Ulaan Bataar Journals

Mongolian Mishaps

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A May 2005 trip to Ulaan Bataar by AsianPersuasian

Tourist Ger Camp Photo, Mongolia, Asia More Photos
Quote: Mongolia is a place where a good map and a faithful horse will get you a long way...

Mongolian Mishaps

Overview

Turtle Rock Photo, Mongolia, Asia
Quote:
Mongolia is a country that has stolen my heart... the people, the landscape, and the sheer beauty of the countryside makes you stop and sigh. I have ventured far and wide, but Mongolia has no equal. Here was where I learned to breathe... here was where I learned what silence truly was.Make it a point to spend a lot of time in the countryside. This is where the real Mongolia is.Quick Tips: Go the Black Market! It is a bargain-hunter's paradise. Tip: Bring small bills. It can be a hassle to make change. Also, don't be shy. If you like it, try it on. The vendors will cover you with a sheet while you try it on. Privacy is not a word here.If you are going o...Read More
Quote:
Located on a small street that runs along the right side of the Russian embassy (an ugly gray building with a high spiked fence).There are a few diners on this short street, but the one I am talking about is next to the salon. This place serves the best Mongolian food I had during my stay. I recommend the borscht and butz, however, I always found it was fun to pick a random item on the menu and order it—especially, when I didn't have a clue what it was.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 2, 2006

A Hole in the Wall Cafe
Next to the Russian Embassy
Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia

Terelj National Park

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Attraction

Turtle Rock Photo, Mongolia, Asia
Quote:
Located about 80km northeast of Ulaanbataar, Terelj National Park is truly a geological wonder. Nowhere in the world will you find rock formations that have the same effect as looking into the clouds. There are elephants, turtles, and old men reading books...many formations are obvious, however, many more can be made up if you have a good imagination. The most popular formation is Turtle Rock.Terelj also offers some good backpacking, horse-back riding, and camping. Throughout your hike into the countryside you may be invited into Ger camps. Getting to see this side of Mongolian life makes the entire trip worthwhile. I highly recommend backpacking into the national park. It is a good nov...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 2, 2006

Terelj National Park
Ulaan Bataar
Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia

Tourist Ger Camp

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Attraction

Tourist Ger Camp Photo, Mongolia, Asia
Quote:
If you plan on staying overnight (which I recommend), and you are not up for staying in a tent, drive into Terelj National Park and keep on driving. A couple of miles into the park you will see a very nice ger camp on your right-hand side.My friend Barb and I stayed here our first day in Terelj in preparation for our 6-day backpacking trip into the park. The facilities were pretty basic; they have a building with sinks and toilets so you can wash up, and every evening the camp manager comes with a hot thermos of water and starts a fire in the wood burning stove. Each ger has four beds and a table to eat at. There is also a cafeteria on sight. It is pricey for Mongolian standards, but if y...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 2, 2006

Tourist Ger Camp
Terelj National Park
Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia

Black Market

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Attraction

Quote:
This is a bargain hunter's dream, however, be aware of pick pockets—they are very good here. This market offers everything from clothes and shoes to antiques and ger making supplies. Barb and I bought the majority of our camping supplies here, but do yourself a favor and do not buy a tent. The ones they sell here are cheap Chinese tents that will leak. For serious camping supplies go to Seven Summits across from the tourist information center. They rent high quality tents and sleeping bags at a reasonable rate. The staff are extremely helpful and speak English.The Black Market also features a food market. You can buy almost anything from the vendors. All the meat is butchered fresh, yo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 2, 2006

Black Market
Ulaan Bataar
Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia

In the middle of nowhere on a horse

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Story/Tip

The Horse I Rode in on Photo, Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia
Quote:
I never thought this would happen. Riding a horse in the middle of nowhere with a strange man possessing an amazing singing voice... well it did.My friend Barbara and I set out three days ago with plans of hiking to the Gunjiin Sum Monastery in Mongolia's Terelj National Park. It is a 3-day journey to get there, but we never made it that far. On our second day, Barbara had an accident with her knee and we had to turn back, this was what led up to the horses. Thanks to a kind hearted, grey eyed, Mongolian man Barbara and I were crossing, on horseback, the raging rivers that separate the base camp and the rest of Terelj. Three days ago we waded across these knee high rivers, but now they...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 2, 2006

Seven Summits

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Attraction

Quote:
In Mongolia you can be hard pressed to find quality backpacking equipment, but you will be hard pressed no longer. Seven Summits is the best outdoor equipment retailer in the city. At this store you can buy and rent anything you will need for your journey into the countryside, and if they do not have it they will point you in the direction of someone who does.  The staff there is very friendly and helpful, on top of that, they almost all speak English. All of them are seasoned veterans of the Mongolian countryside and will provide you with everything you need. They carry camping stoves, compasses, sleeping bags, tents, rope, etc. Much of it, like the tents, flashlights and sleeping bags are a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 3, 2006

Seven Summits
South West Corner
Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia

Toilets in Asia

Story/Tip

Quote:
Here is a friendly tip for anyone planning to use a toilet in Asia: Do NOT flush toilet paper down the toilet. There is usually a waste bin nearby for your used toilet paper. If you do flush, paper and all, it might go down, but then again, it might not, so save yourself the headache and embarrassment. Some of the nicer hotels have a sewage system to deal with toilet paper, but I stayed in hostels and guesthouses, where flushing the toilet paper was a big no-no.However, the majority of places will not have western toilets. They will have what I like to call "squatty potties". In Mongolia I had the pleasure of using a hole in the floor of a brick building where you could see the pile of waste c...Read More

Backpacking in Mongolia

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Story/Tip

Tourist Ger Camp Photo, Mongolia, Asia
Quote:
Mongolia is a country that has stolen my heart.... the people, the landscape, and the sheer beauty of the countryside makes you stop and sigh. I have ventured far and wide, but Mongolia has no equal. Here was where I learned to breathe... here is where I learned what silence truly is.I left for Mongolia via China in mid-May, the best time to visit if you want to beat the tourists. I took the Trans-Mongolia train out of Beijing and met my two friends at the station in Ulaan Baatar. Barbara and I had graduated with our bachelor’s degrees (her’s in Russian and theatre and mine in history) that same year, and met through a mutual friend. A few months before she left for a language school in Irkusk...Read More

Getting pierced in Mongolia

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Okay, so getting pierced in a country like Mongolia is not the smartest thing to do, but I'm still alive and my ear hasn't fallen off.   It all started with my friend buying a dress at the Black Market. It was a sweet, little, red number that reminded you of the Midwest, cowgirls, and tire swings. When we returned home and showed our Mongolian friend, Khulan, she squealed and said that earrings would make it look perfect. Let me note, Khulan is a fashion addict… Barbara and I are Neanderthals who can barely dress ourselves. When Barbara made it k...Read More