Monday, May 27, 2013

Ulsan Grand Park

We drove about an hour out of Busan to a city north of us called Ulsan to take the boys to play at Ulsan Grand Park.  A friend went recently and gave me a brochure to help when we went.  It definitely came in handy, even though it was completely in Korean.  It's funny how you learn to make do with what you've got, which is a necessity to getting around and communicating with people when you live in a foreign country and you don't speak much of or read any of their language.

Ulsan Grand Park is massive!  We were there for two hours and only saw one little section of it, so we'll be making another trip back there in the near future to explore more areas.  Also, the park is beautiful!  There are huge trees everywhere, lots of grassy areas (too bad there were signs telling you to stay off some of the grass), and many ponds.  Like I said, we only saw a fraction of it in our time there this past weekend, but we were pretty impressed with what we did see.

I have to also mention that the views of the countryside on the ride between Busan and Ulsan are quite magnificent as well.  The rolling mountains drenched in green trees was stunning.  Too bad I couldn't roll down my windows to get better pictures (the boys were sleeping and the wind whipping by was way too loud with napping kiddos), and even more unfortunate was the fact that the views were clouded in the yellow dust from China's Gobi Desert (that's a hallmark of Spring in Korea...cold weather out, yellow dust in).  It'll be nice when the dust settles, because not only did it cloud my pictures along our route to Ulsan Grand Park, it also creates a film on the floors and windowsills in our condo that are disgusting.

 It was nice to get out of the hustle and bustle that is Busan and take a scenic drive to a new place that really is pretty awesome.  Ulsan Grand Park, we will be seeing you again for sure!

Are we there yet????

Finally here!
 This is the Main Gate Entrance, which is where we parked.  There is no fee to get into the park (at least there wasn't on this day even though there are what look like ticket booths at the entrance...not sure what those are for), but you do have to pay a minimal fee for parking.
 a track for roller skating/blading
a basketball court

I saw this sign a couple times ("stay off the grass"), but thankfully there were still plenty of grassy areas open to sit on to have a picnic, as tons of people were doing throughout the park.  It was lovely to see all this grass, because we don't have much grass at all in Busan, so it's safe to say the last time we saw this much grass was the last time we were in Texas.

You can rent bikes here...even two-seaters!

After walking from the Main Gate for about 10-15 minutes, we came upon the area we set out to find: the kids' play areas!
 Connar played on these bouncy tents, but I don't have any pictures of him because I was too busy chasing down Parker who wanted to lay in the middle of the road and throw a two year fit....still not sure what about.  I'll get some pictures of C on these next time.  Talton did tell me that C climbed to the highest area and was unsure about how to get back down, when a kind Korean kid came to his rescue and helped him down.  I'm sad I missed that interaction and act of kindness.

Then there were these big bouncy bubbles.  I traded kids with Talton at this point, so I have pictures of C having a blast on these.  P finally got over whatever his issue was and was playing in another area.

Then we moved on to this area.  There are three slides in between a rope climbing wall and a rock wall (there are also stairs for the smaller kiddos who aren't ready for those obstacles yet).
 See C getting his rope climb on at the bottom behind the cute girl in the pink shirt?

 P going down on his tummy.  Wonder where he's seen that before?!
 Both boys taking their different routes back up to the top to slide down again.

 This nice Korean man in the pink shirt helped C out when he got out of line and tried getting back in by explaining to the other kids what happened so they'd let him back in.  Thank you nice Korean man!  I appreciated that!  You climb up the center of this tube to get to the top where you then slide down.

 Check out that sweat mohawk!

This was awesome in more ways than one!  I saw this little girl driving up without a parent nearby before I realized her dad was following behind her with the remote control in hand to steer the car.  Now that's the momma of all remote control cars if I've ever seen one!  Adorable!

This is the South Gate Entrance, which is actually closer to the kids' play area (if you're looking to park closer to that.....not sure on how to get to that gate via car though).

There were tons of people sitting anywhere and everywhere having picnics.
 Of course there is an exercise area.  Those are common here, whether it's in the middle of the woods on a random hiking trail or even on your way up a mountain to a temple.
Seriously, how genius is this to have a kid size toilet seat on top of the adult seat?  I saw this in Tokyo, Japan, and it hasn't gotten old yet.

 The park is blanketed in gorgeous trees and is well maintained.  No matter where you walk in the park, it's a peaceful, pretty walk.
 Every now and then, this is painted on the concrete:
"walk on the right"

 This is the tram that runs the course of the park.

We paid only 2000 won for parking (and nothing to get about a cheap excursion!)

I wish we were walking by this stand and not driving by it, because that cotton candy sure looked tasty!

The boys ate their lunch in the stroller as we walked to the car and finished up in the car on the drive home.  They were both so pooped by that point that they were nodding off as they chewed their food.

Office chairs being sold on the side of the road.  Not the scenery I was looking forward to but quirky nonetheless.

flooded rice paddies

Out like a light.

We put this phone number in our GPS and it led us directly to the Main Gate Parking Lot (there are 3 parking lots/gates: Main, East, and South): #052-271-8818 .  It took us about an hour to get to the park from our condo in Busan.

In addition to many restrooms all along the main walking path, there is a convenience store, restrooms, bike rentals, and baby carriage rentals at all three gates.

The tram car runs from 10 am to 5:30 pm, every 30 minutes on the East/Main/South gates course.  Every time it passed us it was jam packed.  My suggestion would be to wear some comfortable shoes and get to walking.  It's a beautiful park, and it's nice to just be outside breathing in that fresh air.  Yes, you'll be sweaty when it's all said and done, but that's all part of the experience and the fun of going to a park, right?!  :)


  1. Wow! What a packed but fun-filled weekend!

    1. It totally was! By the way, I love your blog! I've been reading it since last year. It makes me miss Texas. :)

  2. that looked like fun ... the toilet seat thing was neat

    1. It was, V! I thought so too about the toilet. C has only had to use it once (thank goodness b/c I'm very grossed out by toilets) elsewhere, but I was so thankful for the smaller seat so I knew he wouldn't fall in!

  3. This was so helpful when I moved to Ulsan! Thanks for the AWESOME info!

    1. Oh you're so welcome! I'm happy to be able to help. :)