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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Getting Aquainted – City Layout

There are a ton of new EPIC teachers arriving in our midst, so I thought I’d write up a handy summary of info for everyone to help you get acquainted with our city. Most of the information is available on the site in more detail, so read through the older posts by people like Marty, Fin and Jason to get an idea of where it is you’ve ended up being placed.

City information:

Ulsan is a large area. The city is broken up into 4 “gu’s” which are districts. These are Namgu, on the south side of the Taehwa River; Bukgu, in the North end of the city, by the airport; Donggu, the eastern end, out by the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyards, and Junggu, (sometimes also called Chunggu) the central, “old downtown” area to the immediate north of the Taehwa River. Surrounding the city is the Ulju area, a -gun, which has three districts of it’s own; North, West and South. These areas are pretty rural, with a few small towns (eup) scattered throughout.

Inside the city, each Gu is broken up into neighbourhoods. It’s a good idea to know your neighbourhood name to help you find your way home. Namgu is a 30-40 minute drive end-to-end, so a taxi won’t take you to “Namgu”.

On this note, your home address will often mean little or nothing to a taxi driver – it’s just not how the system works here. He can plug it into his GPS, but it’s much easier to find out the name of a bigger building or landmark you live by, and learn how to give directions from there. For instance, I live behind a middle school, so I tell a taxi driver the name of the school to get him to the right area. Schools are good. Department stores and large apartment buildings are also good. Convenience stores, PC bangs (internet cafes) and coffee shops are not good, as there are 50 million of each scattered across the city.

Going Out:

The main areas for nightlife and shopping are either in “old downtown”, sometimes called “Shinae”, but properly  Seongnamdong, and “new downtown”, in Samsandong.

Seongnamdong is home to three popular foreign bars; JJ’s, Royal Anchor and Manilla Town. There are also Vietnamese, Thai and Indian restaurants in the area and two movie theatres that usually have one or two English-language movies playing, as well as a lot of coffee shops.

Samsandong is the newer, trendier area of the city, with the two major department stores, and hundreds of bars, restaurants, and cafes. The bars most popular with foreigners are Cima, Sticky Fingers, Golden Eagles, Beat Bar and W Garden.

If you live out in DongGu, there are lots of options for foreign bars and restaurants due to the large number of foreign engineers and factory workers in the area. Ilsan beach, Bangeojin/ Ggottbawi and the area around the Hyundai department store (Seobudong) are where you’ll find most of the nightlife.

Mugeodong is the area that has been built up around Ulsan University (Ul-Dae). There are lots of great places to eat and drink in this area, especially up around “Babo Sagori” (바보 사구리, literally “stupid intersection”). Popular places to meet other foreigners here would include Wa Bar, Purple Haze, 2ndFactory and the 3 Pigs galbi joint.

Check out the Nightlife Guide and the Restaurant Review sections for more information on these, and other neighbourhoods in the city.

We also have a new Interactive Map that shows how to find all of these places and more around the city.

Check out other articles in the How To section to help familiarize yourself with everything from traditions to laws, recreation to working life.