City Tour

Trip Start Jul 17, 2008
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Trip End Aug 16, 2008


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Flag of Mongolia  ,
Sunday, July 27, 2008

Today was supposed to be an 'off' day.  But out local habitat staff have pretty much booked an entire day's worth of touring.  First stop was the Gandan Monestary.  It's main building houses a 28 meter tall statue of Migjid Janraisig.  Around the inner wall of the building are the remains of 10,000 dolls.  Many were lost or destroyed during the war.  We were able to hear monks chant in another building.  Prayer wheels were outside in the courtyard and in most public buildings.  Buddhists would spin the wheels and go around the room clockwise twice.  Each wheel has a prayer and spinning the wheel allows buddhists to 'read' the prayer.

After this we went to the state department store.  Not sure if it's government run but it was well stocked with brand names.  At North American prices.  I didn't do much shopping there.

After lunch we headed over to the museum of natural history to check out some dinosaur bones.  The bones were very cool and it was impressive to know that they were found in the nearby Gobi desert.  They had claws that spanned 4 feet (just the claw part!) and hips that were 10 feet.  Some big, big dinos!

Then we rushed to the friendship monument to climb the steps.  The monument was erected to celebrate the friendship between Mongolia and Russia.  The top also had spectacular views of the city.

Dinner was at a pub near the Mongolia affiliates' office.  This was supposed to be a quiet night.  It all started to go downhill at this dinner.  The beer started flowing.  Round after round.  When the keg ran out, we switched to bottles.  Then shots came.  And these were HUGE shots.  They must have been at least triples.  Ouch.  Needless to say we were all very drunk by the end of this dinner.

The plan had been to head off to karaoke after dinner.  But due to drunkenness only a few of us made it out.  There were 5 from Canada and two of the Mongolian staff made it out.  When we finally got the room it was insanely hot.  We figured out how to use the machine and proceeded to sing (poorly), dance (unevenly) and stumble through songs for the next two hours.  When we ran out of time on the machine, Deegie (from Mongolia) sang a Mongolian song accapela and then Ashik (from Canada) sang a Hindi one.  A great way to end the evening!
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