Black Market | Naran Tuul

Ulaanbaatar has a giant market called the Black Market in English / Naran Tuul in Mongolian. Naran Tuul refers to the river that runs south of town, and I think it’s a new name that hasn’t yet caught on with the English speakers in town.

Before the ’90s this was a true black market where you would go to get things that weren’t sold most places. These days it’s not the same go-to place it used to be, but it’s still is a good place to go shopping. There are Mongolian wool products made from sheep, camels, goats, and yaks, deels (traditional Mongolian clothing), rugs, furniture, fabric, horse tack, brass figurines, flooring and walls for your ger, boots, furs, instruments, imported clothing and shoes, a section dedicated to any kind of rope you may need, and I’m sure much more. Stalls are set up under a big roof and next to the building outside in the open. There people running and pushing giant carts of stuff through the isles, and my favorite is the groups of 3-4 men who gather to play card and kill time. I left with just some long camel socks that I’ve heard are great for winter, but I’ll be back for more later.

There are so many boots, the ones on top are traditional Mongolian boots with felt liner inserts.
There are so many boots, the ones on top are traditional Mongolian boots with felt liner inserts.
There are so many fabrics for sale. Can't wait to have a deel made.
There are so many fabrics for sale. Can’t wait to have a deel made.
This man was trying to sell us a morin khuur (a traditional Mongolian instrument) and gave us a quick little performance.
This man was trying to sell us a morin khuur (a traditional Mongolian instrument) and gave us a quick little performance.
Some bridles and hardware for saddles.
Some bridles and hardware for saddles.
Sooooo soft and warm!
Sooooo soft and warm!
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The rope section.

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