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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Jul 19, 2016 - Mongolia #1

We have had an amazing time exploring Mongolia. We flew 3 hours from Seoul to Ulaanbataar. Mongolia has a population of 3 million in an area stretching 2392 km west to east and 1259 km north to south, bordering China to the south and Russia to the north. 3 million people and the same number of horses! Mongolia gives you a sense of wide open space and vastness that photos can't capture. There is mostly steppe from the central region to the east, desert from the south to the west and forest-steppe in the northern regions. Only 3% of the...

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Jul 8, 2015 - Ulaanbaator, Mongolia - A shift in time

Hi - Interesting flight in. The route led just west of the coast of North Korea, over Korea Bay, North past Beijing and Inner Mongolia. The sky was clear so I could see the expanse of Mongolia's deserts below. We were probably east of the Gobi. Still, the vast expanse of nothing was impressive. The change in countries from Korea to Mongolia is fairly significant, though the faces around me share a family resemblance, possibly due to a Mongol invasion of the Korean early in the 13th century. Lots of shifts that go along with a change from...

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East Asia 2015

Jun 5, 2013 - Datong to Ulaanbaatar

Well, we made it to Mongolia without any hiccups. Of course there was nothing wrong with the tickets! We did have an anxious moment going through security but everything worked out fine. In China, they only let people with valid tickets into the station. At the first check point they ensure you have a valid ticket and current ID. When we got there, we were asked where are your tickets? I replied - I just gave them to you. There followed much mumbling and talking into two way radio. The queue behind us was diverted to another gate and we...

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Jul 20, 2012 - July 18 - Back in UB

And here we are, back in Ulaanbaatar again. On Sunday night we went to a cultural show which was full of dancing, horse headed fiddle players, throat singing and contortionists - it was really good. The throat singing is very unusual, they use their larynx, stomach, throat and palate to make sounds and are able to sing two notes and melodies at the same time, one a low growl and the other a whistle. You have to hear it to really appreciate it. The contortionists were amazing - I've never seen people sit on their own heads before! After that...

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Jul 2, 2012 - July 2 Ulaanbaatar

We left our comfortable Evergreen Hotel this morning and caught a taxi over to the Zaluuchuud Hotel where our trip starts from. We couldn't get into our rooms when we arrived so we left our bags and headed off to do some more sightseeing. On the taxi drive over we had noticed something going on in Sukhbaatar Square so went there first - it was a military parade, we think like a passing out parade for new soldiers. They marched up to the officers and had to recite something, then sign something then march back to their place. There were lots...

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Jul 1, 2012 - July 1 - Ulaanbaatar

After a bit of a sleep in and then a breakfast of cold fried eggs, cabbage, sausage and bread and jam we were ready to hit the town! The weather is beautiful today, hot and sunny but with a pleasant breeze so quite OK to walk. We walked along one of the main thoroughfares, Peace Avenue, to Sukhbaatar Square where Government House is situated, quite a grand building with large statues of Genghis Khan (or Chinggis Khan as they call him here). We then visited the National Museum of Mongolia to get an idea of the history of the country....

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Jul 1, 2012 - June 30 - Ulaanbaatar

The start of another trip and arrived safely in Ulaanbataar, capital of Mongolia, after 24 hours of travel via Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. Ulaanbaatar has the dubious honour of being the coldest capital city in the world - fortunately we are here in summer and the weather is very warm so we haven't had to cope with the -40 degrees they get in winter! We were met at the airport by a young Mongolian girl with an unpronouncable name - she is the tour leader of another tour, not the one we are going on. She also picked up an American girl who was...

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May 22, 2011 - Into the Steppe

Everybody loves Mongolia. It's the kind of off-the-beaten track places that is so perennially underrated, it's become overrated. Could somewhere so widely praised possibly live up to its reputation? I was skeptical. I've been to Kyrgyzstan. I've been to Karakalpakstan and the dying Aral Sea in Uzbekistan (see here). I've been to Patagonia, Otago (New Zealand), and spent months crisscrossing the Western US. I've seen steppe before. How much different could it be? A lot, it turns out. The wide spaces, big skies and rolling steppe, tinted...

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Far East Chronicles

May 20, 2011 - The Trans Mongo

I've always enjoyed train travel, whether it be a days-long journey through post-Soviet space or a 1hr commuter train on the Metro North from Fairfield to NYC. But no train trip I've taken has quite the romance of Beijing to Ulaanbaatar, the heralded initial leg of the Trans-Mongolian Express. The 1410km from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar is but a miniscule slice of the Trans-Mongolian pie, which bisects 7500km of real estate between Beijing and Moscow. But we weren't too worried about that. With the whole Russian Far East ahead of us, we'd have...

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Far East Chronicles

Mar 26, 2011 - Ulaanbaatar: Living in a Ger Tent

Stepping onto the platform at Ulaanbaatar station, the cold air burns my eyes, making it difficult to see. It is dark and snowing lightly. We shuffle past the other travellers and in the distance spot the tour guide from “The Russia Experience.” She has a sign with our names on it, albeit spelt incorrectly. “Hello, welcome to Ulaanbaatar. Please you wait here,” she instructs. “I have someone else.” We stand in the cold and hope she won’t be long. Ten minutes later, I turn to Rhonda and ask, “Can you see her anywhere?” We scan every face...

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Mar 16, 2011 - Trans-Mongolian Express: Wild camel-trading train bound for Ulaanbaatar

Filthy toilets, no toilet paper, a urine stained floor, no ability to flush and dribbles on the seat immediately indicate that we are heading further east. First class feels like “no class” and we are grateful to be on this Ulaanbaatar bound train for only 26 hours. At 5.15 a.m. the train pulls out of Irkutsk station and chugs along the banks of Lake Baikal heading south to Zaudinsky. It is here that our route shifts from the Trans-Siberian and becomes known as the Trans-Mongolian Express following the Selenge River. We will arrive at...

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Feb 9, 2011 - 9/2/11- hitch hiking in ulaanbaatar

after breakfast i was driven to my 4* star hotel dumped my bags and had the city tour. this city does not seem as adapt at getting rid of the snow as the russian citys and every was a scheen of ice. i feel over in the middle of the road and the car i fel infront of beped his horn at me to move. and not just once but a million times like he was on drugs trying to do morsecode. it made me so anger i want to flip his car hulk style but i was draged to the pavement by my worried guide. we then went to the monestryss which were heaving with ppl...

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Nat's Adventure 2011

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