Capital Return

Trip Start May 18, 2005
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Trip End May 18, 2006


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Flag of Mongolia  ,
Friday, May 27, 2005

After our escapades in the Wilderness we were driven back into Ulan bataar, the capital, which is an awful looking place. Dirty and too spacious and with loads of those ugly looking soviet buildings that were built by the communists. The people are well dressed though and have the latest cars and phones and all the rest, but the place is falling apart around them. The buildings are crumbling, the roads are shockingly bad, and there are over 2000 street children who live in the sewers beneath the city. They come up during the day to beg and it breaks your heart to have to pass them by. Most of them are between about 3 and 7 years old. They usually die before they get any older. At one stage I had about 10 of them crowd around me and try to grab the some of the food that I had in a plastic bag out of my hand. I felt terrible trying to stop them, but if you let them take it you only encourage them to steal again, so I made them stop grabbing and handed it to them when they behaved, which they were completely surprised at. They left me alone after that.

Our guesthouse was a bit grubby, but was really the only decent place to stay in the City. The Ger we stayed in was much nicer.

We were glad to leave Ulaan Bataar, there's just something wrong with the place, but I would definately come back to Mongolia again to go back into the wilderness.
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