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Location - North East Asia; Capital - Ulan Bator; Population - 2.7 million; Currency - Togrog

Continuing on the Trans-Mongolian from Beijing to Ulan Bator, we crossed into Mongolia at Zamiin Uud and headed on to the capital - September 2009.


mongolnote1Genghis Khan appears on the 50 Togrog note











mongol2The Trans-Mongolian heads through the Gobi Desert



mongol3The sand gives way to scrubland and rolling hills - Gobi Desert




mongol5The fancy restaurant car of the Trans-Mongolian















mongol8The wide expanses that define Mongolia - Gobi Desert
















mongol9The Trans-Mongolian winds its way from Beijing to Ulan Bator



mongol12Gers (called yurts in Russia) are portable felt-covered homes, common in the Mongolian countryside - Trans-Mongolian



mongol16Horses are a common sight in Mongolia - Trans-Mongolian
















mongol19An image of Genghis Khan, known as Chinggis Khaan in Mongolia, is etched into a hill on the outskirts of Ulan Bator



mongol20Arriving at Ulan Bator train station. I've also seen it spelt Ulaan Baatar and Ulan Batar. Take your pick!



mongol22Old and new. An office tower looms over the Choijin Lama Temple Museum, Ulan Bator















mongol25This former monastery was home to Choijin Lama, the brother of Mongolian ruler Bogd Khan - Ulan Bator














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mongol27Depicting hell - strange (and painful) goings-on in one of the 5 temples of the Choijin Lama Temple Museum, Ulan Bator $600 Bonus


mongol28Choijin Lama Temple Museum was completed in 1908, and displays several images of Buddha - Ulan Bator



mongol31Tasting airag, fermented mare's milk, on the way to Terelj National Park. It reminded me of sick.















mongol33An ovoo is a place of worship, usually made from a pyramid-shaped collection of stones - Terelj National Park














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mongol34Christina handles an eagle at Terelj National Park



mongol36View from the entrance to Terelj National Park



mongol38I started slipping when climbing this rock, then realised that animal fat had been smeared all over it - Terelj National Park














mongol43We stayed in this ger in Terelj National Park
















mongol48A novel way of weighing down the felt - Terelj National Park



mongol44At night the temperature drops significantly but the stove at the front of this photo worked wonders - Terelj National Park



mongol46Natural fuel - Terelj National Park
















mongol50I'm not sure if the food was for them - Terelj National Park
















mongol54The ger camp, close to Turtle Rock, Terelj National Park



mongol57Tomro, with his granddaughter, runs the ger camp - Terelj National Park



mongol58With her grandmother, also called Tomro, Terelj National Park



















mongol62Walking to Turtle Rock, Terelj National Park



mongol66A camel walks past Turtle Rock, Terelj National Park



mongol64Turtle Rock, Terelj National Park















mongol71A wandering camel in Terelj National Park
















mongol70Autumnal colours in Terelj National Park



mongol72Myself, Patrick and Christina roam around Terelj National Park on horseback



mongol77There's some excellent scenery in Terelj National Park, though a glut of buildings in some areas blight it somewhat














mongol78But I'd still recommend it if you have litttle time in Mongolia - Terelj National Park















mongol81Horses gather around a pool of marsh water in Terelj National Park



mongol59Chinggis vodka is not bad stuff - Terelj National Park



mongol85A Louis Vuitton department store will open soon in Ulan Bator. A huge poster of Sean Connery makes the announcement.















mongol84A fountain and small park on Peace Avenue, Ulan Bator
















mongol86The State Opera & Ballet Theatre is on Sukhbaatar Square, the central area of the city - Ulan Bator



mongol87Damdin Sukhbaatar was the main man in Mongolia's revolution. The country declared independence from China in 1921 - Sukhbaatar Square, Ulan Bator



mongol91In front of Parliament House is a huge statue of Chinggis Khaan - Sukhbaatar Square, Ulan Bator















mongol97Temujin, born in 1162, became Chinggis Khaan, or Genghis Khan (Oceanic King), after uniting several tribes - Ulan Bator















mongol98He went on to become the leader of the Mongol empire, the largest empire in history - Sukhbaatar Square, Ulan Bator



mongol100A henchman at the side of Chinggis Khaan in Sukhbaatar Square, Ulan Bator



mongol101To ther right of Chinggis Khaan is his grandson Kublai Khaan - Sukhbaatar Square, Ulan Bator















mongol30Looking away from the State Department Store on Peace Avenue, Ulan Bator















mongol105Gandantegchinlen Monastery is the largest in Mongolia - Ulan Bator



mongol106The Janraisig Temple at Gandantegchinlen Monastery, Ulan Bator



mongol107Prayer wheels line the right and prayer beds line the front of this Gandantegchinlen Monastery temple - Ulan Bator















mongol108The monastery managed to survive the Communist purges.
With the ousting of the Communist regime in 1990 it began full Buddhist ceremonies - Ulan Bator














mongol108aGandantegchinlen Monastery, Ulan Bator



mongol110Gandantegchinlen Monastery, Ulan Bator



mongol113Tasgany Ovoo is the small stone pyramid at the top of this hill in Ulan Bator















mongol116The Palace of the Bogd Khan was the home of Mongolia's last king, the Bogd Khan, who reigned from 1911 to 1924 - Ulan Bator














mongol117Palace of the Bogd Khan, Ulan Bator



mongol120Close to the National Academic Drama Theatre, which hosts a very good traditional music and dance evening that includes throat singing, is this Irish pub - Ulan Bator



mongol121It had been over 25°C the day before, but snow marked the start of several days of poor weather - Ulan Bator















mongol122The start of a tedious 9.5 hours at the Mongolian and Russian border posts started on the Mongolian side at Sukhbaatar



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LINKS - Mongolia tourist board - useful info on Mongolia - online guide to Mongolia


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