We took the train from Beijing to the Mongolian border. The trains in Mongolia use a different rail gauge from China, so at the border they take the train into a workshop (and with everyone aboard) jack the carriage up and change the undercarriage and wheels.
We stayed for a couple of days in Ulan Baator and also stayed for a night at a ger (traditional Mongolian tent) camp. The camp was in a really beautiful location and the gers are tourist ones and very comfortable. I was expecting to see lots of desert in Mongolia, but the camp site was in a location that could have been in a European Alpine area.
We also got to see a traditional Mongolian wrestling competition that was being held out in the countryside.
We visited a memorial to Soviet soldiers who died during the war.
We also ran across a Mongolian wedding party.
Ulan Baator has some really nice Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.
And surprisingly Ulan Baator is also home to the International Intellectual Museum (they have lots of puzzles). But their standards aren’t too high because as well as me, they let George W. Bush in when he visited.
Traditional Mongolian Greeting:
Mal sureg targan tavtaiyuu
(I hope your animals are fattening up nicely).
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