After being almost three weeks on the road, it was good to relax in UB for some days. On monday I went to the chinese embassy to apply for the visa. Not knowing, what will expect me there, they accepted everything and told me that I could pick up my visa on friday. Although I would have planned not to use the plane until my arrival in Hongkong, I decided to do that. Going to the west of mongolia on my own by bus would have been a seven days journey for both directions. And due to lack of alternatives I decided to make a tour to the west by plane the following monday.
With the guys from the Khuvsgul Trip I went to see the Tumen Ekh Ensemble one evening. They are the most famous group in Mongolia when it comes to performance of traditional dancing and Khomii, the throat singing. The show was great, although very touristic.
On tuesday I met per coincidence Christian, a guy from Regensburg. We both were quite happy to be able to communicate with someone else in our own dialect again. He was on his way with Kat, a girl from Poland, and Koki, a guy from Japan. We spent most of the week together doing some sightseeing and singing Karaoke. Around midnight I left them, everyday, because I wanted to see some games of the Worldcup and the othere were not that interested in football. This week was great fun. We visited the Zaisan memorial, which is a monument dedicated to the Russians in WW II, the Bogd Khan monastery and the winterpalace. Also we went to the cinema, watching 22 Jump Street, one evening.
On Friday afternoon I went to the chinese embassy to pick up my passport. When I arrived there, some 80 people were there. I queued at the counter for pick up and as I saw that the first guys were all sent to a different counter, I had my doubts, if I could pick up my visa. I think, it was due to their nationality, because they were either Mongolian or also Indian. Some minutes later I left the embassy with my passport containing the visa for China. Hope, that this was the last bureaucratic burden on my trip. Although Mongolia is a great country, I’m already looking forward to cross some border again.
On Saturday I made a daytrip with three guys from the US to see the nearby Gorki Terelj Nationalpark and the Genghis Khan Statue, which were both located 80km’s outside of UB. In the evening it was time to say goodbye to most of my companions of this week. They went on some trip on Sunday and Kat and Koki will leave the following week. Christian I will meet again, when I’m back from the West when we are on the same train to Beijing.
On sunday I spent hours with updating my blog and prepared for the trip starting on monday.