The Cleveland of South Korea

We left our short stay in Gyeongju for an even shorter stay in Ulsan which is an industry heavy port city. It was not as magnificent as Seoul or as beautiful as Gyeongju, but it looked like it could be a neighborhood taken out of Seoul. Dr. Yun referred to it as the Cleveland of South Korea.

We left early in the morning and had our company visits before we checked in at the hotel. Our first stop was Jinsan Marine Management Company, which I was slightly confused on what they did. From my understanding, they acted as an intermediary for ship building companies, such as Hyundai. They transported and stored goods and used a unique “one window” system that improved the efficiency and avoided a tax from the government. Overall, the company seemed to be more in the business students’ forte.

Our second visit to Hyundai Heavy Industries was more constructed; we started learning the history of Hyundai and its founder Asan who worked his way to the top to become the richest and most influential men in Korea while remembering his humble roots. We then took a bus to tour of the shipbuilding yard, and it was very cool. The ships were massive and take around months to complete. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures of anything, but just know that some of the ships were apparently about three football fields long.

After we made it to the hotel, a few of us went out to Ulsan, which did not have as much to do as Seoul or even Gyeongju. We ended up at a Korean barbecue restaurant where we had to take off our shoes and eat while seated on the floor. The experience was uncomfortable at first because I am not as small as the average Asian, but I was able to eventually find a comfortable position. This was the first time we went someplace by ourselves where the employees spoke no English, so it was a little harder to order. Korean barbecue can be expensive, so we tried to order only one portion of beef per grill, but they ended up serving us five. When we received the bill, we were surprised but we were not too upset because the food was really good.

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