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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Beat the Heat in Beomseo

Now that summer has finally arrived, many people look for ways to cool off. A relatively recent addition to the recreational possibilities near Ulsan is Watertopia.  A small water park on the farthest northwest reaches of Ulsan boasts three water slides, and numerous fountain sprays to help you have fun in the sun.

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For a mere 11,000 won you can spend the afternoon in the cool pool, surrounded by hoards of children who will either point and say “waygookin” or “hello” and then swim off giggling.

Nestled in the mountains between Guyeongli and DuDong, Watertopia is easy to find. Take bus 802 and it will drop you off right at the front door. Or, if you have your own transportation, take Highway 24 adjacent to the Taewha River and head west. Take the Cheonsang exit and turn right and follow the signs for Seonbawi (one of the 12 scenic sites of Ulsan.) Go past Seonbawi about 7 km and at the top of the mountain you’ll see the red and yellow minaret tower. It is even possible to ride a bicycle to Watertopia as it’s relatively all along the river. Once past Seonbawi, the road swings upward and can be taxing, but if this old writer can make it you can too.

While we’re on the subject, Seonbawi itself is a worthy stop for a swim. It is just past the extensive urban sprawl of Ulsan and the river is clear and (mostly) trash free. A couple of spillways make for excellent miniature white-water rafting when the water level is high enough.

pa010018Great places to picnic at Seonbawi are 500m upriver (far left in this photo) and downriver about 200m from the rock. On hot days, follow the crowds. Cars will line the roadway making it even easier to find. Be sure to bring a small gas stove, soju and some samgyeopsal to better blend in among the Koreans doing the same. Seonbawi is highly accessible by bicycle. There is a fabulous walk/run/biking path along the river with only a short detour on to the highway beween Daun-dong and Guyeongli to interrupt the traffic free biking.

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