More of my photos from Mongolia


Mongolia Archives

July 13, 2006

serious culture

it seems that i've arrived in the land of the improbable, and i'm glad to be here.

i arrived in monoglia yesterday afternoon after about 36 hours on the first leg of the Trans-Mongolian train from Beijing to Ulan Bataar. i shared a 4-bed "hard sleeper" compartment with 3 mongolians who were university students studying abroad in china. as i quickly learned was par for mongolians, they were extremely friendly and helped me translate my scribbled notes on my mongolia hostel into a mongolian note for the taxi driver in case i needed to take a taxi from the train station.

my friend martin (coincidentally in mongolia from his usual home in new york) met me upon my arrival at the ulan bataar train station, and after unloading my gear at the hostel that he'd reserved for us a few nights earlier, we headed out to eat "mongolian barbeque" at an american-founded chain restaurant that both had nothing and everything to do with mongolian tourism. packed to the rafters with western package tourists, it was a surreal experience that neither martin nor i had been expecting.

that night i heard tales from people at our guesthouse (located in a communist-era apartment block that evoked memories of similar buildings i've seen in romania and hungary) about fights with aggressive drunk mongolians, an old woman attempting to sell a live baby eagle by the side of a road, sitting reading on top of a traveller's bus trapped in a river, beautiful sheep-fur lined coats purchased from shamans, and other improbable experiences.

we spent the afternoon watching the wrestling matches at the stadium today which are part of the Naadam celebrations (now in their third and final day), trying various pieces of mongolian food, and preparing for our departure on a 8-9 trek through the gobi which we will be departing for tomorrow if all goes as planned.

July 23, 2006

back in the city

And it's finally only in the woods you get that nostalgia for "cities" at last, you dream of long gray journeys to cities where soft evenings'll unfold like Paris
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur

after my 9-day trek through the gobi desert and around mongolia, I'm now back in Ulan Bataar for a few days to see museums and do "city things" before heading out on the rails once more. I've got a train ticket for the 24th to Irkutsk, Russia, which will further my journey on the trans-mongolian railway to Moscow.

more updates to come in a few days, including back-dated gobi desert posts and information on my adventure with the great 4-window mongolian train ticket purchasing system.

About Mongolia

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to gone living in the Mongolia category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Malaysia is the previous category.

Myanmar is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.