Shopping in Ulaanbaatar

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Ulaanbaatar, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Shopping in Ulaanbaatar Reviews

rideouts rideouts
30 reviews
May 27, 2006
I often joke with friends that leather is cheaper than paper in Mongolia. It is an exageration, but leather is one of the major products available in mongolia, although not always unique. Leatherwork designs can range from western style leather jackets to the very traditional leather and fur hats that are available for about $120 US for a good quality hat. Animal furs are also available at a significant discount if you find the right shops. Another unique product of Mongolia is Cashmere. The fabric, made from the fur of the Cashmere goat, is only found in the central asian areas of Mongolia, Pakistan, and India. The Gobi Cashmere company is the premeir cashmere producer and distributor in Mongolia, and their products are high quality, if not always up to date in fashion design. If you find something you like, however, you will get away with deep discounts on a very high quality and popular fabric. There are a great many varieties of Vodka produced in Mongolia. The Vodka with the best international reputation is called "Chingis Black" and comes in clear or frosted bottles with a large portrait of Genghis Khan. You should also consider trying some other varieties however, as there are a wide variety of tastes and the Vodka is fairly inexpensive. You can buy all of the major varieties of Vodka at the airport on your way out of the country, and I didn't notice any premium pricing for airport purchases.Finally, there are the usual tourist knicknacks available. Watercolor paintings of traditional life in Mongolia are available everywhere, and should be very inexpensive. Small models of the traditional mongolian Ger (hut) are also available in a wide variety of sizes. If you are extra adventurous, I have heard that you can buy a full size Ger as well, but arranging shipping home might be a little risky. I know that it has been done, so you may find a seller experienced in shipping your Ger.Where to shop: The State Department store is the largest shopping mall in Mongolia, a leftover of the Soviet occupation. You can find cashmere and leather here, in addition to whatever else you might find in a department store. On the top floor there is a large souvenir shop with a massive variety of trinkets available. WARNING! The State Department store is the home of a very agressive ring of pick pockets that are not monitored by the store. The risk is so high that the American Embassy issued a travel warning specifically about the pick pocket risk at this store. The elevators are the worst trap, but anywhere in the store can be at risk. If you go, don't bring your wallet or passport.If you are looking for cashmere, you may have to visit a few stores to see the full variety of products available. Make sure that you check that your selection is actual Cashmere and not Camel Hair, they are usually stocked together, but always labeled, so check the labels. The Gobi factory store has a very good selection, and the State Department store has a fairly limited and occasionally pricey selection. There are also several Cashmere dedicated stores around UB that have slightly different products available.Remember when you go shopping that UB is somewhat hazardous for pick pockets. It is best to carry copies of your passport and minimize your wallet. Stick with taxis and tours, especially at night, and you can minimize your risk.
A view of Ulaanbaatar Mongolia fro…
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frjlover says:
3rd and 4th micro districts are the real home of pick pockets. There are pickpockets everywhere, you should carry your bag or sth in front of you. And they may grab your mobile phones or foods in your hands and run. Be aware of them !
Posted on: Jan 19, 2012
Vanessa_Mun_Yee says:
Thanks for sharing the tips. I know what I want when I shop in UB!
Posted on: Apr 21, 2009
ophirh says:
it's so funny to read about the state department store after being there 2 years ago. I have to admit that at the time I wasn't aware of any pickpocketing problems and no-one in my dorms said anything about losing their money there. I do remember that it's not so nice in the nights to wonder around in the streets there because of all the drunks.
Posted on: Jun 02, 2006
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