Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hunnu Mall

Hunnu Mall

            A new mall and shopping area has recently opened here in Ulaanbaatar and I had a chance to check it out.  Time to see just how different the Mongolian shopping experience is from the American one.  The mall is located about 20 minutes or so from Zaisan, out the airport road, close to the British School of Ulaanbaatar, so it’s on the city limits so to speak.

The Outside

            Well it looks like any other mall from the outside, but it is missing the large parking lot found at American malls.  Now this is either because it isn’t completed yet, there is some kind of construction going on next door, they didn’t plan for one, or they just don’t need it.

            Inside you can clearly tell the mall only opened in March, not because of how clean it is, but because there are still some store fronts waiting to be filled.  Now the stores are a mix of western and other Asian brands (some are better known to my Australian counterparts).  I didn’t scope out all the prices, so I can’t say how they compare, but the selection itself was ok.  It seems like a good place to go if you need electronics, shoes, backpacks, and other hiking gear.  I might actually splurge and buy a bigger TV for my apartment next year.

            The biggest difference and most shocking surprise was the Dinosaurs, and no I’m not talking about that chemically induced abomination.

Or the coolest dinosaur creature on the planet.

            Yes, that is Godzilla and yes it is on top of a Hotel in Shinjuku, and yes he is the official cultural ambassador of Shinjuku.  Just so you know, the Hotel in question is owned by Toho, the film company that created Godzilla and the giant monster movie genre.

            No the dinosaurs in the mall are the real ones, bones and all.  It was a bit surprising at first, but then again this is Mongolia, which has a treasure trove of sites for paleontologists.

Don’t ask me what it is, I focus on living species not dead ones.

The next one is a close relative of the infamous T-rex.

            There is even a little museum in the mall, with a larger variety of dinosaur bones, some of the highlights are the protoceratops and archaeopteryx.  A few more English explanations would have been nice to, but I don’t think it was geared towards the western tourists.

            Behind the mall, there is a little outdoor shopping area, with a variety of shops and a real life arcade.  A number of these were closed or were in the process of being completed, but there is a nice little Irish pub, with decent food.