Two Years Off Photos from a backpacking journey around the world

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Mongol Days: Ulaanbaatar & Terelj

Aboard the scenic 14-hour journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway, we crossed the border into Mongolia, where we stayed in Ulaanbaatar and explored Terelj National Park. Being fortunate enough to live with a local family in the ger (yurt) village on the outskirts of town, and meeting many new friends from a local NGO, we soaked up as much of the culture as we could. Between the warm, welcoming people and beautiful, rolling prairie of the Mongolian Steppe, we immediately fell in love with our first experience with Mongolia!

The majority of Mongolians practice a form of Buddhism closely related to Tibetan Buddhism

S├╝khbaatar Square in the center of Ulaanbaatar is named after revolutionary hero Damdin S├╝khbaatar, who liberated the country from China during the Qing dynasty

Massive statue of Chinggis Khaan (Genghis Khan), who founded and united the great Mongol Empire, sits in downtown Ulaanbaatar

Relics of Soviet influence are still evident around Mongolia’s cities

Cave exploring in Terelj National Park

Serving suutei tsai, or salted milk tea

Picnic lunch before hiking up the mountains

Tray of buuz, or steamed dumplings

Mungu goofing around!

Beautiful scenic vistas of the Mongolian prairie

Yummy wild strawberries

The ger village on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar houses the majority of the city’s population

Four-year-old Muntho having a good time!

Living with the Begzsuren family in their ger home

Playing games with the kids

Kevin helping Jamsranjav fix up and build a new wooden base for our ger

Our Mongolian family! Thanks for letting us be a part of your family Jamsranjav! We loved our experience and can’t wait to see you and the kids again one day!

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Finally Home After 716 Days!