A Travellerspoint blog

Day 11- Ulan Bator

The Mush Pit At A Sporting Event

sunny

Today I went to the opening ceremony of the Naadam Festival. What can I say. it was truly invigorating! The atmosphere of the crowd was incredible. As the soldiers, monks and participates marched out the crowd literally blew up. They then did a performance of the national instrument, Morin Khuur and a choir performed. The president of Mongolia,Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, then opened they ceremony. Again, the crowd roared and this time I joined in. The phrase "Now the real fun begins" was repeated numerous times and I soon worked out why. As the wrestling (where the men literally only wore undies) and archery took place in the arena it was like being in a mush pit or rave. The crowd was jumping around screaming, clapping and booing. The effort to stay standing was tremendous. The amount of times I lost my balance and fell I do not know. It all soon got a bit much for me and the sweat I was collecting off other people was disgusting so I went outside for some fresh air. Outside was a lot calmer and I truly got a taste of the Mongolian culture. I observed the cultural art, took many pictures of the Giant Chinggis Khaan statue and literally devoured all the delicious barbecue food. However, my peace did not last long as before I knew it the horse racing was coming to an end and the crowd was packing up with supporters as they all gathered around eager to see the winner. After an afternoon listening to the live music I went back to my motel, showered (getting rid of all the sweat I had accumulated) and went straight to sleep after a light dinner. Nadaam_Opening_Festval.jpgHorse_racing.jpgOpening_drumming.jpgWrestling.jpgGiant_Chinggis_Khaan.jpg

Posted by sherington 05:15 Archived in Mongolia Comments (0)

Day 10- Ulan Bator

Ulan Bator

semi-overcast

After sadly leaving Beijing the day before, I finally arrived in Ulan Bator after a 2 day train trip. I was very exciting looking out the window at all the people and buildings as I chugged past to the station. The crowds were increasing and so was the atmosphere as tomorrow is the opening of the Naadam Festival. The biggest Festival in Mongolia. I booked into my room that looked cosy and warm and went out for dinner. I decided to go to to Luna Blanca and was happy with my choice. It was a vegan restaurant the food their was incredible. I got the Mongolian share plate (all to my self) and a dumpling that left me feeling satisfied. Not only was the food good but the service was fast and the waiters were very friendly.Festival_practice.jpgFrozen_trees.jpgFrom_hotel..preparation.jpg

Posted by sherington 05:15 Archived in Mongolia Comments (0)

Day 9- Beijing

The Wacky Pool At Olympic Park

sunny

I woke up excited, eager for my Olympic tour. I couldn't wait to see the arenas in which world class athletes had performed. I got on the bus that took me to Olympic Park. On the bus I felt a bit intimidated and flustered due to the amount of people on the bus and the amount wearing masks to protect them from sicknesses. However, once I was there this feeling was immediately gone and replaced with adventure. I was going to be the guide of my tour today. I already had a plan of what I wanted to see so off I went. WOW! Is the only word I can use to describe my experience. It was exhilarating! The structure of the buildings were incredible. I could only imagine the atmosphere it would have been like competing or watching the games that have created history. I visited the National Stadium, that is known as the 'Birds Nest'. Not only was it the icon of all the arenas but the structure did look like a bird nest with poles going everywhere. I also visited the aquatic arena. Luckily, I bought my swimmers and was able to swim in the pool and ride down the wacky water slides they have created the aquatic center into now. After a hectic day navigating myself around I went back to my hotel and prepared for my epic Taiji Quan Class.

My Taiji Quan experimental class was thrilling. Taiji Quan is an ancient marshal arts class in China that is about the soft overcoming the hard. Not only was the class amazing but the venue outside the Temple of Heaven was beautiful. I learnt many of the basic skills like rolling back, elbow striking and pressing. I was then put to the test with what I acquired during my lesson. My competitive spirit came through and I really got into it. Somehow (don't ask me how) but I managed to win! They gave me a small Chinese gift of a sweet bird, carved delicately out of jade. The class than ended and I went home sweating and exhausted, ready to pack my bags to leave the next day.Water_Park.jpgWater_Park_.jpgBeijing_Stadium.jpgTaiji_class.jpg

Posted by sherington 05:15 Archived in China Comments (0)

Day 8- Beijing

Meeting the Cuddly Bears

semi-overcast

After a quick brekkie provided by the hotel I was on my way to begin the Panda Tour. The tour began with seeing all the animals in the Beijing Zoo. All the animals were all so full of personalities but I admit my favourite animals in the zoo were the panda bears. They were so happy and playful. Watching them eat their bamboo was like watching my brother demolishing a whole packet of chips. An expression full of pure delight. We then, after a short drive, arrived in the sacred Lama Temple (It reminded me a lot of the Imperial Palace Museum in the Forbidden City). It was a glittering temple that I would call a Buddhist firmament. The collection of Bronze Tibetan Buddhist statues were something I purely adored so of course I bought a miniature replication of one. We then moved on to the Summer Palace, the royal gardens of the emperors and their imperial families, where I sat and ate my lunch overlooking the Kumming Lake. It was such a peaceful, personal time where I was able to let myself go. Once we finished at the Summer Palace I was feeling refreshed, renewed and excited to aboard the boat for the cruise. The scenery was beautiful. I admired the ancient buildings and mountains along the bank. Being out in the open with fresh, cleaner air brushing my face was just what I needed. We soon arrived back from the cruise and the guide took us back to our motels.
For dinner I went to Garden at Lama temple. It was such a sweet restaurant in such a detailed building. For dinner I had freshly cooked dumplings and pulled noodle that was absolutely divine. Next time I come to Beijing I will definitely come here again.Summer_Palace.jpgRoyal_Gardens.jpgSwinging_time.jpgPandas.jpgMonkey.jpgIMG_8601.jpgDinner.jpgCruise_boat.jpgBuddhist_statue.jpg

Posted by sherington 05:15 Archived in China Comments (0)

Day 7- Beijing

The Ferret At The Great Wall

sunny

I woke up today after a refreshing sleep in a comfier bed than the trains and eager to embark on my Beijing Classic Tour. This meant that I (yes I) got to walk onto the famous Wall of China. The tour started with a visit to the biggest square in the world, Tiananmen Square- the heart and symbol of Beijing. Being the biggest square in the world I just couldn't get my head around how big it was. I browsed through the Great Hall of People and then adventured through the National Museum of China. The drawn from life: The Art of Disney's Animation Studios exhibit was definitely my favorite exhibit. It was incredible. There were over 300 art objects each unique and eye grabbing. After walking around Tiananmen square we went to the Imperial Palace Museum in the Forbidden City. Wow! The fine detail in the architect blew me away. Walking up the long set of stairs to the door I felt like a child walking out to start my hunt for Easter eggs. It was soon time to leave the magical architect and was time to discover the Wall of China! On arrival I was mesmerised by the length of the wall. The part we visited was one of the best preserved sections of The Great Wall of China at Badaling. While we were walking along, intently listening to our guide tell us about the history of the wall, a yellow weasel like animal came hurrying past. The guide paused, startled as well. During his long pause I could feel my heart pounding, but then to my relieve he said 'make a wish'. This really confused me, however, I soon found out that the animal was a Huang Shulang and was considered lucky. After our adventure on the wall we then went back to Beijing city center where we shopped at Longdi Jade Factory. It was a very busy factory with some beautiful jade jewelry being sold. I didn't buy anything, though, as I had already been warned buy numerous people not to buy anything form the factory as it is extremely overpriced and in some cases not even real jade. Once we were done in the factory I was dropped back home where I chilled before dinner. Forbidden_City.jpgGreat_Wall.jpgThe_Great_Wall.jpgtiananmen_square.jpgLongdi_Jade_Factory.jpg

Posted by sherington 05:15 Archived in China Comments (0)

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