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Published: October 1st 2007
Soldiers dressed in traditional uniforms for their parade to welcome us to UB. We can only wish - it was really for the President of Laos.
This is a bulk blog of Mongolia with lots of photos to ogle.
Arrived into Ulaanbaatar (or "UB") and had a wander around Sukhbaatar Square, the National Museum of Mongolian History, plus the Monument to the Russian Heroes (wonderful panoramic view of UB). Also attended a Mongolian music and dancing concert - the traditional throat singing (known as "Khoomi") was awesome.
The next day we went to a ger camp in Hustai National Park to see the wild Takhi horses (also known as Przewalski horses), which were truly magnificent creatures. The Takhi are the last remaining wild horses in the world, and have 66 chromosomes instead of the usual 64 chromosomes in regular horses. We were fortunate to see 3 different herds.
Then it was onto Terelj National Park in the Khentii Mountains for 2 days of R&R. Different scenery altogether. Instead of the wide open steppes, the terrain was rocky with high hills covered in beautiful autumn foliage. Got to see lots of birdlife and other animals (eg - marmot, gopher).
On the way to our next campsite, we were able to witness how they milk the mares. The mares' milk can be drunk warm (supposed
It's traditional for wedding parties to be photographed in front of the statue of Chinggis Khan in Sukhbaatar Square.
to contain healthy bacteria which cleanses the insides) or fermented into 'airag' which is a favourite Mongolian beverage. Have to say that 'airag' tasted like the leftover water from feta cheese which left a tingle on the tongue (like sherbet fizz) and a lemon aftertaste (sour). Very unique flavour.
Finally we visited with a Nomadic Family where we were able to walk and ride horses in the open steppe. It was so peaceful. Nothing to negotiate other than grazing horses, cattle, sheep and goats - a world away from Sydney's peak hour traffic. The Mongolian countryside is spectacular. I think it would be fantastic to come back and see more on a horse-riding expedition.
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