Monday, May 05, 2008

Ulaanbaatar – city on the move

It was dark when I arrived in Ulaanbaatar last night, so it wasn’t until this morning that I was able to see much of the city. What a change there has been since I was last here four years ago. I have often told people that Ulaanbaatar is more like a laid back country town than a capital city – but all that is changing. There are so many new cars on the roads in Ulaanbaatar these days, causing traffic jams everywhere – something that I don’t remember four years ago – and lots of new high rise buildings going up in the centre of the city.

The picture below was taken from the window of my room in the Corporate Hotel which is just behind the National Drama Theatre (the salmon and white building in the lower left) not far from Sukhbaatar Square.


I also noticed a new golden Buddha statue had been erected on the south side of the city overlooking the more upmarket residential areas (and there was a lot of construction going on there too):


And someone had etched a large portrait – I think it is of Chinggis Khaan - into the hillside a little further to the east overlooking one of the commercial areas:


There is also a new Irish Pub on the other side of the National Drama Theatre - which had an excellent western restaurant attached to it, as well as an espresso coffee shop – and I discovered a really good Italian restaurant called Dolce Vita right across the road from my hotel. Ulaanbaatar seems to be a city on the move these days.

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