Blogs from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Asia - page 4


Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar November 6th 2014

So we woke early for our 7.15am train to Beijing, as Vicky and I headed back earlier the rest of the group stayed out, what a mess they were in the morning. Tom looked like the walking dead and Katie and Jo’s alarm only went off at 6.20am with a 6.30am pick up. Thankfully we all made it to the train station in time and made it onboard. We lost Martina thanks to the Chinese government miss informing her about getting a Chinese visa so she was having a few extra days in Ulaanbaatar (very jealous). Once on the train we tried to sleep but had these crazy Chinese/Mongolian porters trying to move us from our room and took our tickets from us so it was bedlam, finally they stopped harassing us and we managed to ... read more

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar November 5th 2014

Hi All, Woke up in our Ger, which was freezing even though I was stoking the fire all night. Our Ger was situated in Gorkhi-Terelj National park. We headed for a breakfast of bread, jam, cheese (slices yuck) and then sausage and fried egg, this seems to be the Mongolian breakfast staple. We then headed out to see the rock formation Turtle Rock, which by chance looked just like a turtle!!! We were allowed to climb up to a cave in the rock where they store meat in the summer. It was good climbing it as you can see by the photos (Vicky’s spider man silhouette was good). We then headed to the 40-meter Chinggis Khaan statue, recently built in 2008; you may think we spelt it wrong but that is the correct Mongolian spelling not ... read more
Outside our Ger

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar November 5th 2014

Hi Everyone, Our journey on the Vodka train we have passed through the most spectacular landscapes from Irkutsk to Ulaanbaatar. From snowy, woody, under privileged, industrial Siberia (in some places) to arid brown rolling mountainous areas across the boarder into Mongolia. We have brilliant photos. After two nights on a 2nd class carriage we arrived in UB at 5.40am, where we met on the platform by our Mongolian honcho Guetta. We were all driven to the countryside (about 60km), to a Ger camp: A Ger is a circular bedroom with a hearth in the middle. We went back to bed for a few hours and woke for breakfast at 9am. Neil and I then went on a 2hour walk up the surrounding mountains. This has been the highlight of the trip so far! The views were ... read more

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar July 28th 2014

After our all night experiences of our China/Mongolia border crossings last night and dealing with both lots of authorities at each border, we could now settle back into enjoying our Mongolian experiences. We were still crossing the Gobi Desert which was nothing like I had imagined it for other than its vastness for, this was a green desert which didn’t fit my image of it at all. Due to recent unseasonal rainfall, we were very lucky to be seeing it at its best but, at the same time felt as though we had been robbed of our true experience in imagining what it would be like to be crossing one of the world’s most inhospitable areas as, we were looking out onto something totally different and felt that there was something wrong with this picture. This ... read more
Small lakes on the Gobi
Power substation on the Gobi
Our TM train curves around a hill

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar June 19th 2014

GOLDEN GOBI GUESTHOUSE GOBI TOUR 6/19 to 6/27 2014 When we met outside the Gobi Guesthouse Joanna and I discovered we were the only ones on our tour to southern Mongolia, at least for a while. Two other travelers had cancelled at the last minute. So it was a women’s tour for a couple of days (except for the driver, Gumba), until a young couple joined us on the third day. Joanna is from Poland and speaks wonderful English and was an easy going travel companion. We left Ulaanbaatar for our eight day tour on a good paved road that soon cut off through the eternal grassland on a very primitive dirt road. We were rewarded with views of herds of goats, sheep, cows and horses and our first gers (Mongolian yurts). Our guide, Soko and ... read more
Our lovely hostess and her adorable children
My friend Joanna from Warsaw
Shepherd in his traditional coat and sash

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar June 18th 2014

I have been trying to catch up on my blogs. It seems like it wouldn't take any time at all to write a few words and post them. Unfortunately I am not a computer geek and I struggle with each entry. Not only that, often there will be no internet for days on end. Here in Mongolia so far I have had easy access, but I am in Ulaanbaatar, the largest city in the country. Tomorrow, actually in five hours, I will be leaving for a nine day trek to the Gobi Desert. It is a very primitive trip but I am looking forward to it because I have been in the city since June 15th and for three days I just stayed in my hotel room and rested. Two wonderful massages (really different experiences from ... read more
Astride his horse
Blue Sky Building in downtown Ulaanbaatar
Look Closely

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar June 2nd 2014

4 hours sleep in what was left of last night after our crossing of the China/Mongolia border in the wee small hours but, what better way to wake than to the sight of a herd of camels right outside the window of the train and right beside the railway line when I awoke at 7-30am and peered out. Camels on the Gobi. Yesterday was a very long day and last night even longer. We had travelled all day from Beijing to Erlian Station, arriving about 9-20pm, an hour later than expected, for we had lost an hour mid-afternoon when we had pulled to a siding to wait out something that was happening - never did find out what - sitting there in the heat of the day. The part of the train that we are in ... read more
Erlian Station
Jen beside the TM at Erlian Station
Train bogies inside the workshop

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar March 12th 2014

Geo: 47.9159, 106.918We are now back in Ulaanbaatar, the coldest capital in the world or so our guide says. The temperature ranges from -49c in winter to 38c in summer although at the moment it seems a comfortable -5c.Driving out of the city we noticed a car with red flags on it, "it's a car with no driver" says our guide, what she means is a learner.We visited the National Park about 50km from the city, it is a stunningly beautiful landscape for visitors although I am sure it is a harsh environment for the nomads who live there. In the winter they move their animals to lower pastures where they have stockades for the animals (there are predators like wolves), whilst there the children attend school. In the summer they move up onto the mountains ... read more
Our Yurt
Meditation Centre
A Real Yurt

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar March 12th 2014

Geo: 47.9159, 106.918I have no idea if any of you are finding this blog in the slightest bit interesting (we have noticed the number of hits has risen, any feedback would be appreciated) but I have had a request for more Mongolian photographs so here are a few before we get on the train.Turtle rock looks just as the guide book says. The shrine is just like those in India, they spend a lot of time and effort creating the shrine, people make offerings but along comes a workman and puts a great big fuse box right next to it but no one takes the slightest umbrage.... read more
Meditation Centre
The view from our camp site

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar March 11th 2014

Geo: 47.9159, 106.918Ulan Batar, or perhaps Ulaanbaatar, depending on which atlas you read, is the capital of Mongolia. The country has a population of 3 million of which one million live in the capital most of whom are currently stuck in a traffic jam. There seems to have been a sudden increase in disposable income and insufficient road capacity to cater for all the cars. They don't have a metro system so chaos reigns. Mongolians nominally drive on the right but half of the cars are imported second hand Japanese cars which are left hand drive. By far the most popular model is the Toyota Prius, the only explanation our guide gave was because petrol "is so expensive in Mongolia", it's about 75p a litre so there must be some other tax break either here or ... read more
Apprentice Monks

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