A sightseeing day. We set off at 9:00 this morning in a Lexus SUV with Turuu driving to spend a day sightseeing outside of UB. We picked a route east from the city towards what we had been told was a giant silver statue of Genghis Khan (also spelled Chinggis Khaan) on a horse made out of stainless steel. In the flesh this statue is enormous and it sits on top of a building that houses a couple of museums, a cafe, and in the foyer a 9 meter high traditional Mongolian boot and a 4 meter long Mongolian horse whip. The place was quite popular with a good number of visitors, mostly Mongolians, though with a healthy sample of tourists. In the foyer one could hire traditional Mongolian clothes (from the Chinggis period) and dress as one of the Mongol Horde. This was very popular with locals who seem to enjoy reliving their conquest of much of the world.
After visiting the Genghis statue we took a side road to "Terelj National Park. The road through this park runs down a series of valleys between picturesque granite outcroppings that are adorned by scattered stands (sometimes quite large) of larch trees. Again there were quite a number of locals out enjoying the weather, horse riding, picnicking and generally relaxing. There were many GER camps along the road offering accommodation and food. Nina eventually recognized this as the area in which we stayed at a Ger camp in 2006. We did not find the exact camp but recognized other buildings and various landmarks. At the end of the road we walked for a while in the forest growing in the bed of the Tuul River and after watched tourists getting ready for a horse ride.
During our return journey to UB we saw a couple of car crashes, including a roll-over. A timely reminder of Mongolian driving habits and once back in UB proper we got a good dose of traffic congestion.