Blogs from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Asia


Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar August 25th 2019

Day 27 to 30 of 80 Footsteps of Chinggis Thursday we had booked ourselves a guided tour out of the city to reach a Chinggis (Ghenghis to us westerners) Khan monument and a National Park. We wanted to make a day of it so chose a tour with a couple of extras rather than a quick out and back. Just as well really. The route to the statue was about 65 km out of town. Regrettably, though, they are rebuilding the main highway in that direction so all traffic, both directions, is being diverted onto the roughest, unpaved, rutted, gravel track - a bit like the 2 border roads we encountered in Georgia /Armenia. But with 'rush hour' volumes of traffic, many of them treating the whole width of the road as a dirt race track. ... read more

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar August 21st 2019

Day 24 to 26 of 80 Small mild panic on Monday morning as we arrived early at the station to find our train not listed but train times either side of ours were. Unable to find an english speaking railway person, we started to wonder whether there was something up with our train. But a more thorough search of the station showed a side room listing the long-distance trains, including ours. Phew. Ulaanbaatar is around 500 km from Irkutsk, as the crow flies. Regrettably trains don't fly so by the time it has travelled 150 km from Irkutsk to reach Lake Baikal which is only 70km south, taking 3 hours in the process, and then overshot to past midway along the southern shore for a stop at Ulan-Ude, where the Trans-Mongolian splits off from the Trans-Siberian, ... read more
Baikal circum-lake steam train
Mongolian graveyard

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar August 8th 2019

Last days Ulaanbaatar was completely empty. But now we know where all the cars are. They are here. On the road heading to Hustai National Park, about 100 kilometers west of Ulaanbaatar. Normally it is one and a half hour driving. Now it takes more than two hours. In the past Hustai was a hunting ground for the last Kahns. Later communist leaders came in for the same purpose. Nowadays hunting is strictly forbidden. The parc houses the last wild horses in the world. The Takhi as the Mongolians say (pronunciation like in technology). We call them Przewalski horses. After two and a half hours driving we turn left. Following a sandroad of 13 kilometers we arrive at the entrance. The tickets cost 25.000 tögrög each, which is about 8 Euro. In the visitors centre there ... read more
Hustai National Parc
Przewalski horses
Przewalski mare with foal.

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar August 5th 2019

The roads are completely empty when we drive from Chinggis Kahn Airport to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. ‘Why it is so empty’, I ask our taxidriver. ‘It’s because of Naadam’, she says. Naadam is the world famous Mongolian festival, full of horse racing, arching and fat men wrestling eachother to the ground. And ofcourse full of ceremonies and colourful exotic costumes. ‘Usually there are jams’, she says. Indeed several days later we’ll see the city in full action. So bad even that the smog takes my breath away. I’m told that it is even worse in winter, when the smoke of ger camps merge with the exhaust gasses of the cars. But now the air is clean. We are passing modern buildings, wide boulevards with six lanes, flanked by pine trees. Pine trees in the ... read more
Chinggis Kahn
The Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs was before the Lenin Centre
Tarbosaurus bataar at the Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar August 2nd 2019

27 juillet (Lendemain de la tempête de sable) Notre campement d'hier a effectivement été monté au milieu de nulle part. Aucun arbre ni aucun rocher ne s'y trouve pour couper le vent ou pour disparaître le temps de son brossage de dents et de sa toilette matinale. Nos tentes maintenant blessées par la tempête ne pourront certainement pas survivre à une seconde rage comme celle d'hier soir. On passera par la ville de Dalanzadgad ce matin, là où passe la route principale bitumée. Quoique la ville soit la capitale de la région d'Ömnögov, elle n'abrite que 18 740 habitants. On n'y sera que de passage, question de racheter des vivres et de (quel bonheur) prendre nos douches au bâtiment quelconque en béton utilisé comme public shower de la région. Ce nettoyage de corps nous coûtera 1.50$ ... read more
Paysage 1
Van russe
Paysage 2

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar August 2nd 2019

30-31 juillet (À Oulan-Bator) Je suis plutôt heureux d'avoir retrouvé la civilisation. J'ai maintenant les recoins du corps propre et mon linge sent finalement le savon. Je profite de ces dernières journées sur UB pour étirer le temps dans les musées et voir les quelques fossiles de dinosaures recueillit dans le désert de Gobi, là où voilà seulement quelques jours, je jouais l'aventurier. Avant de revenir au Québec, je tenais mordicus à manger dans ce restaurant nord-coréen proposé dans des brochures trouvées à l'auberge. Quel intrigue ce Pays. Ce n'est certainement pas à tous les coins de rues de l'Occident qu'on nous offre l'opportunité de s'infiltrer par une brèche, le temps d'un repas, dans le Pays le plus secret de la planète.  Il est 18h30 alors que je me lance la mission de me rendre au ... read more
Mariage à UB 2
Monastère 1

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar July 17th 2019

15 juillet (Toujours en escale à Beijing) J'entre seul dans le premier shuttle bus quittant l'hôtel brun de Beijing. 5AM: il n'y a que moi qui doit quitter la Chine de si de bonne heure ce matin. La vie à l'aéroport ne s'arrête jamais.  Passant les nombreux points de contrôle chinois, me voilà qui retrouve la Gate 24 du Hub, la dernière au bout du Terminal 3, celle où les chinois ne se rendent jamais. Accroché à la passerelle, un tout petit avion d'Air China fait ronronner ses moteurs. Derrière lui, une piste dans le smog élance des Boeing aux 40 secondes. Population de la Chine: 1 420 000 000 Population de la Mongolie: 2 993 000 Population du Québec: 8 000 000 Population de Montréal: 4 195 000 * Il y a davantage de monde ... read more
Rouleaux à prière

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar June 29th 2018

9.10pm flight from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar on Miat Airways.....bit sceptical but great airline.....served us a nice plain roll with a few filling ingredients.....suited us down to the ground after all the asian food over the last few days. Flight time was less than thought got into UB around 11pm....two drivers and guide (Chucka, Tovuu and Tseegi) there to meet us and transport us to the Kempinski Hotel.....a beautiful hotel....two nights here and our last night here on way back from safari. Chucka is our driver and ours is a big V8 Land Cruiser....glad we paid extra for these cars as the other option was a Russian van which would have taken us all....but we all laughed as we headed to the hotel and saw one....NO SPRINGS....and we have hundreds of klms through the Gobi Desert etc ... read more

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar June 11th 2018

What I loved about Traveling to Mongolia? Food, Culture, Religion, Buddhism, etc. all sum up Mongolia's Adventure. I'm going back there in October 26th,2018! I think this would be an interesting trip just because you can see that many people are Buddhist and the history of the country is very interesting to learn. They have a Giagantic Statue of Genghis Khan,etc. In fact I was in Mongolia this year! I loved Mogolia! The weather was snowy because it was during Fall Season. October-End of April they get snow a lot. Luckily, I got Hostel for only $10 dollars a night when I was in Mongolia. I got to see the towns and saw the Monasteries. You know what I saw was interesting? I saw Monks and Buddhas that I saw in Tibet,etc. Such a fun time. ... read more

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar January 21st 2018

Yes indeed, Mongolians are best known as the original nomads, and in a vast, sparsely-populated expanse of land such as Mongolia, the reasons for all of these migratory movements are fairly self-explanatory. It is fair to comment that the final word in Mongolian culture, economic activity and tourist influx begins and ends in the nation's capital city, Ulaanbaatar, and a few brief glances around the city reveal evidence of far-Eastern investment, namely South Korean developers whose investment in Mongolia seems like a strategy-in-the-making. Ulaanbaatar's centrepiece is Sukhbaatar Square, which is flanked on the one side by the government building, and on another side by the colourful Opera and Ballet theatre, a State institution in a nation where a knock-on influence from the Soviet Union has clearly shaped the way in ... read more
Gandantegchenling monastery (Ulaanbaatar; Mongolia)
Statue of Genghis Khaan (Terelj National Park; Mongolia)
Roadside scenery (Terelj National Park; Mongolia)

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