Ulsan- 울산

Firstly, I caught a bus from Gongju to Yuseong. I took the subway to Daejeon train station. After I went to East Daegu station. The bus terminal is adjacent to the station, so I went to the terminal and bought a ticket for Ulsan bus terminal. There is another bus terminal called Bangeojin 방어진 to the place where I was going, but I think there were no more buses. I arrived at Ulsan around 9pm. I waited for a city bus headed toward 방어진. It was a short wait but I was on the bus for about 30minutes. I got off at a stop called 대왕안공원입구 Daewang Park Entrance.

East Daegu Terminal
Giant Ferris Wheel ontop of Lotte Mall next to Ulsan Bus terminal

After my visit I went to a 찜질방 jjimjilbang to sleep. Jjimjilbangs are a cheap way to sleep rather than sleep in a motel. Almost every jjimjilbang costs between 8,000-11,000 won per person. You can use the shower and sauna designated for each gender. Then you put on shorts and a T-shirt to sleep in, and go to the co-ed place where everyone sleeps on a mat on the floor. Of course you put your belongings in a locker and you keep the key. I sleep here when I travel by myself to cut down on costs. I don’t always sleep well as there is always one loud (I mean LOUD) snorer in each jjimjilbang that I go to.

One of the many bridges in Daewang Park onto the rocks in the ocean.
The entrance of the park
The lights change color throughout the night.
The story about the park

The next day I woke up early around 4:30 to catch the first bus to my next destination which was about 5:20. I was headed toward Ganjeolgot lighthouse to see the sunrise. I had to change the bus once and it was a short wait. However the second bus toward the lighthouse will take a longer time as it goes on the back roads. It will take about 45minutes-1 hour. I will recommend using your phone and using Kakaomaps for estimated times for buses.

After arriving, I saw the backdrop of the ocean, and there were cafes such Starbucks but they were all closed because it was too early. This was easily one of the most beautiful places in Korea, but I wouldn’t recommend going here just for this. I only stayed for about 20 minutes because it was cold, and I wanted to hurry to my next destination.

After I made my biggest journey to the Yeongam Alps of Korea. Again I had to change buses twice. My second bus dropped me off at 복합웰컴센터. (Bokhap Welcome Center) This is near the entrance of Ganwolsan. I think I am in good shape and am healthy so walking and hiking are easy for me. I am usually faster than recommended times of travel. So I was able to go up and down much faster, so I would not have to wait for the buses. Again traveling by myself, I was able to go my speed. This is one of the shorter paths and yet it was moderately difficult for me.

The top of the mountain is bare meaning it doesn’t have many trees but is covered with grass reeds. Even though the grasses didn’t have its color, it was beautiful.

After exploring the top, I headed back down as I wanted to go back to Ulsan and not Eonyang. Eonyang will be more convenient for those coming from and going to Gyeongju or Busan. Before I went back to Ulsan bus terminal, I stopped at Taehwagang National Garden which is located next to the river. It was impressive as it is covered in bamboo, but it was not overly special to me as many rivers in Korea are developed for citizens and tourists.

After my short visit I went back to the terminal and booked my ticket to Wonju. I would recommend reserving your ticket on the bus app or on the machine and choose the very back seat as you will get a 10% discount on your ticket for most long journey trips. If you go to the ticket seller, they will probably not give you the discount and place you in the regular seat. If the bus isn’t full, then you can change your seat. This is an important travel hack that I have learned last year. From Ulsan to Wonju the cost was close to 28,000 won and from Seoul it will be more.

Overall I do recommend Ulsan if you are living in Korea, but I would not recommend it if you are only visiting. I will recommend Daewang Park for a couple of hours and then head to the beach in the summer. Yeongam Alps are another amazing place which I will recommend if you like mountains. I want to recommend Ganjeolgot Lighthouse as a date place and going later in the day when the cafes are open. Taehwagang National Garden is impressive if you haven’t seen many gardens or a lot of bamboo. However I will not recommend it if you have limited time.

I will not recommend anyone to follow my path for this journey as it was rushed and can be overwhelming to most. I do recommend 2-3 days and enjoying each destination for however long that you want.

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