Ulsan, with the official name Ulsan Metropolitan City, is the seventh-largest metropolitan city of South Korea, and the eighth largest city overall, with a population of over 1.1 million inhabitants. Located in the south east of the country, neighbouring Busan to the south and facing Gyeongju to the north. The city that serves as industrial powerhouse of South Korea, forming the heart of the Ulsan Industrial District. It has the world’s largest automobile assembly plant operated by the Hyundai Motor Company and the world’s largest shipyard, runs by Hyundai Heavy Industries, and the world’s third largest oil refinery owned by SK Energy. In 2,017, Ulsan had a GDP per capita of $65,093 and noted as the highest of any region in South Korea. As the centre of the Ulsan Industrial District, the city is the corporate base of the multinational Hyundai conglomerate. Up to 1,962, Ulsan operated as a fishing port and market centre. As part of South Korea's first five-year economic plan, Ulsan became an open port. Additionally, the government designated Ulsan as an Special Industrial District, which encouraged development of major industrial plants and factories: an oil refinery, fertilizer plants, automobile production, and heavy industries were developed here. The shipbuilding port Bangeojin was annexed by the city in 1,962.
1. From fishing port into a metropolitan cityUp until 1962, Ulsan was a primarily fishing port and a market centre for agricultural products from the Ulsan plain and the delta of T’aehwa River, and being the metropolitan city when connected by rail and hightway with Seoul, Busan, Daegu and Daejeon. At 1,966, at the end of the first five-year economic plan, the city has become an open port with major manufacturing plants and by the late 20th century it was one of the country’s most significant industrial hubs. A free-trade zone was established in the early 21st century. Among the city’s major industries are automobile manufacturing, petrochemicals, and shipbuilding. An airport located on the outskirts of Ulsan provides domestic service.
2. A developed modern cityWhile this city is not listed in many tourist guides, actualy it is the gateway to the Yeongnam Alps, which considered to be one of the most beautiful provincial parks in South Korea. It also has twelve designated “Scenic Areas“ from natural icons to man made buildings. The investment from these industries undeniably makes the city an better place to be.The city transport department plans to build a light-rail line. The public transportation system is as good as any other major Korean city. The bus system shows a specific ETA at most bus stops. Ulsan Airport, constructed in 1,970 and expanded in 1,997, has more than 20 flights per day to and from Seoul's Gimpo International Airport and 4 flights per week to and from Jeju International Airport. In November 2,010, Korea's high-speed train network, the KTX, was extended to Ulsan. This provides a high-speed link to Seoul, with a running time of just over 2 hours. The new KTX station (Ulsan Station) is in nearby Eonyang, with a series of express buses (5,001-5,005), as well as some city buses serving the new station. The original city station has been renamed Taehwa River Station.
3. The home for the Big Company HyundaiHyundai Group, which founded Hyundai Heavy Industries in 1,973 in Ulsan City, has been successfully turned the city into a company town and drew a large influx of workers into the city. Its importance to the city can be seen in the name’s omnipresence, with a highway named after Hyundai's founder, and the hospital, school, theater, as well as many restaurants and department stores bearing the Hyundai name. Amid a global downturn in shipbuilding, Hyundai Heavy Industries sold $1 billion of assets and laid off large numbers of employees in 2,016. The company borrowed money from the state-run Korea Development Bank in order to purchase Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, forming Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, with plans to move corporate headquarters to Seoul. Some view this downturn as an indicator of South Korea's over-reliance on chaebols, and fear that a period of deindustrialization for Ulsan mirroring the United States' Rust Belt could be on the horizon.
Ulsan Tourist Spots
1. Daewangam ParkDaewangam Park is a resting place in Ilsan, Dong-gu in the city of Ulsan. The total area covers 942,000 square metres (10,140,000 sq ft), and there is a sand field in Ilsan Beach next to the park. Daewangam Park is famous for its lighthouse the guidance of the 'Ulgi'. From the entrance to the park to the lighthouse, there is a 600-meter-long pine forest spanning. On the beaches of Daewangam Park, there are huge boulders of rock formations that look like prehistoric dinosaur fossils are lying down. At the end of the park, there is Daewangam. Daegwanggyo Bridge, which connects land and Daewangam, was built and donated by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. in 1,995. At night, a subtle neon light encloses surrounding the Daewangam and creates a unique atmosphere. In connection with the scenic beauty of the night, Daewangam Moonlight Festival has been held since 2,012. Daewangam Moonlight Festival is a representative cultural event of Ulsan Dong-gu, which is held every year since 2,012. Usually, it opens at Daewangam Park during the evening of September to October.
2. Taehwagang RiverTaehwagang River cuts across Ulsan City from the east to west and originates in the valley between Ssalbawi of Gijisan Mountain and Tapgolsaem of Baekunsan Mountain. The 47.54 kilometer river passes through downtown Ulsan and empties out into Ulsan Bay, which is connected to the East Sea. Not just a symbol of pride for the people of Ulsan, the river has long since been a precious commodity that has played a pivotal role in Ulsan town culture and history. There are several convenient facilities near the river such as a bamboo forest park, grassy fields, a pampas grass colony, trails, and exercise facilities. The river itself is home to many freshwater fish, while the riverside area is a famous habitat for migratory birds.
3. GanjeolgotGanjeolgot is a park and popular tourist destination in Seosaeng-myeon, Ulju County, Ulsan, South Korea. Every New Year's Eve, people gather at the park for the Ganjeolgot Sunrise Festival. Ganjeolgot is the easternmost part of the Korean Peninsula, so it is where you can see the first sunrise of the year, earlier than anywhere else in Korea. Ganjeolgot is also home to the world's second-largest mailbox, which was built in 2,006. People write their wishes on postcards and put them in the mailbox with the belief that doing this will make their wishes come true. The name Ganjeolgot is composed of two parts: Ganjeol, Chinese for a long bamboo pole used to harvest fruits from tall trees, and Got, a native Korean word meaning "cape." The name refers to the geographical shape of the area.