Whale Boat Races, and Festival, Postponed ’til July

By , April 18, 2014 12:28 pm

In light of the tragic sinking of the ferry full of high school kids traveling from Incheon to Jejudo this week, Korea has put it’s festivals and celebrations on hold for a period of national mourning. This means the Ulsan Whale Festival and the attached Whale Boat Races scheduled for Saturday April 26 are postponed until July 5th (the Festival will be from the 3rd-6th of July).

If you have registered and paid for your whale boat team, but are unavailable in July, contact Dan at T-Hope Korea.


We at UlsanOnline extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends who have lost loved ones in this terrible accident. That so many were lost, and so young, is heartbreaking.

Big Day South

By , April 11, 2014 3:10 pm


April is a busy month for Angle Magazine. We’re about to publish our 5th issue and we will be following it with our first ever festival. We are fortunate to team up with I Like Many Records (an indie record label and brainchild of former Ulsan resident, Ali Safavi) and the great people at [b]racket Magazine to create Big Day South, an exhilarating audio and visual festival in downtown Daegu.


Big Day South will be featuring some amazing artists from the south of South Korea and from around the world. Dogstar, who were featured in Angle Magazine’s fourth issue, have been playing together for over a decade. This legendary band has brought their experimental sound all over the country and influenced numerous up and coming bands. From Seoul, electronic producer and composer Yukari, who released one of our favourite Korean albums of 2013, will be bringing her lush chillwave / dream pop sound to Club Urban. Say Sue Me, from Busan, will bring their sexy surf music, which they showcased to a packed house at Sticky Fingers on Paddy’s Day. Yamagata Tweakster is described as “The quintessential Korean experience,” and for Big Day South, he returns to his hometown to wrap up our musical performances with a blast of electronic dance pop music. His shows are notoriously unpredictable, often bringing the party out into the streets.

dogstarOn top of all the fantastic acts from around Korea, Angle Magazine is delighted to have several talented artists representing Ulsan. Over the last couple of months, The Elsewheres have been scribbling away, producing original tunes, with the goal of recording their own album by the end of the year. Two relatively recent Ulsan arrivals will be showing off their talents: Canadian poet and spoken word artist, Sean O’Gorman, who will be performing between acts at Club Urban, and South African graffiti artist, Moke will be starting things off creating art on-site outside Social Market alongside local Daegu artist Pal lo. Wrapping things up at Social Market will be Kim Yi-wha, an Ulsan native and one of our city’s finest emerging artists, who has held breathtakingly large exhibitions containing a mixture of installation and performance art in London, Seoul, and Ulsan.


The main goal of Big Day South is to disprove the idea that someone needs to travel to Seoul to get their alternative culture fix. While Seoul is a thriving scene, the south of the country has wonderful talent that should not be overlooked. Angle Magazine has featured many of these artists in previous issues, striving to showcase their talent and give their work the justice it deserves through interviews and videos. As much as we love featuring these talented groups and individuals in our magazine, we are firm believers that its always best to experience art up close and in-person.


With 18 performers from Ulsan, Busan, and Daegu, Big Day South will be an excellent opportunity for you to get involved with your local arts scene, meet some amazing artists, and be a part of some interactive art that is sure to get your creativity flowing. Hard working local charities will be providing an assortment of goods and activities, such as freshly baked cake and costumes. The first 75 people at the door of Social Market will get a free and original screen printed poster, made in front of them by Mesh Printing. Tickets will be available at T Morning Cafe from 10am, with concessions available for single entry to either of our 2 venues.


Photo credits: Ken Robinson, Stephen Elliot, Cindi L’abbe, Min Kim, Philip Brett, Leon Choi.


 Social Market – 소셜마켓: 12pm-4pm
Moke (Ulsan – Street Art)
Mine Lee/이민혜 (Daegu – Acoustic)
Leon Choi (Daegu – Digital Painting)
Andrew Blad (Daegu – Acoustic)
William Joseph Leitzman (Daegu – Digital Comic)
Cindi L’Abbe (Busan – Dance)
김이화 (Ulsan – artist)

URBAN Lounge Club : 5pm – Late
The Elsewheres (Ulsan)
November on Earth (Daegu)
Sean O’Gorman (Ulsan – Spoken Word)
The Curses (Daegu)
Colours (Daegu)
Say Sue Me (Busan)
유카리(YUKARI) (Seoul)
도그스타 / Dogstar (Daegu)
yamagata tweakster (Daegu/Seoul)
Akimbo (Busan)


Whale Boat Races are a Go!

By , April 3, 2014 4:17 pm

A week or two ago, T-Hope Korea was told that the annual Whale Boat Race (held in conjunction with the Whale Festival) would no longer have an amateur, foreigner friendly event. There was not much reason given beyond some apparent complaints of drunken dancing long after the event was over. This was quite a blow, as the race is not only an excellent community gathering for expats in Ulsan, but also a key fundraiser for the volunteer organization.

However, after concerned people got involved, and a reporter from Busan asked the City Assembly some uncomfortable questions, the decision was overturned and the Whale Boat Race is back on. Of course, it’s now a scramble to get it organized in time, as the event will take place in 3 weeks, on April 26th. Proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Ulsan Orphanage, and the Lotus Children’s group, who work with Autistic children.

whale boat 1

For those new to town, the Whale Boat Race is a paddling race between teams of participants. Technically, the boats are “dragon boats”, but as it’s part of the Ulsan Whale Festival, it has a festival-friendly name. Teams of 16 people (at least 6 female participants per team), including drummer and steersperson, compete in heats, the winners of which go on to the semi- and final races. There are usually a few weekend practice times available, so that your team can become familiar with how to paddle in unison, and most importantly, how to steer a long, thin boat from a slippery platform at the back.

All teams are guarantee 2 races and if you make it to the final race, it will be a total of 4.

The first race will start at 9:00am and finish by 1:30pm. As the afternoon will hold the trained Korean teams races, the morning races are prompt, so don’t expect the usual Ulsan-time delay of 20-30 minutes.

If you’re interested in putting together a team of co-workers or friends, or would like to help with the organization or running the event day-of, please contact T-Hope through the link above.

This all takes place at the Taehwa River Park (pinned on the Interactive Map under “Recreation”), between the Taehwa and Byeongyeong Bridges. The meeting place/docks are right by the Taehwa Bridge. There will be a beer garden, and hotdogs for sale during the day, also part of the fundraiser for the above-mentioned causes.

Baseball in Ulsan!

By , March 10, 2014 12:50 pm

The new baseball stadium at the Munsu Sports Complex is ready to open, with two Lotte Giants vs Hanwha Eagles games on March 22 and 23, both games starting at 1:00pm. To kick off the new season, and the new venue, both of these games will be free! (Go early!!)

Korean baseball is a great sport to watch, partly because the players are high calibre, and partly because the crowds are as active as European soccer fans, or American football fans. There are chants, songs, dances, and it’s generally a rowdy fun time. Also, Korean stadiums tend to be a little more open to people bringing in outside food and beverages (not bottles, though), and the concession stand prices are fairly reasonable.

So, head over to Mugeodong on March 22 or 23, and root-root-root for the home team, if they don’t win it’s a shame.  For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out, at the old ball game.

How-To: Ulsan buses

By , March 10, 2014 12:11 pm

Hi there! You’ve made it to Ulsan – congratulations! After getting unpacked you’re going to want to explore and the bus system here is great for that! And even if you’re not a Newbie, understanding how the buses work could save you a lot in taxi fares! So, here are some answers to the questions most frequently asked:

Where can I take a bus from?

Any bus stop.

How do I know which bus to take?

Check out the link on the Ulsan Online home page. Just type your destination and you’ll get a list of buses going that way. You can also type in the bus numbers and see the route they follow. There are also numerous apps available (though non are in English yet). I prefer 울산버스정보.

How much is the bus?

Here in Korea, there is a flat fare for a city bus, meaning that whether you are going just one stop or twenty, it will still only cost you 1,200 won cash and 1,140 won with a travel card. (More on those later.)

How do I pay the fare?

Unlike in Japan, it is very simple here. Cash goes into a big plastic box as you get on. Any change comes out a coin slot next to this. Try to have the correct fare or as close to as you can as the drivers don’t take 5,000 won! If you’re using a travel card, hold it over the dark blue/orange box near the driver. If you need to transfer buses, a travel card is crucial here as it allows you to make a free transfer to two other bus within 40 minutes. This is great if you want to do a whirlwind shop at Home Plus and don’t want to pay again to get home! To do this, hold your card over the box at the back doors of the bus as you get off and then again when you get on your next bus. Note: This only works when taking a different number bus and is effective for 40 minutes after the time you swiped your card each time.

What’s this travel card, then?

Travel cards here are awesome. Seriously.


Not only does having a travel card allow you to use public transport cheaper than cash, they can also be used nation wide. And not just for buses – they can be used for the subway as well. No more fumbling for change and panicking about where you put your ticket!

Many taxis also accept travel cards – no more worrying about saving 10,000 won to get home on a Saturday night. Have another beer and let your travel card take care of you! Note: Do check that the taxi has a “Card” sticker in the window.

And that’s not all! You can also use the credit on your travel card to buy things from convenience stores and Lotteria!

So, where can I get one of these travel cards?

Larger bus stops have a kiosk where you can purchase a card. You can also top up the credit here. Some convenience stores also allow top up – especially if they are near a bus stop. Just look for a MyBee or CashBee sticker in the window.

Anything else I should know?

Well, the buses also have free WiFi, air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter! You can get just about anywhere in and around Ulsan. But do be prepared to experience some hair-raising rides – some of the drivers are insane!!

I hope that helps you feel more confident about using the buses here. Have fun and be safe!

Fascinating Photos of the Past

By , March 4, 2014 5:54 pm

It’s easy to look around modern South Korea and forget that within living memory, this country was wartorn and impoverished, and has within 60 years built itself up to become one of the strongest economies in the world.

KoreaBang has posted a number of really cool retrospective photo essays on Korea. It’s really worth taking a look at what the country was like only a few decades ago, to give you a sense of how different life would have been like for the parents and grandparents of the children many of us teach today.

This article on Korea’s rapid modernization has a number of photos from along the Cheon-gye-cheon (cheon = stream) in what is now one of the most vibrant downtown areas. Here’s a photo of the Cheongyecheon area today:

(source -travel.nationalgeographic.com)

(source -travel.nationalgeographic.com)

And from the KoreaBang retrospective:

(source - KoreaBang.com)

(source – KoreaBang.com)

In another article, a former US soldier shares photos he took in 1964 in Seoul, Jeju and elsewhere. You can see how some of the traditions are still alive and well, like the dried fish hanging in the market, while other things have changed significantly.


(photo by Klaus T. Moser-Maync)

The following article shows just how horrifying war is, as it documents the Korean War of 1950-1953 (which is still technically on-going, as a ceasefire was signed, but no peace treaty has ever been reached). The contents are quite graphic, so be forewarned.

Downtown Daejeon, merely 60 years ago. (originally posted on todayhumor.co.kr/)

Daejeon, merely 60 years ago. (originally posted on todayhumor.co.kr/)

Daejeon today

Daejeon today (source panoramio.com)

And finally, a series of colour photos of Seoul taken in 1949 – the year before the Korean war started. Rush hour looked a little different in those days!

(source - KoreaBang.com)

(source – KoreaBang.com)

South Korea has come so far, so fast, it’s hard to imagine what the grandparents must think when they look around at their grandchildren’s lives in 2014.


(source – beckylanglais.wordpress.com)


Thanks to KoreaBang.com for this fascinating look at contemporary Korean history.

Travel Vaccines in Ulsan

By , March 4, 2014 4:59 pm

We tend to get many requests about travel vaccinations from people heading out from Ulsan on various short or long term adventures. Thanks to Jenn Levy for this helpful information.

“For travel vaccinations we went to Dr June in Nam Gu. He’s at the Asian-Pacific Medical Center, which is on the 3rd floor of the Namgu Homeplus (pinned on the Interactive Map under “shopping” – ed). The clinic’s phone number is 052-261-9155, and they are open holidays and weekends.  He speaks excellent English too!

Dr. June 2

 We got the following vaccinations there:

Hep A – ₩65 000

Hep B – ₩20 000

Japanese Encephalitis – ₩20 000

Typhoid – ₩25 000 (although this is only ₩5 000 at the Buk Gu Health Centre, which is behind Buk Gu Office)

Tetanus – ₩25 000

DPT – ₩25 000

(The prices are all for adult vaccinations. Children’s are cheaper. <Prices as of Feb 2014, subject to change – ed>)

As rabies is extremely rare in Korea, the vaccine is difficult to get, as the doctors have to get some kind of authorisation for a prescription. Dr June said unless you’re working closely with animals or you’re travelling with children (who may touch dogs etc and not say so) it’s unlikely that you’d need it.

For Malaria, we were going to get the precription from Dr June, but he was on vacation at that point, so we went to the Buk Gu Health Centre (pinned on the Interactive Map under “Medical” -ed) and got our prescription there.

The only place that we could actually pick up the prescription though, was from the pharmacy next to Dong Gang hospital (pinned on the Interactive Map under “Medical” – ed). The malaria tablets we got were Malerone (aka Atovaquone-proguanil, which are more expensive than doxycycline: they were ₩119 000 for 38 tablets!).

I did a lot of research into malaria tablets via the American Center for Disease Control website (it works best in Chrome) and they say for mainland Asia, you only need them for Cambodia (Siem Reap and Angkor Wat specifically).  Everywhere else, you just have to cover up and use repellant if you are in forested areas, or places with still water.”



Industrial Theatre Troupe is Back!

By , February 3, 2014 11:01 pm

An announcement from ITT:

Ulsan’s own ‘Industrial Theatre Troupe‘ is back with their 4th performance of 30 plays in 60 minutes.

For those who have not heard of ITT, it is a theatre troupe which was started in 2012 by 2 native English teachers, Pete Musto and Danielle Malson, and theatre director Yoojung Im. ITT use the concept of 30 plays in 60 minutes to deliver many different short plays, covering different genres. The theatre troupe encourages audience participation by having them choose the order of plays and being brought up on stage for some skits as well. Currently, ITT have 7 cast members. The former members, who are all native English teachers are Tronell Lessing, Danielle Malson, Brian Kelly and Patrick Sanders. Elementary native English teacher Cassandra Hora, American foreign student Kyle Walton and So Theatre’s manager, Hyun Chil, have joined ITT this time round.

Director Tronell Lessing says, “[The New Black] new place, new plays, same story”.

Producer Danielle adds, “This is probably our most positive production yet, with more laughter and short skits than previously. However, it wouldn’t be an ITT performance without some serious, reflective pieces, too”.

ITT are now performing at So Theatre in Seongnamdong, 24 Munhwaui-geori, (249-1 Okgyo-dong) Jung gu, Ulsan, Korea 681-190. (The location is pinned on the Interactive Map, under “Culture”)

From Shigaetop in Old Downtown, walk towards Royal Anchor. With Royal Anchor on your left walk to the next intersection. Go straight and the theatre shall have The New Black posters outside the entrance.

Performances are; Friday February 7th, 9pm. Saturday February 8th 7 & 9pm. To reserve tickets e-mail; theindustrialtheatertroupe@gmail.com Or call; 052 271 0557 for Korean or 010 5508 3107 for English.

Credit Card Data Theft – Are you affected?

By , January 22, 2014 4:48 pm

As you may know, Korea has just experienced a massive case of credit card data theft affecting over 20 million people. Currently the banks have only sent out messages in Korean to alert customers.

If you have a Lotte Card, or an NH NongHyup Card (again, credit, not debit), you should contact your local branch to get your card re-issued (재발급) in case your data was among that stolen. If you have a KB Kookmin Card, they are not currently reissuing cards, but are warning customers to be careful of voice phishing scams.

Bank account information was not affected, only credit card, so don’t worry if you don’t have one of those credit cards.

For more information, please check out the articles by Busan Haps and the Korea Times.

New Address System in Effect

By , January 18, 2014 1:07 pm

As of January 1, 2014, Korea has officially moved away from the old, very confusing addresses, which were based on things like land lots, and what order buildings were constructed in on a block, to a new, streamlined system based on street name and building number.

This is meant to help with general navigation, as the only people who understood the old system seemed to have been postal workers and pizza delivery guys. If you’re not sure what this means, check out the little blue plaque on the front of your building.

building numbers

From http://eng.juso.go.kr/eng/about/AboutPolicy.do

대로 (Dae-ro) means “Big Road” or boulevard.

로 (Ro) means “Road” or “Street”.

길 (Gil) is a side-street.

The basic naming system is as follows: Dae-ro and Ro have individual names, such as DaeHak Ro (대학로) or University Street, the main street through Mugeodong. The side streets have names based on the main road they feed off, numbered in order. This is still a bit random seeming, but how they decide the system isn’t really important. If your street is off Sinjeong-ro, then it’s likely a Sinjeong-ro #-gil, or beon-gil.

They explain it with pictures on this site, which is all in English, which is very kind of them to do. In fact the whole address change site is very helpful, if you need more detailed information. There’s supposed to be a map that can help you translate your old address to your new one, though it was having difficulty loading when I gave it a go.

Your postal code will remain the same.

Korea’s Tourism Site also has some basic information on the topic.