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Life in The City of Ulaanbaatar

Read it in French: Jour Typique à Ulaanbaatar

While it’s difficult to give a 100% accurate perspective of different groups living in different circumstances within Ulaanbaatar, assuming we’re talking about the average Ulaanbaatar resident, hope this summary gives you a general understanding of the lives they live.

Development

Technologically and economically, the capital is the hub of the country. With over 1.5 million people, there is always progress and development to be seen. Compared to rest of the country, there is a lot to do and many opportunities for work.

However there are disadvantages such as heavy traffic, especially during the winter months, air pollution, and tighter spaces.

Ulaanbaatar Culture

The general culture in Ulaanbaatar is a mix of both Eastern Asian and Western/American influences. From the latest iPhones to KFC, and Burger King, western type of lifestyle is more prevalent while the fashion trend more Korean.

People mostly make new friends through mutual friends, work, and school. Sometimes it can seem clique oriented and most people minding their own business. It’s rare to see random strangers conversing because people who live in Ulaanbaatar trust people they are mutually connected with or know.

However, there has been a rise in new interest groups, clubs, and organizations due to the increasing popularity of social media such as Facebook.

Entertainment

Since the mining boom in 2011, Ulaanbaatar has seen significant improvements in the entertainment sector. It’s common to see young teenagers and students going out with friends to watch the latest blockbusters at Urgoo, Gegeenten, or Tengis.

Young adults in their twenties usually spend time near the Night Street or “huuhdiin zuu”, where you’ll find nightclubs, restaurants, and other forms of entertainment.

People with families on the other hand take a walk in the National Park or near the Tuul river during the weekends, and eat out near the city center once in a while.

School

Most schools have started to adopt the 12 year grade system, instead of the usual 10 or 11 year grade system which was more popular in the 1990s and 2000s.

The curriculum is mostly set by the government and school, hence there is little room for choosing the types of classes a student would want. From geography, math, basic English, Mongolian, chemistry, biology, physics, etc Mongolian high school students are taught a wide array of subjects.

There is a final test at the end of each school year, and the infamous “ЭЕШ” test which is the Mongolian version of SAT after high-school graduation, which is a very important factor in college applications.

Most if not all colleges and universities are in Ulaanbaatar, hence there is an influx of college students who move to Ulaanbaatar to pursue better opportunities and higher education.

Work

The work environment in Ulaanbaatar depends on the type of field you are in. Most of the bigger corporations are headquartered in Ulaanbaatar and it’s common to see white collar workers near the city center.

Construction, engineering, and finance are the mos

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