Welcome to Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar Travel Blog

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The Chinese attendant opened the door and slapped my leg, uttering the name "Ulaanbaatar." I hopped out of bed, expecting we would be rolling into the station immediately, but I ended up sitting in the corridor for another hour or so as we slowly pulled into the city. I disembarked at the station and saw the baggage handlers unloading my bike from the luggage wagon. I approached and tried to get the bike from them but was told I would have to wait until the customs office was open. The bike was locked in a storage room and I sat around like an idiot for several hours until the office opened. There were a few Mongolians also waiting to retrieve their items out of storage. It seems to be common to import items from China and Russia on the train to resell here. All sorts of useless stuff was stashed away in the storage room with my bike.

I approached the customs agent and showed him my Russian baggage documentation, hoping he would understand. Fortunately he spoke a bit of English. Unfortunately, they really didn't know what to do with me. At one point they sent me into the city to find a photocopier for my passport. Why they didn't have their own photocopier is beyond me. Since I didn't speak the language, it was obviously difficult for me to find a photocopier, and I returned unsuccessful. In the end, they just copied down my passport details by pen. Maybe they traced my picture too. Who knows what they were doing. The agent asked me how much my bike was worth and I quoted a figure that was half of its actual cost. Finally, six hours and 20,000 Mongolian Tugriks later, Rusty Jr. and I were reunited.

Welcome to Mongolia!

coolguy says:
When someone has my bike locked up in a foreign country, I try to avoid doing anything that might provoke them!
Posted on: Oct 12, 2007
stabber911 says:
Come on you should at least take a photo of the custom office or custom officer.. At least we can all hate them together.
Posted on: Oct 12, 2007
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photo by: Biedjee