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Mongolian Hip-Hop In Ulan Bator (VIDEO)

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As I was making my way around-the-world trip in 2009-10 without getting on a single airplane, I chewed up thousands of miles on the Trans-Mongolian train from Moscow to Beijing. Luckily, I stopped for a couple days in Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia.

It was September and the snows were already falling in Mongolia, which made my lack of warm clothing a bit problematic, but I met some fellow travelers that were going to spend the night indoors at a local Mongolian music festival.

It was an unexpectedly great night. I would have thought the entire night would have been a cheesy tourist experience. Given the general lack of tourists in Mongolia, I suppose I should have been far less surprised that the majority of the small crowd was obviously local. Regardless, the music and entertainment were fabulous.

This particular video was one of my favorites -- I titled it "Mongolian Hip-Hop" because the music just sounded like something you'd have heard back here in the States on a big city radio station. Then you opened your eyes and saw the costumes and dancing. Such an odd juxtaposition.

Another haunting video was this one of a man playing a Mongolian Horse Fiddle. There are dozens of reasons you should go and enjoy this fairly untraveled country, but if and when you go, try to find time to enjoy some of the excellent local music.

Michael Hodson blogs about his (mostly) overland world travels at Go, See, Write and you can follow him on Twitter, where he is @mobilelawyer.