A popular Korean drama has been fueling fresh interest in marine mammals and many are choosing to travel to the southeastern city of Ulsan to watch whales.
Lee Eun-jin offers us a glimpse.
Just in time for the summer vacation season, visitors are flocking to the East Sea off Ulsan city to board the Whale Watching Tour ship.
The people are more excited to see the whales than irritated from having to wait in a long line in the scorching heat.
Of all the marine life that may be seen, dolphins are the most popular, though a dolphin sighting isn't always guaranteed, as it depends on weather conditions.
Sparking this interest is the popular K-drama "Extraordinary Attorney Woo" which has a reoccurring whale theme.
The main character, a lawyer with autism spectrum disorder, has moments of enlightenment that feature majestic scenes of her favorite whales.
In the last two years, the Whale Watching Tour ship had less than 10 thousand passengers each year.
But this year, the number of passengers for the tour has already surpassed that mark, and record numbers are expected by the year's end.
Ulsan city is also responding to demand by changing the existing route of the tour ships to show more whales, and also expanding the number of whale tour ships by 30 percent, effective August 15.
And for the entire month of August, there are special benefits for visitors that have unique names like the extraordinary attorney Woo.
"For the month of August, we have a promotion for visitors that have names that are the same forwards and backwards like Woo Young-woo. They can use the Whale Culture Zone free of charge. And we're also preparing various programs for the Whale Festival that's set to be held for the first time in 3 years in October."
August is the best time for whale watching as it's the time when seawater temperatures rise and the whales gather closest to the coast of Ulsan city.
The popularity of the K-drama is expected to make whale memories for many this summer, not to mention the chance for a healing trip out on the sea.
Lee Eunjin, Arirang News.