Why Go To Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia?
I couldn’t resist traveling to Mongolia after attending the ice festival in Harbin, China. Fortunately, I was already well acclimated to the sub-freezing winter temperatures in northern China. Additionally, I needed to look into some investment opportunities while I was there.
After I took care of business in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia I carefully prepared for my winter travel adventure in the Mongolian steppe. This trip to Mongolia was one of my all time favorites due to the combination of a mystical natural landscape and cultural history. I have decided to separate my trip to the Mongolian steppe into another post. The focus of this post is about the good and bad aspects of Ulaanbaatar.
- The Predominant Religion in Mongolia is Buddhism
- The Mongolian People are 97% Mongol and 3% Kazakh
- The Official Language is Mongolian.
- The Capital City is Ulaanbaatar.
- Their Currency is the Tughrik
- It is the 2nd Largest Landlocked Country in the World
Pollution In Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar is the capital city of Mongolia and about 40% of the country’s population lives there. Additionally, the 2016 estimated population of Ulaanbaatar is 3.083 million people. Unfortunately, there has been a recent surge in the population numbers that the city has been unable to properly absorb. As a result, many of the city’s new residents live on the city outskirts in traditional “yurts”. Yurts are traditional Mongolian homes that are similar to tents. Unfortunately, the residents are forced to burn coal as their sole source of heat. This contributes to a massive air pollution problem in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
“Yurt” Suburbs Outside Ulaanbaatar
Furthermore, coal is plentiful in Mongolia so it is also the primary source of heat and electricity within the developed part of the city. This exacerbates an already smoggy skyline. Mongolians are doing their level best to resolve the issue with alternative power sources. However, the changes are difficult to implement. For now they must endure the severe air pollution.
Things To Do In Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Fortunately, the wind was blowing in the right direction for part of my stay. As a result, exploring the city was more enjoyable with blue skies and clean air. Furthermore, my accommodation in Ulaanbaatar was The Blue Sky Hotel & Tower. The Blue Sky Hotel & Tower is located in the city center with close access to the Sukhbaatar Square. Sukhbaatar is a legendary Mongolian patriot and his statue is the prominent feature of the square. In the photo below my hotel is the modern shaped building with the curve on the right.
Hopefully, you brought your ice skates with you because there is a nice skating rink located near the statue. That is the Blue Sky Hotel & Tower again glimmering in the photo background.
The government office building complex is also adjacent to Sukhbaatar Square.
Additionally, the Museum of National History is a good way to spend the afternoon. It must not be forgotten the Mongol Empire once ruled all of Asia and threatened the borders of Europe. At the National History Museum you can get acquainted with the entire history of Mongolia from the Stone Age to the modern era.
Also, when you are in Ulaanbaatar stop by the Gobi Cashmere Factory Store. Fortunately, it was in close proximity to Sukhbaatar Square and also my hotel. Approximately, 35-40% of the world’s cashmere is produced in Mongolia. Mongolia’s harsh climate is what creates the conditions for production of the finest cashmere in the world. As a result, the sweaters, socks and other cashmere products are soft, warm and durable. You will appreciate the quality of the cashmere if you are traveling there during winter as I was.