Mongolia
Mongolia

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  • Day17

    All aboard the Trans-Mongolian Express

    September 11 in Mongolia ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Tuesday morning and a 7.20am taxi pick up for Train 306 from Irkutsk to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia departing at 8.13. The journey would take almost 23 hours. We are now leaving the Trans-Siberian route and embark on the Trans-Mongolian line.

    Research had suggested that our train was a Russian owned operation, however the sight of bright blue uniforms (rather than Russian railways grey and red) and interesting looking carriages indicated that our service was actually a Mongolian train and crew. After three Russian trains it seemed more exciting to have a change.

    We were in first class on this leg of the journey (don’t get too excited - we didn’t!) as that meant there were just two berths in our compartment instead of the usual four. It looked OK, if a little old and tired, and the seats were a bit hard on the bum area but the staff all seemed in good spirits and our Mongolian equivalent of a Provodnista was full of smiles as she brought us a big flask of hot water.

    About 20 minutes after leaving Irkutsk Station we had a minor panic... We decided to close our compartment door for a while, but when we tried to open it again we couldn’t. We thought we must be doing something wrong so tried several times without success. The prospect of 22 hours locked in our compartment did not appeal and as there was no window on the compartment door to plead for help, we had no option but to bang hard on it to attract attention. Fortunately a member of staff came to our rescue and despite a total language barrier showed us that all that was needed to open the door from the inside was pure brute force. We practiced this manoeuvre a few times with mixed success so decided the wise move was to leave it marginally open at all times to avoid further embarrassment.

    Once again the train journey went really quickly as during the morning our route took us alongside Lake Baikal, then the afternoon travelling past rural villages, lakes and mostly open pasture land often populated with cattle and horses (sorry photos thin on the ground due to dirty double glazing). There were just three stops during the day before we reached the border area around 7:30pm.

    Our first border challenge was to leave Russia. This consisted of being confined in our compartment and being visited by a Russian Border Control lady who took our passports from us, compared us carefully with our photos and then put our passports in a leather briefcase and disappeared. The next visitor was a Russian Customs lady who asked us if we had anything to declare. We answered in the negative and she requested that we clear our bench seats and lift them up to show her the storage area under them. This done she had a quick look and said OK before moving off. She was swiftly followed by another Russian lady in a camouflage uniform and spiky punk hairstyle accompanied by a friendly spaniel who she brought into our compartment for a good sniff around. They both seemed happy enough and departed. The final caller appeared to be a man in a blue uniform who had been forensically examining the walls of our carriage corridor and looking under the carpet. At his request we had to get our cases down from the overhead storage area which he then examined by taking off a ceiling panel and looking carefully with his torch to check there was nothing hidden there. Then of course the original Border Control Lady returned to give us our passports back containing a nice red exit stamp with a little train on it!

    Nearly two hours from our arrival at the border area we were ready to leave Russia. No one could accuse the authorities of not being thorough and their attention to detail certainly keeps plenty of people in employment.

    We then immediately had a more interesting visitor to our compartment. A Mongolian lady (apparently a friend of our carriage staff) who offered to exchange money. Now John had carried out some research this afternoon on the bank exchange rate for the Russian Ruble against the Mongolian Tugrik and therefore felt in a good position to negotiate. Haggling commenced but just as it appeared agreement was imminent, one of the train staff appeared, whispered in her ear and the exchange lady disappeared out of the compartment at some speed without a goodbye. Five minutes later she ran down the corridor past our compartment with an unknown man running behind her. Strange we thought. Anyway ten minutes later John saw she had recommenced her compartment visits and enticed her back to the negotiating table. A short time later both parties felt they had concluded a good deal and John is now the proud beholder of 598,425 Tugrik which equates to the princely sum of about 180 quid!

    The train then left Russia and 15 minutes later reached the Mongolia entry point. Here we go again! Firstly two forms to complete, these being Arrival Card and Customs Declaration. Then an instruction that all curtains and blinds in our compartment be closed whilst we are at the border point (unsure what we’re not supposed to see). Then a green uniformed Customs lady came and stamped our forms. Next was a very smart Border Control lady in a smart blue uniform, heavy make up and high heels. She asked for our passports, checked our appearance against them and then left with our passports. Swiftly behind her was another young lady wearing a beret and camouflage uniform, together with a rather nasty looking truncheon on her waist. She asked to look under our bench seats so we cleared them and lifted them so she could inspect underneath with her torch. All of the Mongolians are very nice but this is getting rather wearing! The total time taken to cross the border between the two countries was over 4 hours.

    I should mention another way we passed the journey, that is eating. For some reason there is no restaurant car on this train (we had been warned) so it was self-catering all the way. Our all day grazing consisted of half a sandwich, hard boiled eggs, a small croissant, a banana, some crisps, an apple, a beef flavoured mashed potato pot meal with Tuc biscuits, Maltesers/ M&M’s, Russia’s version of Oreo biscuits and some Pringles, rounded off with a vegetable pot noodle and more Tuc biscuits. You wouldn’t want to see it in a bucket but it seemed to work OK for us!

    Now whilst we have been very good in our dealings with authority today we must admit that an overdose of officialdom resulted in us being naughty. A sign in our compartment states quite clearly that no alcohol can be consumed on board, however we had secreted some supplies on board so felt the need for a sneaky vodka and tonic with our Pringles and a glass of Rioja with our pot noodle to round the day off. We know how to live!

    By the time we had finished all Border activities it was gone midnight until the train started moving through Mongolia so with a need to awake at 5:30am for a 6:50am arrival it was bed time and the good news was that the beds were nowhere near as hard as we thought and we had no problem sleeping through to the alarm.

    We are up, packed and ready for arrival at a new Capital City....Ulaanbaatar!
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  • Day22

    Walking on the Dune

    September 16 in Mongolia ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    Our Sunday afternoon activity was based around a visit to the nearby Sand Dunes. Now we told you there is actually little sand in the Gobi Desert but these huge Sand Dunes run for 180 km through the middle of the region.

    We had asked if we could ride camels and were taken to a spot close to the Dunes where a Mongolian Ger Camp have a herd of Bactrian Camels (two humps) which can be hired for riding. Cutting a long story short our Camels were prepared by being saddled and kneeling on the ground but John’s back problem meant that climbing on board was almost impossible for him and he found himself three quarters of the way onto the Camel physically unable to either sit down or get off, being stuck between the two humps. He was in absolute agony in this position but with the help of the Camel herder, Janet and NK was eventually able to fall away from the Camel to safety. So Janet decided that she wouldn’t ride alone. We had passed the cash over before starting, however the Camels owner, who was involved in John’s rescue, sympathetically returned the money and we rewarded them with a healthy tip. John’s Camel riding days are over before they begun!

    Despite the Camel loading problem John felt fine to walk and this was very necessary as we embarked on the main event of the afternoon, which was an attempt to climb the highest point of the Gobi Sand Dunes named Khongoryn Els.

    Now from the base to the peak is a walk of around 300 metres which does not sound much of a distance but after a gentle start of around 100 metres the face of the Dune becomes almost sheer and every two paces forward in the soft sand results in one pace back. As we looked up to the summit and saw those on top looking like dots the task was daunting and Janet’s view was that she would probably be able to complete a third at best. John was hoping to make it but was not totally confident.

    Our trusty guide NK, after giving us a bit of a warning about potential health risks, told us that we should try to complete the walk but that we should take it slow and easy. He said that once the slope really steepened we should consider taking about ten steps before stopping, sitting for a few minutes and then completing another 10 paces. He recommended us not to adjust our climbing style by trying to move on all fours (we saw several people trying this method) as this hindered rather than helped progress. There was no hurry he said. He always kept about 20 yards in front of us, encouraging us and bit by bit we made our way up, at times feeling we were not moving forward despite our efforts. We then realised that the size of people on the summit was such that the end point seemed achievable then found ourselves within touching distance. After about 75 minutes climbing we finally made it to the top with a sense of real achievement. Once we had celebrated we looked around us and could not believe the view. It was stunning across 360 degrees and most definitely worth the effort. Big thanks to NK who said he was very proud of us.

    There had been a big festival at the base of the Dunes and a number of Police from the main town (200 km away) had been on duty. At the end of the event they decided to climb the dune and arrived at the summit shortly after us. They were interested in us Westerners and a couple of them practiced a few words of English much to the amusement of their colleagues. The Police Chief was particularly keen to communicate with us and for about 20 minutes NK had to translate a number of questions from him about our views on Mongolia and what the UK is like. NK said it seemed more like an interrogation but then we guess that’s the Police Chiefs job. They were in good spirits and were keen to have photos taken with us as well as singing some traditional Mongolian songs.

    We said farewell and then began our descent which was great fun as you could almost run down in a zig zag manor and it took us around 5-10 minutes to get to the bottom, creating sand avalanches all the way down. You would not believe the amount of sand the three of us dumped from our shoes before we got back in the vehicle.

    It was getting late and we arrived back at Camp 3 just before sunset having seen both Golden Eagles and Vultures close to the roadside on our way. After dinner we were just leaving the dining area when who should walk in but our still heavily camouflaged Ibex murdering American acquaintance, Larry. He was interested in our train journey and gave us his business card so we could email him details of our travel company. He also told us enthusiastically that the rest of his itinerary in Mongolia is a couple of days back in the Capital, UB, and then he is going on a 10 day hunting trip, presumably to bag a few more Ibex, plus some Antelopes, Wolves and anything else that moves.

    We told NK what Larry was up to and he shared our displeasure. It gave us the perfect opportunity to explain to NK what is, and who is, an ‘asshole’!!

    This didn’t spoil another lovely Gobi day and we went to bed happy and exhausted. We have one day left in the desert before returning to the big City.
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  • Day99

    Kate hands over 8000yr old arrowhead

    October 8 in Mongolia ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    This afternoon we got a taxi to the Institute of Mongolian Archaeology to meet Turbat Tsagaan a professor of Bronze Age studies.
    K wanted to hand over the quartz arrow head she found in the Gobi Desert last week.
    It turns out to be a definite Neolithic arrowhead 8000-9000 yrs old!!!
    Interestingly Turbat used the term BP which google later told us meant “before present” which is a much more scientific measure of time than BC ( before Christ) especially if u r from another religion.
    Turbat said he would pass the arrowhead onto the stoneage dept as he was Bronze Age ( we think maybe the Stone Age dept don’t speak English) whereas Turbat has just come back from a conference in Germany yesterday and spoke excellent English.
    Sadly his personal skills were a little limited as we were not offered a seat which was a good job because his office and building were filled with archaeological amazeball items- including a photo of a Bronze Age skeleton he had dug up from the Uglii region we had just come from- enlarge the photo of Kate and u will see it in the background!!!
    Turbat said he would use the situation in his next talk as we suggested he educated the tour guides that at future finds by tourists are automatically handed in.

    http://mongolianarchaeology.academia.edu/TsagaanTurbat/CurriculumVitae

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=quartz arrowheads of neolithic age&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-au&client=safari#imgrc=sLDcHXO-1FHKQM:

    K found it at the following location if ur not asleep yet!;
    Umnugobi province
    Bulgan Soum, close to Khavtsgait petroglyphs -
    she has a bloody good eye and a good heart for wanting it to stay in Mongolia and not as a souvenir. Good spotting!!
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  • Day97

    Eagle Featival- kiss and whip chase

    October 6 in Mongolia ⋅ 🌙 -1 °C

    So in this race the couples register in pairs- the man tries to kiss the women whilst she beats him off with a whip!!!.... we didn’t see one woman kissed.... but there was some ferocious beating!!!
    We thought men’s rights groups may be picketing next year!!!

  • Day20

    Into the Gobi Desert

    September 14 in Mongolia ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    It’s Friday morning and our alarm goes off at 3am (ouch!) for a 4am pick up to UB Airport for one of the highlights of our journey, a four day trip to the Gobi desert. We only have a small weight allowance for the flight so the bulk of our luggage will remain at our UB hotel for our return. Eggy is ready and waiting for us in the lobby and everything works well as after a good flight we arrive in bright sunshine at Dalanzadgad Airport, in the middle of the Gobi, on time at 7.50am. Our guide NK and driver Choijo are waiting at the airport, having driven 700 km yesterday from UB.

    Our accommodation throughout the four days will be in Gers which are the traditional homes of Mongolians and can be seen all across the country, even close to UB. Ours will be in Tourist Ger Camps which gives decent comfort whilst allowing you to stay in remote parts of the Gobi Desert. These Camps have around 20 Gers and two shared buildings, one a dining area and the other containing toilets and showers.

    Our first night will be in Camp 1 then we will travel in a loop through the Steppes and Mountainous areas staying at two other Camps before returning to Camp 1 on the last night before flying back to UB on Tuesday morning.

    We had a great cooked breakfast at Camp 1 before going through our itinerary with NK and then having a couple of hours sleep. After lunch we travelled about 40 minutes from the Camp to walk the Eagle Gorge. There are three tarmac roads on the Gobi but the majority of driving has to be done off road which is challenging but provides constant spectacular views.

    Photo’s cannot do justice to the scale of everything we will see here. This afternoon as we drove to Eagle Gorge there were shadowed mountains to our left and on the other side perfectly flat Steppe to the horizon, punctuated by occasional nomadic Ger (always white) and herds of various animals.

    We will run out of superlatives during these four days but the walk through the Gorge was fantastic. From the car park it begins about 80 metres wide but narrows down gradually until after about an hour it is just a few metres from side to side, before gradually opening up again. A stream runs through the Gorge and has to be negotiated via natural stepping stones and we kept dry. The narrowest point was tricky to negotiate but achieved and we walked a bit further past this point and then returned to the car after a well paced three hour walk.

    At the wider points of the Gorge we encountered several Yak herds, there were lots of gerbils running around (nest building for winter) and plenty of horses. We also saw a number of Golden Eagles (hence the name of the Gorge) and also Bearded Vultures, Mongolia’s biggest bird with a wingspan of over 9 feet.

    We had a bizarre incident as we wandered through the Gorge. There were occasional hikers, but then we happened upon three Mongolian men one of who was staggering around. It quickly became apparent that he was completely drunk and extremely aggressive. One of his friends was trying to hold him back and the other one looked drunk but stayed in the background. The very drunk one approached NK, slurred some kind of insult and looked like he was going to take a swing at him, but his mate caught him in time. We had some concern but managed to divert past them and continued to the Gorge, whilst the drunkards walked towards the Car Park. Our driver later told us that he saw these people pick an argument with the local horse trek guides who gave them all a good thumping. That was good news!

    Despite this minor blip we had had a memorable walk in the Gorge in the most perfect weather. It was a totally blue sky. Warm in the sun but very chilly when in the Gorge in the shade of the surrounding mountains.

    Although we have already been to locations with big annual temperature swings, nothing matches the Gobi. Summer maximum can hit +50C and just to give it some symmetry the winter temperature can fall to -50C. Quite incredible.

    We drove back to our Camp across the Steppe with the sun going down and arrived back just as the full harvest moon was rising above the horizon.

    We enjoyed a hot shower, dinner (delicious spaghetti bolognese - something we weren’t expecting in the Gobi!), a beer and an early night. Janet had noticed a small mouse in our Ger (not really a surprise in our location) when we were getting ready for dinner so we mentioned it to our guide. We were presented with a solution which was a ‘sticky mouse trap’ to put under the bed which would glue the poor mouse’s feet to a glue pad when it ran over it. We decided we could not be that nasty - and didn’t mind sharing our accommodation - so we abstained from using this primitive execution equipment! We only saw the little thing once more before bed time and we think it slept as well as us.
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  • Day97

    Eagle Festival Day 2- am

    October 6 in Mongolia ⋅ 🌙 0 °C

    Woke a bit tired after yesterday’s excitement not sure if we were ready for more.
    We got to the festival site at 8.30am, staked a spot and headed off for a walk whilst it was quiet.
    K and I decided to check out the back of the hill the eagles are released from and found a path so up we went.
    To cut a v long story short we ended up sitting amongst the eagle hunters as they released each other’s eagles for today’s competition - the ability of the eagles to land on a prey down in the arena.
    This was incredible despite the rudeness of some terribly ignorant tourists who got in the competitors way just to get their photos. Luckily most of us were more respectful.
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  • Day24

    Back in the Ulaanbaatar

    September 18 in Mongolia ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Back in Ulaanbaatar (UB) we have two days before we take the train to Beijing. As far as the blog is concerned we are keen to complete Mongolia before we leave the country as censorship rules in China may well block FindPenguins. We know that WhatsApp and Google are blocked so we must assume the worst and it could well be that we have little contact with the outside World until we are home on 23rd September. We’ll see.

    So once arriving back in UB on Tuesday we visited the National Museum, then while walking across the square in front of Government House witnessed a number of wedding photo sessions taking place. We discovered that any couple getting married in Mongolia are allowed to have some photos taken inside the barriers around the Parliament and more specifically in front of the Genghis Khan statue. We then did some shopping (including some cashmere bargains for Janet) and had a very nice Indian meal to close the day.

    On Wednesday we had originally been hoping for a free day, however on the flight to the Gobi we realised that there was part of our day tour to the Terelj National Park last week that was not covered, this being a visit to the huge Genghis Khan monument - some way out of UB. We are still not sure if our UK agent or the local tour company were to blame, however this is a key sight and it needed to be done. Unfortunately it was a 2 hour drive there and the same back, so with 90 minutes actually there we lost half a day but it was very worthwhile as the pictures show. This stainless steel monument to Mongolia’s National hero was completed in 2010 and is truly gigantic, dominating the hilltop as Genghis faces the town of his birth some miles away.

    Our guide today was our old friend NK who had only just recovered from his return trip from the Gobi and our driver was another of our acquaintances from the local tour company, Eggy.

    After our trip it was back to the hotel for a packing session as we prepare to leave UB for Beijing tomorrow (Thursday) with the final train of our trip departing at 07.30am and arriving at 2.30pm, 31 hours later.

    As we now have the facility to send videos a couple are included below. You can also view our arrival at the summit of the Dune on this link:

    https://youtu.be/XEEH2AIanm0
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  • Day93

    Hustai National Park and

    October 2 in Mongolia ⋅ ☁️ 0 °C

    http://www.hustai.mn/wp/language/en/

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Przewalski's_horse

    We woke to snow this am!. We left Terelj national park this am at 10am and drive 3.5 hours to Hustai National Park just to the west of UB.
    Our ger has a traditional stove as heating which is good because it is freezing! Down to 2 degs with a wind chill factor making it feel in the minus.
    Following a buffet lunch we got the stove fired up, visited the onsite info centre and increased our knowledge about the rare Przewalski’s horses which became extinct in the wild but have been successfully reintroduced. ( I had included the links above if anyone is interested- and the save those who r not!!)
    At 3.30pm off we went Przewalski horse spotting- not that easy in low light and v low cloud. However our driver Magna was amazing and we spotted a v distant couple high up on the ridge before too long.
    10 mins later 8 horses were spotted coming down off a high ridge. It looked like 7 adults and a foal that came galloping down the hill toward some water. We got back in the car and by the time we had turned around the prized, rare horses had crossed the track and were making their way back up the opposite hillside. They have v short manes and tails and rounded heads- they r striking.
    After freezing our asses off we got back in the cars and made our way home. However just down the track there was a v lonely looking stallion just close by. He trotted past us, looking directly at us several times and then crossed behind us and took off up the hill.
    A v satisfying experience on the whole.
    Now back sat in the ger, by the stove, it’s snowing outside..... and we r listening to the ABs vs Canada on the radio app!! Sadly we have to go for dinner so will have to stop listening- poor Canada!!
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  • Day96

    The Eagle Festival - day 1 post 1 of 75!

    October 5 in Mongolia ⋅ 🌙 0 °C

    The most incredible day ever. I can’t even write about it because it was so unbelievably amazing.
    I will try to post the videos taken but they may be too long. We only took a handful of photos on the phone as everywhere we looked demanded 20 shots on the camera. K took just under 1000 pics just today!!!
    The festival was full of horses, camels, furs, weathered faces, embroidery, eagles... and sadly tourists with huge cameras!!! What a day!!
    (Started well with a vodka sprinkling tribute to Ev to help send her spirit on its way- her ashes were scattered down the Murchison river today so it was nice to send her off from Mongolia- fly free Ev )
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  • Day18

    Getting to know UB

    September 12 in Mongolia ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    We arrived at Ulaanbaatar (aka UB) Station bang on time at 6.50am. Our bright young female guide Davka and our driver, a little old bloke in a flat cap interestingly named Egg (that’s no yolk....sorry I mean joke) were waiting on the platform right by our carriage.

    Egg whisked us back to the hotel by 7:30am (that’s enough of the egg jokes!) and we were checked in to our very nice hotel, showered, breakfasted and out by 9am for a three hour City Tour with Davka and Egg.

    Ulaanbaatar has a population of 1.4 million and to a certain extent feels like any other Capital City. It has some high rise offices and apartments but they don’t totally dominate the vista. One thing we realised quickly was that the traffic is a nightmare. Throughout the day we were either entrenched in or witnessing some horrendous traffic queues and most of the time it was probably quicker to walk.

    However when the traffic does move you are exposed to one of Ulaanbaatar’s greatest dangers...crossing the road! Where there are traffic lights it’s fine but most crossings here are the equivalent of our zebra crossings and in theory the rule is the same as ours - motorists must stop to let you cross. No chance. You literally have to take your life in your hands at an appropriate point and just go for it. Our favoured tactic was to use locals as a human shield so at least we would not die alone.

    After the City Tour, Davka helped us to get Mongolian SIM cards for our mobiles. For 31 pence each we are now covered for calls and internet for the duration of our 9 day stay! Then the luxury of a few hours rest before our first evening out in Mongolia.

    After some research we had a 15 minute wander from the hotel to the ‘Hop and Rocks’ Brewpub for a beer brewed on the premises, then for dinner we had chosen a local speciality, the Mongolian Hotpot which we enjoyed at the well appointed Bull Restaurant located in busy Seoul Street. As we had been warned we had to wait a while for a table and were pleased to see we were the only foreigners in the place. Mongolian Hotpot consists of sitting at a table with an induction hob built into the the glass table top which heats a boiling pot of stock. You are then presented with an array of vegetables and noodles, together with our chosen selection of beef, which you submerse in the broth for varying amounts of time before eating, using a selection of dips from the choice presented. We chose the local draught beer ‘Legend’ to go with it. It was great fun to eat this way and the quality of the ingredients was great - we were delighted with our choice.

    So we went to bed content and with the chance of a good sleep before Thursday’s trip to the Terelj National Park. Davka was again our guide and our driver remained the same although his name seemed to have adjusted overnight from Egg to Eggy!

    Now Davka is a real character. She is 38 and speaks great English, which, after completing University in Mongolia, she travelled to New Zealand to learn. Her time in NZ has certainly enhanced her vocabulary as the occasional use of words such as ‘loo’ and phrases such as ‘pissed off’ shows. She is also very good at letting us know her personal temperature which tends to be ‘very cold’ or more regularly ‘very hot’ to which is normally added ‘Oh I’m sweating so much!’ and on one occasion ‘I’m sweating so much I hope I’m not smelly’ (which she wasn’t by the way). She is a self confessed non-conformist to Mongolian culture. We have spent much of our time here laughing and joking with her and also with Egg/Eggy once Davka had explained to him what we were laughing at.

    The trip to Terelj National Park lasted all day and we travelled 70 km North from UB to get there. This Park is part of the Mongolian Steppe and very different from what we will be seeing in the Gobi. It is a vast expanse of grassland with wide flat areas surrounded by hills. It is teeming with Mongolian livestock, that is primarily Cattle, Yak and Horses, together with dwellings and the occasional ‘resort’ hotel to blot the landscape a little. We spent time just looking at the wonderful scenery through the car window and having the occasional walk to look at a landmark. Lunch was a ‘Tour included’ gargantuan Mongolian feast of various meat related dishes at a 4* Hotel deep within the National Park which was unexpected and extremely filling. An enjoyable journey back was frustrated by hitting UB at rush hour so arrival at our Hotel in the City was around 6pm. We have decided that the traffic in UB is the worst in the world.

    Now tomorrow (Friday) we leave UB for a few days to travel to the Gobi. Yesterday we were informed that our flight there was timed at 6.20am and that we would be picked up from our hotel at 4am. That can safely be described as a very early start!

    We were also advised that the guide and driver who are looking after us in the Gobi have already set off as they are driving there to be ready and waiting for us. It takes them more than a day to drive the 700 km plus to get there. There is certainly a lot of commitment from the travel company to give us a good holiday.

    So after the lunch we had there is no need for any dinner, just a wander out from the hotel for a couple of drinks then bed by 9am for a 3am alarm call. The weather has been mixed today but the forecast looks very good for the Gobi (fingers crossed please). We are hoping that our Mongolian phones will be able to transmit the blog while we are there but nothing is guaranteed and we potentially have ‘radio silence’ for our four days away from UB.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Mongolia, Mongolei, Mongolië, Mɔngolia, ሞንጎሊያ, Mongolland, منغوليا, مونجوليا, মংগোলিয়া, Monqoliya, موغولیستان, Монголия, Mongolya, Манголія, मंगोलिया, Moŋoli, মোঙ্গোলিয়া, སོག་ཡུལ།, মঙ্গোলিয়া, Mongolija, Монгол Улас, Mongòlia, Mūng-gū, Монголи, ᎹᏂᎪᎵᎠ, مەنگۆلیا, Moğolistan, Mongolsko, Mòngolskô, Мѫголи, Mongoliet, Moğolıstan, Mongolska, މޮންގޯލިއާ, སོག་པོ, Mongolia nutome, Μογγολία, Mongolujo, Mongoolia, مغلستان, Monngolii, Mongolie, Mongoalje, An Mhongóil, Mongoliya, Mongòilia, મંગોલિયા, Yn Vongoil, Mangoliya, Mùng-kú-koet, Monokolia, מונגוליה, Mongoli, Mongólia, Մոնղոլիա, Mongólía, モンゴル国, mongolo, მონღოლეთი, Монгол, Моңғолия, ម៉ុងហ្គោលី, ಮೊಂಗೋಲಿಯಾ, 몽골, Моңголстан, Mogolia, Mongòllia, Mungolia, Mongolí, ມົງໂກລີ, موغولئستان, 蒙古國, Монголие, Môngôlia, Mongōria, Монголија, മംഗോളിയ, Bügd Nayramdah Mongol Ard Uls, Mongolja, မွန်ဂိုးလီးယား, موغولئون, Mongoriya, Bông-kó͘, मङ्गोलिया, Chʼah Diʼilii Bikéyah, Mongooliyaa, ମଙ୍ଗୋଲିଆ, Мангол, ਮੰਗੋਲੀਆ, Mongoelya, منگولیا, مغولستان, Mungul suyu, Mongolïi, Monguolėjė, මොන්ගෝලියාව, Mogitolia, Mongooliya, Mongolikondre, IMongoliya, Můngolijo, மங்கோலியா, మంగోలియా, Муғулистон, ประเทศมองโกเลีย, Mongoliýa, Mongokōlia, Моол, موڭغۇلىيە, Монголія, Mongołia, Mongolii, Mông Cổ, Mongoolje, Mongolän, 蒙古国, Моңһлмудин Орн, מאנגאליי, Orílẹ́ède Mogolia, Mungzguj, Monholië, i-Mongolia

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