activities / Other

Lonely Planet review

A new NGO and Buddhist social centre that supports impoverished families. Its main aim is to stop disadvantaged youths from becoming street children. It also provides skills and jobs for unemployed women; an on-site felt-making cooperative turns out some lovely products.

The Buddhist arm of the organisation has classes on Buddhism and meditation although for now these are only offered in Mongolian. In summer, a high Tibetan Lama, Panchen Otrul Rinpoche, visits the centre and provides religious teachings.

Asral encourages travellers to visit the centre. You can meet the felt-makers and buy their products or even volunteer your time. The centre is always looking for English teachers or gardeners to work on a small farm in Gachuurt. The centre is in the 3/4 district opposite the Gobi Sauna, slightly off the main road. It's best to call before you visit. Take bus 21, 29 or 13 to the last stop and continue walking for 300m. Asral is a two-storey cream-coloured building on your right.