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Asia » Mongolia » Gobi Desert August 26th 2019

‘Actually the Gobi isn’t a desert at all’, says Chimeg, ‘it is a semi-desert.’ Chimeg is our guide. She will guide us during our one week trip across the Gobi desert. And she is right. The pictures you usually see make you believe that Gobi desert consists of sand dunes. That is misleading. The sand dunes are only a little part of the Gobi desert. Very photogenic indeed, but the Gobi is mainly a monotonous steppe, frightening even as you can easily lose your bearings. Sometimes you may even ask yourself what for you are here actually. Well, we come here to see the Flaming cliffs, the spot where Roy Chapman Andrews found his dinosaurs, to see the ancient rock carvings and the ice filled gorge at Yolin Am. These are the hotspots of the Gobi, ... read more
Near the old monastery at Baga Gazriin Chuluu
Ibex at Yoliin Am
Near the petroglyphs at Khavtsgait

Asia » Mongolia » Gobi Desert August 1st 2019

24 juillet On quitte la vallée de l'Orkhon en direction du sud. Comme le Yak Festival a ralentit notre cadence, Mr.Happy, à la barre de la fourgonnette, devra étirer notre trajet de la journée jusqu'à atteindre un long 12 heures de route dans l'offroad des steppes. Le décor distorsionné de la vallée s'assèche d'heure en heure alors qu'on s'enligne sur le désert de Gobi. L'herbe déjà courte dont se nourrissait les bêtes des derniers jours raccourcit maintenant jusqu'à l'épilation totale. De moins en moins de yourte se fixe au paysage: ce n'est plus le meilleur endroit pour amener brouter ses troupeaux. Le vent se lève fort souvent, faisant lever la poussière en d'imposants rideaux de sable nous fermant l'accès à l'horizon. Nous ferons trois arrêts durant la journée: l'un pour gazer à une station-service perdue, l'autre ... read more
Zombie Boy
Monastère
Sudafed

Asia » Mongolia » Gobi Desert November 1st 2018

You know when you pored over that dog-eared atlas you found in the bookcase after school that day? When you wondered what it must be like to be from such far-flung, remote places, with impossibly exotic or alien names, like Tierra del Fuego, or Windhoek, or Vladivostok? Ulaanbaatar was always that place for me. Any place with double As in the name would have to, by definition, be a very alien place indeed. It was in the middle of a country which looked pretty windswept and barren, even in the atlas. A huge expanse of nothing surrounded on all sides by similarly empty landscapes, of rugged western China and the dauntingly vast bleakness of Siberia. I had always wanted to go, from that first encounter. So, living in Beijing ,I decided that now was the time. ... read more
Ulaanbaatar
Mongolian art
ger camp, sunrise

Asia » Mongolia » Gobi Desert July 3rd 2018

Sunday on the road again today a big day of driving 490klm down to the Gobi Desert. This country is just amazing, really is a last frontier, we drove through such a changing landscape….rolling plains, with cattle, camels, sheep, goats by the thousands….then into desert…..dusty, sandy, gibbery plains….stopped off in a little town for lunch and it was lovely, still cannot believe what they produce in the back blocks of Mongolia. Then onto the Tsagaan Suvarga…the most amazing rock formation protruding out of the ground in the middle of the desert…..over thousands of years the wind has created this amazing structure. Then onto our Ger Camp Tsagaan Survarga….very, very basic….our own ger tents but shower blocks about 50 metres away with three toilets and two showers….but we managed and had dinner altogether in the restaurant with ... read more
TERELJ NATIONAL PARK
TSAAGAN SUVARGA
TSAAGAN SUVARGA

Asia » Mongolia » Gobi Desert October 15th 2015

Having passed through the Russian border control without issue, we breathed a sigh of relief and snuggled into the first class bunks we had treated ourselves to for this journey. We had read that the Russia to Mongolia border crossing can sometimes take up to eight hours, so we were very surprised to find Mongolian immigration knocking on our door twenty minutes later. Following one more search of our cabin and after a rather stern lady immigration officer had had a good look at Ross (he had just had a haircut and clearly looked suspicious), we received our stamps into Mongolia and the train rumbled off towards Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital. We arrived in Ulaanbaatar at six thirty in the morning, much to our surprise as we had thought we would be arriving about six hours ... read more
Buddist Monastry in The Terejl National Park
Lunch by the Russian Van in The Gobi
The White Stupa cliffs

Asia » Mongolia » Gobi Desert June 25th 2014

CAMELS Wikipedia says there are well over 3 million nomads in Mongolia, still living in gers and following the herds. They live close to nature and are learning to share their way of life with tourists. This adds some ready cash to buy staples and supplement their income. They have added motorcycles, trucks, cars and TVs to their way of life. Children must go to school and usually board there except for holidays and summer break. As we got closer to the dunes we saw more camels. We were looking forward to our camel ride. The Mongolian Bactrian camel has two humps and stands six to seven and a half feet tall at the hump. The humps are fat and stand tall when the animal is well hydrated and tilt or slump when they need more ... read more
All Aboard
The End?
 "Miss Photogenic"

Asia » Mongolia » Gobi Desert June 23rd 2014

GOBI DESERT TOUR Vulture Valley After breakfast we broke camp and wandered through the valley following the little stream. The walls rose up steeply on both sides and Soko actually pointed out an Ibex, the curved horned mountain goat, but it was too indistinct for me to see it. There were snow patches in the deeper part of the valley and a lovely shallow ice cave like a ledge of crystal translucent blues, greens and white. When we reached the other side we met several large touring groups that were only entering the valley for a brief way. We also saw nomads galloping their horses across the hillside. Looking behind us we could see the vultures wheeling overhead, but with no binoculars we could not see their beards or white chests. We met an unfortunate Ibex ... read more
Variety
Stinging Nettle, Mongolian Style
Our group before hiking the valley

Asia » Mongolia » Gobi Desert June 21st 2014

GOBI DESERT TOUR On day three we went to a small town and picked up a few supplies, and the last two members of our group…Jogi and Sydney, both from New York. Jogi is Japanese and has traveled all over the world. We drove for another hour or two to the White Cliffs. Strange name for these beautiful red, orange, and magenta rock formations. We ate with a local family and then drove a little farther to set up our tent in the middle of the flattest landscape I have ever seen. It was impossible to find anywhere to hide to relieve ourselves. Darkness was a help. Putting up the tent was fun. No one had put up this particular tent before and four of us worked at it for quite a while. It had three ... read more
Camping in the wide open spaces
Vulture Valley
Our group

Asia » Mongolia » Gobi Desert June 20th 2014

GOLDEN GOBI GUESTHOUSE GOBI TOUR As we traveled further south we stayed with more families and learned more about the ger. Sometimes there were separate ger for tourists who visit the desert. Usually these had five beds circling the inside wall. This was far more comfortable than sleeping on the floor. Oh, and I must have hit my head at least ten times in eight days because the doors are only about four feet tall. The ger has two stanchions inside that hold up a wheel like center into which staves are positioned much like a giant umbrella frame. The walls are expanding lattice covered with sheep felt. An unpainted summer ger with frame, felt and weather proof outer cover costs about 2300 dollars. The walls are often covered on the inside with carpets for added ... read more
Picnic Area
Storage in a ger
Boy with French braids.

Asia » Mongolia » Gobi Desert June 2nd 2014

An early start this morning. Up at 4-45 am for a 6am departure from the hotel. We were picked up in a mini bus and driven to Beijing Central Railway Station. We must have been close to the Harmony Hotel which Intrepid used as their hotel of choice for a lot of years but, changed recently because they closed the hotel and new owners took over. We had met our other travelling companions for the Trans Mongolian Railway last night at our official Intrepid meeting where we all introduced ourselves with a mini intro as to who we were, where we were from and some other general info about ourselves. After this and the formalities of documentation etc had been attended to, off we went for our welcome dinner to get to know one another a ... read more
Beijing Central Railway Station
Jenni in our compartment
Our departure from Platform 6




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