I'm In "Outer Mongolia" - Literally!
"It's like Outer Mongolia out there today", a sentence many British people might use to describe any cold weather! Us Brits love talking about the weather after all. Well, I can officially say it IS like Outer Mongolia outside today, because I'm here in Ulaanbaatar, the capital, for an education event put on by the British Government.
The event is designed to promote British education and the education system in Mongolia, and I am one of the guest speakers and Master of Ceremonies for the evening concert. Many of Mongolia's government officials and business leaders will be attending, as will the British Ambassador, Philip Malone.
As a history graduate, I've always wanted to visit the remote but beautiful land of Genghis Khan (pictured), who was the founder of and first Great Khan and Emperor of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history from the 12th century. They don't call him Genghis here though, it's Chinggis, and the The Chinggis Khan Equestrian Statue that you can see in the picture above, is 131-foot (40 m) tall! You won't go long without seeing Chinggis somewhere in Mongolia.
The country is truly stunning I must say, the people are so friendly and the weather is SO cold! -40°C in winter. It's unlike anywhere I've ever been before and is definitely a place for those that like an adventure. I've been in China for the last two weeks for business and it's a much slower lifestyle here, although the traffic is the worst I have ever seen anywhere in the world! 1.5 million of the 3 million population live in the capital and the infrastructure can't cope with such a large (and growing) volume of people. But away from UB, you can go hours without seeing anyone. It's liberating and I highly recommend a visit!