Damn it’s been a long time since I hit the net.
Been in Ulaanbaatar for a couple of days now and am getting the feeling I’ll never get used to the place. Yesterday we spent the day piling in and out of a van looking at apartments. We found a big 3 bedroom place in the center of town with a massive living room. The others will be in 2 2 bedroom apartments also quite central.
Had my first taste of airag (fermented mare’s milk) last night and it exceeded all possible expectations of foulness. I was actually quite optimistic before I tasted it, figuring it couldn’t be all that bad if so many people out in the countryside drink it, but it really was horrendous stuff. I never thought a drink could give you flashbacks until this stuff.
Aside from that it was a great night and I suppose I’d better get used to that stuff if I’m going to spend any time outside the city.
Ulaanbaatar is hard place to describe. From the outside many of the buildings look run down and grotty, but inside are quite alright. A lot of them are more colourfully painted than I’d anticipated. The city itself is more modern than I’d thought too. Friday night we visited a great bar in town. The outside was covered in aerosol art while the inside had different decor on nearly every surface; one wall military themed, one wall covered in denim, one wall painted in a South Park motif, and so on. Very cool place with very cheap booze. I’ll return for pictures later.
The booze is cheap everywhere. Spirits are only served in 50 or 100ml shots and cost bugger all. You can get a good bottle of vodka for $10 Australian; $4 for a drinkable bottle, and more varieties than you can poke a stick at.
We had snow on the first night/second day and got woken by a canine dawn chorus. The dogs roam the streets freely and tend to bark nice and early in the morning.
The other great thing about this place is the mountains that surround the city. You can see them from everywhere and they look spectacular now they’re covered in snow. One even has a portrait of Chinggis Khan made out of stones facing the city for the 800th anniversary, but it’s hard to make out now the snow’s there.
More to come shortly.
Oh, and photos from the last couple of weeks on my flickr. Enjoy!