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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ulaanbaatar day 1


We arrived early this morning to Ulaanbaatar to a sunny day.  We gathered all of our belongings and boarded a bus to the hotel.  Fortunately we were able to check in early.  I really needed a shower after the hot box at the border on the train.

Once I was refreshed we headed to the center of town to the parlement building.  It is a beautiful imposing building with a sitting statue of Genghis Khan guarding the entrance.
Parlement building in Ulaanbaatar.
Genghis Khan is a national symbol for them.  He ruled over the Mongolian empire and was responsible for overtaking much of Asia and reaching into Europe.  He is on the money, on statues, on building, and just about everywhere you look.  Then we went to a Buddhist temple and learned a bit about their customs and beliefs.  Afterward we went to the natural history museum.  Ulaanbaatar has the second largest dinosaur fossil collection on display, following only Beijing.  Most dinosaur fossils you see on display in museums are fiber glass replicas.  The displays pushed the typical evolutionist agenda.  Yes, I do believe dinosaurs existed, just not pseudo-science that goes with it.  The stop was still well worth taking the time to see it.

Then for lunch we had Mongolian barbeque.  This is something I was looking forward to, and it did not disappoint.  It was a lot of show...with fire, flying food, noise and presentation to go with it.  I sampled as much as I could without overeating and it was scrumptious!  We were able to do a little shopping today.  Then we went to a overlook of the city, to a monument showing the countries history, and a large Buddha statue.

After a quick refresher back at the hotel we went to Mongolian theater.  There we were treated to traditional music, dance, and acrobatics.
Contortionists
The throat singing is quit spectacular.  The whole thing was very entertaining.  We capped off the evening by going to a Czech restaurant right in the heart of the city.  Overall Ulaanbaatar impressed me very much!

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