TRAVEL Top 5 tourist lo­ca­tions in Ulaan­baatar

The UB Post - - Weekly Comment - By DAISY LIU

In 2017, around 460,000 tourists came to Mon­go­lia from abroad, and spent nearly four bil­lion MNT. Tourism is be­com­ing more and more im­por­tant in the coun­try, and the capital city has plenty to of­fer trav­el­ers, in­clud­ing Gan­dan Monastery, Sukhbaatar Square, and Zaisan Hill.

The fol­low­ing is the top 5 most pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tions in Ulaan­baatar:

5. MON­GO­LIAN STATE ACA­DEMIC THEATER OF OPERA

AND BAL­LET

With reg­u­lar cul­tural shows, the theater is a good place for for­eign­ers to ex­plore Mon­go­lian tra­di­tional cul­ture. Es­tab­lished in 1963, the theater was ini­tially named the State Mu­si­cal Drama Theater, but split into the State Aca­demic Theater of Opera and Bal­let and the State Aca­demic Drama Theater through a gov­ern­ment res­o­lu­tion the same year. The reper­toire of the theater has more than 100 na­tional and world clas­si­cal works, in­clud­ing 56 bal­lets

and 54 op­eras. Opera and bal­let are an im­por­tant part of the cul­tural scene in Mon­go­lia, so just grab the chance to visit the place and en­joy the shows.

“Re­ally en­joyed watch­ing a won­der­ful Mon­go­lian cul­tural show in the beau­ti­ful Rus­sian-built theater.” - The feed­back on TripAd­vi­sor

4. ZAISAN MEMORIAL

On the Zaisan Hill, trav­el­ers can

see beau­ti­ful views of Ulaan­baatar and his­tor­i­cal rudi­ment from World War ll. The memorial was built to com­mem­o­rate the Soviet sol­diers killed in the war, and it’s on the top of the Zaisan Hill fea­tur­ing the cir­cu­lar memorial paint­ing that de­picts scenes of friend­ship be­tween the peo­ple of Rus­sia and Mon­go­lia. The place it­self can let trav­el­ers relax once they are on top and the guests can gain some his­toric in­for­ma­tion at the same time while view­ing the ma­jor­ity of the city from the hill. Also, the memorial ranks the fifth place on Lonely Planet in Ulaan­baatar, a world­wide travel guide book pub­lisher, and gets a score of four (out of five) on TripAd­vi­sor.

3. SUKHBAATAR SQUARE

Af­ter ar­riv­ing in Ulaan­baatar, Sukhbaatar Square will be one of the first and main places to visit for many tourists

be­cause of its deep-rooted his­toric sig­nif­i­cance and spec­tac­u­lar scene. In 1921, Gen­eral D.Sukhbaatar de­clared Mon­go­lia’s in­de­pen­dence and led his arm through the main square of to­day. The square was later built on the spot where he gave a speech and now bears his name fea­tur­ing a big statue of him on a horse. The of­fi­cial name was changed in 2013 in honor of Ching­gis Khaan, con­sid­ered the found­ing father of Mon­go­lia, and then changed back in 2016. Sukhbaatar Square sets in the heart of Ulaan­baatar; it’s also the place where trav­el­ers and lo­cal peo­ple gather.

“This square is sim­ply amaz­ing, not just to pho­to­graph but to see so many lo­cal ac­tiv­i­ties and events go­ing on through­out the day.” - The feed­back on TripAd­vi­sor

2. GAN­DAN MONASTERY

Around the 19th cen­tury, there were more than 100 tem­ples and

monas­ter­ies serv­ing a pop­u­la­tion of about 50,000 in Ulaan­baatar. Only a hand­ful of these build­ings sur­vived the re­li­gious purges of 1937. It wasn’t un­til the early 1990s that the peo­ple of Mon­go­lia started to openly prac­tice Bud­dhism again af­ter the re­li­gious ban was lifted, and the Gan­dan Monastery has been re­stored and re­vi­tal­ized since 1990. The monastery features a statue of Megjid Jan­raisag that is 26.5 me­ters tall, which is the largest one in Mon­go­lia. Due to its spe­cial his­toric mean­ing, the monastery is one of Mon­go­lia’s most im­por­tant and big­gest tourist at­trac­tions, win­ning se­cond place on Lonely Planet in Ulaan­baatar. 1. NA­TIONAL MU­SEUM OF

MON­GO­LIA

There are many mu­se­ums in Mon­go­lia, such as Zan­abazar Mu­seum of Fine Art and Mon­go­lian Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum, but why is the Na­tional Mu­seum of Mon­go­lia the first place to visit? The mu­seum is a cul­tural, sci­en­tific, and ed­u­ca­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion, which is re­spon­si­ble for the col­lec­tion, con­ser­va­tion and in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the ob­jects un­der its cu­ra­tion. Trav­el­ers can learn more about the his­tory of Mon­go­lia through cul­tural her­itage and ethno­graphic col­lec­tions. It’s also rec­og­nized as one of the lead­ing mu­se­ums in Mon­go­lia be­cause of its re­spon­si­bil­ity to pre­serve her­itage and de­velop new tech­nol­ogy to present the past life. And it takes the first place on Lonely Planet, TripAd­vi­sor and many other tourist web­sites.

“It’s UB's only gen­uine block­buster sight, offering an un­par­al­leled over­view of Mon­go­lian cul­ture.” - Lonely Planet

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