Blogs from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Asia - page 41

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Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar July 2nd 2006

I was reading Frank Skinner's hilarious autobiography recently and one of the comments on the back stated "This book is so much better than you have any right to expect." Unreservedly, I would apply these sentiments to our time in Mongolia. Mongolia ferfuxake. I'm from Glasgow. What would any Glaswegian in the right mind be doing in Mongolia? I think as a curious 10 year old I may have come across it on a globe and back then it seemed as far away as Pluto. Perhaps even further given the class project we were doing on the solar system at the time. But here I was, 15 years later, stepping off a train in Ulaan Bataar toon centre as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Our departure from Beijing had been fairly ... read more
The lads in charge of the Mongolian BBQ
Arriving at the ger camp
Giddy up horsey

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar June 26th 2006

This might be a long one... Shanghai turned out to be a lot of fun. The moderness of it all was totally at odds with Yunnan before it and Beijing afterwards. The skylines were the main attraction, particularly at night. Although watching the boats on the bund was also a compelling. From Shanghai we took a very comfortable train overnight to Beijing. Carrie immediately felt at home and transported us swifly to the youth hostel where we based ourselves for a week while we waited for our Mongolian visas. Beijing was very interesting and provided lots of good touristy and non tourist activities. We visited the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Hutongs (Old style family compound housing). However, I think the slightly obscure highlight for both of us was parading past throught the mausoleum ... read more
Us and our trusty van
Lake Khovsgol
Yaks on the move

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar June 3rd 2006

Saturday 0015 Departs Singapore Changi Airport on CA970. 0615 Arrives in Beijing. Transit. 0850 Departs Beijing on CA901. (+1h) 1225 Arrives in Ulaanbaatar (UB). Here we are, on our second trip to Mongolia one year later. This time we were lucky to reach Ulaanbaatar on schedule. No more flight delay like last year. Muno and Puujee, our Mongolian guides, are already at the airport to receive us. So is Nyaama, who is going to be our driver for the next 15+ days. After checking into UB Hotel, which is the same one we stayed last year, Puujee brought us for lunch at the SilkRoad Restaurant. We have heard about the restaurant from PJ, and it is also a "Lonely Planet" recommended restaurant. We had western food, Tendori chicken, etc. Food was quite ok. After lunch, Puujee ... read more
Interesting Figurines
Winter Palace
Bogd Khaan Palace

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar May 21st 2006

No need to spend much time in Listvyanka, is the Lonely Planets take on this tiny remote Siberian Village on the shores of Lake Baikal. Not a very comforting read when you have just booked three nights stay there and the weather is closing in. Unnerved, we set off from Irkutsk and bolted up in our small rented apartment. We were staying there with our latest acquaintance, Lars from Denmark - an extremely worldly wise young man from Jutland. We took in Hovercraft rides across the lake, short hikes to observation towers and plenty of smoked fish suppers in our short stay. All that mixed with the local Baik Vodka resulted in a really relaxing weekend. With that, our Russian adventure had come to an end and we were back on the train heading for Mongolia. ... read more
A quick browse through the local paper.
On the road
Canyon

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar May 8th 2006

8th May: Woke up this morning to find it snowing outside. I thought it would be lovely and warm, not bloody freezing. By the time I got sorted out, washed, dressed, and a quick fag, we had arrived in UB. Haha! I was so excited. I had finally left Europe proper and I was now in Mongolia, and Asia! Whoop whoop! I was met by the guide on the platform and was shown to the minibus. It contained 6 blokes from England and one from New Zealand. Our guides said that we would do a walking tour of Ulaanbaatar, but since it was only 8 am, we would have some breakfast first. We stopped at a random bank, that looked closed, but there was a window open so we could exchange some money. We headed to ... read more
Good Luck!
My Ger
Feeding Time

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar April 27th 2006

My short time in Beijing only allowed for a brief taste ... but it really was delicious, right down to the Peking (Beijing) duck we feasted on for my birthday dinner. Having arrived in Beijing from India, a few things became immediately apparent. The air was cool and crisp (down to approx 15 degrees from 45 when I left India) - quite a relief, as I was struggling to fit my winter clothes into my pack! As part of the planning for the 2008 Olympics there were trees being planted all around the city, blossoms were in bloom and everything was neatly organised without a scrap of rubbish. Construction in Beijing is going crazy, apparently whole city blocks of hutons have been razed and construction is underway on massive new buildings - all part of the ... read more
The Forbidden City, Beijing
Birthday Beijing (Peking) Duck
Gobi Desert Dust Storms

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar April 23rd 2006

Hello I hope you are doing well. My last days in Thailand were, great. I love that festival. The last day of Songkran was unreal. The streets were packed. Vehicles, scooters, bikes could barely move. I could move faster by foot and that gave my/us the upper hand. Music was being played from everywhere and people were dancing in the streets. Huge blocks of ice were thrown in everyone's barrel of water so that cooled things off. Some had bottles of whatever and would give you a drink/ pour it over you mouth, if you wanted it or not. It was a party that lasted all day and went all night. Chis and I went with our friends who run the guesthouse. Pon and Tip and the others. Their thai names are long and hard to ... read more

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar April 9th 2006

The train pulls into Ulaanbaatar at 5.30 am. We cannot believe that we are in Mongolia. Our first impression (despite being shattered) is that it is blxxdy freezing, and that the people smile here. We are met by a very friendly female guide called Ogii who takes us to our minibus where Brendan, Matt and I wait half an hour for a couple of people arriving on a later train. It feels so cold, it was about -15. The people turn out to be a couple called Claire and James from Belfast. We go straight to a decent hotel where we have access to showers and a sauna. The former was freezing which was a disappointment after the train, but we were mollified by the lovely sauna. After a hearty (eat all you can) buffet breakfast ... read more
27m high buddha in Ulaanbaater monastery
Buddha's feet
Brendan gets past the guard dogs

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar March 21st 2006

People who hear the words "six-day train trip" will usually have one of two opposing reactions. This either sounds enchanting and relaxing or like total hell. In order to acheive the former experience, we bought first class tickets for the six-day journey. Many people break up this trip in either Ullan Bator, Mongolia, or Irkutsk, Siberia, but we had so much trouble buying tickets in Beijing. Our Russian visas couldn't afford us getting stuck along the way, so we decided to buy tickets straight through to Moscow. We found that most of the other travellers in our car were also tourists making the same 6-day journey. Needless to say, you get to know people pretty well in six days. We were also fortunate enough to have a social director on board - Anni, a half-Japanese, half-Swedish ... read more
Mongolia from the train window
Ullan Bator, Mongolia
The Mongolia Dining Car

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar January 18th 2006

Mongolia Jan 13-18, 2006 Temp: -25 to -30C during the day and -33 to -40C at night… WHOA Momma! Snow cover: 7cm (very arid here) Warning: this is a LONG blog… for this reason I have included an index: 1) Intro 2) Irkutsk to Ulaabataar (UB) Train Ride 3) UB 4) Mongol Empire History 5) JDV’s Dog Sledding Adventure 1) Intro I can now say that I have lived through some of the coldest temperatures I have ever experienced. Before I get ahead of myself, I will recount the most frustrating train journey of my life. 2) Irkutsk to Ulaanbaatar Train Ride We’ll pick up where I left off last in Irkutsk (Siberia) where I boarded a train headed to Ulaanbaatar (UB). I could not figure out how it was going to take us 36 hours ... read more
Dog Sledding
BBQ
Dog Sledding on sheer ice




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