Naran Tuul Market

Top choice market

in Ulaanbaatar

Also known as the Black Market (Khar Zakh), this is a must-see spot for those wanting to pick up traditional Mongolian clothing, carpets, horse-riding gear and souvenirs. It's notorious for pickpockets and bag slashers, so wear your backpack on your front and stash valuables in your money belt.

A covered area with a decent selection of clothes and accessories is one of the cheapest places to get traditional Mongolian garments, such as a simple del, starting from around T80,000, or huruum (Mongolian jacket), for around T50,000. There's also Western-style bags, jeans and fake North Face jackets.

Carpet sellers are also in the covered area, including Mongolian carpets from Erdenet. Just to the west of this section are stalls for the hat and boot sellers, where furry winter hats start from T60,000 and traditional boots start at around T65,000. All these make great gifts.

Towards the back of the market you’ll find saddles (T80,000 for a soft Russian saddle or T165,000 for a Mongolian saddle), riding tack, Mongolian furniture and all the parts needed to build your own ger. The back area is also where you’ll find antique and coin dealers, but they don’t issue any official documentation (unlike the antique shops in town), making it illegal to export their stock. New items, such as the snuff bottles (made in China anyway), can be purchased without worry. You can also buy authentic shaman drums starting from around T85,000.

A taxi to the market should cost about T6000 from the centre of town. To walk from Sükhbaatar Sq will take about 40 minutes. Try to avoid the area on weekends, when the crowds (and traffic) can be horrendous. Though it opens at 9am, it doesn't really get going till around 11am.