Danny Yee >> Travelogues >> Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar - Chojin Lama museum + shopping

Gabi's apartment block

Sunday 10th July

We were up at 7.50 and had Gabi's usual breakfast: melons and oats with yoghurt, cherries, and honey. I couldn't get my calling card to work, but Peter and I rang Vera and Camilla back in Australia.

Peter and I dropped off our laundry and then walked into town; we only encountered one beggar and the salespeople were not insistent - they'd ask once and then apologise. It was hot and bright.

Back to the Xanadu bookshop, where I was tempted by Genghis Khan, Peacekeeper of God but instead bought a little book of Mongolian short stories from the communist era.

photographers pay higher entry fees
an Ulaanbaatar bus
The entry fee for the Chojin Lama museum was 2400 — or 12000 if we wanted to take photos. The museum complex was built early in the 20th century and the architecture is Chinese, with dragons, cranes, scenes on eaves and ouside, but the inside is Tibetan Buddhist, with an impressive array of statues, sculptures and masks. The costumes for the tsaam dance included a 30kg mask and 70kg costume. And the illustrations included Boschian depictions of hell and tantric sex.

We had lunch at the Khan Brau restaurant where we met Patti and Naidan. Patti rang Timur and arranged tickets for us for the Naadam opening ceremony. Returning to Xanadu, I bought a book Mongolia: Museum Highlights, as a substitute for taking photos in the museum.

old men selling services
a young woman
Sükhbaatar Square

We went UB Mart, where we bought cashmere and other gifts for people back in Australia and changed money. Then we went to Chez Bernard to pick up our tickets from Patti and Timur, before going to the State Department Store for more shopping.

the State Department Store

To round off the shopping experience we went to the huge modern Sky Supermarket complex, where we bought food, before picking up our laundry and returning to Gabi's.

It's considered bad luck to put your bag on the floor in Mongolia — if you do that you will lose money.
I did some currency calculations and thought I'd lost US$100, before I found that carefully hidden away with my battery charger. We watched some German TV news, ate dinner (bread, tongue, fish, pickles), watched some English news, then ventured out to an Internet cafe for 65 minutes. Gabi was accosted on way back; I got home at 11pm.

Monday 11th July

We were up at 8 but missed the event in Sükhbaatar Square. Walking to the stadium for the Nadaam opening gave us a good view of some of the thermal pipes which heat Ulaanbaatar.

photo photo photo

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