Urbaanbaatar City Walks 2019

In the recent months I have led several official Urbaanbaatar City Walks. All of them took place along one of the 8 main routes or a combination of two or three of them. The walks themselves were fantastic but it was the preparations that were the most amazing part of the process. Planning these routes 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 and 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 leading the tours was a fantastic experience and I am very glad I managed to share some of my passion for Ulaanbaatar with others, the most thrilling was the planning 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. I managed to divise 8 themed tours, each approaching a different area or theme and I can now say I feel 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!) but the main idea behind each of them is bound to remain, apart of course from the fact that probably all of them will evolve in more depth as I walk on. It already hapenned a few times that upon discovering a new path or amazing spot I altered the previously planned routes only on the 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 neighbourhoodss proved to be far more complex that 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.
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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