Urbaanbaatar City Walks 2019

In the past months I have led several Urbaanbaatar City Walks. All of walks took place along one of the 8 main routes or a combination of two or three of them. Leading these walks was a very pleasant experience but I found even more pleasure in something else namely, planning the routes. It required dozens of hours of preparations, in this case meaning mostly walking, often repeatedly along the same or very similar paths, developing conceptual narratives for the walks, calculating walking distances, altering itinerary details in order to fit the most in the shortest time and then gathering additional information about the spots and areas to be visited. Although the walks themselves were a fantastic experience and I am glad I could share some of my passion for Ulaanbaatar with others, it should come as no surprise that exploring on my own and then conceptualizing the spaces in question was the most thrilling part of the process. Walking several hours a day, jumping over or crawling under fences, crossing under bridges, dodging cars, giving random locals directions on getting to places I often knew better then they did, being repeatedly stupified by discovering amazing spots or ending up in unsuspected dead-ends, enjoying breath-taking views and soaking up Ulaanbaatar’s amazing energy – all of this and much more weaved the fabric of each of the itineraries. As mentioned above, I managed to divise 8 themed tours, each approaching a different area or topic. I can now say that all of them have proven themselves worthy.  Obviously, as the city develops and morphs, the exact routes will remain subject to change (meaning additional scouting required every now and then – can’t wait!). The main idea behind each of them is bound to remain, apart of course from the fact that they will evolve and their stories deepen as I walk on. It already hapenned a few times that upon discovering a new path or amazing spot I altered the previously calculated routes on the same day that they were to be walked. My two favourite routes went along the stretch of Ikh Toiruu and around the area which I named the InterRiver. Both neighborhoods proved to be far more complex than I could have expected. The groups of explorers I led walked both in rain and sun, dust and mud, daylight and streetlight. We clung to wooden fences and climbed steel ones, spoke both Mongolian and English, visited Encanto and Dari-Ekh, saw the Selbe and Tuul rivers and had tons of fun and inspiring conversations. I’m coming back with more walks in 2020 so stay tuned !
You can read general descriptions of the itineraries on the page linked above and see some pictures from the tours below:

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