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As an extension of the 2014 China Tour, we visited several sights that were culturally significant via night train to Inner Mongolia. Our stop at Ordos enabled us to see Genghis Khan Mausoleum. Nearby, we stayed in our yerts in the Gegentala Grasslands to witness the Nadaam Festival. For over 800 years, the festival celebrates the warrior skills of archery, wrestling and horse racing that unite the competitive spirits of the nomadic tribesmen. As an added excitement, our group was invited to participate as ambassadors of the United States in the opening parade! Several of our staff members and students were even interviewed for local news channels with the help of a translator. Some extra fun included down-hill tobogganing down dunes in the Gobi Desert and making a short sight-seeing tour by way of camel caravan. Other methods of travel included a massive ATV that looked as though it was right out of Star Wars movie. 

In the Gobi Desert by way of Bactrian Camel.

Dune patrolling from a desert ATV.

Monument of Genghis Khan, Ordos.

Ghengis Khan Mausoleum, Ordos.

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A Mongolian aobao or "stone heep". Used as road markers

Spirit banners of Genghis Khan and his generals.

The fastest way down a sand dune.

To the bottom in eight seconds or less.

Tribesman gather for the annual Nadaam Festival in the steppe plains.

Spectators gather by the layer for the festival.

Far from the distant cities.

Mongolian man.

A yert, the preferred lodging of a nomad.

Skillful riders of Mongolia.

Woman rider in the plains.

The sun rises from our sleeper train in Ordos.

Vast fields of rapeseed.

The Nadaam commencement ceremony.

Offering friendship and welcoming guests.

The festivities begin.

Dance performances to celebrate Nadaam.

Tribute is offered before the games begin.

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