Hani Lavender Farm in Goseong, South Korea
It’s easy to get caught up in Seoul. There are so many distractions—interesting neighborhoods (see 1, 2), pretty cafes (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), traditional sites (see 1, 2, 3, 4), beautiful blooms (see 1, 2, 3, 4). And that’s not even beginning to scratch the surface.
But the best parts of South Korea, in my opinion, are the ones outside of Seoul. Busan, the second most-populous (port) city, Gyeongju, one of the most idyllic places I’ve ever visited in the world, Jeju, the island to visit (and we have visited, though I’m only now realizing we’ve never blogged about it!), Boseong, where the green tea fields are exactly as fanciful as you imagined they’d be.
The Boseong Green Tea Fields and Hani Lavender Farm in Goseong were probably my top two South Korea bucket list travels when we first decided to move abroad. Along the way, our list increased a hundredfold, which led to weekends and other days off spent mostly around Seoul, if not abroad. It’s also easy to keep pushing off the destinations that are far enough away to save for ‘someday’ but close enough that you can always get to them another time.
As of this past long weekend, though, I can say that I’ve ticked both off my list.
We traveled almost eight hours roundtrip to spend part of a morning at the lavender farm, but recommend staying in Sokcho and exploring more of Gangwon-do (province) if you have time. I’d love to spend a week or so in the area as most of the posts I save on Instagram happen to have that region of the country geotagged.
From Seoul, it’s best to take a bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (across the street from Gangbyeon Station, Line 2) to Ganseong Bus Terminal. The earliest bus leaves Seoul before 7am and the trip is estimated to take 2.5 hours. An adult ticket is 21,100 KRW (~$17.85 USD). From Ganseong, it’s a ten-minute taxi to the farm (~11-13,000 KRW) and taxis are conveniently lined up outside the bus terminal. The farm seems to be open 365, but the month of June is ‘festival season,’ so there are not only a lot of festivities, but also a lot of visitors.
I mean a lot.
It’s comical now to see the swarms of people (among the swarms of bees so many of them were terrified of) but the crowds honestly did take away from the experience and the beauty of it all. I was a little heartbroken to see the massive tour buses along the road leading to the farm and the pseudo-lines of people waiting to buy tickets, ice cream, and souvenirs or to take photos at the several ‘zones.’ If you can get there on a random weekday morning right at open and avoid all this, we highly recommend you do.
And don’t skip the ice cream. I’m not much of an ice cream person and Andrew’s definitely not a lavender person, but we each got our own cone and devoured it. The farm had opened at 9am and we queued between 11 and 11:30 and were two of the last people to get ice cream. Only a few licks in and they had sold out.
hani lavender farm
Address: 강원도 고성군 간성읍 꽃대마을길 175
Gangwon-do, Goseong-gun, Ganseong-eup, Kkotdaemaeul-gil 175
Hours: 9am-7pm (last admission 6pm)
Adult admission fee: 4,000 KRW (~$3.38 USD), cards accepted
Still, I can’t deny that the scenery was stunning (look at that mountainscape), and it’s always a breath of fresh air (literally) to leave Seoul for a while. Provence is one of my life bucket list travels and this quick getaway gave me a taste of what that might be like.
By noon, we waited with the hollyhocks, my new favorite flower, for our taxi to the bus to our home in Seoul.
Whether you’re an expat based here or a visitor traveling through, definitely escape to the countryside. Crowds or no, it offers a unique experience to the one you get in Seoul and embodies the beauty that is South Korea.