I miss Mongolia

Old Feb 18th, 2007, 08:07 AM
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Wow... I'll take a look for it, thanks!

Yeah, somehow I don't think that'd be a pretty picture, dragging somebody along who didn't want to go - especially Mongolia!

It's odd, it's like it's calling me there, know what I mean? I saw the pics on the Blue Wolf site and thought, "Oh, that's where I'm meant to go." And everything's happened very easily... but staying in tents in 14-50 degree weather is not my normal way of doing things! But it's like it's found me, Mongolia...

We shall see...


Michael
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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hi atravelynn... that's my one concern, flights, so I'm building in a couple days buffer in UB, Ulgii and back in UB before I head to Hong Kong for a few days.

also, was there much in ulgii itself? to see... or were you able to visit the general area a bit?


thanks!

Michael
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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Michael, I know what you mean. Ever since I saw "The Weeping Camel" I have been intrigued with Mongolia. Now that I watched "The Great Match" I am even more interested!
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 02:12 PM
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The city itself was not as much of interest to me as the surrounding country. I spent very little time there.
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Old Mar 7th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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I am very interested in Mongolia. We are cautiously wondering about motoring there from England (hopefully to finish in Beijing - if we can get clearance for us and the car).

Any information would be welcome.

Pat
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Old Mar 7th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Getting permission for a foreigner to drive in China is apparently very difficult. Meanwhile you might want to read Jim Roger's books on his two round-the-world trips including Siberia and China (one by motorbike and one by car). You could also look at the reports from competitors in the Mongol Rally - although the main web site seems to be down right now.
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Old Mar 7th, 2007, 06:38 PM
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01pat23,
Quite an adventure that would be. I must admit, I don't think I miss Mongolia enough to drive there from England.
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Old Mar 7th, 2007, 08:05 PM
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atravelynn - much more comfortable by train!
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Old Mar 10th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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I really appreciate your replies - and will certainly find Jim Roger's books - and try to gen up on the Mongol Rally (I had not known about this one).

I have read your comments re train and it sounds exciting. However, I have always wanted to drive through Asia and am exploring the possibility. I have just found 2 good companions and we are gathering as much information as poss. I suppose it would be easier to fly!! but not nearly so much fun? Admittedly, I do not expect the trip will be quite as predictable as many touring/camping trips I have done in the past!!

Any more news would always be welcome.

Pat
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Old Mar 10th, 2007, 01:06 PM
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Definitely overland - car or train - in preference to flying! Good luck - do come back and tell us how it works out!
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Old May 8th, 2007, 05:34 PM
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Anybody have any upcoming summer trips to Mongolia?
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Old May 21st, 2007, 03:52 PM
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I have a summer trip to Mongolia! Hurray!

Not this summer. Not in 2008 either. I think I'll go in 2009.
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 01:48 PM
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Hi, I have a trip planned for this summer to Mongolia! I am going on a 13 day tour with Penguin tours. I think they are out of Denmark or Norway. I am going with them because my friend from Sweden booked with them and I decided to go along.

Mongolia looks awesome! I can't wait.

I have a few questions, based on my internet research. What did everyone do for water.

We will be Ulan-Baatar for one day and then travelling for 12 days. Is there bottled water available, did people boil their water or did you need a filter?

Also, when you stayed in a Ger, did you need your own bedding. Do I need my sleeping bag?

Is the food okay or do I need to bring a few energy bars as a supplement. I like mutton, but I don't think I can take two weeks of it.

Oh, yes, I also read that the people like when you give them gifts. Did anyone experience this, and what would be good suggestions of things to bring.

I also heard that you can't turn Tugrik's back into dollars, after you exchange them. Is this true? And, I heard that it is hard to get money away from Ulan-Baatar. Will they take dollars, then?

Any other travel advice? I'd really appreciate some pointers from people who have been there. If you know of any good books or websites, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks.
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 02:28 PM
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I was in Mongolia back in 2001. I purchased a saddle in Ulaan Batar, then got on a bus to Testerlig, bought a horse for about $120, and spent the next 3 weeks riding.

The sight of a big white guy dressed in a Mongolian robe (which is incredibly essential and convenient piece of clothing for the ever changing Mongolian weather) on a small Mongolian horse caused quite a stir in some places. I remember one guy riding a motorcycle approaching me form the opposite direction on the road and falling over in sheer surprise. No injuries though, thankfully, but many laughs afterward.

The only downside from the trip is that I lost my camera bag, with all of the film inside. I only lost $10 on the resale of the horse!

Fishing was also incredible. The streams there are just teaming with fish.

It's all coming flooding back now as I begin remembering again...
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 04:53 PM
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baaj: I can just picture your image and causing the poor local to fall off his motorcyle. You do know how to have fun, and I appreciate your common sense (an uncommon virtue) in other posts.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2007, 03:27 AM
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you miss Mongolia? I understand that Ghengis Khan does also.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2007, 04:09 AM
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My husband and I will be leaving for Mongolia in August. We feel really lucky that we have our own private guide. Our son is finishing his peace crop tour in Mongolia and will taking us around. We than board the train to China for 2 weeks and off to Tibet. We are excited to see where our son has lived for the last 2 years.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2007, 04:52 AM
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I'm leaving for Mongolia on July 5th for two weeks. My friend and I are part of a private tour as well. I'd like to hear the answers to Sparkle's questions. I loved the story of the horse rider!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2007, 10:17 AM
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baaj, your story is intriguing to me and I would like to learn more about your adventure.

I will most likely be traveling solo. Was it easy to find a horse and saddle for sale?

Do you speak any of their language other than smiles and signing?

Is Mongolia a farly safe country for a female traveling solo? I would think so but would still like to know your perspective.

Please email me at tkoedoot at prunw dot com with the words replaced by the actual characters.

Thanks!
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Old Jul 9th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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eurotraveller,

Sorry for the long delay in the reply - I just now noticed that there were replies to this thread...

Just a few caveats to consider before taking a trip like this, especially solo. I actually didnít plan to do this by myself, but a friend who was to join me bailed at the last minute and I was too excited at that point to cancel.

-Know basic survival skills. Often you are miles from the nearest person.

-Know horses. I had ridden horses for years, but there was one time on this trip where I was certain I was going to die, and still am not sure why I did not. One of the horses I had was fast and strong, but high strung to the point of being borderline crazy. He resented having anything on his back, so made for a terrible pack horse. The only way to control him was to ride him.
We were riding hard that afternoon, trying to outrun a big thunderstorm (which we actually did successfully). He was amped from the long run, and as we approached a water hole, an eagle flew up spooking us all. He saw the opportunity to get free and reared, which I wasn't ready for and I slipped off the back of him and hit the ground hard. Unfortunately, one of my feet was caught in the saddle and I couldnít twist free as he was already in a full gallop. His back hooves pounded the ground just inches from my head. I twisted to get my head as far away from him as I could. In the end, he slowed for just a second and I was able to twist free of the stirrup, but not after being dragged across the plain for hundreds of meters. Obviously, I had dropped the line to my pack horse, who also ran off in the frenzy, dropping my supplies.

-Know thyself. I was so bruised and battered from the hard fall and being dragged, it was difficult to walk. But as there was no one else to help and all of my food and supplies were on the pack horse, I had to run them down, despite the pain. It took me the rest of the day to catch the horses and collect my things that had fallen off the pack horse. Needless to say I spent the next day alternately licking my wounds and psyching myself up to get back on that *$%^ horse. If you go solo, you have to know you can force yourself to deliver in a pinch. (A friend beside you is invaluable in situations like these)

-(most importantly) Know how to eat tons of fatty mutton. I donít know what you would do in Mongolia if you were a vegetarian.

Anyway, I found Mongolia to be pretty safe with a few (very significant) exceptions. Ulan Bataar is a very rough place (or was when I was there 6 years ago). There were gangs of thugs in the market (usually reeking of vodka) who would try to surround you and knock you down so they could make out with your wallet and other stuff. I'm a pretty big guy, so when I started yelling and swinging my fists, they backed off. Around the city, there were several other minor incidents like this, so try to go out with a group if possible. Once I left UB, the Mongolian people couldn't have been more generous and helpful, inviting me in to their gers to eat and drink with them in the evenings.
People who had no possessions other than their yurts and their herd, were still happy to slaughter one of their flock to celebrate the fact that some foreigner had wandered into their midst. This was such a frequent occurrence that I would sometimes intentionally set up camp on the tree lined mountain ridges, so I could get away from the festivities. I felt guilty about people killing their investments when I had nothing to give them in return. Also, while I encourage everyone to try fermented mare's milk, drinking copious amounts of it every evening for many days in a row can definitely take its toll.

I canít really predict how it would be for a female though. It wouldnít be so different, but remember if you are doing this solo, it just may be you and a few goat herders out in the middle of nowhere. Iíd really recommend that you find someone to accompany you. You should be able to find a few people to travel with you once you get to UB.

On saddles and tack, my advice is bring one if you can. The Mongolian one's are very uncomfortable. Take an old one from your country, and you can either give it away or resell it in the end. I bought a old Russian one in the main bazaar in UB, which was a little better than the Mongolian ones. There was only one there and I don't remember what I paid for it, but it wasn't too expensive.

For communication, all I had was a Mongolian phrasebook, which was definitely well worn by the end of the trip.

Hope this helps in your planning!
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