Blogs from Mongolia, Asia - page 7

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Asia » Mongolia August 18th 2012

Day 9 We used the internet and went to a couple of supermarkets before leaving Arvaikheer. Never knowing what kind of places we will be going to we stocked up while we had decent shops. We didn't leave until midday and stopped an hour down the road for lunch. After that we stopped briefly in a small town to stretch our legs, it was scorching so we were happy to get going again. Somewhere around this point we swopped camels for yaks. We also saw our first trees. After some very rough roads we entered the National Park and after hours more of very rough road we reached our destination, Orkhon Khurkhree. We had come to see a waterfall, the guidebook says it's one of the best sights in Mongolia our only thoughts were that it ... read more
Terkh White Lake from a hill
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Asia » Mongolia » Gobi Desert August 14th 2012

Day 4 We packed up and refilled the water container from the well in the settlement that was ringed by a tyre with a bucket made from a recycled tyre on the end of a rope with a ladle made of wood. As luck would have it a local man went to the well at the same time as us and showed us what the deal was. Water supplies in the desert are often communal, locals rock up with thier 20L containers on all manner of transport, motorbikes, trolleys, horses etc. Toilets in towns and settlements are often communal too, people can't have them in their homes/gers and there is no such thing as town plumbing. Men of course don't use them unless they have to. The young guy turned up in his jeep (the one ... read more
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Asia » Mongolia » Gobi Desert August 9th 2012

Day 1 Fully loaded we were glad the weather was good and it wasn't a far walk to the guesthouse where we were meeting our jeep and driver. We'd called in the day before and asked if we could extend the trip to 15 days as 14 would give us 4 days back in UB before our flight which is just too long, there isnt enough to see there and its not an exciting place to just hang out. It was no problem and we asked about the possibility of maybe making it 16 days, agin no problem we just had to tell the driver as he'd have a scheduled break after so wouldn't be heading straight out with someone else. Rush hour in UB is a daunting driving experience. We went past 2 accidents and ... read more
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Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar August 6th 2012

Flight 9: Yangon to Bangkok was a bit rough. We were slightly delayed as the plane was late arriving, then they got us all on, we were just waiting for cargo to be loaded and said sorry because they have been on the ground for 25 minutes they have to complete some immigration thing. All up we were about an hour late and then took off and went straight into a monsoon storm. It was dark but from the lights on the wings we could see the rain pounding the plane. We shook, rolled and dropped consoling ourselves by the fact that we are flying AIr Asia and they must be used to this weather. It was fine once we were through it but it's not an experience we're keen to repeat and we were happy ... read more
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Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar July 23rd 2012

Day 21 - July 21 Back to UlanBaatar, well at least the start of it. We dropped off the British couple who smartly were flying back, and made a long bumpy drive north. It was more of the same desert steppe except that it was raining so hard, it was flooding. Who knew that the Gobi desert was the wettest part of Mongolia? In fact it rained more in the 5 days in the Gobi than it had in the previous 8 months in Dalian and the entire rest of the 16 days in Mongolia. We arrived at our ger, our last night on the desert and with camels. The dog wasn't fond of us but a young girl chased him off with a volleyball. It rained. It was in the middle nowhere and yet was ... read more
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Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar July 23rd 2012

Mongolia - not quite sure where to begin with what so far has certainly been the most suprising and amazing part of the trip. I think the the only way to start is at the beginning. We arrived into Ulaan-Baator station around 6am, the station looking very much like the Siberian stations we'd been seeing for the past 6 days (which makes sense as the Soviets built the railway in this country). We were met by our guide, Togi, who at the time I didn't realise would be with us for our whole time in Mongolia. The Irish lasses we'd met in Listvyanka, Cathy and Lianna (who's names I now remember), were also with Togi and it turns out now have the same itinerary as us all the way to Beijing. It's nice to have some ... read more
Unpaved UB street
Part of the Gandan Khiid monestary
Gandan Khiid monestary

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar July 22nd 2012

The next morning we were awoken by a 03:30 alarm call ("Hello, get up now please") so we could get our 04:10 taxi to the station to catch the Mongolia bound train. This was actually a Mongolian train (Mongolian carriages and staff) and we were sharing our cabin with a Mongolian lad who was studying in Moscow. Fortunately for us he spoke passable English so we could talk, but unfortunately for him every conductor on the train was using him to translate for other Western tourists. Still, he didn't seem to mind and seemed on good terms with everyone. Also in our carriage was a Dutch couple who had just got married and were travelling the trans-siberian for their honeymoon. We spent most of the time chatting to those guys, and we also spend the afternoon ... read more
Remainders of "lunch"
Our new Dutch friends
Russian border city

Asia » Mongolia » Gobi Desert July 20th 2012

Day 17 - July 17 We had the morning off as our old group was finished and heading back to Ulaanbataar and we had a British couple join us for the next few days. Once all that was sorted out we headed south to the ruins of a monastery complex called Ongiin Khiid, destroyed during the communist purge.It was a long drive. The first few hours was more of the same grassy hills, but soon enough as we left the province and entered the Gobi desert it became very flat rocky and sparsely grassy. There was points were you could see for 100km with nothing in the horizon but flat land. Herds and gers were rare. Driving here and for much of the time through the Gobi was much faster and less bumpy due to the ... read more
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Asia » Mongolia » Kharkorin July 16th 2012

Day 14 - July 14 We woke up to start our drive to a hot spring. We started our drive along the lake before veering by the volcano and the surprisingly large lava fields filled with black broken rocks and short stunted pine trees. Shortly after we were back in the typical grassy hills and we arrived for lunch at the provincial capital and the largest nearby town of Tsetserleg. We tried to go to a restaurant but it was closed. So for a town of just under 20000 there was only one open restaurant. We had to wait a while for them to get to our order and they only served fried dumplings.We bought supplies and ate lunch and were off again for another few hours, finally arriving at the Tsenkher hot springs in the ... read more
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Asia » Mongolia » Arkhangai July 15th 2012

Day 11 - July 11 We woke up early. It was a day of long driving. It was also Nadaam, the big yearly Mongolian sports festival. We drove along the lake, passing by the reindeer camp, passing Khatgal and along the largely flat but bumpy road all the way to Moron. Being the largest city in the region, it had the largest festival events. We first drove to an area a kilometre or two from town. It was the finish line of the horse racing.The grounds were filled with people, cars and horses. A few 'shops' were set up on tables over to one side. A couple of carnival games like ring toss and balloon dart were there set up by enterprising individuals. There were also 3 gers set up as restaurants although the fee itself ... read more
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