After some late night border procedures we arrived in Ulaan Baatar in Monglia. A quick coach tour of the city which now contains 50% of the population of Mongolia with all the urban congestion and traffic issues that that implies…………
The Main Square with large monuments to Genghis Khan and a visit to a Buddhist Monastery with a HUGE gilt Buddha and lots of chanting monks and prayer wheels for days. Then back on the bus for a long drive out of town into the countryside. First stop a VERY HUGE Stainless Steel Statue of Genghis Khan on his horse and various other Khan related exhibits……….
Then a trip to a National Park to a “traditional” Nomadic village with Gers and Lunch after which there was a display of Mongolian national sports – Wrestling, Archery, Horse Racing etc. Audience participation was encouraged……….
A visit into an authentic living Ger before a tedious journey back into Ulaan Baatar and gridlock ! An unsuccessful visit to the State Department Store in quest of souvenirs – Bling, Dead things, More Bling and loads of Cashmere. Then across town for Dinner and time to say farewell to some of our fellow travellers who had opted out of the final 3 day train journey to Vladivostok.
After dinner entertainment included throat warbling (to a backing track) a team on horsehair cellists (with a backing track of Abba !!) and a very supple contortionist.
Then back to the Train for re-entry into Russia for the 3 day train bound trip to Vladivostok.