It was serene morning in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. March 15, 2018, me and Andrea, woke up early. Both of us are volunteer in Taiga Guest House and Tours.I’m Adit, 25 years old, solo traveler from Indonesia and Andrea, female solo traveler from Norway.
Minjin Gantulga, as the owner of Taiga Guest House and Tours invited us to relish the Central of Mongolia in one day. We start our trip from Minijn House in Ulaanbaatar. It took 1 hour and 11 minutes from Ulaanbaatar to Genghis Khan Statue. Along the way, we saw vast yellow sand dunes mingled with the beautiful white snow. Surrounded with various size of hill and crystal blue sky made ourselves exhilarated to start the trip. It was spring on March 2018 in Mongolia, so the weather was not really cold, it was warm, around 10 until 60 celcius.
When we arrived in Genghis Khan Statue, there were 3 big eagles greeted us. I was happy because we can take picture as close as we want for free, there were no barriers between us and those animal, no big cage nor fence that separate us. They were tame animal, so you don’t need to worry about the safety. Not really far from that eagles, we saw the mighty and shiny silver statue on the top of the building. Yup, that was Genghis Khan Statue on horseback. We were so impressed how big and beautiful that statue, stood under the blue sky. It was 40-metre (130 ft) tall of that statue.
If you saw this statue, It was pointed to east towards Genghis Khan birthplace. On the top part of this building there were 36 columns representing the 36 khans from Genghis to Ligdan Khan. It was designed by sculptor D. Erdenebileg and architect J. Enkhjargal and erected in 2008.
We went to the inside of this building, and we saw the immense of Mongolian boots, it was 4678 meter high and approximately 250 cow skins and 10.000 meter needle was used to make this boot. On the right side of this boots, that was also enormous whip, the size itself around 4 meter. We went to the downstairs, there were many pictures of Mongolian history, the interior of ger and Morin Khuur or known as horsehead fiddle. Morin Khuur is one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity identified by UNESCO.
When we finished walk around, we went to the outside and we saw there were numerous of Mongolian Warriors statue on horseback under the blue sky and surrounded with scenic view.
From Genghis Khan Statue, we continue our trip to Terelj National Park. It was one of national park in Mongolia. It was paved road and took around 50 minutes driving. The first thing that we saw was the Immense of turtle rock, it has 24 metres (79 feet) high. It was awesome because the shape of this rock totally like a turtle laying under the blue sky on vast land.
Not really far from the turtle statue, there was monastery. It just took 15 minutes to get there. It was Aryaval monastery & Méditation center. Secluded monastery surrounded by scenic mountain. We paid 2.000 tugrug to enter this monastery. Along the way to the peak of this monastery, we saw a lot of wisdom words, around 144 buddhist teachings written on the wood panel, and praying wheels to every visitor. It took 30 until 45 minutes until we arrived on the peak. We passed a small wooden bridge. It has a meaning that the bridge leads beyond wisdom.
The main temple was dedicated to Kalachakra philosophy, ”wheel of time”. It contains a thangka representing the myth of the Shambhala, it was painted on cotton or silk.
When you walked to the main temple, you will passed 108 floors which means sacred number in Buddhism. Those stone stairs will lead you to the main temple, there are also 108 small stupas and 108 prayer wheels were placed around the temple.
It was great trip for us, not only scenic views but also enrich our knowledge with the historical place in Mongolia.