The next stop on our trip was Ulaanbaatar (Улаанбаатар), the capital of Mongolia. Mongolia is the most sparsely populated country in the world and about one third of the population lives in Ulaanbaatar. Large parts of the city consist of ger districts - a ger is a typical mongolian nomadic tent. In those districts, people live very dense either in gers or in very simple wood houses.
Ulaanbaatar is a growing city. The ger districts still grow and in the southern part, a lot of apartment buildings are built. I haven't checked this with other sources, but two people from Ulaanbaatar told me that these constructions are mostly illegal, because they are in a nature reservate where only tourist ger camps are allowed, but corruption allows the constructinos to happen anyway.
The car traffic is very extreme in Ulaanbaatar. Most of the time there's a lot of traffic jam. Many car drivers seem to think that tooting a lot helps in the traffic jam. Very dangerous driving habits are common (this was also the case in russia, but much less extreme).
We wanted to visit the Terelj national park near Ulaanbaatar, but that failed because the bus times we got from the Internet were probably wrong (there is no bus at 11:00, no matter what the Internet tells you). Instead, we made a tour to the mountains south of the capital, which was also quite nice and interesting nature.
We visited the Naran Tuul, which is a big market (REALLY big). You can get there just about anything, clothes, bicycles, food, solar cells, satellite dishes, ... We were warned a lot from pickpocketing in Ulaanbaatar in general and especially on the Naran Tuul, but we never had any problems with that.
One evening we visited the Tengis cinema, which I found a quite interesting experience. Movies there run in english with mongolian subtitles. The movie (Thor) was not so good (Pirates of the caribbean sadly wasn't running there yet). The cinema itself had much more atmosphere than the cinemas I'm used to from Germany. Below the cinema is an arcade - some crazy teenagers played a dance dance revolution-alike game in really unbelivable speed.