Ulaanbaatar Things to Do

  • Gandan Monastery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    Gandan Monastery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    by happyhourkid
  • Gandan Monastery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    Gandan Monastery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    by happyhourkid
  • Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    by happyhourkid

Best Rated Things to Do in Ulaanbaatar

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    Post office

    by yumyum Written Feb 2, 2008

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    post office (entrance left around the corner)

    The post office is a prominent building on the corner of Sukhbaatar square and Peace Avenue. It's a busy beehouse with all services including telecom ones.

    As you enter go right through to the main hall where you find stalls which sell a good range of postcards and stamps. A postcard posted in the big mail box in this hall to Switzerland took less than a week!

    If you want to phone it's getting a bit more complicated. You can buy calling cards or else you can use phones in the streets which are offered by some guy. Easiest is probably to phone with assistance from your hostel or hotel.

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    Gandan Monastery

    by yumyum Updated Feb 2, 2008

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    yumyum in Gandan monastery grounds
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    Usually the short name of Gandan is used but the real name of this monastery is Gandantegchenling. The monastery was moved to its present location in 1838 from the city center.

    The monastery grew to include nine institutes and a library. For its 5000 monks it was an important Mahayana learning center which was well known and respected much further than the Mongolian border.

    In 1938 part of the monastery was destroyed by the Soviet communists and the leftover temples were used as barns for their horses or for the soldiers themselves. After 1990 the ground were restored to be used as a Buddhist monastery once more and reconstruction took place.

    There is an entrance fee of 5000.00, discounts for international student card holders are available. You are allowed to take pictures outside the buildings only. If you want to take them inside you need to seek permission and pay an additional fee.

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    • Religious Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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    Russian war memorial

    by yumyum Updated Jan 13, 2008

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    Russian tank monument
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    From the viewpoint on the southern hill which lies across the river you can look down on the Russian war memorial. It's a tank that travelled from 1943 till 1945 from Moscow to Berlin. All over UB you will find traces of Soviet architecture.

    On top of the hill there is an obelisk commemorating the Russians. If you fancy it you can climb the steps up there but in order to have a good view on UB it's not nessecary.

    From this southern hill you have a good view on a clear day. I would guess that in summer it must be rather hazy and also UB suffers from smog. I was lucky when I was there as you can see on my intro photo.

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    Gandantegchenling

    by yumyum Written Feb 2, 2008

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    Gandantegchenling

    This orange looking building is the heart of the monastery. The Gandantegchenling was built in 1838 and it houses the 108 volumes of the Kanguir. These holy writings were made by masters in the 14th century who used gold ink on black paper. This building houses varies Buddha and Bodhisattva statues.

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    • Religious Travel

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    National History Museum

    by yumyum Updated Feb 2, 2008

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    national history museum
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    I don't usually like going to museums so much, but this one was fascinating. It had a bit of everything like stuffed animals, a ger (yurt), some history and of course the big dinosaur skeleton. The museum also has a café (on the balcony in the dinasaur hall) if you need a rest like I did. There is an entry fee.

    Also on the next block north there is the Natural history museum.

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    • Museum Visits

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    Migjed Janraisig

    by yumyum Updated Feb 2, 2008

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    Migjed Janraisig

    This is the most prominent building in the monastery complex. It was built in 1910 and contains the Bodhisattva of Compassion. It has become a symbol of independence for the Mongolian people. The present statue is from 1996 because the original one was destroyed in 1938 by the communists.
    The new Janraisig statue is 26.5 meters high. It's made from copper from the Erdenet mine and is gilded in gold.

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    Sukhbaatar Square

    by yumyum Written Feb 2, 2008

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    Sukhbaatar square
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    On Sukhbaatar Square in the heart of the city you find a monument to Sukhbaatar himself and other important buildings. The pink building of which you only see the side is the opera house. The grey one next to it is the State Drama theatre.

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    • Architecture

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    Natural History Museum of Mongolia

    by ValbyDK Updated Sep 18, 2010

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    Natural History Museum
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    The Natural History Museum is the oldest public museum in Mongolia - established in 1924. The museum is large and contains exhibits about geology, geography, flora, fauna, palaeontology, and anthropology.

    There is a large section with stuffed animals, birds and fish – but the most impressive and interesting are the two (nearly?) complete dinosaur skeletons found in the Gobi Desert. It is not every day you see a 15-meter long carnivorous Tarbosaurus or an 8-meter long Saurolophus… Quite interesting…

    If you want to take photos in the museum you must pay an extra fee.

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    Terelj National Park - Nomads

    by ValbyDK Updated Sep 18, 2010

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    Nomad Family
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    On our tour in the Terelj National Park we visited two nomad families. At the first family we were invited inside their temporary home - a ‘ger’ - for tea. A ‘ger’ is a kind of Mongolian tent made of canvas or felt, draped over an ingenious frame to make it an easily moveable home. Smart because Mongolian nomads normally move 2-4 times a year to find fresh grass for their livestock.

    At lunchtime, we visited another family who was living at their winter site, and therefore stayed in a wooden house. Here we had lunch, and the menu was fantastic. First we had a very tasty and nutritious soup as a starter, and the main course was homemade meatballs wrapped in dough. It tasted great!

    Both families were incredibly friendly, and we were told about their life as nomads. No one in the family spoke English, and because we were a little rusty in Mongolian, our local guide had to translate the conversation for us. It was a great experience to visit the families and get a glimpse of a life so different from ours in little Denmark…

    This is a must-do in Mongolia!

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    • National/State Park
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    The National Museum of Mongolian History

    by ValbyDK Updated Sep 18, 2010

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    The National Museum of Mongolian History
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    The National Museum of Mongolian History covers the history of Mongolia from ancient prehistory to the end of the 20th century. The museum has several exhibitions with more than 50,000 historical and cultural artefacts, and I especially found the Genghis Khan exhibition very interesting, but there were also some interesting material about the socialist Mongolia (1921 to 1990) and the democratic Mongolia (post 1990).

    The museum has recently been restored and the exhibitions looked nice and modern - absolutely worth a visit.

    If you want to take photos in the museum you must pay an extra fee.

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    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Sükhbaatar Square

    by ValbyDK Updated Sep 18, 2010

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    S��khbaatar Square
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    The Sükhbaatar Square is a large square located in the centre of Ulaanbaatar. It is named after Damdin Sükhbaatar, a revolutionary hero who in July 1921 declared Mongolia's independence from China. The hero is also honoured with a statue in the middle of the square.

    The square was in 1989 home of the first demonstrations that later led to the democratic revolution in early 1990. Today, Sükhbaatar Square is surrounded by the Government House, the Palace of Culture (with the Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery), the State Ballet and Opera House, the Stock Exchange, and more...

    We didn’t visit any of the beautiful buildings, but went for a long walk around the square. It is a good place to start your sightseeing in Ulaanbaatar.

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    • Historical Travel

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    The Bogd Khaan Palace Museum

    by ValbyDK Updated Sep 18, 2010

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    The Bogd Khaan Palace Museum
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    The Bogd Khaan Palace Museum, located 30 minutes walk from the centre of Ulaanbaatar, comprises of two parts: The temple area with some temples and pagodas - and the winter residence/palace of the last Bogd Khaan of Mongolia (named Javzandamba), who lived there for 20 years.

    The palace compound was built between 1893 and 1903, but was nearly destroyed during the communist campaign in the 1930s. Bogd Khaan had three other palaces – and they were all destroyed – but for unknown reason, the winter palace was spared.

    The place is now a museum and we went through the exhibitions. There were a huge collection of gifts from foreign visitors - and a even bigger collection of some of the private belongings of Bogd Khaan and his wife. We also visited some of the temple buildings and saw a collection of Buddhist arts. IMO the old buildings were the most interesting...

    If you want to take photos in the museum you must pay an extra fee.

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    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Terelj National Park

    by ValbyDK Updated Sep 18, 2010

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    Terelj National Park
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    The national park is part of the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park and is located about 80 km (on bumpy road) northeast of Ulaanbaatar.

    The translation of Terelj is “where Mongolia is most beautiful”, and although I have not been everywhere in Mongolia, it is hard to imagine a nicer place! The landscape was quite unique, and we drove through both lush valleys and arid desert-like areas. Amazing scenery and the visit to the Terelj National Park was the highlight of my stay in Mongolia!

    Gana's Guest House helped us with booking the tour, but I wish it was not just a day-trip! If/When I come back to Mongolia again, I will spend the night in a ‘ger’ in the park - or consider going to the Gobi National Park.

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    • National/State Park

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    Tibetan Buddhist Gandan Monastery

    by sachara Updated Oct 26, 2003

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    Gandan Monastery

    On my way to Tibet it was interesting to visit the monasteries in Mongolia and to discover that the links between Mongolia and Tibet are old and deep. Once in a lifetime every Buddhist Mongolian tries to reach the holy city of Lhasa on a pilgrimage. When the British invaded Tibet in 1903, the Dalai Lama fled to Mongolia for his safety and stayed there a few years.
    The Gandan Monastery is a large complex with several temples, a library and living quarters for the monks.

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    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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    Gandan Monastery, unrolling a thangka

    by sachara Updated Oct 26, 2003

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    unrolling a thangka.

    We enjoyed our visit to the Gandan Monastery, one of the ''big three'' monasteries of Mongolia. We visited the temple inside , attended a ceremony and had a look at the statues, the butterlamp candles and the prayerwheels. And we were very lucky to see the monks and people unrolling a large thangka in the courtyard outside the temple.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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