Saturday, 10 July 2010

underway in Ulaanbaatar

Arriving in Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia, the last remnants of daylight lit the mountain tops that create a natural bowl around the city. As the plane neared the runway I could see innumerable round tents that are known elsewhere as 'yurts' but in Mongolia are known as 'gers'. The population was once entirely nomadic. Although there are towns other than the capital Ulaanbaatar, there are still many nomadic people travelling the mountains and deserts.

On landing I was informed that there are two reasons why I would have seen so many gers. Firstly, this weekend sees the main national festival Naadam so many people will have travelled to stay with their family for the events (more over the coming days). Secondly, last winter was one of the harshest in the country's history. As such many people have been forced to give up their nomadic ways and move to the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar. They have erected the Mongolian version of a shanty town. It looks a lot prettier than those I saw in India or South Africa.

Time for some sleep. Mongolian of the day:- hello :: sain bainuu