This is all about my EPIK teaching adventures in Korea!
There are 12 “scenic areas of Ulsan” and this is the first one we have discovered. We were walking along the beach, when we saw an enormous staircase at the far side. We walked up the twenty-thousand stairs and found a trail through some pine trees. The trail is called Ulgi Park, which is surrounded by thousands of pine trees that are hundreds of years old. The park houses a lighthouse and a beautiful coastline of jagged rocks called Daewangam Songnim.
The path from the stairway to Daewangam Songnim is about 1km. The rocks are accessible by a sketchy, yet picturesque yellow and turquoise bridge. There is a maze of stairs, both of rock and steel, up and around the rock which leads to an observation tower at the top. From there, you have a 360 view of the ocean and the coast line. Out on the rocks it got really windy (which is why my hair looks abnormally tussled, and gorgeous in the pictures hah!).
There is also a Legend that is attached to this attraction. King Munmu was the 30th King of the Silla Dynasty, who achieved the Unification of the Countries of the Korean peninsula in AD 668. He expressed a desire to come back as a dragon after his death so he could protect his kingdom from enemies. When the King died, he was buried under a rock in the East Sea in accordance to his will and became the guardian dragon of the Kingdom. People started to call this rock “Dae-wang-am”, which means ‘The Rock of the Great King’. This is located in Gyeongju. When the Queen passed, she also became a guardian dragon. Legend says that she flew to Ulsan and submerged herself under this rock, to protect the East Sea. People then called this place “Dae-wang-am” as well.