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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Grant

Wild Tea Festival

Once every year, crowds flock to a small, peaceful county called Hadong, located between the famous Mt. Jiri and Seomjin River. Foreign tourists from China, Japan and America travel to this place to take part in a five-day festival called the Hadong Wild Tea Cultural Festival.

It is no small matter to say that you’ve sampled tea from Hadong, the birthplace of tea in Korea. And it is an even greater feat to say that you’ve plucked some of the youngest tealeaves from the first tea cultivation site in Korea.

In 828, an envoy called Kim Dae-ryeom brought back green tea seeds from China, and planted it on the mountain slopes of Ssanggyesa Temple. More than a thousand years later, much of the scenery remains unchanged, and Hadong’s tea is still produced by hand, making it the finest and most coveted in Korea.

Besides tealeaf picking, there are many things to do for visitors of all ages in the Wild Tea Festival. One of the most anticipated events is the hands-on experience of preparing tealeaves. Green tea experts will teach tourists the whole process of roasting, rolling and drying tealeaves. After that, tourists can freely sample some of Hadong’s best teas and even purchase them at discounted prices.

If that’s not enough, there are green tea massages, tea etiquette competitions, tea bowl making, rice cake making, as well as all kinds of local snacks and products for sale. There are also many fun things for children to do, like riding rickshaws and having green tea ice cream!

It is a wonder to see this small county come to life every year around the month of May. If you want a getaway to experience the serene beauty of Hadong and savor some of the best tea in Korea, you should start planning for next year’s Wild Tea Festival!


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