Friday 18 Aug
Ulaan Baator, Mongolia
Throat singing, Dalai Lama and Anal Andrew
Back in Ulaan Baator and back to our luxury apartment although this time the first night was on the couch, due to a booking glitch (otherwise known as a very disorganised, albeit sweet hostel owner) - oh how the mighty have fallen.
UB is a hectic place compared to the peace of the country and most travellers just use it as a base to getting out into the rest of Mongolia. We did a bit of shopping and visited a buddhist temple area as well as went to a talk on meditation at the buddhist centre. It was very interesting and we found out that the Dalai Lama was due to visit on the 20th (if the Chinese didn't close the border like they did the last time he tried to get in), which was unfortunately just after we left. We hope to get another chance to see him with my folks in India in November.
I forgot to mention that we also saw a show on Andrew's birthday displaying Mongolian horsemanship, arrow shooting, wrestling, dancing and throat singing. The throat singing was really unique and something we had never heard of or seen before. We almost bought the $20 CD but thought again when we remembered our Nepali music CD, amongst others, gathering dust at home. It is very hard to resist cluttering up ones life.
I made a mental note to stop mocking Andrew for being so anal when I found out that the Ulaan Baator - Beijing train tickets now have a waiting list into October meaning that many who started their Trans Mongolian trip won't be able to finish by train. I admit I felt a little smug when we boarded our train and proud that my husband was just so damn organised.