March 29, 2013

Stop Thief!

Continuing on my trip last year…

In Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, I was staying in the Lotus Guesthouse, which was comfortable enough, showers and toilets were small but clean, although hot water was unreliable. Ulaanbaatar is said to have a central hot water system, with the hot water being piped through through the town to everyone, but it is meant to shut down during summer for maintenance. When I saw the entrance to the guesthouse, I was a bit worried about what what we’d find, but the dark and dirty stairwells are apparently the norm around this city (according to wikitravel). There was a small little corner store type shop in the middle of these high rise buildings, it didn’t sell much, but it did sell ice cream!

Blue door leads to our hostel

Blue door leads to our hostel

I spent today looking around Ulaanbaatar, starting in Sukhbaatar Square, then heading to the National Museum of Mongolia, which is well worth a visit. It is completed to a very high standard and gives a very detailed view of the history of Mongolia. Very interesting!

National Museum of Mongolia

National Museum of Mongolia

Had some lunch at a nice little cafe in Peace St, sitting on the second story veranda watching the people go by. Eventually got to the State Department Store just to have a look around. It was filled with reasonably expensive (and good quality) goods, you could get everything from souvenirs to camping equipment, as well as the usual clothes and makeup that you find in those stores.

Recycle your bag!  From the State Department Store

Recycle your bag! From the State Department Store

Went to the post office to grab some postcards and drop a quick post card to Mum and Dad (I’m trying to send them one from every country I go to). Interestingly enough INSIDE the post office there’s a sign that tells you to watch out for thieves. But it was outside the post office where I nearly had to yell “stop thief”! Got pick – bagged – well he tried. Seems he didn’t want my toilet paper and jumper. Actually I knew he was there, so I disturbed him before he got anything, but all he would’ve got was toilet paper and jumper anyway. Everything valuable was not in my bag, but I’d still prefer not to be a victim of petty theft. We had been warned that Ulaanbaatar was particularly bad for this kind of thing (hence the reason nothing valuable was in the bag) so all of us had been keeping a pretty close eye out and being aware of those around us. Kinda good to have a “somebody attempted to steal from me story” to tell I guess. Another thing to be wary of, as we experienced when walking home from our meal that night, is groups of kids. They’ll try to “ambush” you almost so they can rob/pick pocket and we could see them working together – one being sent in as a decoy to distract you or hold you up, then the others coming in. We got rid of them no problems, we were in a reasonably large group (about 10-12), but you wouldn’t want to be walking alone around there after dark.

Be careful of thieves - inside the post office!

Be careful of thieves – inside the post office!

Went to a performance put on by the Mongolian National Song and Dance Ensemble, it was fairly good, we had front row seats! First time I’d ever seen a contortionist in real life and it’s a bit freaky how they actually get their body into those positions.



The Altai Mongolian Grill Restaurant was excellent that night. We actually got to eat some vegetables! It was all you could eat, so plenty of meat, noodles and fresh vegetables, we got to watch them cook it in front of us – and got to watch the chef mess up the sauces! You select your food and some sauce, then take it to be cooked on a huge grill with everyone else’s. They normally keep the sauce relating to your dish in front of your meal on the grill. This time he’d got a bit fancy and “moved” the meals along one place so the sauces didn’t line up. He didn’t realise til he got to the end with one sauce dish left over and looked around with a bit of a shy grin as he realised what he’d done. Was pretty funny. Definitely enjoyed this place, mainly because you could eat as many fresh vegetables as you liked…

One of the dishes I created at Altai Grill

One of the dishes I created at Altai Grill

There’s a cool Beatles tribute statue in one of the public areas there, kind of weird seeing it there as it doesn’t seem to fit in with the history of the place.

The Beatles Monument, Ulaanbaatar

The Beatles Monument, Ulaanbaatar

Anyway, here’s a few photos…


1 Comment »

  1. […] I needed to look over my shoulder every 2 seconds for somebody trying to rob me (like in Kampala or Ulaanbaatar) (although it always pays to be […]

    Pingback by Lilongwe, Malawi | Thumper... — September 12, 2013 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

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