I am not sure if The State Department Store is indeed a Government of Mongolia undertaking (thus the term ‘State’ Department Store) or not.

What would I ever do without Google and Wikipedia. NO! The State Department Store is NOT a Government of Mongolia enterprise! However it is widely considered to be at the top of the list of shopping malls in all of Mongolia.

What would I do without Andrej’s amazing maps! The center red balloon is The State Department Store. My apartment building is the left red balloon and Chinggis Khaan / Sukhbaatar Square the heart of downtown Ulaanbaatar is the right red balloon.

This is a program of honesty. Do any of you think that I just happened to wander into The State Department Store! Oh NO! DSCN3853[1]

My Main Man Changer took me to The State Department Store when my cell phone was stolen. All of my roads lead to MY TEAM here in Ulaanbaatar.

“Oh good grief Captain. Why would Changer take you to The State Department Store to deal with a stolen cell phone?”DSCN6022[1]On the fifth floor of The State Department Store is a state-of-the-art MobiCom cell phone center that is open late!
DSCN6018[1]I have three MobiCom cell phone centers that I deal with. This one is the absolute tops. The staff speak excellent English and I mean to tell you they are sharp and technically capable.

To get to The State Department Store I ride the bus East from my apartment toward downtown Ulaanbaatar on Peace Avenue. I have two (2) major-landmarks that enable me to exit the bus at the proper bus stop. Without my land-marks I could not find my way around Ulaanbaatar.

On the NORTH side of Peace Avenue .. On the LEFT side of the bus .. I have the Peace Mall to spot. It is easy to see because it is another one of Ulaanbaatar’s splendid buildings. DSCN6002[1]Yes I have gone into The Peace Mall also.
DSCN5977[1]On the SOUTH side of Peace Avenue .. On the RIGHT side of the bus .. I have the Ulaanbaatar Department Store to spot. It is also easy to see because it is a large prominent building.
DSCN6449[1]The below facade is so easy for me to spot.
DSCN6446[1]After I exit from the bus I walk East 1/2 block and there it is .. Taa-Daa.. The State Department Store ..DSCN6088[1]
DSCN6090[1]Its letters are just a bit hard to see so I shot the below three photos to more clearly show its name.DSCN6003[1]


DSCN6005[1]The State Department Store has two side entrances.

The EASTERN entrance. DSCN6395[1]Now that you know what you are looking for you can see the Eastern entrance below.DSCN6396[1]The Eastern entrance is .. in and of itself .. another of my land-marks because I meet people here.DSCN6394[1]

The WESTERN Entrance.DSCN6011[1]As with the Eastern entrance .. now that you know what you are looking for in the below photo of the Western side of the building you may be able to spot the Western entrance. It is just above the two cars below.
DSCN6392[1]The Western entrance is a bit more upscale. I also meet people at this entrance so it too is one of my land-marks.DSCN6389[1]There are no entrances at the back of The State Department Store. The North side is all delivery business.

O.K. Into the MAIN entrance off Peace Avenue we go. DSCN6095[1]Voila! .. We have entered The State Department Store.DSCN6097[1]



Right off the bat .. a Tourist Information Center! This is so nice. This is so considerate. This IS Mongolia. This is my experience.DSCN6099[1]Charm up your holidays with Thomas Sabo! Love it! Love Mongolia!DSCN6100[1]Downstairs on the first (street level) floor is a fully stocked and spotless grocery store.
DSCN6032[1]It is the same grocery chain as my local grocery store.DSCN3809[1]



The entire center of The State Department Store is an open area. That is a real airplane you see up there in the ‘sky’.DSCN6102[1]Looking down on both the airplane and the open central section of the store.DSCN6023[1]It looks like a model airplane but it is real and capable of flight. You can clearly see this large open area in the center of the store. It makes for a very pleasant ambiance. This is one very nice store.

DSCN6113[1]Do any of you see what I see in the below photo. I can practically ‘smell’ what I am seeing!DSCN6118[1]Yes! The One.. The Only .. CINNABON ..DSCN6024[1]I mean we all deserve to sit down and relax after seeing this store don’t we. It is up on the top floor.DSCN6028[1]Well not exactly The One The Only .. there are TWO CINNABON shops in the store.
DSCN6398[1]Oh Good Grief Captain. Is it really smart to be hanging over the edge of the escalator shooting photos?DSCN6017[1]Notice at the bottom of the above photo there is a camping and outdoors activity department! I mean .. WOW.

Along with your camping you want a little physical fitness do you?  I thought you’d never ask!DSCN6117[1]I hate to say this to you BUT .. I TOLD YOU this is one phenomenal store didn’t I?DSCN6116[1]Some clothing for your work-outs.DSCN6409[1]Or for your walk-outs out in the woods and mountains.
DSCN6408[1]I mean .. Has The State Department Store got-you-covered!DSCN6410[1]

LEVI’S an international name-brand.DSCN6109[1]Several more name-brands. I don’t know the Pepe Jeans London brand but I sure know THE NORTH FACE and CROC’S.
DSCN6110[1]Well! Patti and Claudia and ‘Zilla and who knows who else loves their Kitty ..DSCN6121[1]What Do You Know! I could NOT believe this Department!
DSCN6027[1]Are you all ‘Catching-On’ here? This is one fun store!

Look under the word Majestic .. Do you see what I see?DSCN6120[1]A real Book Store ..DSCN6026[1]What a store! Captain! You are repeating yourself here!DSCN6025[1]Books and some more books.DSCN6439[1]In with the Book Store is a Hobby Department.DSCN6438[1]


The Mongolian Civilization has learned how to make new little Mongolians !DSCN6112[1]Amazing! .. We certainly don’t want the new little Mongolians to want for anything now do we?

A nice Men’s Wear Department ..DSCN6412[1]It is much MUCH larger than I am showing here!

Many things for all of the Ladies ..DSCN6407[1]

Ah-h-h I’m not sure what the below aisle is BUT .. It is NOT Masculine!DSCN6428[1]

House wear .. And then some ..
DSCN6419[1]Some very nice items .. DSCN6414[1]
DSCN6415[1]Cook wear .. They have cook wear ..DSCN6423[1]
DSCN6440[1]The entire range .. from fancy to daily use items..DSCN6424[1]Just a small sample of house wear.DSCN6016[1]Talk about first class international quality goods..DSCN6014[1]The Bedding Department is very nice. The entire store is very nice.
DSCN6015[1]I purchased two very nice blankets in this department.
DSCN6422[1]On the floors of your home you may want carpeting.


There is my store again .. NOMIN ..DSCN6019[1]

Something for the music makers .. Gullible noted in her comment below ..

Those musical instruments are one of the most important instruments in Mongolian culture. They are called morin khuur or horsehead fiddles, and traditionally are strung with horse hair. Nylon is replacing that, though. At first I thought they were balalaikas, but balalaikas have three strings.

DSCN6429[1]I mean .. I mean .. I mean does The State Department Store have the stuff!

Some more stuff .. A knick-knack or two just for you ..

Some pretty nice knick-knacks below for your ceiling ..DSCN6420[1]

Where to put the below photo .. The male figure is modeling the very traditional Mongolian attire ..

In real life .. the very distinct and traditional outfit ..

Nice .. Customer Care .. We will help you out so come into our store.DSCN6115[1]

Oh YES! A store like this is constantly changing .. It is probably NEVER-ENDING ..

A nice display in one of the stair wells between floors.

WOW! A 50% off sale!DSCN6106[1]It sure looks just like back-home to me.DSCN6104[1]There is a low-budget section too.DSCN6122[1]Some more Ladies wear .. DSCN6103[1]

DSCN6107[1]The State Department Store WANTS YOUR BUSINESS!DSCN6119[1]Another PATTI Department! .. FLOWERS !DSCN6388[1]
DSCN6403[1]Flowers .. Very Very Nice Flowers ..DSCN6386[1]Quite a store!

I guess that maybe Jarden is close to Garden.


DSCN6436[1]Tell me about it ..
DSCN6434[1]We do NOT want the Mongolians to catch a chill do we!

I am going to close with the following RHETORICAL QUESTION ..

DoYOU  think thatYOU  could find something thatYOU  need in The State Department Store .

With Joy .. Cap ..


  1. Patti

    Oh my goodness … that is SOME DEPARTMENT STORE … a multiple of stores, a variety of stores that seems to be some of everything. Beautiful. Thank you for the comprehensive “tour” … loved it! The Kitties and the Flowers especially made me feel all warm and cozy! See you soon!!! Love, Patti

    1. cap chastain

      How about the fur coats? Did they make you feel warm and cozy? I KNEW you would love the KITTY HOUSE and the wonderful FLOWERS. I so enjoyed YOU enjoying the post as we proof-read it together. You seemed to be very happy reading along. Just think .. soon you will be able to visit The State Department Store in person with me and no doubt Gullible. Love .. Cap ..

  2. z

    Friday, October 16, 2015 – 11:00 am

    Hi Cap!

    A very nifty store! I can assume it’s like a Walmart/Target/Sears all put together! A question for you: how are the prices, that is compared to the average wage of the Mongolian worker – do the local folks make a decent wage and can they afford most of the goods in the “Department Store”? A similar question about the price of cars, i.e. reasonably priced for the average citizen?

    I believe you, Patti and Gullible will have a great time traveling in Mongolia, visiting all your friends and of course having a great time in Hong Kong! Since Patti has already been to HK, it will be nice to hear what Patti and Gullible think about Mongolia! Will you be renting a car and driving throughout out the countryside, any commercial tours via bus, etc, etc, etc?!

    I will see a “Kings” game tonight and will be leaving in about 3 hours as it is about 2 to 2 1/2 hr drive to Stables Center in downtown LA. Fortunately most cars are heading out of the city and I am driving into the center – thank god – or it would probably not be a fun drive!! Our Kings – and Ducks are not off to a good start as the Kings have lost 3 straight games, including opening night and the Ducks have lost their first two games! Ugh! Not a good start! I can look back and see I was very lucky to see so many games and the last game when the Kings won the Stanley Cup! Super nifty!

    Have a safe trip on Sunday – and it’s getting to be a “milk-run” for you on Sunday; and I look forward to more great stories and pictures. Your blogs are really nifty – great photos and description – like I noted before, it’s just like I am walking along beside you!!

    Have fun!


    1. cap chastain

      It is perhaps just a tad more upscale than Wal-Mart / Sears / Target .. yet it does have some seemingly moderately priced merchandise. Those fur hats and coats are definitely very up-scale! I simply CAN NOT NOT NOT talk prices in the store and what the working Mongolian earns. I do know the store is BUSY and full of shoppers. With 1.35 Million people here in Ulaanbaatar many of course do have money. Same with automobiles. The streets are full of new late-model cars. So someone has the money to afford them.

      NO NO NO car rentals. But we will be in a private car driving North 350-km to Sukhbaatar from Ulaanbaatar. I have put together for Gullible a three-day two-night very full formal tour. We three may do a formal tour to the Gobi Desert.

      DO NOT GET INVOLVED in a California MUD SLIDE onto the highway as you go to the Kings Game. The river of mud I saw on the news looked absolutely horrible. Amazing no one was killed. Then the mud set-up and all were frozen into place.

      I could write-a-book. Smiles and Thanks for your interest ‘Zilla. Cap ..

  3. Jeanne Follett

    Wow! Looks like a pretty upscale department store. Those musical instruments are one of the most important instruments in Mongolian culture. They are called morin khuur or horsehead fiddles, and traditionally are strung with horse hair. Nylon is replacing that, though. At first I thought they were balalaikas, but balalaikas have three strings.

    1. cap chastain

      WOW! Thanks for your input on the musical instruments. Maybe I should do a copy / paste and include your info in the post itself. When YOU walk The State Department Store I hope it looks ‘kind of familiar’ to you. Much Joy .. Cap ..

      1. Jeanne Follett

        It reminded me a lot of the GUM in Moscow, except the shops in the Gum were independent of the others, rather than a department store. They were VERY upscale, with lots of customers. Photos in the shops were forbidden, but I managed to sneak a few from the outside. Actually had a security cop follow me to make sure I didn’t take a photo in a fabulous food store. I like to visit food/grocery stores as it gives me an idea of the culture from a gastronomic point of view.

        1. Cap Chastain Post author

          I am not sure IF these shops are independent .. or fall within the ownership of the store. Some sure look very independent and if so it is more like a mall we are used to. We can ask when you are here. Joy .. Cap ..

        1. Cap Chastain Post author

          Oh YES photos are not really totally allowed. My age and demeanor seem to help me snap them. But in The State Department Store I was asked more than one time to not snap a photo. So I did NOT. I just doubled back around or waited for another day to get the ones I wanted. Smiles .. Cap ..

    1. cap chastain

      So pleased you enjoyed this post Shaddy. Just think .. BOTH Patti and Gullible will soon be here with me in Hong Kong and then in Mongolia. Wow .. Much Joy .. Cap ..

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