Most of Jeju’s tourist attractions are out of the city so we usually spend quite a bit of time travelling to get out there for one day.
So when you don’t have time for this shopping in the city or at the duty free store is also an option.
Now I’d like to introduce another alternative.
Next to Sammu Park in Shin Jeju you can drop by the Jeju Tea Park.
It is quite a cup of tea.
There are three floors to explore with the first floor being a restaurant/cafe hybrid serving noodles, while the second floor houses a tea museum and on the third floor an education hall is available.
If you decide to eat or drink on the first floor admission to the museum upstairs is free.
It was once 3,300 won, but the price has come down to 1,000 won if you’re only interested in the second floor.
On not-so-busy days the museum curator is available for a guided tour.
However let me act as your guide for now and introduce you to one of the things you’ll meet first in the museum. That being boicha or pu-erh tea.
It doesn’t look like tea, it looks more like a work of art.
Next to this is ddeokcha or rice tea.
On the other hand the museum isn’t so big, but there are lots of things to see.
Looking at the pretty teacups you wish you could have some too. Especially the European teapots and teacups with their gilt and beaten silver.
Teapots come in a variety of shapes and colors.
There is one like a skirt, one like a house, one like Fuji Mountain in Japan.
These days we use an electric kettle for brewing our tea. In times gone by charcoal was placed in the middle of the pot for heating.
However the biggest type of tea on display is Chinese pu-erh tea.
It has healthy qualities which include helping to break down fats and assisting with digestion. Perfect for after a fatty meal then.
Out in the far east green tea is a popular selection especially in Korea and Japan. Yet there is a good reason why you won’t see much on display.
The expiry date is very short when compared to the fermented and long-lasting nature of pu’erh.
Actually as time goes by the value of pu’erh tea increases.
Buying some could cost over 88,000 USD.
Some has incalculable value.
Also look out for gumgwagongcha which was only given to kings.
Cheonrangcha is named for its heavy weight and there is a brick-shaped tea too.
Back on the first floor Jeju Tea Park sells a special ice cream. It is based on an expensive famous fish in Jeju with the name dagumbari. Yet it isn’t shaped like a fish or tastes like a fish at all so what gives?
“Da” actually means “tea” in hanja and “gum” means “gold” making the tea as precious as gold.
A clever pun?
The ice cream has two flavours which are pu’erh and green tea.
Jeju Tea Park is a very short ride from the airport and worth a quick visit if time is short.
Address: Jeju-si, Yeon-dong 260-7
Opening Hours: 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
Web Site: http://teapark.net/
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