Guesthouse in Ulaan Baatar
(Reading, England, UK)
After a total of eleven hours the train finally started moving again. By this time it was getting quite late, so after not too long we retired to bed. We arrived at the station in Ulaan Baatar in the early hours of the morning, before sunrise. We hadn't booked anywhere to stay, but were met by touts from all of the major hostels. I normally object to being hounded in this way, but at 5am when you've got nowhere to stay, and it's not particularly warm, and you haven't slept properly, it's not so bad really. We opted to go with the representative of Nasaan's Guesthouse, as we'd read about the place in the Lonely Planet, and we'd also met a couple of people who'd stayed there, and it sounded alright.
Nasaan's is a sprawling place located in three adjacent old apartment blocks. We paid US$18 for a double room, as we fancied some privacy after so many of the last few days' being spent on trains. It was a lot more than we would have paid for dorm beds, but it was worth it. We ended up getting a whole apartment to ourselves, presumably because the place was half empty. This meant that we had our own bathroom and kitchen.
We didn't do a lot on our first day in Ulaan Baatar. It was good to get back on the Internet and get up to date with things. We were a bit shocked to find out that you couldn't get the BBC website in Mongolia. We could only assume that the Mongolian Internet provision must come from China, and that certain things were censored. We also went to the bank to change some more money.
The following day we were to be collected by another tour company, Nomads, with whom we'd booked a trip to Olgi province, the most westernmost province of Mongolia.