Tuesday, August 01, 2006

What's Ulaanbaatur, Mongolia like?

God, I wish I could say it's nice. Mongolia is a beautiful, beautiful country. UB is the ugliest capital I think I've ever seen. It consists almost entirely of slabs of concrete -- Soviet-style apartment blocks with windows cut out of them. None of them appear to have been renovated, ever. Furthermore, since they're concrete, they're not going to fall down any time soon. So they just stand there, balconies sloping downward (every apartment here appears to have a balcony), paint (where there is any) peeling, looking entirely unliveable.

Outside of the buildings, UB is similar to just about every other big city. There are supermarkets, department stores (2), lots of little cafes and restaurants, a circus, an opera house, and all the other accoutrements that go along with city living. The big difference is the mountains that are visible surrounding the city. They're huge and beautiful and remind you of how gorgeous the rest of the country is.

Almost all signs are in Mongolian, but an increasing number are in English. In the US, signs are often in French to signify class, here, it's English. Sometimes you'll get a mixture, like "Moda Mongolia" a "fancy" re: cheap quality Italian clothing store.

Currently, there are a lot of tourists around, a lot of Europeans, particularly French, some Australians, and fewer Americans. There are a lot more tourists than you would actually expect for Mongolia. Apparently, however, come the end of August, they will all be gone, only expats will remain, and no tourists will reappear until late June next year.


At 2:44 AM, Blogger Chariote said...

So Thank u for ur comment about my mother land. so what do you use to build houses or apartment?

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

don't get offensive, you people! just soak in what we look like from outside

At 7:32 PM, Blogger samraat said...


At 2:18 PM, Blogger Flamekebab said...

So many people raging at you. I've been to UB, it's ugly as sin. Mongolia is a gorgeous country, but you wouldn't know it by looking at UB.

Chariote - we use similar materials, but differently. It's not so much the materials as the architectural style.

That said, I can't think of anywhere else I've seen wooden bricks before!

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Maagii said...

Nowadays that has changed we have very nice modern buildings, houses, good shopping centers also good service as well, but something has still same, like traditional Mongolian character(straight)city's environment. I love this country.

At 6:47 AM, Blogger Tushikma said...

Need more investments and factors in our country. I also feel the same as u guys.


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