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First time Mongolia - 2 month trip. Advice?

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Hi,

I'll be travelling with my boyfriend to Mongolia, flying in to Ulaanbataar in July and back out in September. Any advice on a route to take, or generally how to fill the two months best? In the first throes of planning so open to any suggestions.
Thanks,

B

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    Wow - you are going to have a lot of time! I went to Mongolia in 2008, we went with the group Nomadic Expeditions so our route was planned for us. Although we were surprised how diverse Mongolia was. We hit Lake Hovsgol in the Central North - beautiful larch forests and of course the lake. Around UB, it was more what we expected - flatter green prarie. And in the south, the Gobi Desert - vast stretches of rocky land with surprising colder valleys. We didn't get there, but in the west there are the Altai Mountains where you will find the herders that hunt with Golden Eagles.


    I would suggest looking at some trips provided by Nomadic Expeditions and seeing some of the major regions that you may want to see.


    Also, keep in mind that August is Naadam season, the largest right outside UB, but all over the country there are smaller games. You may want to think about exactly where you want to be for the games.

    Some other references you may want to check out:

    The movie Long Way Around (they go right through Mongolia) http://www.longwayround.com/

    The website Longitude Books
    http://www.longitudebooks.com/find/d/3956/pc/Central%20&%20East%20Asia/mcms.html

    The Mongol Rally
    http://www.theadventurists.com/the-adventures/mongol-rally

    While in the country, I saw a lot of motorcyclist that were doing long term touring around the country, you may want to search the web for cycling advice, I would guess that there is a lot out there.

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    I just published a book on Mongolian Nomads, which is the book I wish I had had the first time I visited Mongolia. It is called "Moving with the Seasons: Portrait of a Mongolian Family" and is a visual and written portrait of the annual cycle of life on the Mongolian steppe. Presented within the context of the often surprising blend of traditional and modern elements of nomadic life, the text and photos document the nomad’s enduring traditions of hospitality, the changing patterns of religion and education, and the household logistics of living in a small, round, moveable tent called a ger (known in the west as a yurt).

    This book draws on my intimate experience with a single family to reveal the unique culture of Mongolian nomads and their remarkable capacity to thrive in one of the world’s harshest environments. Rather than try to describe Mongolia with words, I have used photographs to illustrate the beauty and magic of both the land and the people­­––ushering the reader into the heart of another life. I wanedt to show the nomads’ lives as I witnessed them with all their honor, integrity, and warmth.

    The author of the "Lonely Planet’s Guide to Mongolia", Michael Kohn, wrote the following description for the back cover: "In an age when most travelers whiz about the globe at light speed, Liza Carter prefers a slower pace that has given her a rare and in depth look at the fast disappearing nomadic culture of Mongolia. Her timely book displays extraordinary passion and sensitivity for the people she meets and with a careful eye brings her reader into the cozy felt gers that the Mongols have called home for centuries... Liza Carter instead paints a portrait of a traditional nomad family as they struggle to survive the harsh landscape and unforgiving climate in a land once considered the greatest empire on Earth.”

    You are likely already in Mongolia and I hope you have a fabulous time. When you return,
    Check out my book. It is available on www.lizacarterart.com/Mongolia (preferred) or Amazon.com.

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