A Travellerspoint blog


Stop 22 - Mongolia

View Overland adventures - UK to Ho Chi Minh City and back without getting on a plane! on Chloemillen92's travel map.

An extremely comfortable 26 hour train journey later (we ended up with a cabin all to ourselves because it was quiet!), we arrived in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar. Settling into our hostel and doing a bit of research, we quickly discovered that we had not quite budgeted enough money for this part of our trip... Opportunities for independent travel are a bit more limited unless you're willing to buy your own horse, so the vast majority of tourists sign up for tours, which were a bit beyond our budget. Scouring AirBnB however, we found a brilliant ger camp in the Terelji National Park, just a couple of hours by bus from Ulaanbaatar (UB).


Over the few days we spent in the capital, we found ourselves pretty taken with it despite the traffic jams. The city is surrounded by beautiful hills that you can see from almost anywhere and some incredible temples in amongst the glass high-rises. Sadly, the Soviet purges of the 30s destroyed most of Mongolia's religious buildings but luckily a few have survived. There are quite a few good bars, lots of Korean restaurants and some great street art. There was also a state department store which contained a supermarket with some foods we actually knew how to eat/cook (for the first time in about 2.5 months)


We took a fairly straightforward bus from the city to the national park and were driven through rivers and hills to our ger camp. There was no electricity or running water (other than the stream) in the area and it was incredibly beautiful. Poojee, the Mongolian guy who set up the camp, was a really friendly guy and we were quickly shown our cosy ger, given a lunch of delicious buuz (Mongolian dumplings) and put on the back of a horse. The gers had little stoves inside and were lit by candles.


We went on a couple of afternoon horse rides through the huge Mongolian landscapes, having almost zero experience beforehand. We were very quickly galloping along, with our Mongolian guides howling at the horses to speed them up. Although we were very sore and stiff afterwards, it was a lot of fun riding like that in the open without the rules of the UK. There were also great opportunities for nice hikes up valleys and hills to watch the eagles soaring above.


Heading back to the city, we stopped off at the largest horse statue in the world! This recent monument to Chingghis Khan is pretty impressive and stands out for miles.


Back in the city, we wanted to head back out into the beautiful wilderness as soon as possible. Our guide book suggested a bus to a small town and then a couple of hours hike up to a ruined monastery in a forest, and back again. The bus proved much more difficult to catch from the city than planned (we ended up getting it from the car park of a furniture showroom on the outskirts) but the landscaped quickly opened up again and the monastery was in a beautiful setting. We ended up catching a lift part of the way there from a friendly Mongolian couple and a kind Australian and his Mongolian wife gave us a lift all the way back to UB. A quick trip to the State Department Store to stock up on food, we were ready for our 74 hour trfor back into Siberia.

Posted by Chloemillen92 04:22 Archived in Mongolia Tagged horses mongolia ger ub ulaanbaatar central_asia chinggis_khan terelji Comments (1)

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