A little bit past the central square of Ulaanbaatar is one of the oldest buildings in this young city. Surrounded by white walls, a painted gate once protected the inhabitants inside. There are several buildings inside the walls, but the most eye-catching is a large white building, crowned with a beautiful deep green curved roof. There are a number of cobblestone paths that lead to Gandan Monastery – “The Great Place of Complete Joy” as the name translates from Tibetan.
You will find no shortage of restaurants to enjoy in Ulaanbaatar. There are some well-established eateries around the city, both local chains and stand alones, but also plenty of new places popping up all the time. I am NOT a food critic nor a master chef; however, I like to eat--and prefer to eat good food--and have visited numerous restaurants in the capital.
Imagine riding a horse over the Eurasian steppe, winter’s cold embrace around you and an eagle on your arm. You feel the bird twitch, and know that it’s got something in its sights. With a flick of your arm, the bird takes off and flies toward an unlucky rabbit. Before you know it, the eagle dives down and in its talons is lunch for your family.
While some people prefer to visit Mongolia in the summer, if you find yourself in Ulaanbaatar for the winter, there are still a ton of great activities to enjoy. One of the coolest Winter activities you can do is take a ride on the frozen Tuul river pulled by a team of excited huskies.
Even though Mongolia might not be popular for its music or entertainment values, there are handfuls of places where you can jazz up your nights. Be it in a small indie club with local youngsters or classy jazz club where professional musicians perform, one thing is for sure- there’s no way you can spend your few nights in Ulaanbaatar hiding out in your hotel room!
Even though wood carving is usually neglected by most of the dabblers due to its inability to last long and the way they’re much more fragile than its metal cousins, Mongolian carving art is something that simply can’t be overlooked. Quite similar to other countries, artisans have been carving decorations into their daily utensils such as their cupboard, cart, musical instruments and most commonly the place they live- “ger”. Since the shelter they spend most of their time is made out of wood, it’s no wonder why the people have started wondering how to make their home fancier and more comfortable. Since then, the simple wooden carvings have developed into much more complex, thus aesthetically pleasing art which cannot be separated from Mongolians’ daily life. That is mainly because the carving art has taken homage in almost every aspect of their life.
One of the most exciting aspects of visiting a new place is trying the food. In Mongolia, there are really only two types of food: countryside food and city food. Countryside food consists of traditional Mongolian food. Traditionally, Mongolians have been herdsmen and dairy producers. Agriculture has never been a large part of Mongolia’s history, mostly because of the country’s harsh climate. In the wintertime, most of the country drops to temperatures averaging around -30 degrees Fahrenheit, thus, meat and dairy have been the main aspects of Mongolian cuisine.
I don’t mean any offence here, but Mongolian winter is not for the weak hearted. But it is no reason to shy away from the astonishing landscape that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into the wonderland.
Even though Mongolian weather seems to be too cold to travel in numbers, it’s actually not that cold in real life since our weather is really dry. It means that even though the air temperature can get pretty low in numbers, with lack of water particles in the air and strong wind, you’ll be fine as long as you bundle up enough. However, it might not be the wisest idea to stay in the city while you’re staying here since the capital city- Ulaanbaatar’s air pollution is quite bad.
Mongolia and ballet might not go well in your mind if you don’t have a lot of information about Mongolia and only imagine it being a vast land where the residents live in the yurt in the freezing cold. If so, I strongly recommend you to go deeper into our blogs!
If you have ever heard people conversing in Mongolian, and thought that it’s unlike any other language you’ve ever heard- don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Mongolian language is an Altaic language which means that only Turkic and Tungusic languages are in one group with it. Some studies have added Japanese and Korean language in the group too, but most of the authors disagree on this one.
11 30, 2010
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03 27, 2012