Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mongolia's Dinosaur Fairyland

Jurassic Park might not quite be a reality yet (though mammoths might be on the way); but if you fancy encountering some wild dinosaurs, it looks like Erlian, near the Chinese border with Mongolia, is the place to go. Something of a dinosaur hotspot, the little town has tried to encourage tourism by building a dinosaur museum, and doting the place the dinosaur statues, the most impressive being a pair of sauropods which reach out to each other over a road:

The same pair are pictured in a huge sign carved into a nearby valley wall, which identifies the attraction as Dinosaur Fairyland:

On the other side of the valley are similar massive drawings of dinosaur skeletons, which can be seen from space, if you zoom in enough on Google maps:

Dotted about the town and along the roads are many smaller dinosaur sculptures, here are a few of my favourites from the photos I've found:


According to Atlas Obscura, you pretty much have the place to yourself if you visit too:
The park features dozens of full scale dinosaur models as well as bones, both real and fake. There are also lots of photo opportunities with dinosaurs smashing down walls and hatching from eggs. However, Dinosaur Fairyland is never crowded, probably due to its remote location, about 20km outside the town of Erlian in Outer Mongolia. However, this means you will have the park all to yourself, except for the occasional men in military uniform that use the park as a thoroughfare to the bus station.
More pictures after the jump:


Sources: io9, Phineas Fogg Fanclub, Atlas Obscura (1, 2), Flickr (Daisy Lin, FOE TOE, SKPhotoOnline), It's Always Sunny in South Korea, MILLE ET UN VOYAGES par Lise Giguère, My Beijing Life, The Itch of a Foot, Google maps.

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