Rinpoche Bagsha Datsan


Roosting high above the city’s far north, the inside of this new and unexpectedly modern Tibetan temple looks like a kind of Buddhist-themed bus terminal, though the 6m-high gilt Buddha is pretty impressive. However, the real show-stealer here is the panoramic view, the smog-hazed city ringed by rumpled dust-bare peaks.

Take marshrutka 97 from outside the Hotel Baikal Plaza on pl Sovetov to the last stop (right by the temple entrance).

If you catch the monks doing their thing with drums, cymbals and chanting, the atmosphere can be electric. An extra feature is the circular walk around the temple featuring pavilions with grotesque, man-size representations of the Chinese signs of the zodiac.