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
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
old men selling services
a young woman
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.