Third Day in Inner Mongolia (last day)

Trip Start Jul 28, 2009
Trip End Jul 27, 2010

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What I did
Visited a temple
Went to a museum
Visited a Kashmir factory

Flag of China  , Inner Mongolia,
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Despite my late bedtime i was surprisingly Ok in the morning. Leaving the hotel at the latest time possible (me and my room mate Matt) made the most of our sleep time allowing ourselves 10 minutes to pack and 5 minutes for breakfast. The bus almost left without us, but we got on it and thats what matters.
    Our first stop was the ‘Museum of Inner Mongolia’. Expecting to turn up to some wooden shack with that familiar museum smell; the museum turned out to be modern and quite impressive. Built in 2005, the building was probably most impressive on the outside. I was particularly looking forward to this day because i was about to see the largest dinosaur bone found in China. As i’ve been interested in palaeontology i was very curious to see what it was going to be, and just how big it was. The content inside the museum was rather disappointing when comparing it to some of England's museums. I had learnt a thing or two about good museum presentation from when i had work experience at the Natural History Museum, and wasn't too impressed. The dinosaur exhibition was very striking either, but i still enjoyed reading the bad Chinglish and guessing which dinosaurs were which. Im not quit sure if i saw China’s biggest dinosaur, but i did see a massive dino cast.
    After the museum it was time for a ice cream. I had discovered a new ice cream that looks like a feast, but the ice cream has porridge oats inside it. Best thing ever. 
    The next place we visited was a Buddist temple. Not sure of what the name was, but it was very similar to one that i had visited in Beijing, called the Lama temple. Golden photography moments, but the picture i wanted the most was one of a monk. Determined not to be like every other tourist and snap in their faces, i tried to gather the courage to talk to some of them. Unfortunately i never did, due to my poor vocabulary of Chinese.. should have just been rude instead. One magical moment was entering a room full of Buddist monks. They were all singing and chanting, so it must have been some special ceremony that they were having, I guessed a daily thing, because most of the monks were more interested at looking at the Europeans walking around the outside. I found it amusing that some of the monks strongly resembled the fat happy Buddha that i have in my garden.
    Our next destination was a hotpot. I really enjoy eating hotpot because it is the only time that i can guarantee that my meal is meat-free.  The reason why is because you cook the meal yourself, brilliant. Not like our “One man, One pot” restaurant in Sanxiang, where you have individual cooking appliances, at this place we had a large communal hotpot for the sharing. The meal wasn't particularly nutritious, we got a variety of leaves to use and one plate of Tofu. Nice.
    After hotpot we got on the bus again and went to  very unusual place and was quite unexpected. Inner Mongolia is famous for its expensive Kashmir (a very nice fabric used n clothes) So what better place to take us then no other than a Kashmir factory! Yay. As i walked around the place in pretty much a forced route, i couldn’t help feeling immensely confused why we were even there. Watching people make clothes isn’t my idea of fun, but thankfully they weren't sweat shop conditions. However i still felt incredibly guilty about watching people make clothes. Why anyone tried to make this a tourist attraction, i will never know. To get out we had to walk though several expensive factory stores (in which no one bought anything expensive). I was amused by Elphary pretending to shag a stuffed goat, but all i really wanted was another ice cream.
    It was time for us to go and get on the train back to Guangzhou. Another 40 hours of sheer pleasure to look forward to! It was quite sad at this moment because it was time for us to leave everyone again. In total there was 91 people on the Mongolian trip and the vast majority of people there were from the Teach and Travel program. We arrived at the train station. After shaking hands and hugging a few people that i didn't know the names of; i said my farewells to my closer friends James and El. Atleast i will see them again, because both live in England, i knew it  wasn't good bye forever”. Stocking up on lots of street food and getting some vegetarian pot noodles (which seem to be a rarity these days). We jumped on the train after a mad scrum to the platform.
    The train journey on the way back was quite anti-social for me, despite a lot of Chinese people talking to us. I read almost an entire book and listened to music.. i was ready to go home. The journey (thankfully) seemed to breeze past.
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