Day 127: Country #16
We started the day a little late because the Gers, large traditional Mongolian tent dwellings, were very warm and the weather was a bit brisk outside. I also took time to wash all my socks. Breakfast presented opportunities to talk with a few of the other guests to get some suggestions, then the two other travelers and I made our way to the city center to visit the museums again.
With power fully restored, the National Museum of Mongolia was open as was the Natural History Museum. We learned about Mongolia’s history of dinosaur fossil discoveries, the Khan family and the Mongolian empire, as well as culture and traditions.
Then we walked the entire way south to the National Amusement Park of Mongolia, but instead of going into the theme park, we went to the open public space which contained the Tumen Ekh Esemble theater, featuring a traditional Mongolian performance group. The group consisted of very adaptable and flexible singers, musicians and dancers as well as a contortionist.
The show alternated between dance routines, songs, and story telling, then ended with dancing gods in full costumes.
On our way back, we took an indirect route, stopping by local markets to purchase some snacks, then moved parallel the train tracks toward the train station so we could get a closer look at the massive sound wall that was built to protect the soviet style neighborhoods. I saw much irony in these walls.
When we got back to our Ger which was located on the roof, I took stock of the unique architectural styles surrounding the city and the distinct eras of Mongolian history which they represented. There are four distinct styles; traditional Gers, eloquent renaissance, mass soviet-era revolutionary blocks, and modern glass infused high rises.
As sunset approached, we returned to the area around Megjid Janraisig temple to enjoy an evening stroll and to look for less pricey meal options because the town center charges a premium.
The exact same dishes at restaurants will often be significantly cheaper in restaurants outside the city center or tourist hubs. This is mostly because rents are higher in more popular areas, so the owners need to charge more to cover the rent.