It was a very sunny day when I arrived at Chinggis Kaahn International Airport on Air China from Singapore via Beijing at around 10 am in the morning. I was greeted by the lovely Esso Mercedes and her cousin, both extremely well-dressed ladies, who had organized this adventure in Mongolia.
They drove me through the chaotic traffic to Ulan Bator with one of the four Mercedes G350 series they have. A fabulous jeep that is, of course, classier than a Hummer in my view of the world. When I say chaotic traffic, I mean it took us about 2 hours to get from the Airport to the Hotel which normally would take around 30 minutes. Traffic in the city is stopped, log-jammed and intersections are a free-for-all with cars blocking others in all directions wanting to turn or go straight. With all the honking going on, it seemed this was a normal occurrence as my new friends had said.
“Conquering the world on horseback is easy; it is dismounting and governing that is hard.”
Genghis Kahn or Chinggis Kaahn
From the outsider’s point of view, this would seem like a chaotic traffic. The Mongolians do see this as crazy, yet on the other side, it’s about finding a new road to take just like you would do everywhere else.
It was certainly an energetic introduction.
I stayed in a hotel called the ‘Khuvsgul Lake Hotel’ which is a very decently priced, clean and friendly hotel with pretty good sized rooms. It is one block from the Parliament and accessible to the main areas of the town of which I have found to be very walkable. The hotel is named after the famous, very large, lake in Mongolia. I was grateful to get unpacked and get out in the sun which was a bit chilly and not the heat of Singapore. Fall is approaching! The lovely ladies left me there and we organized to meet up later in the afternoon. Now, this global nomad will begin exploring the city!
Kevin Cottam, the Global Nomad