If Mongolia’s yin is its pristine countryside, then Ulaanbaatar conforms nicely to its yang. An enormous city of pulsating commerce, wild traffic, sinful nightlife and bohemian counter-culture, the Mongolian capital elicits as much shock as it does excitement. The contrasts within the city can be exasperating too; Armani-suited businessmen rub shoulders with mohawked punks and del-clad nomads fresh off the steppes. It’s a wild place that bursts into life after slumbering through a long winter. This chaotic capital is not the easiest city to navigate, but with a little patience, travellers can take care of all their logistical needs, watch traditional theatre, sample international cuisine and party till three in the morning. This ever-changing city may be the biggest surprise of your Mongolian adventure.
Ulaanbaatar city is surrounded by four sacred mountains which are Bogd Khan, Songino Khairkhan, Chingeltei and Bayanzurkh. These mountains are part of the beautiful and pristine Khan Khentii Mountain range. The largest, highest and hallowed of Ulaanbaatar’s four holy mountains is Bogd Khan Uul.
Major sightseeing places are located close to the downtown surrounding Chinggis Khaan Square — the central heart of Ulaanbaatar, a large and famous landmark, is the heart of Ulaanbaatar where the Parliament, the Government House, the Stock Exchange, and many other important establishments are concentrated. It is named after Sukhbaatar, the famous patriot, whose statue is the main attraction on this square. Behind the square the Government building stands and views the Bogd Mountain to the south. Starting city touring from here, it is possible to visit the National History Museum and Natural History Museum, just to the northwest corner of the main square. Then heading to Gandan Monastery, built in the mid-19th century, Bogd Khaan’s Palace, and the Zaisan Memorial can offer a brief but informative understanding of Ulaanbaatar City from its cultural and historical perspectives.