Mongolian Insight: 2 days in Ulan Bator
Trip Start Jul 01, 2009
24Trip End Sep 07, 2009
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Where I stayed
DAY 15: UK to Australia without flying
Idres Guesthouse, Ulan Bator, Mongolia
So it has been a couple of days since my last entry but with everything being so hectic it couldn't be avoided. I will continue from where I last left off at the Russia-Mongolia border. Well the total time to complete the crossing and continue the journey was just over 9 hours! The longest part being the 7 hours waiting around on the Russian side. This didn’t really help me as I was worrying about my visa, but luckily all went well and turns out the entry stamp I got in Belarus was sufficient
At around 05:30 I was awake and quickly packed my things away and by 06:00 we pulled into the station at Ulan Bator. I said a quick goodbye to my friends from the train and started walking to my guesthouse, but after half an hour of walking decided to catch a taxi. Being in Ulan Bator felt like I was finally in Asia even though I had crossed the Europe-Asia border in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
The guesthouse I was staying in was very nice and looked recently renovated it was also very busy and after walking around Ulan Bator found that the city was a hub for tourists from around the world. It’s crazy to think that when I was in Russia there were very few tourists but just across the border in Mongolia it was the opposite.
I spent the whole of the 14th July walking around Ulan Bator and taking in the sights of Sukhe Bator Square, Gandan Monastery, Bogh Kahn Palace and the Zaisan Memorial all impressive in their own way
After dinner I decided to go grab a few drinks and ended up in a small local bar and was asked to sit with a local couple. We spoke about quite a lot and the couple seemed to be confused why I as a 25 year old didn’t have a wife and children. It seems the culture in Mongolia for a man is to get married and then show your manhood by having lots of children although I guess this is not to dissimilar to the culture back home. They also offered to take me on a tour but with only one more day in Mongolia I had to decline. After a few too many Tiger beers I said my goodbyes and headed back to the guesthouse to get some sleep.
Today has been a lazy day really with a nice sleep in and then just sorting my things out for the train tomorrow morning to Beijing. I had a walk around the city again, grabbed some lunch and picked a few things up from the supermarket for the train journey. I think I will finish the day off by having another Mongolian BBQ for dinner as who knows when I will get to eat this sort of food again. I now wish I had planned to have more time in Mongolia so that I could’ve gone out and seen more of this amazing country, but will definitely have to come back in the future.