Monday, April 12, 2010

Mongolia | Ulaanbaatar | Ugliest City on Earth?!?

Wandering by the website of the London-based Newspaper the Telegraph I was startled to see a photo taken just a couple hundred yards from my own hovel in Zaisan Tolgoi.
View of Downtown UB from near my hovel in Zaisan Tolgoi
I was even more flabbergasted to read this:
If there was a competition to find the ugliest city on Earth, then the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator [sic] would be the leading contender for the title. The combination of grim, Soviet-style concrete high-rises, rambling slum-shanties and towering coal-fired power plants belching out smoke over the city reeks of the depression and decay that was a legacy of decades of communist rule.
Ulaan Baatar the “ugliest city on Earth”? I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As I have stated in the past, I consider Ulaanbaatar to be on par with Istanbul and the Pyramids of Egypt as one of the world’s most alluring places. And by the way, isn’t it about time newspapers update their style books to reflect the correct English transliteration of the city’s name, which is Ulaan Baatar or Ulaanbaatar, and not “Ulan Bator,” a holdover from the Soviet era? 

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