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  • Day24

    Last call in UB

    September 18, 2019 in Mongolia ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    Just to mention a few things before we close on Mongolia.....

    Brief history of Mongolia. The Mongolian hero Genghis Khan created the biggest Empire the world has ever witnessed in the 13th Century which ran from Poland to Korea. The Khan dynasty eventually collapsed and by the 1600’s Mongolia was overrun by the Manchurian Chinese who ruled the country until 1910. At that time the Chinese were driven out by the Mongolians with assistance from Russia. Mongolia was then truly independent for ten years, however in 1920 the Russian Bolsheviks led by Lenin exerted more control on Mongolia (peacefully) and from then until the break up of the Soviet Union in 1990 Mongolia was ruled from Moscow, with a substantial number of Russian soldiers stationed in the country. In 1990 a peaceful revolution saw the Russians withdraw and Mongolia became an totally independent country again.

    Oddities here include.......The Mongolian language is strange and sounds to us like a mixture of Russian, Pakistani and Welsh! It was a beautifully scribed language, used for centuries, that was written top to bottom rather that side to side. The Russians outlawed its use in 1940 and converted all script to Russian letters which remain to this day. The traditional Mongolian written language is now unfortunately dead.

    Vehicles drive on the right in Mongolia, however their cars are a complete mix of right hand and left hand drive cars, as many of their cars are bought direct from Japan where they drive on the left. This mix and match arrangement certainly does not help the traffic problems in UB and some of the more eccentric driving arrangements we have witnessed outside of the capital.

    We were surprised to see virtually no bicycles nor motorbikes on the roads in UB. One reason is that it’s too dangerous due to the kamikaze car driving. The other is that no one in their right mind would attempt to ride them between October and May when it is normally below 20C.

    We‘ve been so very lucky to have enjoyed brilliant weather every day whilst in Mongolia with brilliant blue daytime skies and clear starry nights, however we read that Ulaanbaatar is officially the coldest Capital City in the World with an average minimum of -25C in Winter.

    Their currency Is the Tugrik (3,200 to the £). There are no coins and the smallest note is 50 Tugrik = 1.5 pence and the biggest 20,000 Togrik = £6.25.

    It’s now definitely goodnight from us here in UB.
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