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Our Mongolian Trip – Part 3: In Ulaanbaatar

If you’re reading this, I’m hoping you’ve read my previous blog post about this topic. If not, it’ll make sense to understand what I’m mumbling about here.  Click the link below to read it!

I’d firstly like to say that this post is written in a way that describes my personal views and moments as they happened pre and along my trip to Mongolia. This may therefore mean the tone or grammatical arrangement of the content may be written in a documentary/diary-style language.

In reading this, I hope this gives you an idea of my adventurous trip to Mongolia with my girlfriend, who becomes my fiancée on this incredible trip to Mongolia.

Day 2 in Mongolia: Sunday September 20th 2015

Having had a rather nice sleep, we were determined to be tourists today. We looked up on things to do and decided to head out to explore.

We headed to the state department store once more to exchange some more money seeing as we had underestimated how much we could do with what we had exchanged in dollars.

Having done this, we headed out to one of the museums – the Mongolian museum of fine arts. One of the top sights from recommendations of every guide book about Mongolia. As we walked in search of it, we realised how condensed and highly populated the city was. With booming businesses and shops and restaurants, it was no different to your average local town really.

We soon arrived at the museum. We then came into another hurdle of purchasing admission tickets. We were ready to purchase two adult tickets when the lady serving us asked if we have student passes. This is maybe because everyone keeps telling us we look young. She must have thought we were students. We replied, “no!, we’re not students”. However as we kept trying to explain due to language barriers, she starts to sell us two student tickets which we guiltily failed to decline. We went through the two levels of this museums with beautiful traditional art of all forms, and soon headed out after about an hour inside.

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It’s was now about lunch time and needed some food, however, we decided to go to the next museum, Mongolian national museum but sadly forgot it was a Sunday and arrived to find it shut!

We then decided to find some lunch and go somewhere else after that.

One thing I highly recommend, if you have a smart phone, is to download on the apps store or Google play, an app called Maps.Me. It’s absolutely genial! Maps can be downloaded of entire countries for offline use. This is greatly useful when roaming charges are high when using internet abroad. Once downloaded to your phone you can use maps w/out the need for Internet.

We headed back close to our hostel as we knew we had abundance of restaurants on the high street on peace avenue.

We ended up settling for a noodle restaurant and soon tasted our first ever Mongolian dish.
I can’t sadly give names of the dishes but I can certainly say price was cheap and food was super tasty!
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With bellies filled, we decided to fall short for a siesta! Having figured Sunday would lead to a non productive touring to museum, we set off to go back to rest.

A few hours after and we were due to meet our expedition team members in another building of our hostel. We’d had the pleasure of meeting two out of six volunteers already and soon had the opportunity of meeting the remaining four, plus our lead scientist and guide.

We realised on arrival we were the youngest but also, that we were an hour late to a meeting that we were supposed to be at from 6pm. Our clocks on our phones had automatically updated our times to the Mongolian time but failed to apply the summer saving time. This had meant we had been behind schedule with everything for a whole day and a half since arriving in Mongolia.

Having met our team members, all of whom seemed to be above the age of 40 and mostly American and Mexican, we ended up with more catchup over dinner at a Chinese restaurant down the road. Catch up and plans for the next day and weeks ahead in camp brought many excitements. Our plans were to be picked up at 7.30 the following day, dropped at the train station to catch our 7 long hours train at 9 am, then upon arriving, jumping on an hour+ drive to our final location to camp.

We will be having two extra scientists joining us the next day, plus students already on camp as well as local horsemen who will be helping us capture some (endangered) Argali and Ibex to be tagged and monitored. Overall about 45 people including us on camp. Sounds exciting enough getting to do all of this, and meeting Mongolian students on biological and scientific courses.

Another exciting thing is getting to star gaze. We’re promised amazing evenings filled with stars, shooting stars and sights of satellites all above us.

In a few hours we would be leaving civilisation into the unknown. Into the Gobi desert for good causes, up close with nature and animals. N0 distractions from modern life, no internet or phone activity. No signals. Just 100 percentout in the elements of nature.

 All rights reserved to images. Please do not use without written permission.

Thanks for reading.

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