Category: leisure

I have Lived Today

By , December 11, 2014 8:31 am


Former Ulsan resident Steve Moore has come out with his first book called “I Have Lived Today” and we couldn’t be happier. According to Moore, the book started out as a project while he was teaching here in Ulsan and then was finished later on. Steve was a fixture at the Mugeodong Ediya Cafe during this time but has since moved on from Ulsan to the bright lights of Daegu.

Sadly, the novel has nothing to do with life in Ulsan but everything to do with a dark and tragic tale of self discovery and human cruelty. Many have noted Moore’s writing style to that of the legendary Charles Dickens. The book does have a similar dark feel to it.  The main character “Tristan” suffers his way through this brilliant novel and eventually comes to a life changing realization. Here is Moore’s synapsis of the book.

England. 1960s. A cold, harsh autumn. On an isolated island, an abusive man forces his wife to run for her life. Their son Tristan, young and afraid, also flees the island and sets out into the world to escape his demons and find his mother.

Hitchhiking beneath the backdrop of a wild and loveless November, Tristan encounters every possible character, from the genuinely kind to the inherently wicked. Beaten, robbed and stripped of even hope, Tristan finds himself on the gritty streets of London’s East End, where everything he thought he knew about life starts to shatter and crumble around him. With all hope seemingly lost, a young boy even questions the futility of life itself. But when he learns that there are others who share his torment and understand his pain, can Tristan find the courage to make it through his darkest hours?

Tristan’s tale is a grim exploration into his own conscience. As he discovers the unique ability of humans to do such heinous things both to themselves and to one another, it’s all he can do to keep control as his passage of internal discovery takes one dark turn after another and sends him to the edge.

“I Have Lived Today” can be purchased online at Amazon and 10% of the royalties will go to the NSPCC Children’s Charity.  For those looking for great reads this is a book that you surely do not want to pass up. Not to mention that you would be helping a lot of children as well.


You can keep up with Steve’s adventures over at his blog “The Twenty First Century Nomad” and his author site here.

OMK Bikes

By , July 6, 2014 10:12 am


In our ongoing series of articles which explore the “must-see” places in Ulsan, we head to OMK bikes in Taehwa-dong. This shop has been a long time partner of Ulsan Online and a shop which is dedicated to helping foreigners with their cycling needs. Few bike shops offer the kind of service help that OMK provides to foreigners.


OMK offers high quality bicycles, precision fitting and used bikes as well. While there is a selection of premium bikes that few foreigner can afford, there are also a lot of great deals on used bikes. OMK offers a great buy back policy on their bikes as they understand that foreigners may not want to take their bikes with them. OMK deals with high quality bikes for all levels of riders.


For foreigners, there is a bit of special treatment and I don’t mind that at all. Aside from purchasing your bike back from you when you leave, they also offer other benefits. If you want to take your bike with you, they will help arrange packaging and shipping. This is a big plus as the crew at OMK know exactly how to package your bike to get it home in one piece. Not to mention, 2 years after service for your bike!


OMK also has a standing discount of about 10%-30% off for foreigners. This is quite a good deal if you are looking to buy a more expensive bike. OMK has a lot of top brands like Trek, Cannondale, Specialized and many others. They have a wide selection of Brompton Bikes which are pricey but perfect for small apartments. These are handmade in England and very stylish these days.


Joey and the crew are also great riders and have weekly rides every Sunday morning. However, they are also available for bike tours around the city. This is something that would be a great asset for those looking to get a better feel for the city. I have yet to make it out for a ride with the guys, but don’t be afraid to ask them for more details.


The bottomline is that OMK is a shop for a levels of riders. They have used bikes if you are looking for just something to ride around on as well as brand name bikes and pro bikes that cast more than my car. They are also certified to fit the bikes which is important if you are purchasing a specialized bike.


For more information, check out our partner page or head over to OMK and see what they have to offer. They are located across from Jaeil Middle School in Taehwa-dong. You can call them at 052-249-4700


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.

Reel Rock Film Tour: Daegu

By , December 4, 2013 9:47 pm

From Korea On The Rocks Initiative (KOTRi), a charitable organization that helps install and replace safe rock climbing protection and anchors on climbing sites throughout Korea: KFT_Facebook Cover Photo is once again bringing the best in climbing and adventure films to audiences in Korea this winter with its fourth Reel Rock Film Tour Event. The evening promises awesome prize giveaways, raffles and a breathtaking film lineup that will get your heart racing and your palms sweating.  This year’s Film Tour brings together the Reel Rock Tour, as well as 2 unique and local films from our community. Lee Sung Jae’s film, “Uleung-do,”  looks to uncover the beauty of this remote island off the Korean coast, while The Dedicated Everyman’s film,“Unclimbed,” explores the remote unclimbed giants of the  Zanskar region of northern India. (There will be an article on this film posted shortly on UlsanOnline – stay tuned – Ed)


KOTRi hosts this annual film tour to bring local and expat outdoor enthusiasts and rock climbers together in celebration of adventure, adrenaline and extreme filmmaking. Combining the biggest names in rock climbing with stories of pushing the limits of climbing like never before, the films showcase the very best of the sport and will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.



More than growing the reach of the sport, the event is a chance for Korea’s outdoor communities to give back to the peninsula’s beautiful natural environment. KOTRi’s mandate is to develop, maintain and improve Korea’s climbing environment. The non-profit organization was founded in 2010 and has initiated a range of projects around Korea to ensure that the country’s rock climbing spots are safe, well equipped and environmentally sustainable.  The Reel Rock Film Tour is KOTRi’s biggest annual fundraiser and has raised over 25 million won over the past three years towards keeping Korea’s climbing areas safe.


The films will be screened in Daegu on December 14th from 5pm to 10pm at Kyungpook Universities Global Plaza theatre. Tickets are available in advance for 10,000 W or at the door for 15,000 W. Discounts are available for groups and members.  Visit to get more information on the events and to book tickets.

In June, 2013, Mammut Korea agreed to a full partnership with We are pleased to host this year’s event with our official partner, Mammut Korea.  Event sponsors include Eunpyeong-Gu district office, Evolv, Julbo, Prana, Outdoor Global, Magpie Brewing Company and CAYL (Climb As You Love).

RRT_A3 Poster_ENG


Munsu Stadium Sports Complex

By , November 13, 2013 1:24 am

Built for the 2002 World Cup, the Munsu Stadium overlooks a vast park and sporting complex that offers the residents of Ulsan many opportunities to enjoy a variety of recreational activities.

Munsu Map

A map of the grounds

The biggest feature of the complex is obviously the Stadium itself – home to the Hyundai Tigers K-League soccer team, and sometimes host of international friendlies, or screenings of overseas World Cup matches for the Korean team. The stadium seats 44,466 people, though it rarely sees capacity crowds these days. The last full house was when the Hyundai Tigers won the AFC League Championships in 2012, against Al-Alhi from Saudi Arabia.

The building also has a wedding hall, because they have do something to pay for the maintenance of the grass (rumoured to be over a million dollars a year).

The main entrance (not a game day)

The main entrance (not a game day)

Seating layout within the stadium

Seating layout within the stadium

Tiger tickets

Rough translations and spacing problems. Sorry it's crowded!

Rough translations and spacing problems. Sorry it’s crowded!

Behind the stadium lies a smaller soccer pitch with a track and stands that hold 2,590 people, along with several practice pitches that can be rented out.

The secondary stadium - with a running track!

The secondary stadium – with a running track!


Practice pitches come complete with miniature soccer players!

On the other side of the parking area from the 2nd stadium is the swimming pool, which also has a gym. The opening hours are Weekdays 06:00-22:00, Saturday 06:00-18:00. Prices are listed below.

The entrance to the swimming pool

The entrance to the swimming pool

Swimming pool gym

Swimming pool gym

Here is a rough translation of the pricing board at the swimming pool:

Swimming Rates

Children are aged 4-12, Teens are 12-19, Adults are 19-64, Seniors are 65+:

There is also a “Skin SCUBA Diving Pool”:

Diving Pool

Please note, these are rough translations. I recommend either calling or heading in for more information.

Around this area, there is a lot of open space for strolling, biking with kids, etc. There are some lovely gardens and walkways, including an extensive track around the lake. In the summer, the end of the pond is home to blooming water-lilies and lotus plants, with a boardwalk built to help you appreciate their beauty. There is also a rose garden by the main entrance to the Stadium, and a trellised path that grows a variety of flowers. The landscaping is quite beautiful, from cultivated shrubs to a “wilderness” area on the far side of the lake where quiet walkers may startle rabbits or pheasants. The whole complex is ringed by a cycling path and a rubberized jogging track.

The rose garden by the main entrance (photo taken in late October)

The rose garden by the main entrance (photo taken in late October)

The outdoor amphitheatre, over looking the lake

The outdoor amphitheatre, over looking the lake

The lake can also be enjoyed from the Whale and Swan Boats, which are available to rent. 10,000 won will get you 40 minutes of cruising around the pond. Bring bread for feeding the ducks or fish that will inevitably follow you around.

The boat house

The boat house


Swan and Whale paddle boats on the lake

There is also a large outdoor concert venue overlooking the lake, which often hosts K-Pop performances, or screenings of Korean games during the World Cup. During the day, there is a small coffee shop and convenience store where you can buy refreshments, and sit at patio tables.

A view of the outdoor concert venue from the Boat House roof

A view of the outdoor concert venue/cafe area from the Boat House roof

Out behind the lake, tucked into a small parking lot which seems to house clubs for Korean Veterans, there is also a new Squash Courts building.


Rough translation of Squash Court Fees

Rough translation of Squash Court Fees

Court use is for 1 hour time slots. The courts are open Mon-Fri from 10:00-21:00 (one-time use tickets are available 10:00-18:00), Saturday and Holidays 09:00- 18:00 for all sections. The facilities are new, and looked quite shiny and clean when we popped our heads in. Here are the specs:


Currently under construction, just across the road from the Squash Courts is the new Baseball Stadium, which will seat 12,000 Lotte Giants fans in their 2nd Home Stadium, starting summer 2014. This photo was taken in Oct 2013. Still a bit of work to be done before the first pitch is thrown.

New baseball stadium, under construction (2013)

New baseball stadium, under construction (2013)

Now, all the way back on the other side of the main stadium, if you cross the road and walk up about a million steps, you’ll find a whole ‘nother section of sports and recreation options available to you.

At the very top of the steps, or to the right of the parking lot if you drive up the hill, is a large inline-skating track, which circles around a large paved area that is open for a number of in-line (or roller) skate activities. There is also a small inline skate arena, with seating and banked sides.

Inline skate stadium track

Inline skate stadium track


Inline skate track

Inline skate track – this was hard to get a good photo of, so please forgive me.

To the left of these, there are a number of tennis courts, with both hard and clay tops. The rates are posted below. I couldn’t find any distinct hours of operation, but a list of bookings suggested they’re open from 10:00-21:00.

Tennis building

Tennis building

Clay courts

Clay courts

Hard courts

Hard courts

Rough translation. 면 may actually mean "earth dug by crabs, ants or rats", but I thought "Section" was the closer guess.

Rough translation. 면 may actually mean “earth dug by crabs, ants or rats”, according to my translation ap.

Just across from the tennis courts, at the top end of the inline skate track, there is the Munsu Shooting Range. Korea has very strict gun laws, prohibiting anyone but military personnel or police from carrying firearms. The only place citizens can go to shoot guns are licensed ranges, like this one (see David’s article on the Gyeongju range for another option in the area).


Shooting Range price

Finally, in the farthest-flung corner of the complex, hidden behind the tennis courts and parking lot, there is the Munsu Lawn Bowling Rinks (is “rinks” the official term for a bowling lawn?). Unfortunately, the building was closed, and they didn’t seem to have any easy-to-interpret information available on the doors, so all I can tell you is that this exists.

Lawn Bowling headquarters

Lawn Bowling headquarters

The bowling rinks

The bowling rinks. Probably not allowed to picnic on there…

And there you have it. The Munsu Sports Complex. Lots to do for everyone, from quiet strolls around the lake to rowdy sets of lawn bowling, to watching ladies in hanbok attend family weddings. It’s a great place to spend a sunny afternoon being active, or drinking beer while watching other people run around.

For Information or Help, please call 052-220-2191~2193. There may not be an English speaker available, so it’s best to have a Korean speaker call.



Kyeongju Bomun Live-Ammo Target Range

By , November 11, 2013 2:09 pm

Kyeongju Bomun Live-ammo Target range – 경주보문 실탄사격장


The Verdict: Good for a stop by, but hardly a day at the range.  It’s more expensive than a lot of places, but where else can you fire live ammo in Korea?

The target range in Kyeongju has 17 different pistols to borrow in 3 or 4 different calibers – including a PPK they describe as having become famous “as a gun used by James Bond in the 007 series”, and a couple of .357 magnum revolvers.In Kyeongju, near Bomun Resort and sharing a building with an ATV rental place, is the closest live-ammunition target place to Ulsan.  There’s the Munsu Stadium target range, but that uses Olympic-style airguns.


Their prices are somewhat disappointing, as was the necessity to keep the gun tied on a rope.  People must drop guns frequently, I guess.DSC00560

They didn’t check my ID, but they had me write down my passport number.

The range offers (and indeed for most people coming in, demands) one-on-one assistance from the staff.  In terms of pricing – it’s about 20,000 won for 10 rounds in anything outside .357 magnum, and 25,000 for 10 rounds of .357.  There’s some modestly “discounted” special combinations, where you can shoot ten rounds of two, three, or all four calibers for variety. The target range is geared towards people who have never used guns before, or haven’t used pistols since mandatory military service.

I shot ten rounds each of 9mm auto, .38 special, and .357 magnum for 60,000 altogether.



I did my best shooting with the .357 magnum – in their top ten since last year, in fact.

I need more practice, though, and I’m not about to get it there.  I’m not made of money.

Speaking of money –  if you’re Japanese, you’ll pay double.  At least the English and Korean cards have the same pricing.  My advice, if you’re Japanese?  Don’t go to a shooting range that discriminates against you in this way – save your money.


사격장 위치 : 보문단지내 대명콘도 옆(현대호텔 방향) 현대 스쿠터 2층.


( 경상북도 경주시 신평동 611-15 )

버스 이용시 :
– 고속, 시외버스 맞은편 버스정류장에서 10번, 16번, 18번 버스 승차 -> 조선호텔 하차
(현대호텔 방향으로 도보로 5분)

자가용 이용시 :
– 시내방향에서 진입시 : 보문삼거리에서 좌회전 -> 현대호텔 지나 약 400m 직진 후 우측에 위치
– 동해안방향에서 진입시 : 경주월드 삼거리에서 우회전 -> 물레방아를 지나 약 600m 직진 후 좌측에 위치

영업시간 :
– (평일) 11:00 ~ 21:00.
– (주말) 10:00 ~ 22:00. 연중무휴

대표번호 : 054-741-4007 / (FAX) 054-742-9007

E – Mail :

How to get there: Your best bet is to take a train to Kyeongju station, and then take a taxi from there.














Cruise Ulsan Harbour!

By , September 4, 2013 6:07 pm

The Namgu district office would like to promote their whale-watching and night-cruise boat among the expat community by offering us a special party.

Whale Watching Tour, October 5th Sat, 2013

Global Day ‘Night Cruise’ Beer Party

▪Hosted by UMFSC  ▪Sponsored by SK &

The event will be held from 6:30 – 8:30 pm on Saturday, October 5th, and tickets cost only 10,000 won, thanks to a generous donation by SK (tickets for a night cruise are usually 40,000 won). For 2 hours, the boat will cruise around Ulsan, showing off the glimmering lights of the coast from Jangsangpo to  Gangeolgot. The timing will be perfect to watch the sun set and the lights pop out in the twilight, then return to land under a starry sky (there will be no moon that night). There will be free food and beer available, and live music. (website entirely in Korean)

The Boat – (website entirely in Korean)

A shuttle bus will be running from City Hall at 5:30pm, or parking is available at the Whale Museum lot for free (but keep in mind it is a beer party, so either find a designated driver, or bring the number for a daeri-unjong).

A total of 150 tickets are being sold for the event through different foreigner groups (see below), and UlsanOnline has been given 60. I’ll be selling them on a first-paid, first-served basis, contact and bank information will be posted at the end of the article. Children are welcome to join, as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

The cruise routes

The cruise routes – this event would follow 2 – Coast night view.

There will be a group photo on the pier before we set sail, and a welcome ceremony with remarks from the mayor of Namgu.

If there is a typhoon that weekend, the event will be postponed to October 12th.


Maybe you'll even see dolphins or whales! (website fully in Korean)

Maybe you’ll even see dolphins or whales!

To get a ticket, please contact me via email ( or by private message on Facebook, with the following information: Name, Date of Birth, Address in Korea, Phone Number and Nationality (info for each person you are purchasing a ticket for). I will then give you the information for a bank transfer. When I have received your money, I will add your name to the list, and let you know you are confirmed. The final date for ticket sales is September 30th.

Tickets are also available through UMFSC, Hyundai Heavy Industries, UNIST, the University of Ulsan and the Office of Education.


Inside - (website all in Korean)

Inside –

Making Ulsan Connections through Facebook

By , July 30, 2013 7:28 pm

It’s rare these days to come across someone who isn’t on Facebook. The Social Media site has taken on a huge role in many of our lives, as an easy way to keep in touch with friends and family back home (even if it’s just passively checking statuses or flipping through photo albums) while we’re living abroad. It’s also a great way to meet new people and discover ways to get involved in your new community while you’re living here. Ulsan has always had a very active foreign community, and with help from the members of the Ulsan Online Facebook group, I’ve compiled a list of groups that can help you make connections, and get more out of your time in the Land of the Morning Calm.

General help for living in Ulsan

Ulsan Online – with over 1800 members, and growing every day, this is probably the most active group online in Ulsan. The intention is to extend the information available on our website – if you can’t find an answer to your question on here, ask it there!

Ulsan Used Goods – a buy and sell list. Since many expats are here only for a year or two, there is a rather steady trade in basic household products and furniture, or even the odd vehicle. If you need something, or want to unload something you can’t bring

home, check it out.

Ulsan Parents Club – great support if you have little ones. They occasionally organize group outings, such as picnics and Christmas parties.

Ulsan Mothers Group – similar to above.

What’s Hot in Hogye – for anyone living in Buk-gu (the north end of the city), in neighbourhoods like Hogye and Hwabong, as it can feel a little isolated out there. There’s also the Yeonamazing group for people in Hwabong and Yeonam dongs.

Dong-gu Ulsan – a similar group for people living in Dong-gu, which can also feel a bit cut off from the rest of the city at times.

Eonyang Family – for those way out in Ulju-gun, by the KTX station.


T-Hope - Teachers Helping Other People Everywhere. A group of volunteers who do orphanage visits, gather donations for charity, and run fundraising events. This is a page, not a group, but you can find out more about them through this link.

T-Hope – Lotus Center for Autistic Children

Language Skills

Ulsan Language Exchange Table and

Let’s Talk Talk Ulsan – these two groups organize events where Koreans and English-speakers can come together to practice their other language. Usually half the event is run in English, half in Korean.

Ulsan Korean Study Group – a group centered around the study of the Korean Language in Ulsan. In this group you can share your tips and materials on studying Korean.

Ulsan Skype Cultural Exchange Group – meet up over Skype, from the comfort of your own home.

Spanish Conversation in Ulsan – get together with other Spanish language speakers to keep up your skills.

Hobbies and Recreation (these are pretty straight forward)

Ulsan International Cultural Discovery and Meetup

Ulsan Online Debate Forum

Ulsan Photography Club 

Ulsan Wine Club

Ulsan Dog Owners 

Ulsan Social Dance

Industrial Theatre Troupe

Irish in Ulsan

Ulsan Partying

Ulsan Happenings

Ulsan AfterHours

Ulsan Social Club

Ulsan Homebrew Group


Ulsan Rock Climbing

Foreigners CAN Hike

Ulsan, Busan, Daegu, Pohang Ice Hockey

Ulsan Football (American style, not soccer)

Ulsan Bolts Rugby Club

Won Shot Wanderers FC  (soccer/football)

R.O.K. STARS 2013  (basketball)

Ulsan Sports – for a wide variety

Ulsan Ultimate Frisbee (UFF)

Healthy People of Ulsan

Waeguks Got Runs – for runners/joggers. Often lists marathons and other running events.

Teaching Support

Ulsan Substitute Teacher Group – if you need cover for a day off at your hogwan, try listing it here.

Ulsan MOE Substitute Teacher Group – same as above, but for public school teachers.

Teachers in Ulsan – share resources, get advice for dealing with difficult classes, etc.

Ulsan EPIK – for public school teachers.

High School Teachers in Korea – support for the small number of native speaker High School teachers.

Ulsan Middle School Teachers

Resources for Teachers in Ulsan

Student Support

UISO – UNIST International Student Organization, for students at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology.

University of Ulsan International Students Association

Religious Organizations

Ulsan English Fellowship – A Mission Outreach of the First Congregational United Church of Christ

Ulsan Catholic Community

Simin International Church Ulsan

Ulsan Han-Fil Families – Korean-Filipino families “working together to fulfill the will of Heaven.”

Ulsan Muslim Association




Atelier Haru: Minhwa Painting Classes in Ulsan

By , July 4, 2013 5:20 pm

by Kate Croft

Class Times:

Tuesday 10 AM – 1 PM
Wednesday 2-5 PM, 7-10 PM
Thursday 10 AM – 1 PM, 2-5 PM, 7-10 PM
Friday 7-10 PM
Saturday 10 AM – 1 PM

Prices: 150,000 won for a once-a-week course (5 times in one month) and 250,000 won for a twice-a-week course (10 times in a month).

It started because I was jealous. My Korean friend Eva started taking a painting class, and she showed off a photo of her first work over coffee. “It’s my first time painting,” she admitted. Her painting – a lively cluster of peonies in bloom – was truly lovely.

“Your first time? Really?” I asked her in disbelief. Eva is an exceptionally creative person, but this painting looked positively skillful.

palettes of Minhwa paint

palettes of Minhwa paint

“Oh, yes. It’s really quite easy,” she confided, and explained the process of her first 민화 (Minhwa) painting. Minhwa is a traditional Korean art form that typically combines black ink wash painting with Korean water-based paints, similar to watercolors. It sounded like very detailed work that might require some patience, but I thought maybe – just maybe – I could do it. Eva wholeheartedly agreed and invited me to visit the atelier (that’s French, and also Korean, for painting studio). “You’ll love my teacher,” she grinned. “She wants to practice English.”

The lovely and talented teacher, Eugene Choi

The lovely and talented teacher, Eugene Choi

Eva took me to 아틀리에 하루 (Atelier Haru), located in Samsan-dong. Haru is a lovely little one-room studio perched on top of a building near Hyundai Department Store, just a couple of doors down from Guam, Ulsan’s ultimate desintation for stationary and art supplies.  We rode the elevator to the fifth floor, then got out to climb one more flight of stairs to the roof. Up there, it seemed like another world; potted flowers led the way to the studio, and the traffic sounds gave way to a rooster crowing (this is not a pastoral metaphor – apparently someone keeps chickens on top of Guam!). The studio has big windows on three sides, which flood the cozy little room with light, ideal for painting.

In the studio

In the studio

Eugene Choi, Haru’s owner and teacher, has a the bedside manner of a gentle breeze. She flutters by to offer instruction or guidance, but largely leaves you to concentrate on the intricate process of Minhwa, one of Korea’s longest-lived traditional art forms. Her English is limited (she confessed I was her first foreign pupil), but she communicates basic instructions well enough, and will always demonstrate first so you have an example to emulate. Her own outrageously beautiful paintings show true artistic integrity, from the hanji canvases she mounts herself, to the washes made from natural dyes, to the hand-chiseled stone stamps with which she signs her work.  If you are a beginner, she will prepare your palette and brushes for you, and she always creates a peaceful, relaxing environment with pleasant music and occasionally coffee, so that the three-hour painting sessions fly by.

The teacher at work

The teacher at work

By the end of my fifth class, I had completed my first painting – peonies similar to Eva’s, which represent wealth and honor, and are a common subject in traditional Minhwa, along with lotuses, fish, turtles, dragonflies, butterflies, tigers, magpies and human figures doing everyday tasks, as well as the scenes and patterns often depicted on temple walls.

My painting

My painting

By the end of my third class, however, I had already bought my own set of Minhwa paints, brushes, Korean ink (수묵화, similar to the Japanese sumi-e) and an enormous roll of hanji paper to practice at home. Since then, I’ve completed several pieces on my own, in addition to the work I’ve done in class (which is, admittedly, far superior due to the teacher’s guidance). Minhwa is an excellent way to learn about Korean cultural traditions, and my time at Haru has greatly enriched my appreciation of Korean art and art history. I think I’ve found my new favorite hobby.^^

By Eugene Choi

By Eugene Choi


Studio Name: 아틀리에 하루 (Atelier Haru)

Owner/Instructor: Eugene Choi

Address: 30 Wangsaeng-ro66beon-gil

Location: Just West of Guam Stationary Store, 6th floor.

Map: (Also pinned on the Interactive Map under “Culture”)

Class information: Classes are purchased in packages of 5. Each class is three hours long. Most students seem to register for one class per week, on a designated day. Please note that the Saturday afternoon class is very popular (currently full).

Class schedule:

Monday:                No class.

Tuesday:                10:00AM-1:00PM;      2:00PM-5:00PM;      7:00PM-10:00PM.

Wednesday:         10:00AM-1:00PM;      2:00PM-5:00PM;      7:00PM-10:00PM.

Thursday:              10:00AM-1:00PM;      2:00PM-5:00PM.

Friday:                    10:00AM-1:00PM;      2:00PM-5:00PM;      7:00PM-10:00PM.

Saturday:               10:00AM-1:00PM;      2:00PM-5:00PM.

Sunday:                 No class.


If you read Korean, there is a lot more information about Minhwa and the studio on her website. If you don’t, just enjoy the pictures – there are photos of each student’s completed works (mine is there!).

Contact: You can contact Ms. Choi by email at mimi8502 at naver dot com, or call/Kakao 010-4750-9243 (phone calls in Korean only, please!). I also recommend you stop by the studio during class hours to introduce yourself in person!


Street sign outside studio

Street sign outside studio

Author contact information:


The 6th Annual Ulsan Cup is on This Weekend!

By , May 15, 2013 9:11 pm

In a community where people are constantly coming and going, where businesses change almost overnight, and the entire city doesn’t stop building and growing, it can be hard to feel a sense of consistency. But there are a few things you can count on besides change. The Won Shot Wanderers Football Club has been a stable part of the Ulsan ex-pat community now for over a decade – quite a feat in a city where ex-pats rarely stay for more than a year.

Ulsan cup graphic.

Started in the wake of the 2002 World Cup, the Won Shots have become one of the longest running expat teams in Korea. John Buckley, from Ireland, and Gareth Copely, from England, were two of the original team members whose passion for the sport kept the team going in the early years. Philip Heo, who joined the team in 2003, is another member who has helped ensure its long term survival. I recently interviewed Philip (over email, due to my making a mistake and missing the interview, for which I deeply apologize to the whole team) about the Won Shots, and particularly their upcoming Ulsan Cup Tournament, being held at the Taehwa Simnidaebat Pitches in Taehwadong this weekend (May 17th-18th).

The first Ulsan Cup was held in November 2008, following the Won Shots joining the Ulsan Amateur Football League in 2006. With the help of the Ulsan League commissioners, and support from Benchwarmers Bar owners, Troy McDonald and Hazel Smith, the dreams of expat football players to have a proper nationwide tournament were turned into a reality. Keeping things running long-term in the expat community can be a challenge, but Philip’s attitude towards the Cup is a key factor in it’s longevity, “Trivial things always happen during the organization of any major sporting event, but if we focus on the football tournament itself, satisfying participants, the event is always a success. Some other cities or organizations with much bigger budgets than us hosted tournaments for expats, but they didn’t last long.”


This is the only chance for foreigners to simulate the style of play from their home countries. It gives us that familiarity and comfort that we don’t often experience, and with the great organisation of the Ulsan Cup, the many foreigner teams, etc, it gives us that big tournament feel. All the ingredients come together to make it so enjoyable and important to all who are involved,” said Dan Shaw, the Won Shot Wanderers Captain for 2012-2013.

The Ulsan Cup has been well received in the past.

“We have enjoyed critical acclaim from across the Republic of Korea, and we are now even being courted by national media to cover the event,” explains Philip. “There are of course things that we try to improve upon every year, and even the best events could be better, but to hear most teams say it’s some of the best memories they make in Korea makes everyone associated with the Cup smile. It is such an important date in the sporting calendar that players who have left to live in other countries fly back to Korea to play in the Ulsan Cup.”



This year, 16 teams from 11 different provinces or cities around Korea are participating, including 2 teams from Ulsan, the Won Shot Wanderers and the Foreigner’s Compound Football Club (FCFC). The full list of teams is as follows:

Ulsan – Wonshot Wanderers & FCFC
Busan – Busan United & Inter Busan
Deagu – Deagu Devils & FC Deagu
Seoul – SBFC, Seoul St Pat’s, and Storndang Villa
Suwon – Inter Suwon
Jeju – Jejuventus
Daejon – Galma FC
Gwangyang and Suncheon – Gwangsun International
Seoul Gyeonggi- Malaysian Students FC
Jeonju Jeolla- Jeonju United
Gwangju – Gwangju Inter

2012-05-27 17.33.31

The Won Shots themselves are a diverse team. “We have and have had members from over forty different nations and diverse religious backgrounds. We currently have players from the UK, Ireland, USA, Wales, Scotland, France, Canada, South Africa, Italy, Turkey, Norway and Korea. They are English teachers, engineers, students, employees or businessmen. Several are married to Koreans or now call Korea home.”

They’re also doing very well these days, We currently have a very good team and right now we rank 1st in the first division of the Ulsan League, having won the 2nd division title last year.”

When asked about special memories from past Cups, Philip said, “Every Cup has had special moments. The first cup was a massive hurdle, as we were swimming in untested waters, however, the highlight has to be the Won Shot Wanderers winning the trophy for the first time in 2012. Keeping the trophy in Ulsan was never going to be easy, but finally we did it, and we have a serious chance of defending it this year.”

2012-05-27 17.37.27

2012 Ulsan Cup Champions – the Won Shot Wanderers FC

Defending the cup may not be quite so easy, though. Philip added, “No team has ever won the championship twice, let alone defended the title.” Past winners are: Busan United in 2008, Seoul Celtic in 2009, Jeonju Unathletic in 2010, Daegu Devils in 2011, and Ulsan Won Shot Wanderers in 2012.


If you’re looking to get involved, “Anybody can be a Won Shot player or supporter. Members join and leave expat teams frequently, so we welcome new faces anytime. Join the Facebook group, and come to Samsan Futsal pitch from 8-10pm Tuesdays, or the Taehwa Simnidaebat pitch C from 9-11am Thursdays for training. You don’t have to be one of the best players to be a member of our club; we win together and we lose together. There is always room for good people, as there is always so much to do.  We also have youth teams of Rising Stars hosting a tournament for junior expats.” 

So, if you’re in town this weekend, Philip says, “Come and enjoy the tournament. It is a really family friendly atmosphere, and food and drinks will be provided by Cima Bar.”

2012-05-27 12.45.36

The Ulsan Cup takes place from 9-5 this Friday and Saturday at the Taehwa Simnidaebat pitches (Riverside 800 Taehwa-dong, Jung-gu, Ulsan – pinned on the Interactive Map, under Sports). The pitches are along the north bank of the river, between “Bulgogi Street” and the cycling/walking path.

The schedule for the Friday Preliminaries is listed below. Saturdays schedule will, of course, depend upon who wins what. However, a full 2 days of games are promised to everyone, as there will be a  “Plate Challenge” and a “Wooden Spoon” phase for the teams knocked out of the running for the Cup.

Schedule for Friday’s Preliminaries

Pitch A: Galma FC vs. Malaysian SFC
Pitch B: FCFC vs. Busan United
Pitch C: Won Shot WFC vs. Inter Busan

Pitch A: Inter Suwon vs. FC Daegu
Pitch B: Storndang Villa vs. GwangSun IFC
Pitch C: Seoul St. Patrick’s vs.Jeonju United

Pitch A: Seoul British vs. Gwangju Inter
Pitch B: Malaysian SFC vs. Jejuventus
Pitch C: Galma FC vs. Daegu Devils

12:00 Welcoming Ceremony

Pitch A: FC Daegu vs. GwangSun IFC
Pitch B: Daegu Devils vs. Jejuventus
Pitch C: Inter Suwon vs. Storndang Villa

Pitch A: Gwangju Inter vs. FCFC
Pitch B: Inter Busan vs. Jeonju United
Pitch C: Busan United vs. Seoul British

Pitch A: Won Shot WFC vs. Seoul St. Patrick’s
Pitch B: GwangSun IFC vs. Inter Suwon
Pitch C: Jejuventus vs. Galma FC

Pitch A: Gwangju Inter vs. Busan Unite
Pitch B: Seoul British vs. FCFC
Pitch C: FC Daegu vs. Storndang Villa

Pitch A: Inter Busan vs. Seoul St. Patrick’s
Pitch B: Jeonju United vs. Won Shot WFC
Pitch C: Daegu Devils vs. Malaysian SFC would like to wish the Ulsan teams, FCFC and the defending champion Won Shot Wanderers, good luck in the tournament. Here’s hoping the Cup stays in Ulsan!