Great Wall of China, Mutianyu Section
So the night before my trip to the Great Wall I decided to get completely rad and stay up until 4:30 drinking with people from all over the world. We had Brits, Canadians, Germans, Americans, Aussies, Kazakhs and Chinese in our drinking party. It was one of the best nights I’ve had with complete strangers. The next day I had to be up at 7:00am to catch a bus out to the wall. I was literally still drunk by the time we got there and it was almost 100 degrees. I was pretty miserable until I got up on the Wall and realized I was at the Great Wall of Fucking China and I had to man up and do this shit! Luckily there were old Chinese ladies positioned along the wall selling beer and drinks. I just kept drinking and was able to walk the length of Mutianyu.
Terelj National Park, Mongolia
In honor of Naadam, here’s a picture of me riding a horse in Mongolia. I named this horse Gary and Gary was kind of an asshole. It seemed he did not want to be a horse and insisted on spending most of the day trying to bite me or galloping off in every direction but the one I wanted. Eventually Gary and I meshed and came to an understanding. The next morning while climbing up some rocks I saw Gary being an asshole as the nomad boy tried corralling the horses. So it wasn’t just me then.
Some random shots from one of my favorite cities, the rugged, beautiful UB. Visit it and its people, you will be surprised.
Inner Mongolia near the China-Mongolia border
As the first day on the train came to an end we were nearing the border stop of Erlian, China where we’d be released for hours as the bogeys on the train were changed. We passed this wind farm in the middle of nowhere as the sun was nearing the horizon and I took this picture with my iPhone. The 30 hour train ride ended up being a very zen-like and relaxing experience while never burdening me with boredom.
On a humid, August day I tried visiting the Forbidden City but was soon chased off by the immense crowds gathered waiting to get into the inner part of the ancient palace. I wandered off through the steamy crowds and came to this small park just to the east of the main entrance. It was shady, cool and very quiet so I stopped to hang out a bit.
I <3 UB
Ulaanbaatar gets a bad rap in just about any travel guide or travel site you read and frankly I think its pretty unfair. I love UB and found it to be a beautiful and vibrant city with different looks, friendly people and an electric pulse that coursed through the streets. Things are happening in UB, good things and the evidence is everywhere. The city does have its rough edges and dark side but any good city with a solid personality has these things. The wealth gap is very visible and immense but that happens in ever young, developing nation of the modern era. Ulaanbaatar can be dangerous to foreigners but usually if you’re not very bright or unaware of your surroundings. It reminded me of San Francisco in the 1800’s. A boomtown that was wild yet springing forward in great leaps due to wealth flowing into the city. The Wild West with iPhones. If you give it a chance and explore the city you will find its charming ruggedness, appreciate its beauty in multiple forms and forgive its flaws. UB has a lot of qualities I like in women so its no surprise I fell in love with the city.