Ok, you’ve just moved to Mongolia and settled into your new apartment. You unpack your bags and you decide to go outside and as you open the door for the first time and you look out on the city you might be feeling overwhelmed but also have a sense of Adventure. You might be wondering where is the best place to buy everything, where can I get myself my daily essentials or what about those extra things that I have to do if you stay a while.
If you’re working here with an organisation perhaps as a teacher for a school or a mining company, they should be able to have people that can help you with anything that you need and where to find things but perhaps you are living on your own or you want to know where places are for your own benefit, then I suggest you keep reading.
When I moved to Mongolia I was unaware of these places but I wish I had known about them from the very beginning, where to find information on them and how useful they would be, and no and I am not just talking about the black market.
Here at the top 5 places, you should know about if you want to find and get all the things you need that will be incredibly useful!
Number 1: Dunjingarav Market And Government Office
The first one on our list is one that is easier to find because it is right near the black market also known as Narantuul Market. Dunjingarav Market has everything you would need to buy from clothes and shoes to stationary products or appliances all located in doors. you’ll find similar prices to that of the black market here but what makes this place more interesting is there is a government hub for any documents you need to submit all in one handy spot. Next to Dunjingarav Market you will find a government Centre. This is such a cool thing because you can submit anything including multiple different documents all in one handy location. For example; perhaps you need to file documents for changing ownership of a car, getting a certificate of ownership from a notary or getting insurance. They can all be done in one place, you can change the certificate at one booth and then go to the insurance company just across the hall in the same centre without having to drive across town or go to separate individual places.
You can even do your banking here for any fines. Perhaps you need to pay any official taxes or driving fines, here is the place to do it all. Now, I don’t think you will need to go here very often but the convenience of it is amazing to have so you should definitely check it out if you’re needing to submit any documents by yourself or with a Mongolian friend, rather than going across different parts of the city wasting hours and hours on the end.
Number 2 Tedys Shopping Complex
Tedys Mobile shopping centre is an amazing place to see especially if you haven’t been to Asia before. You can get to see how things are fixed right in front of you and so many different tech services available on offer. I wish I had found out about this place earlier but it wasn’t until I needed to get something fixed that I found out about it.
This shopping centre looks just like any other but when you get inside you will be amazed to see the amount of variety and options you have available for anything to do with tech regardless of whether it is phones or other electronic devices. Here you’ll be on to find everything from new mobile phone cases and different adaptors, other handy gadgets, phone and laptop sellers and of course repair workshops for phones and other devices.
What is amazing about this is you can take your phone to get repaired and it can be done on the spot within even half an hour. Not having to wait around several days and cheap labour and repair costs is a huge plus compared to the west. It’s incredible that you can ask for something to be repaired and the vendor will go around and find the parts within the store, come back and repair it and you’re done. Did I mention the price it’s pretty fantastic how cheap it is to repair Products as well.
If you ever need to get something repaired or you’re looking for something specific for your computer or your phone or some other gadget then this is a place you must know about in check out have a look on the map below.
Number 3: Misheel Expo
Now this place doesn’t sound like a place you would find in Mongolia but Misheel Expo is a fantastic place to go even to spend an entire afternoon or evening. Misheel Expo is known as a major shopping centre in Ulaanbaatar. Specifically, it is no known for its wide range of furniture outlets where you can find everything from comfortable recliners to even other building products. Whatever piece of furniture you’re looking for you can find it here! There is even a large Nomin where you can find all the different products you need for your household items or furnishings as well as tools or building products. What is also great about this place is that Misheel Expo also has a government centre just like the first one mentioned; Dunjingarav Market.
You can do your shopping here but you can also get any government documents approved changed or signed. Here a friend and I were able to get an apartment Certificate verified and changed and to make sure that no outstanding loans were on the apartment before buying it. We could do everything we needed to before they bought an apartment in one place.
Lastly Misheel Expo has an amazing inside walking street where you can find great tasting street food and vendors as well as restaurants. With fantastic lighting displays and delicious iconic international food your time will fly by visiting this place!
Number 4: Building Street
Building Street, is a place every tradie or builder would smile in glee. Everything you need for building construction from, plumbing, renovating, decorating or any type of construction can be found on this one Street!
There is tons of different vendors and stores where you can find anything you need, wallpaper, lighting or even framing, you need it, they’ve got it. Store owners are also fair and up to barter on the price too which can be kinda fun if that’s your thing.
Before going here I would have a game plan of what you need to buy so that you can figure out where you need to go and feel too overwhelmed. Generally, some of the larger stores will specify what they will provide. Larger stores may specifically provide plumbing or bathroom fittings well others may be more for tools or lighting or electrical stores. However, if you take your time and you know what you’re looking for you will have no problem finding it but be sure to have a good look around because you might find that the prices vary, depending on where you go so before you buy have a look around.
In Mongolia you may have a person responsible for your apartment or you may be responsible for it instead. If you are, then you may need to get a few things from time to time. It isn’t uncommon for you to have a water leak or your toilet stops working and you might need to go and buy some parts so the plumber can fix it. Don’t expect the plumber will come with the parts you need. They will come and inspect the issue, tell you what parts to buy then come back when you have the parts and fix it. That might sound a little different than what you are use to but that’s how things work in Mongolia. So knowing when to find construction material and parts can come in handy.
Number 5: Dragon, Erel And Bayanzurkh Bus Stations
The last one on this list is good to know especially once you start to travel. Now, this is actually more than one place as you will see there are several places mentioned above (Dragon Station and Bayanzurkh Station) which you can see the links below to. Of course these stations are in opposite directions from each other but are very important for heading out of the city for different locations, especially if you don’t have a car. If you would like to learn how to get a Mongolian drivers license, check out Goldigobi’s post here.
If you are heading to Erdenet or khusgal then you will need to know where Dragon Station is. Dragon Station is used to take anyone out to the Western and northern provinces. On the other hand, Bayanzurkh Station is used to head out east so if you want to go out towards Tsagaanders You will need to use this bus station.
If you’re wanting to head out towards the South of the country or the Gobi you will need to use Erel company station. If you are planning on doing a lot of travelling this will be really important to know the different stations, even to tell a taxi driver where you need to go to. Not all taxi drivers know where each one is so knowing yourself the general location can be handy. However, if you aren’t planning to do much travelling or your going with friends in a vehicle then this won’t be much of a concern for you.
As a bonus another place you may want to check out is the police driving school or driving centre where you can get your licence if you need a Mongolian licence or need to change your existing country’s licence to a Mongolian. If you want to learn more about getting a Mongolian driver’s licence why not have a read of our blog posts on what to do or avoid when getting a Mongolian driving licence.
Ok, so that’s five different places you may want to know if you are going to be living in Mongolia for a while. We really hope these places are useful and helpful and may come in handy for you from time to time. Did we miss any important place? Perhaps a place you would recommend to others who are starting there Mongolian experience? Let us know in the comments below.
If you are going to use these places, why not try out your Mongolian language skills. You could learn several shopping phrases in our Mongolian free Basics Course below.
Happy living everyone!