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How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Ulsan is an industrial city and is not as well-equipped as many places in North America or Europe.
This is slowly changing and will most likely continue to improve each year.
Getting around with baby - The sidewalks in Ulsan can be difficult to traverse due to many cracks and uneven surfaces. Getting around by bus is possible if you are carrying the baby. There are seats earmarked for the elderly, the disabled, or pregnant ladies. It's very difficult getting on and off the bus with baby carriers or strollers due to the large numbers of people who travel by bus.
Blog for Moms:
Some expat women have created a blog for moms that can be a helpful resource for newcomers to Korea, but it's mainly focused on Seoul rather than Ulsan. To join the blog contact:
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
Nannies in Korea are not a popular concept; oftentimes, expat families hire a full-time maid who can assist in looking after the child(ren).
Moms & Tots is a meeting of mothers with children between 0 - 26 months. They meet at the Anchae Room in Bangeojin NFA. This is a good way to meet other mothers and share information about children.
There is an Early Learning pre-school for children 3 - 4 years of age, which is about a 5-minute drive from HFS.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
The number one safety issue for children is road accidents from scooters/motorcycles using the sidewalks. In terms of housing, many properties may not be equipped with safety features for younger children, appropriate fencing on balconies, safety locks on windows, etc.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
There are a number of attractions in and around Ulsan. Here is a list of the more popular activities:
Asan Memorial Hall is located at the entrance of Hyundai Heavy Industries and is dedicated to the life of founder Chung Ju-yung.
Whale Museum is located within Ulsan in Maeam-dong, Nam-gu. It is the only whale museum in Korea. The museum collects preserves and shows historical and present-day information on whales.
Ulsan Petroglyph Museum is located within Ulsan in Bangudae and is where one can see the petroglyphs of pre-historic life, including some dinosaur footprints.
Ulsan Grand Park is a spacious park with 873.6 acres and contains a children's zoo, small water park, picnic area, bike and walking paths, etc.
Hanmaum Center has a number of sports facilities including swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis and basketball courts. There is a theater and a number of restaurants as well.
Hyundai Art Center has a theatre for plays, musicals and concerts, an ice rink, movie theater, bowling alley and art gallery.
Jinha Beach is a popular beach in Ulsan and is famous for its clear water.
Ilsan Beach is another popular beach with historical ties to the kings of the Shilla Dynasty. The Ulgi Lighthouse is located here. Busan and Gyeongju are two popular locations that are between 1 - 2 hours' drive from Ulsan. They both have a number of attractions for children.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
The schools offer after-school programs, often based on the interests on the volunteers willing to each them or on some special programs initiated by the school. However, school buses are not always available to take children home later than regular school hours. You’ll want to check with the school to see if the school bus in your area makes a later run. Movie theaters: Hyundai Art Center, Lotte Cinema, Hanmaum Center, Megabox, CGV.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
The majority of expatiates relocating to Ulsan are single/couples, and those with children tend to have infants and children up to 12 years old. In terms of expatriates, there are not many teenagers living in Ulsan. This is primarily because there is a limited number of international schools in Ulsan and the children are generally younger, i.e., kindergarten through primary grades. Children in their teenage years tend to go to one of the international schools in Busan or Seoul.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
In Ulsan, the reality is no. There are various cultural events offered year-round in museums, theaters and art centers. Most of the other activities for teenagers are provided through the international schools in Busan and Seoul.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
Korea is rich in culture and has a long interesting history, so there are plenty of opportunities for your children to learn about this fascinating place. Gyeongju, once the capital city of the Shilla Dynasty, is located just north of Ulsan. The city is rich in history and is well worth a trip.
There are also a few fun festivals to attend:
Ulsan Whale Festival is an annual festival that is held May - June at Jangsaengpo Marine Park. The festival is held to preserve the history of whaling that has existed since pre-historic times.
Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual festival that takes place during the summer in Boryeong, a town around 200 km south of Seoul on the west coast of Korea. The first Mud Festival was staged in 1998; by 2007, the festival attracted 2.2 million visitors to Boryeong. The mud is taken from the Boryeong mud flats and trucked to the Daecheon beach area where it is used as the centerpiece of the "Mud Experience Land." The mud is considered rich in minerals and used to manufacture cosmetics. The festival was originally conceived as a marketing vehicle for Boryeong mud cosmetics.
Although the festival takes place over a period of around two weeks, it is most famous for its final weekend, which is popular with Korea's western population. The final weekend of the festival usually falls on the second weekend in July. For the period of the festival, several large attractions are erected in the seafront area of Daecheon. These include a mud pool, mud slides, mud prison and mud skiing competitions
Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) is an annual international film festival that takes place in September in Haeunda-gu, Busan. This is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia and introduces many new films and directors from Asia.
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