August 8: Erdene Zuu Khiid (Monastery), Site of Karakorum

On the way, we stopped at an unusually large ovoo, or shamanist/Buddhist prayer structure (usually stone or wood decorated with silk prayer cloths and other offerings).

At the site of Karakorum, capital of the Mongol Empire, there is now only the Soviet-era town of Kharkhorin, though there is some excavation going on to find old structures.

Much of the monastery of Erdene Zuu, the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia (built in 1586) remains, ringed by 108 stupas, which contain scholarly manuscripts (sutras).

Old stones had Tibetan and Mongolian over Arabic writing from earlier, Moslem use.

Period costumes were available for picture-taking.