Munsusa and Munsusan
Take a taxi from Mugodong to Munsusan and enjoy a nice day in the countryside 5,000W. There is a bus stop at the highway but I don't remember the schedule or the name of the stop, so a good way to get back to the city for 1,000W.
Although it is very close to Ulsan you can get away from most of the noise out here. The temple here is a great for its size. Walk through the temple area and you can try and get a coin to stick to a flat granite rock. The belief is if your soul is pure it'll stick. I cheat and dip mine in candlewax, although I have gotten it to work 2 times.
To really get off the beaten path take a left down a dirt path when you see the tall staircase. If you follow this path you'll have to cross a small path to see a cave shrine. Many mountain climbers use this path to get to their climbing area. There are 4 tombstones to those who've died climbing there. (If you are a large or uncordinated person I suggest you not take this short detour) Also don't take this detour if you're afraid of heights. Once you've seen the shrine you have to take the same way back.
Munsusa or Munsu Stadium
"Hiking at Munsusan"
Munsu Mountain is just outside of Mugodong, and is the large mountain in the background from Munsu Soccer Stadium. There is a functioning temple here and it is a popular place for locals to hike. The hike will take about 4 hours total if you start at the highway and about 2 if you start at the lower parking lot for the temple.
From Mugodong to the Nonghyup parking lot it costs about 5,000W by taxi. This is where I usually start and where many people park to start their hike up the mountain. Stay on the main road and you'll have an easy hike.
There are some great views of the mountains from here and on clear days you can see the boats in the port. There are some small hikers restaurants once you've made your way back down too. Great if you're a makoli fan.
In short this is a great little hike with a temple where you can fill up and take a breather.
There is also rock climbing on Munsu mountain and a small cave shine if you can find it. The small cave shrine isn't a good place to look for if you're afraid of heights. To get to the small cave shrine take a left before you walk up the steep steps cut into the rocks, where there is also a great lookout point. Rock climbers take this path and so do the few people who know about the small shrine.
Wow, what a week! We packed in a lot of sight seeing here in South Korea. Perhaps not as leisurely as I would like because of the short 1 week visit. So, it was really nice to meet Dave, member name DSwede, in Ulsan to have dinner, drinks and chat. We had a relaxing evening. Also, informative as we had lots of questions as to why the South Koreans did certain things and act a certain way. We were mostly stunned by his answers and thought it peculiar and funny. I'll post some of that info on my South Korea page.
We didn't spend too much time in Ulsan, just really to meet Dave. So, I don't have much posted here. Most of my South Korea experiences will be posted on my Seoul and Busan pages.
The restaurant we had dinner at in Ulsan
We walked across the street to have a beer at this bar
Industrial Center of Korea
There's not much to say about Ulsan. Its a busy port and has lots of large industry. Along with those businesses, there is a regular stream of foreigners coming for work. And a handful of ex-pats live locally teaching English to school children and corporations.
Ulsan is the industrial capital of Korea. It is home of the largest manufacturing industries on the peninsula. Even though it is approximately the 10th largest city in Korea, it has the highest density of engineers, managers and business men. What that translates to is the second highest cost of living and average income in Korea, coming second to Seoul.
There is also a large university campus which is home to a large young population. All in all, Ulsan is just under 2 million people, so as you can imagine, there is plenty of chaos in the streets.
On the west side of the city, near the University is Munsu Stadium, one of the fields used when Japan & Korea hosted the World Cup in 2002.
There are a few historic locations nearby that are worthy of a visit, like Kyongju, Girimsa, Bulguksa and the east coast. Foreigners might not make the sole journey to go see them from their homelands, but they are famous for Koreans.
For some more general thoughts, please visit my S Korea page.
(for more pictures, feel free to visit my S Korea Gallery. If you enjoy the pictures, please leave a comment.)