Aside from two nights sleeping on the train between Ulaan Baatar and Zamiin Uud, we stayed at three hotels while we were on travel in Mongolia. By tradition, I captured the view from the windows of each of these – here they are.
First is the view from the Chinggis Khaan Hotel in Ulaan Baatar. As our “base” between trips to the countryside, the Chinggis Khaan quickly began to feel like our home away from home. It was great having a place to get a hot shower, reliable phone service, access to the internet, and be able to stock up on food from the Sky Department Store in back.
After training in Ulaan Baatar, we traveled to Sukhbaatar in the north countryside. The group grabbed the best accommodations in two hotels within sight of each other. I stayed at the “Flower” Hotel. Here’s what it looked like on the outside, and the view from my first room.
The first room I took had three beds – I had dropped all my stuff before we decided to split up and seek out the best rooms in each of the two hotels. When the owners realized that we weren’t using all the beds, they asked if I could move into the single at the end of the hall so they could rent out the room to guests who could use all three beds.
The single was a considerable upgrade – with a bedroom, a sitting room (left below), and a private bathroom, complete with toilet, shower, and water heater! As much as I would have liked a hot shower, I opted against turning on the water heater. We had already had one power outage and the electrical outlet for the water heater was in the shower, across from the shower head.
Helping me get settled in was an adorable Mongolian girl of seven or eight who kept looking at me with kindness and patience despite my not being able to understand even the simplest thing she was saying. The view looked out the side of the hotel, in the direction of the hotel (orange building with the red roof) where Melody and Theresa stayed. By the way, I should probably do a color correction on the shot of the sitting room. The wall paper was lilac, and the drapes were a much brighter shade of lavender than they look in the picture.
We returned from the north to UB, spent the night at the Chinggis Khaan, and then took the train to Zamiin Uud. Where it was gray and overcast in Sukhbaatar, it was clear and sunny in Zamiin Uud. But colder! Here is the hotel where we stayed (left below), and the view out the window (right below).
The view out the window posed interesting contrasts. Across the courtyard to the back of the hotel was a nice building with a substantial brick fence (left), next to which some of the residents routinely burned their garbage in an open fire (right).
The rooms in the hotel were pretty nice – they were quite large, had beds with mattresses, with private bathrooms including showers. Melody’s room even had a refrigerator. I indulged in a shampoo and a REALLY quick scrub and rinse one day. Just because there were private bathrooms with showers didn’t mean there was hot water!
On finishing at Zamiin Uud, we took the train back to UB and indulged in showers – with hot water – before getting up early to get to the airport and head home. There’s no place like home!