My Trans-Siberian Journal

Planning the Trip | Moscow | The Train | Ulaan Baatar | Back on the Train | Beijing

Sunday, November 4, 2007 - continued. Almost immediately, we were approached by a woman who ran a guest house, speaking very good English, offering to give us a ride into town for free, then we could have a look at the guest house and decide whether or not to stay. I could tell from the map that the location was decent, and would save us a taxi ride into town, but we needed to meet up with the company that was bringing Em & M their train ticket first, so we politely declined. After quickly finding the person with the tickets for Em & M, we ran into the woman again. We were a little nervous that the offer was too good to be true, but it beat trying to get a taxi (or probably 2 taxis) into town and trying to find a guest house, so we took a chance.

We took two cars to the Golden Gobi Guest House which was located right around the corner from the State Department Store, and a backpackers hostel that was in the guide book. The woman who met us at the station was Uugii, the guest house owner. After leaving our baggage in the common room, we took a quick tour of the place, and were given breakfast and tea (for no cost). At only US $16 per night, which included breakfast, being able to move into our room in about an hour, and private warm showers, it seemed perfect, so we stayed.

We socialized in the common room while our rooms were being cleaned, and met some American students living in Irkutsk, Russia. Impressively, they spoke Russian to each other. (I, personally, would only speak Danish to another native English speaker if they were in my Danish class and we were practicing speaking Danish together, unless there were Danes that were taking part of the conversation.) It was interesting hearing what it was like to live in Russia, but it sounded like there wasn't more to life than school and the host family. They generally didn't even go out after dark.

After taking over our rooms, everyone slept the rest of the morning, but me. I caught up on my journal and planned what I would like to see in UB. We decided to meet up around 14:00 to go find some lunch.

After taking some pictures at Sükbaatar Square, we headed off for lunch. Our lunch destination was Indian, the Taj Mahal, which was recommended by one of the guests we met at the guest house. It was in my Mongolian guide book, so we followed the map to where we thought it should be. After searching for over an hour and not finding it, we decided to try something else. When we found that restaurant, it was closed, so we looked at M's guide book and set our sights on Indra Food Planet, since it was nearby. We again had trouble finding it, and basically gave up, but when we turned back for the main road, Kim actually saw the restaurant. Indra is Mongolian fast food. It was quite cheap, tasty, and lots of food, so everyone was very happy with the choice.

After finally having lunch, it was almost too late to go sight-seeing, but we decided to take a walk through town and look for some souvenisr, as well as check out the circus to see if it was in town.__

We arranged with Uugii___

Monday, November 5, 2007. Our tour started at 9:00. The driver arrives and just beeps the hon a few times. We pack up the mini-van, and the four of us our on our way with our driver, Dashnyan, and our tour guide, Duuvee (Uugii's mom). Only a few minutes after leaving, we are surprised that we have arrived at a site so quickly. We start off by stopping at the International Buddha Center and the Zaisan Memorial. The steps up to the Zaisan memorial, are enough to shake off the morning chill. At the top there is a good view of UB, which also show's it's bad side. Since these sites are south of the city, the next part of our trip was sitting in UB traffic.

Once free of the traffic, we head north east to Terelj, which took about 1.5 hours, on what could be defined as a paved road, but was often rougher than a dirt one. I didn't actually see a sign saying that we entered the park, but we did go through a gate. There are ger camps everywhere around here

Copyright ©2007 Lisa G. Hansen
Last Modified: July 6, 2008