Guesthouses in Ulaan Baatar
by Philip Deaton
(Harrogate, England, UK)
We arrived into UB around 7am, after a tiresome 36 hour train ride and decided we would go to Gana's Guest House, which advertised dorm rooms for only $3 a night. After a 30 minute walk we arrived to be met by 2 large St Bernards, who didn't seem too keen on guests! After they were calmed down, we entered and met Gana who told us there were no dorm rooms available, but he would let us stay in an en suite double (advertised for $20). We said we would take a look and couldn't believe the standard, it was excellent. The next unbelievable thing was he agreed to do the room for $8 a night including breakfast!
Over breakfast, we found Gana to be a gracious host as we received not only the usual bread and jam but a selection of meats and freshly cooked eggs. He explained he closes up most of the hostel over winter, but was more than happy to have us stay with him and his family.
Excited and feeling really happy about been in Mongolia, we headed out to Gandan Khiid, Mongolia's largest monastery. The complex contains several important buildings, with the main Khiid containing a 27m high Buddha, a rather impressive sight.
We decided to then head into the center to grab lunch at the Black Dolphin restaurant. We couldn't believe it cost less than $2 for a main course, salad and tea, a real bargain and tasty to bot. Afterwards we checked whether Brenton and Logan were still in town, but found from our emails they had already left on a tour.
Next stop was the UB guesthouse, where we inquired about a tour and were informed there were 2 English guys, Ed and Harry looking to head west for 6 days, which sounded perfect. We agreed we would meet them for a few drinks in the evening to make sure we got along!
We headed to Dave's Bar, just off Sukhbaatar Square where we sank a couple of tasty dark ales, whilst discussing what lay ahead. We agreed to do the tour together and arranged a meeting for the following day to watch the Rugby between England and New Zealand.