Ulaanbaatar is the capital and by far the largest city of Mongolia with over one-third of the counrty's
population. There is only one skyscraper, which certainly stands out and is for a lot of us a good point of reference to find
our way back home. There are few street names and the locals don't even use them. So, get a map and be ready to get lost frequently
because sometimes the maps are not even accurate. That's all part of the mongolian experience!
Ulaanbaatar is modern compared to other mongolian cities and still carries some
signs of the past. There are some Gers "felt tent" in the city located between apartment buildings and elderly
wearing the traditional attire strolling along the main streets with their children dressed in Nike cloths. In 2001, there
were still people riding horse in the city, but now it is forbidden. It is fascinating to see how modern and traditional
lifestyle live together!
the past year, shopping centres and supermarkets (western style) have been opening. to foreigners, shopping is certainly inexpensive,
but remember that the price reflects the quality. Locals in general, dress very fashionable and always wear
their best attire as well as cleaned and polished shoes even though it's always dusty outside. Dressing well
and clean is a matter of status, here.
The traffic in Ulaanbaatar is horrible, there are lots of cars and insane drivers. It is faster to walk
the city on rush hour, because of the traffic jams. Walking can be an adventure in itself too and pedestrians have no
rights here. So you better cross the street and hope for the best! It's scary! Although mongolians drive on the same
side of the road as in North America, left side steering wheel cars are allowed !!! It is a little dangerous. Honking
dominates the circulations rules in Ulaanbaatar, just blow the horn to let others know which way you are
going and you'll be fine. I'm really happy I don't have to drive and Taxi is so cheap anyway. For USD$2, you can go around