Mongolia: Gorkhi-Terelj National Park + ULB

9th November 2015

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Buddhist quotes along the path to the Monastery

The hike up the Monastery- also called the Aryapala Meditation and Initiation Center was much needed after another night spent inside the ger. The Buddhist quotes along the path leading to the Monastery reminded us that it is a sacred place.

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We later stopped at Turtle Rock and since they are a symbol of longevity and wealth in Buddhism,  many people would leave behind a few notes for good luck. The return to ULB marked the end of the great tour  and a goodbye to the stunning scenery that I had the pleasure of seeing.

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It was superb to run away from the heavy smog that choked Beijing over the past few days.  As the only one left from originally four residences of the Emperor of Mongolia, the Winter Palace Museum sounded like a convenient stop before leaving for good.
However after arriving there, we were told that it’s closed.  Seriously, who would close a top attraction on Tuesdays?

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Post Office is towards the South side of the Square. I wonder if there is a traditional Mongolian Romeo and Juliet tale.
Post Office is towards the South side of the Square. There must be a Mongolian version of Romeo and Juliet.
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View from the bridge- non-stop development on both side. Goodbye Mongolian blue and hello miserable Beijing grey

Like every escape, it is only temporary. Although I should be happy that I’ve gained “me-time” and finally ticked Mongolia off my list, I became sad and emotional at the airport since airport = departure. I was totally quiet and receiving texts about work nonsense made the departure even more painful. I can’t stand myself- when I get emotional… I don’t talk to anyone. I sit in silence and make no eye contact. I drown in my emotions. I didn’t want to leave. I couldn’t bear talking to Li Chin and Kenneth since I can’t believe that the trip is over and I dread the thought that this could be our last trip together. In a few hours, they will leave me….they will leave me.

I avoided looking at Kenneth and Li Chin because I’ve become attached. I cling onto people that I like. It is very rare to find such great travellers who is kind enough to let me join them on this Mongolia adventure. Since their flight back to Singapore was around midnight, I decided to drag out my escape by filling the grey return with Beijing Duck. I desperately wanted Kenneth and Li Chin to stay for a few days more. I was prepared to smack them across the face with more ducks and I’ve thought about kidnapping them so that I won’t feel so damn lonely. Saying goodbye was painful especially when you become accustomed to their face. I wanted to go to Singapore or Malaysia instead of Beijing.

Good things come to an end and escape is an escape- you always have to face the music.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 3.18.40 PMHIGHLIGHT:

  • Froze my socks off whilst sleeping inside a ger.
  • Along with Li Chin and Kenneth, I survived breathing in hours of cow dung.
  • Helping Li Chin wash her hair (hehe)
  • Tried to catch a goat and not realising that I’ll be holding its severed head one hour later.
  • Having the wonder two darlings guard the door while I go pee pee in that wooden shed which offered such a great view of Mongolia.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed staring into blank space whilst at the Semi-Gobi desert and realizing that nothingness along with emptiness is what I need from time to time so that I can escape and breathe….

I hope this will not be the last trip with Li Chin and Kenneth…Crap- I’m getting emotional again.