Where I Slept: Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia

Posted by on Jul 10, 2009 in Mongolia, Where I Slept | 9 Comments

Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia

Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia | 10 July, 2006 | $5 USD

This was my third (and last) time back in Mongolia’s capital and finally time for The Naadam Festival! This is the busiest time of the year in the capital and I had booked this bed months in advance?one of only a handful of times I booked in advance at all during my trips. You can see the gaudy green deel (Mongolian coat/dress) I bought at the black market. Plastic bags are everywhere when you travel (aside from Rwanda where they are banned!) and I find that each country has its own popular styles. You can see the thin green and red and white striped plastic bags typical of Mongolia at the time in the photo above.

The $5 for my bunk bed included a self-serve breakfast of toast and tea, but given the amount of people packed into every corner of the hostel the loaf of bread supplied vanished before I woke up each morning. It wasn’t too expensive to buy my own food at the grocery around the corner. Even better, by the second time I landed in Ulaan Baatar I’d discovered a French-style bakery with chocolate croissants!

9 Comments

  1. Tina Kearney
    July 13, 2009

    Hi Megan

    I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed reading your blog. I posted a thread on a forum asking ‘How much did YOU spend?’ and one of the responses included a link to your blog and finance page. Is it often the case that I get responses to my threads pointing me to someones/their blog and I HAVE to read it all from start to finish. I have just finished yours. It wasn’t until I was about 1/4 the way through before I realised we have the same surname, which freaked me out a little as my surname isn’t that common. Anyway, thanks for the very well written blog, the finance section is great.

    Tina Kearney

  2. Megan
    July 13, 2009

    Tina, welcome!

    I’m not sure our last name is uncommon, really. Since you say “surname” I’m guessing you’re not from the U.S.? There’s an entire town in Nebraska named Kearney! My family is very Irish and I always was under the impression that it was a fairly common Irish name to have. And while we’re at it, my name is pronounced MEEgan, not MEHgan and that is most definitely not common in the U.S.

    Let me know if you have any questions if you’re planning a trip, perhaps I can offer some help.

  3. Megan
    July 13, 2009

    By the way, Tina, even Obama is a Kearney!

  4. Tina Kearney
    July 13, 2009

    Hi Megan

    Thanks for that, my dad will love that link. You are right,I am not from the U.S., I am from Scotland. I must say I have never really looked into my family name much but I very rarely come across other Kearney’s. I know about Kearney, Nebraska, it’s one of the places I would love to go to and have spent alot of time on their website (I don’t know why really). Maybe Kearney is a more popular name in Ireland and the U.S. but we do have alot of Irish decendants here, my Fathers father was Irish, from Donegal I believe. I didn’t realise Americans don’t say ‘surname’.

    I am planning a trip around the world. Myself and my partner have recently started the saving process which we plan on doing for approx 2 years in order to save about ?30k, So I am researching costs alot and making sure that will be enough. I appreciate your offer of help with regards to any questions I may have and will keep you in mind. Ofcourse I actually have about 1 million questions but no point in asking them til nearer the time. Until then I will keep reading blogs and researching.

    Thanks again for such a good read.

    Tina

  5. Megan
    July 13, 2009

    I’m sure you know that Americans love researching our ancestry (my uncle wrote a whole book about our family going back to Ireland) and calling ourselves whatever country our ancestors are from. I call myself “Irish” when I’m in the U.S. just like my friends will call themselves “Polish” or “Korean.” I think that is a very American thing to do. My dad actually got Irish citizenship via his ancestry so he was technically Irish and American in the end.

    I’ve never been to Kearney, Nebraska (or Nebraska at all) and am not sure that its much of a destination but I know my cousins have t-shirts from there.

    I loved Scotland (Glasgow, in particular) and the accent is to die for. I’m not sure I could live there in the winter though, too depressing. At least we get sun every once in a while along with the snow during the Chicago winter.

  6. Megan
    July 13, 2009

    oh, and we say “last name” here in the U.S. I literally had no idea what it meant until I started traveling and was really confused.

    My great grandparents were from County Kildare & Mayo.

  7. Tina Kearney
    July 13, 2009

    I am pleased to hear Glasgow is your favorite place in Scotland as that is exactly where I am from. You are right, winter sucks! in fact our summer ain’t to great either. But I do love it in spite of that. I have been to Chicago and most of the east coast. I saw the best lightning storm ever while in Chicago. The Americans I was with could not understand what I found so facinating about it, must be common there. I enjoyed reading about how into TV you are, I too am a huge Lost fan and I love 24 (I intend on calling my next cat Bauer). When I read that you downloaded some tv to watch while on your travels I was really happy because I hadn’t thought about that yet. So there is one question answered for me already. I was so pleased for you while reading your blog about how happy you were when Obama won. I shed a tear of happiness myself at the time, mainly for the American people but also for the relief the world felt.

  8. Dan
    October 21, 2010

    Just surfed in here from NYT, and found this. I’ve totally slept in that bunk shown at lower left in the photo! Thanks for the flash back!!

    Safe travels!

  9. Megan
    October 21, 2010

    You’re welcome, Dan! I also stayed in that private apartment of theirs down the street, in the other building but I must not have taken a photo of that one. It was cool—its own apartment with a fridge and kettle.