Buddhist Temple in UB
by Kato and Gaz
Buddhist Temple in UB
So we woke fairly early today...for us anyway, around 08.30 and after showering and breakfast headed out towards the temple, aiming to arrive at 10 am and catch the monks praying...unfortunately we miss judged how long it would take and got there 10.15 so missed the monks but still had a look around.
You have to pay 2500 per person to get in which is nothing but be aware of some of the other buildings you want to look out inside the complex because you will have to pay extra for them! Anyway first we decided to visit the main temple (where your tickets get checked and if you don't have them you have to pay) and on the way up i'm nervously looking around desperately hoping not to ofend anyone!
Luke's constantly talking in my ear saying, remember, don't turn your back on the Buddha, that's offensive, don't whatever you do sit in the the Buddha's hands or on it... apparently he's seen the severely pissed off security guards literally drag a guy out of a temple before for sitting in the Buddha's hands to get a photo, and it would no doubt be worse if the locals got hold of you first! So i'm now feeling even more nervous than i was before so thanks for putting me at ease! I was also a little worried that at the time i was wearing a strap top becuase it was so frigging hot!
What i didn't think of is that normally for us lovely ladies you have to have your shoulders covered when in the temple...this one however, you can get away without but don't walk around in a bikini or anything that shows off too much flesh or they will get peeved! Anyway, we finally make it to the entrance and although i'm nervous in we go and WOW... At 25 metres high and made out of copper and gold plated it was enormous. However, it is not the original! According to our litle information leaflet, the original was made out of pure gold but destroyed by the Russians. The one now standing in it's place has been made entirely with donations from people in Mongolia...amazing! Walking around the temple there are an enormous amount of smaller Buddha's placed on shelves that literally go from the floor to the ceiling, it was a truly incredible site.
Everything has obviously taken so long to carve and it was all perfect, the detail was superb, it looked so decorative. I was truly amazed...although still concentrating on everything Luke had told me in a desperate bid not to offend anyone! I think we did ok, and after spending sometime walking around the inside of the temple we made our way back outside and to the building next door. This one you have to pay more money to go and walk around and because there we're obviously monks being taught we gave it a miss and moved along to the next building where again, there we're monks being taught so we gave it a miss. After looking around the rest of the temple we made our way back to the main entrance /exit and stopped off at the shops on the way where we bought a necklace each.
After the temple we headed towards the museum of natural
history, a fair walk but the heat was the main problem! Unfortunately we never made it to the natural history museum becuase it wasn't where we thought it should be...so after some bad map reading we visited the mongolian history museum instead. Although we didn't get to see the remains of any dinosaurs the museum was still very good. They have a lot on Mongolian history including a lot on Chengis khan which, is actually pronounced Chengis not Gengis...as well as the clothes that we're once worn, the Ger's (houses) etc. We avoided the art gallery that is also in the museum, deciding it wasn't for us we carried on to the other floors.
Anyway, after visiting all 3 floors we headed outside and starting trying to figure out how to get back to the hostel for a late lunch. Whilst planning our route, for the first time in Mongolia, we we're approached by street sellers, kids selling paintings, which, they said we're their own work. After declining the offer we made our way back to the hostel and on the way stopped at a couple of souvenir shops (as us tourists do) and picked up a couple of nice bit of art work from a lady who had obviously painted them herself as we walked into the shop to find her painting! And after getting them at a discount because she got her English numbers wrong we headed for the hostel again and some food for our starving bellies.
After lunch we decided to try and catch up with some more blog stuff, deciding that we should try and keep as updated as possible so we don't end up with another 30 days missing that we'll have to do when we get back in Sept...!! So a couple of hours later in an extremely hot cafe getting frustrated at staring at a computer screen i decided to go and get supplies for the train tomorrow morning. After having such a bad trip from Moscow to Ulan Baatar we decided to spoil ourselves! So with way too much food later i headed back to the hostel and chilled waiting for a sweaty Luke to return from the internet cafe.
Once Luke came back we headed back out to the shops to get way too much water (too much for me to carry by myself earlier on) and some fags so luke didn't become the nicotine monster over the next couple of days. And once we we're all sorted with supplies I went and watched trainspotting while Luke chatted away and booked us accomodation on the net for Beijing. After watching that classic film it was time for dinner and having pasta salad again but cooking twice as much so we could take some on the train with us, a cheap but filling dinner and a cheap but filling lunch for tomorrow as well, a good plan we think.
A very relaxing evening really and being the clever folk that we are, well i am anyway, we turned down the offer of a night out knowing that we had to be up nice and early to catch our 08.00 train the next day. With that i went and packed and enjoyed the big comfy bed and duvet for the last night before those good old hard train seats!!