. Tea fields during this season are the most beautiful. The scene of light green tealeaves blooming and women keeping themselves busy plucking the leaves adds a decoration on the tea fields.

Bosung’s tea fields were visited in quest for that fragrant tea. Tea fields of Daehan Tea’s Bosung tea-plantation is crowded with people even in the early morning. A mobile communication company’s TV advertisement shot there was helpful, but such popularity is also due to the fact that tea lovers increased in number.

The morning in the tea fields, which are covered with cedar trees and tea trees, is certainly refreshing. When the morning sun raises itself over the high mountain hills, morning fog over the tea fields instantly disappear. Instead, forest shadow quickly draws over trails under the cedar forest.

The road to the tea fields. Tall cedar trees and short tea trees take turns in welcoming visitors. As I walked through cedar forest and tea fields, both body and heart were filled with green. Such a great bracing feeling…

The green trip that began from tea fields. It continues to the seawater tea-bath at Yoolpo Beach of Bosung Bay. Sea is visible through glass walls of men’s bath on the 3rd floor (women’s on 2nd floor). The bath water is underground water, which is pumped up from 120 meter-deep rock beds. There are two baths, including the one infused with green tea and the other with just the water. The green tea was enjoyed by eyes and mouth. This time, the entire body appreciated it in the green tea bath. Green tea elements’ absorption could be felt in skin’s smoothness.