Driving around Mongolia
Driving around Mongolia Reviews
Mongolia Sep 09, 2011
I arrived in Ulaanbaatar and stayed at the lovely Green Hostel. Not much to look at on the outside but inside was very clean, welcoming and hospitable. In the capitol city I visited the omnipresent State Department Store (a Mongolian Walmart), the National Museum (Very good), all the monasteries, a music and dance performance and heard amazing throat singing and of course ate Mongolian BBQ.
After a few days, my Russian 4WD van picked us up for an amazing 9 days in the Gobi desert. We stayed in Ger camps, rode camels, saw dinosaur eggs, saw livestock free roaming everywhere and a few more monasteries and other sacred sites of Tibetan Buddhists.
Upon reaching the Northern part of the country,the temperature plummeted and turned rainy. We saw many yaks, rode horses, saw reindeer, and more monasteries.The lakes we visited were boring and it was too cold to go swimming - all year long. When staying in a Ger, the stove pipe goes through the top portion of the tent. If it rains, in most Gers, you have to choose between warm or dry. The stoves are small and run out of wood about 2-3 hours after ignition and cannot be re-lit without a blowtorch. The camp manaGer is not available at 2 AM so we all froze and went the next half (9 days) of our trip sick. There are essentially no paved roads in Mongolia except near the capitol city. With all 6 of us sick, the incredibly bumpy roads wreaked havoc on our stuffy, head-achy, muscle achy bodies for the next 1600 km. We moved Ger camps everyday and woke up early and could not sleep in the bumpy van. I was glad to reach the capitol city where I stayed in a horrible guest house "Nassantour" because the nice one had closed for the season. I was glad to depart the next day for home and have been sick since my return but began antibiotics. 25 days later I am feeling better.
I would recommend the Gobi desert to the south of the country which was very interesting and great. Te rest is repetitious and boring. I would only go to Mongolia in June or July and not stay more than 10 days. Most people (myself included) think off roading is fun but it is not fun after 2 hours much less more than 2 weeks.
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