I miss Mongolia

Old Jul 9th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Wow, baaj, sooner you than me with the horses!

But, I was surprised about your experiences in Ulaan Baator. Maybe they've cleaned things up a bit. I (single, older female) was there in 2004, and had no problems, certainly not the kind you describe. There were beggars, mostly youngish boys, but nothing dramatic - not even as bad as India.
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Old Jul 10th, 2007, 10:50 AM
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LOL I've traveled in Asia for so long, beggars don't even register on my danger-o-meter.

I'm glad to hear it's improved in UB. At that time, my experiences weren't isolated incidents - I met many other travelers with similar stories. I was really surprised about how rough it was then, especially when the rest of the country was so peaceful.
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 09:18 PM
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I have not checked in here for some time because I have been gone. Such fascinating tales are being told. Can't wait to find out about SunnyCindy's and Vicki's trips.

As a vegetarian in Mongolia, I just became a meat-eating vegetarian for much of my stay. Sometimes that happens.

The tactic of surrounding a person and taking their valuables occurred in 2005 to a man I know. He was able to run into the street, into traffic, which was probably not that good of an idea, and suffered no loss.

I didn't wander the streets of UB by myself very much because I was usually in the countryside, where I encountered zero crime.
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 12:30 AM
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hi all...

just returned from my trip - amazing.

canat and blue wolf travel were fantastic, so if anyone is looking to take a trip to bayan ulgii in the far-west/altai mountians, i can't recommend them enough (check link above).

now, i'm not as adventurous as baaj(!), so they hooked me up with a guide, cook and driver but basically it was a really laid-back trip and instead of dashing across the countryside, i hit three main things: i stayed with a family of eaglehunters in the hovd river valley, hung out with a shaman in ulgii, and then went to the tavan bogd area in the far-west.

each was amazing. the eaglehunter's family was so nice, and just a great way to get to know everyone, staying in the ger with them while they take me around to meet the neighbors! very social, very laid-back - exactly what i wanted. then on my last night with them i was invited to two kazakh weddings!!! many shots of vodka, but many incredible memories.

canat also arranged for me to hang out with the shaman for a bit, which doesn't happen a lot. i was really fortunate, and had a ball on one day when we went out to the local river, dropped our feet in and drank beer as we talked about life... and of course, my guide was there to interpret!

the only part of the trip i didn't like, was getting out to tavan bogd... dang, 8 hours or so bumping across every kind of terrain you can imagine. but of course it was worth it - we arrived at the entrance (couldn't drive beyond), set camp, and then the next day hired horses to take us up to the glacier and mountains. just amazing.

i could go on for a while, but if anyone is even remotely considering going out to the west of mongolia - don't hesitate - go! it's truly amazing. and i'm sure the other tour companies recommended here are great, but i can let you know that my experience with canat and blue wolf was amazing - they totally designed the trip, to exactly what i wanted. fantastic...


thanks for letting me rave about bayan ulgii and western mongolia! ))


michael
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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Michael - sounds like a fabulous trip! Thanks for reporting back.
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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Thank you for raving, Michael. I'm glad you had such an awesome experience. Staying with the families is outstanding. Thanks for the Canat and Blue Wolf recommendation. Now you'll miss it too.
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Old Oct 1st, 2007, 08:39 AM
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Michael,

Sounds like you had an incredible experience!

I've seen a lot about those eagle hunters (I'm a falconer myself) and someday hope to see their technique in action. Rumor has it that historically, their golden eagles have been trained to take out wolves that have been troubling their herd - now that would really be something to see.

Hopefully someday I'll have the time to go back and get out there. Thanks for sharing Michael!
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Old Oct 1st, 2007, 04:58 PM
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In early Oct is a golden eagle festival in the Bayan-Olgii Province. Someday I'd like to visit that. Then maybe stop in Haines, Alaska on the way back and see those eagles. Now that would be an eagle excursion!
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 09:50 PM
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thanks everyone, yeah, it was amazing...

and i know i'm going to miss it! it was funny, when i got back i was profoundly sad. the only thing that got me feeling a little better - i went out and got milk, green tea and yogurt... to make milky-tea and have some yogurt with sugar before i went to bed... reminded me of nights in the ger. ))))))

and atravelynn, yes - as a matter of fact the eaglehunting festival is going on right now! i got an email from my guide, she's there right now...

okay, that does it - i start planning tonight, for another trip next year!!!


michael

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Old Oct 7th, 2007, 03:06 PM
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Michael,

If your agent gives you more specifics on the Eagle Festival, I would love to know more, either here or email me directly.

Consider the 2008 Olympics and the impact it may have on flights to the area or crowding. But maybe you'd like to incorporate a visit to the Olympics, along with Mongolia. That could be one more reason to go.

I just started the process for a June-July 2009 trip of about 2 weeks. I understand there is a smaller Naadam in Moron and that I could even be a spectator a smaller yet family Naadam. I'll see how those things work out. Plus I want to see the takhis (Mongolian horses) again.

Let me know how your trip is shaping up!
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Old Apr 10th, 2008, 04:13 PM
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Who is going to Mongolia when and what are you going to do?

I think I'll wait until after the Olympics to put my Mongolia plans into gear (or is that ger??? ) because I Olympic travel, trials and tribulations may be on the front burner of my agent right now.

In the mean time anybody got a yak joke? Any tales from the steppes? Wonder how their weather has been.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:29 PM
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Sain baino.

I return to Mongolia this July. My 5th trip. All to the same area, near Darhan. The Olympics have made making the arrangements for our team more difficult & pricy... but I am happy to say we are going!

I can't wait to look up again at the stars. Shooting stars. Satelites drifting across the sky. Only the wind or a horse or a goat making noise in the distance.

byartai,
chris
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Old May 29th, 2008, 05:58 AM
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I am in Beijing right now, and plan to go into Mongolia in a few days. I don't have any plans outside of staying in a Ger sometime, hopefuly most the time? I dunno.

That and I as well would LOVE to just stare at the sky at night. Astronomy is a passion of mine, and what I wouldnt do to have my telescope with me from home. Too bad it wouldn't fit in my backpack haha.

I saw some pics of a crystal clear water lake up in the northern part of Mongolia that looks nice, and I might want to see the old Capital of old in the western part. I honestly am not sure how I will do what I end up doing. I figure that I will just get there and figure it out.

I have 5 weeks left to do Mongolia, Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. So I wont be too stressed for time, but any extra time I have I plan to learn some of the Chinese language, and possibly become a great coach in becoming a cricket fighting champion in Shanghai.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 04:45 PM
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Thanks for the responses.

That northern lake may be Lake Huvsgul.

Have fun looking at the stars, Chris. Good luck on the cricket, Coolguy.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 07:02 AM
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I'm surprised how much I missed it as well. I loved UB, and thought the people were really warm. I still don't like horses, although they are a great way to see the countryside (better than those jeeps, anyhow).

Here is a striking fact: 75% of Mongolians comprise 3 quarters of the population.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 02:25 PM
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I will be going this summer and will try to post something.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 10:22 AM
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Troll,

Your fact is more like a tale from the steppes. With a couple of modifications, I think it could even be turned into a yak joke.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:34 PM
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Whose to say it didn't start out as a yak joke? Then again, better a yak than a burro, just ask the Tartars.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 08:52 AM
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I ended the process for a June-July 2009 trip to Mongolia. So now I'll be missing it for a few more years.

Any news from the steppes would brigthen my spirits, though. Post it here or start your own thread with your Mongolia Tales.

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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 03:49 PM
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I'm supposed to go in Dec and will post something for you.
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