26.07.2018 - 29.07.2018
This morning we travelled 40 minutes on a dirt road to Dalanzadgad, which is also located on the edge of the Gobi Desert. It is the capital of Omnogov Province. The airport is called Gurvan Saikhan.
We took a 75-minute flight back to Ulaanbaatar. We had the rest of the day free so relaxed at the hotel and in the afternoon, we went back to the state department store to do some souvenir shopping.
This morning we travelled 80km which took around 2 hours and arrived at Terelj National Park. It rained all the way there but despite the rain we had lovely views. We stayed in a Ger camp with beautiful alpine scenery just like the Alps in Europe.
The furniture inside the ger was beautifully painted, even our beds were really fancy.
There were also lots of wild flowers.
We visited Turtle Rock known locally as Melkhii Khad, it is appropriately named because of its resemblance to a turtle when viewed from a certain angle.
The weather has created bizarre shaped rocks.
From here, we visited Aryabal Monastery. Aryabala meditation temple was built in the 1810s by Mongolian and Tibetan artists in the Gorkhit valley. In many cases Buddhist monks from the Manzushir monastery came to this temple for meditation. The temple is more Tibetan styled. In 1937-1939 Mongolian communists came to this temple and destroyed it completely and killed some monks from this temple. Later in 2000 Buddhist monks of the Lamiran temple in Ulaanbaatar initiated the project to restore this temple.
Along the way there were lots of messages. Shane particularly liked this one.
The temple was carved from wood and had lovely colourful carvings.
There were paintings on the rocks.
This one says “Om Mani Padme Hum” which is a mantra and is the biggest of its kind in Mongolia. He who comes to the temple shall read the mantra 108 times.
We had great views of the area.
In the evening the sunset had a pink tinge to it. It was quite pretty over the mountains.
This morning we travelled 80km back to Ulaanbaatar, stopping en route to visit the Genghis Khan Statue Complex. This complex is located 54km east of Ulaanbaatar. The statue is 30m high and the complex itself is a total of 40m high. The statue was erected of Genghis Khan sitting on a horse and is said to be pointed in the direction of his birthplace. First you drive through this impressive gate.
There are also lots of Mongolian warrior statues around the complex.
The statue is made of stainless steel and is absolutely magnificent.
You can go to the top of the horse, you can people with their umbrellas.
When you enter the complex, there is a big Mongolian boot.
And a big Mongolian whip.
We then went to the top for a look. There was only a small lift, so we took the stairs. I was puffing by the time we reached the top.
We had lunch at the complex before heading back to Ulaanbaatar. In the evening we went to a folklore concert for our final evening in Mongolia.
They had more Mongolian throat singers. For those that have never heard it I have put a link here so you can see how amazing it is.
They also had musicians playing the horsehead fiddle. This fiddle has a carved horse head and only has 2 strings. They get so many sounds out of it including imitating a horse.
We the had dinner on the 17th floor of a hotel. It was a lovely meal and we also got to see the square and the city.
The square and government house.
Part of the square by night
Even government house was lit up.
We can’t believe Mongolia has come to an end. We have enjoyed every minute of our time here and could have stayed much longer. The scenery was amazing, the people were wonderful, and their hospitality was unbelievable.
We were sad to say farewell to Mongolia today. We were due to have an early start at 4am but late in the night we received a phone call to tell us that the 0625am flight had been cancelled. We would now be flying out at 1300. The flight was then late leaving Ulaanbaatar and it took a while before we got clearance to land in Hong Kong. We missed our connection. After some discussions with staff at the airport they told us that the next flight to Adelaide was 2 days away and that it already had a wait list so there was no guarantee that we would get on the flight. So we took the flight to Melbourne which left at 10 minutes past midnight and then arranged a flight back to Adelaide. Anyway we made it home so that is us signing off from another adventure.