Traffic Jam

Ulaanbaatar Travel Blog

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Outside State Dept store

The traffic in UB is always pretty bad.  The government clearly knows this and has embarked on some major road building around the city and police are posted to control the traffic at the 3 or 4 major intersections, but for now the results are yet to be seen and the roads leading in and out of the city are slow progress.

We are leaving Mongolia today and will be sad to move on, but our visa has almost expired and it is time to head back to China and the Silk Road. 

By an unlucky chance we have chosen International Childrens Day for our travels.  In the morning Peace Av is closed for a march of mothers and children and the whole city seems to be on holiday making the city centre especially crowded.

Peace Av
  Also, unknown to us, the Chinese president is making an official visit to Mongolia today, so the police shut down many of the roads in the city centre in advance of arrival of his motorcade. 

The result of all this is that the city is gridlocked and there is no way we can catch the bus to the airport.  We soon give up and call a taxi but even this struggles to find a way round the back streets to the airport.  The taxi is metered and clocks up an unbelievable amount, about 3 or 4 times what I would expect to the airport.   At departures we quickly take our rucksacks out of the taxi and start arguing with the driver about the fare.  As this is our last day we actually don't have much cash so give him a reasonable amount - about all we have- and make a dash for check-in counters,  praying that the taxi driver will not follow us.

skippyed says:
We had Childrens Day whilst in Konya but the buses were smart enough to leave a few hours earlier before the roads became gridlocked!
Posted on: Jun 26, 2010
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Outside State Dept store
Outside State Dept store
Peace Av
Peace Av
photo by: Biedjee