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Genghis and Gers


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Arriving anywhere at 6am is disorientating and UlaanBaatar is no exception- the blaring video billboards were particularly unwelcome and we resembled refugees as we camped out in the hotel's swanky piano lounge waiting for our rooms.

In the afternoon we took a walk to the main square and perused the surprisingly informative National Museum. I was a little apprehensive about seeing a touristy cultural show but the musicians were first class (although the contortionist gave me nightmares) We caught a taxi up one of the surrounding hills to a popular viewpoint complete with Soviet monument to catch the last of the sunset and ate shashlik fresh off the grill. It transpires the first of the month is a dry day in UB (as the expats call it). This made watching the United match in the hotel bar, which doubled as the meeting place for the Liverpool Fan Club of Mongolia, even more excruciating.

We started Monday with a visit to the principle Buddhist monastery, where they regard pigeons as sacred. Idiots. Interestingly, Mongolian Buddhist monks are allowed to marry and have children.

Our next stop was a ger (traditional yurt) camp in a national park, which seemed the ideal place to try horse riding for the first time (you'd never believe I grew up in Surrey) Unfortunately the horses are too used to tourists to go any faster than a walk but it was fun nonetheless. The countryside is spectacular and the granite outcrops put me in mind of of Dartmoor. The food was fantastic- buttery goulash, mutton that fell off the bone and huge steamed dumplings.

On our first morning a group of 50 Korean school children thought it was acceptable to start rampaging at 530am so a few of us moved to the slightly simpler, but more secluded, gers where a good nights sleep could be guaranteed.

We headed back to UB via the largest horse statue in the world (upon which sits Chinngis Khan, as we've been taught to call him) and had a quiet afternoon before bidding farewell to Mongolia in style; at a live music bar complete with a band from the Philippines doing covers of ABBA and Pink.

We left Ulaanbaatar as we arrived - sleep deprived at 6am. This time we were boarding our last train, the Chinese service to Beijing.

Posted by arianemeena 19:17 Archived in Mongolia

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Hi Ariane, Great photos and stories. Keep it up

by Jonathan

Amazing!i hope you have a pic of yourself by the giant horse for scale!did you drink any yak's milk?x

by Ali

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