Back in the city, I lamented how so many high-rise buildings now block the background of some of the lovely Buddhist temples and museum-palaces. I saw no effort in trying to make everything “fit”, aesthetics-wise, with drab architecture spoiling many otherwise lovely sceneries. I am no expert but my simple mind reminds me of the sheer vastness of this land. Certainly unnecessary to “cluster” them modern structures at the back of, beside, or in front of historical treasures like temples and palaces. Neither do I comprehend why there is only ONE road leading to and from the international airport. Surely, there is no issue of where to line the highways across any part of Mongolia?




Bogd Khaan Temple Complex includes the Winter Palace of the last Mongol King.


A relatively better shot minus the obstructions.



In Bogd Khaan Palace Museum, the old temples need a lot of TLC and could have been given lotsa space for a truly unobstructed view. Same is true with the Gandantegchinleng Temples. The place where the monks prayed and chanted (in between mobile calls, mind you!) needed some sprucing up.




Those modern buildings shouldn’t be there. So much space around, why here?


Gandan Monastery Complex. Right in the middle of the bustling city.



While 70% of the 2.7 million population continue to live in gers, I am curious who’d occupy all the high-rise buildings under construction in the capital where 1.2 million live. With all that construction, the city is likely congested. More so with more tourist arrivals. I cannot imagine that lone airport road being clogged any further. Perhaps they could build a new airport in any of those huge vacant spaces around the city and build an express road? I’m sure they will.




Old and new buildings within the city.


Sukhbaatar Square.



That skyline will soon change. And I’m glad we got here before all these changes. It’s NOT exactly RAW, but a vibrant tourism industry sometimes cast a curse on long-preserved traditions and customs, burying with it a culture with so much more character.