Trans Siberian Railway | Ulaanbaatar (6,464km) - Terelj National Park

Moscow (0km) -> Kazan (820km) -> Yekaterinburg (1,814km) -> Tomsk (3,664km) -> Irkutsk (5,185km) -> Ulaanbaatar (6,464km) -> Beijing (8,015km) -> Hong Kong (10,265km) 

*The km count is based on how far I am from since I started in Moscow, not the actual km marks on the Trans Siberian and Trans Mongolian Railway. 
  • Moscow: Kremlin, Red Square, State History Museum, Izmailovo Market
  • Kazan: Kul Sharif Mosque, Kazan Kremlin, National Museum of the Republic State of Tatarstan, Bauman Street, Epiphany Bell Tower, Nizhny Kaban Lake
  • Yekaterinburg: the Europe and Asia border
  • Tomsk: Tomsk State University
  • Irkutsk: Listvyanka Dog Sledding, Lake Baikal via the Great Baikal Trail and the Circum Baikal Railway
  • Ulaanbaatar: Genghis Kahn Square, Winter Palace, National Museum of Mongolia, Gandan Monastery, Terelj National Park - Genghis Kahn Statue, Vultures, Camels, Traditonal Mongolia clothing, Turtle Rock, Lunch in a Yurt, horse riding, Ariyabal Meditation Temple
  • Beijing: Lama Temple, Forbidden Palace, Tiananmen Square, Great Wall of China, Old Summer Palace, China High Speed Train

March 30 (Wed) Ulaanbaatar Day 2 

The Great Western Hotel provides a serious breakfast, I've never seen anything like it. I went downstairs for “breakfast” at 8:30am. This time it was a lot of food again! More like a full lunch, with soup, salad, rice, chicken, yogurt, fruits, and toast. It was very delicious and I wish I had room for seconds.

I was picked up at 9:30am for my Terejl National Park day tour. It was our driver and the guide Anandi, she spoke super good English! Another Texan guy joined the tour so instead of paying $120 USD I only had to pay $60 USD. He’s also already been to 85 countries so he also has a lot of travel stories to share. 

First we went to the Chinggis Khann Statue which is 40 meters tall! There were vultures in front of the gate for tourists to hold and take pictures with. They have such cool eyes, with a clear second eyelid! Inside the statue it’s a building with souvenir shops and a free traditional clothing try-on corner! I had a blue green outfit which was very beautiful! The crown looked like a big boot and probably was as heavy as a full vodka bottle. Afterwards we went up to the 5/F to the horse head for a good view of the area, and in the distance I saw some sheep!! 

The second stop is the turtle rock, then we proceeded to get lunch with a local family inside one of those Mongolian tents – “Yurt”. They prepared this fried dumpling like thing stuffed with lamb meat, it was super delicious. (Huushuur). The family also had a super cute kitty, and it was just the most chilled animal ever. He was napping and one of the family members picked him up to put him outside, he just opened his eyes lazily, didn’t move any other muscle than that. But then he ran back in and sat next to me for a nap again once the door opened. 

After lunch we went for a horse ride all around the national park! I got a fluffy white horse, our hair matches! The scenery was really stunning, and along the way we saw some bulls just grazing, wild dogs, and other camps. 

After the horse ride, we went to the “temple of meditation” built on a very tall hill. It was for gods of the sky so they built it very high up with a view. It was a really long walk up with signs on the side from #1 - #150. You spin this wheel from Tibet temples and it lands on a number, then you go to the number to read off a message (some Buddhist wisdom) for you. I also bumped into the British couple I met on my train from Irkutsk to Ulaanbaatar, and they are also on the same train ride tomorrow to Beijing. 

We drove back to the city and I went for a nap again. There was a super loud Mongolian wedding downstairs, being on the top floor (5/F) I could still hear the Karaoke. Around 9pm I went down to the bar to order some room service, kimchi hot pot and a beer. The reception lady ran after me and stopped the elevator just to ask me what I wanted for breakfast. I said I’m leaving really early so they will prepare a tuna sandwich for me. The service is really excellent! 

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