Waiting for the Naadam, I/we visited the major museums and temples in UB. The natural museum has impressive dinosaurs’ skeletons, with real bones there, not like the huge models in the natural museum in Frankfurt (which I visited ca. 6 months ago and very close to my place, but I forgot his name, a sign that I am long enough at traveling). The interesting national museum retraces much of the Mongolia’s history as described earlier and has lovely pieces of the traditional clothes of the different tribes. The Zanabazar arts museum contains nice collection of Buddhist sculptures and paintings. I already mentioned the Gandan Khiid Buddhist monastery, where I had a look in the other temples closed the first time visited before the Gobi trip. And finally the winter palace of the Bogd Khaan shows the wealth of the short Buddhist kingdom. Each of this museum charges 5000 T (ca. 3€, 10 times more than in Iran but still 3 less than in Europe!) as an entry fee but 10000 or 20000 T for photography. I paid the latest only in the winter palace. I managed to steal a few pictures in the other places!
A propos cultural sightseeing, I got amazed by the beautiful traditional dance and music performance of the “National Song and Dance Ensemble” at the theater. The ticket was not cheap for Mongols standards (special Naadam price of 30000T, ca. 20€ for foreigner, half for Mongols), making the public more of older peoples (many Germans) than the backpackers you see in the cheap guest houses. Again there, I could steal some shot with my two tiny primes lenses (Pana 17mm f/1.7 and Oly 45mm f/1.8), without paying the exaggerated 50 000/100 000 T for photo/video.
Leaving the stadium area after Naadam, I walked to the Buddha Park and up to the Zaisan memorial for a nice view of the city from the South. A local bus (400T) brought me back to the theater where I assisted to the arts performance (see above) at 6pm. I enjoyed the last hours of the day around the Sukhbaatar’s square: going up to the Blue Sky Lounge in the 23rd floor for another nice view over the city, this time from the very centre. From there, I discovered the Choijin Lama temple just behind it, so I just walked around before a dinner and a quiet evening in the guest house.