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Ulaanbaatar: cashmere, concert + disco

Monday 4th July

We go away early, and with good roads and one stop for lunch on a hillside, we were back in Ulaanbaatar in good time. But before going to our hotel we stopped in the cashmere factory outlet "Goyo", where we spent a couple of hours while everyone bought clothes as presents.

Peter and I checked into our hotel, put a big load of clothing in to a nearby laundry and went to visit the National History museum. Most of the others went shopping again, since they were flying out the next day — in one case at 4am! — and this would be their last chance.

a traditional instrumental ensemble
the contortionist
That evening the group went to a "cultural performance", which involved singing, instrumental music, dancing, and a contortionist. This was in a run-down Soviet era building, but the organisation behind it seemed to have successfully made the transition from state-sponsorship to tourism, as the (apparently daily) performance was packed.

Eve tries to get herself arrested
Mongolian girls at the disco
We had dinner in the Taj Mahal Indian restaurant. Everyone was giving each other advice on their later destinations — Seoul and Beijing.

After we got back to the hotel, half a dozen of us ventured to the disco next door. The dance floor had a few Mongolian girls swaying gently in their precarious high heels, but Patti and Justin and Jaime and Eve and Sussanah livened things up when they joined in. I did my sixty seconds — this was my first visit to a disco ever, anywhere — but spent the rest of the time experimenting with photography under multi-colored strobes, with and without flash. I went to bed before 1am, but some of the others kept going much longer.

Tuesday 5th July

The hotel had no running water in the morning. We had breakfast with what remained of the group, then said our goodbyes and headed off (leaving our luggage temporarily in storage).

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