Shopping and shops
Most of the souvenir stalls crowd around the popular attractions of Ulaanbaatar. The quality of products here often leaves much to be desired, and the prices are exorbitantly high, and bargaining is not accepted. More benign prices on the price tag can be found on the Naran-tul Black Market, but there is not too much choice, in addition, you need to carefully monitor your wallet – there is a risk of meeting a pickpocket. Among the most suitable places for shopping are souvenir shops on Mira Avenue and in the Circus area, as well as the 5th floor of GUM.
From Ulaanbaatar, you can bring cashmere and camel wool products, copper souvenirs, national costume items (most often they buy fur hats and summer hats of the Mongols, boots and horse boots, leather accessories), leather panels and paintings, water flasks, archery sets and all kinds of figurines: Genghis Khan, national heroes and deities.
For cashmere items, it makes sense to go to the Gobi store, located on Mira Avenue opposite the Russian Embassy, where a huge selection of products made from this precious wool is presented. Wool in all its incarnations, from socks to carpets, is also sold in the pretty Tsagaan boutique. On the Black Market, you can buy items of national clothing and equipment for trekking and camping. The Mongon Zawiya store, also on Mira Avenue, is famous for silverware and jewelry, and antiques can be viewed in the Eternal Art boutique.
Fans of unusual souvenirs can be recommended to look into the Shonkhor store – they sell traditional and modern saddles, as well as other “near-horse” goods, and visit the Egshiglen Mangai boutique, which presents Mongolian and Asian musical instruments.
Entertainment and attractions of Ulaanbaatar
According to wholevehicles, the sights of Ulaanbaatar can be conditionally divided into two groups: monuments of the modern history of Mongolia and numerous architectural and sculptural evidence of the rich history of Buddhism.
The city center is Sukhe Bator Square, where the buildings of the Parliament, the Stock Exchange and the Palace of Culture are located. In the center of the square there are monuments to Sukhbaatar himself, the national hero of Mongolia, who proclaimed its independence from China, and the great Genghis Khan. Here you can also see images of 9 “urlugs” – revered semi-legendary national heroes. Pay attention to the metal stele, where all the previous historical names of the city are engraved.
The magnificent Gandan Monastery is the architectural symbol of Ulaanbaatar and one of the most visited attractions in Mongolia. The full name of the monastery is translated as “the great place of absolute happiness.” More than 600 monks live here and Buddhist ceremonies are held daily. The main attraction of the monastery is a 26-meter hollow statue of the Buddha of longevity, made of copper and covered with gold. Inside – 27 tons of dried medicinal herbs and 2 million scrolls with mantras written on them.
Another significant monastery is dedicated to Lama Hoijin. It consists of 5 temples of amazing beauty and 5 gates. Inside there is the Museum of Buddhist Art of Mongolia, whose expositions represent more than 5 thousand artifacts, 12 of which are of exceptional value. Among these is the Begze coral mask, made up of more than 6,000 pieces of coral.
Most museums and attractions in Ulaanbaatar charge a fee for the right to take photographs.
In the Winter Palace of Bogdykhan, you can see how the last emperor of Mongolia (he is also the Eighth Living Buddha) lived until 1924. The complex of buildings consists of 7 temples and the palace itself. Numerous items of Mongolian art of the 17th-20th centuries and personal belongings of Bogdykhan are exhibited inside: a mantle made of 80 fox skins, golden boots – a gift from the Russian Tsar and a yurt, which was created using 150 snow leopard skins.
Museums of Ulaanbaatar: Museum of Natural History, which presents more than 12 thousand exhibits, including the rarest remains of dinosaurs, the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts with a collection of applied art, painting and sculpture from the Stone Age to the 20th century, the National Museum of the History of Mongolia, the Theater Museum with a collection of traditional dolls, Intellectual Museum, art galleries of modern masters. You can learn more about the traditions of Buddhism at the Center for Buddhist Medicine, and get acquainted with the national beliefs of the Mongols at the Shaman Center.
In addition, try to visit Ulaanbaatar during the Naadam festival – you will see colorful performances and competitions in horse riding, wrestling and archery.