All aboard the Mongolian Express - 30 hours from Beijing to Ulan Baator.
Changing the bogies at the Chinese/Mongolian border. The crossing took 5.5 hours. I was already over pot noodles by then.
A mountainside greeting for incoming travellers - celebrating 800 years since a young scrappy warrior named Temujin united all the Mongol peoples. Further military victories ensured he won the famous title of 'Universal Ruler', or 'Chenghis Khaan'.
Victory! Andrew and I made it through the mixed grill platter at the Great Mongolian Restaurant. It was SO good to eat something other than noodles. Phil, our other Sydney bloke, finished a mixed grill on his own.
Greg surveying Ulan Baator. It's a long city, with nomadic ger tents still scattered throughout. It is the world's coldest capital city, getting down to -40 degrees in winter (obviously this day was balmy). Ulan Baator is also home to the craziest car parking I've ever seen.
Me and my trusty steed Stewie. Mongolian nomads don't name their horses, so I gave mine the moniker of my favourite animated evil baby. Greg named his 'Brian'. Both horses liked to pass wind loudly and frequently.
Traditional Mongolian wrestling, on display as part of a local show featuring archery, horse-riding, singing and dancing as well.
Outside our ger tent. From the left: Phil, Greg, Tsetsgee (our fab Mongolian guide), Gunbat (our driver and local medicine man), Karen, me and Andrew.
You both have huge amounts of my envy; catching the Trans Siberian Railway from Beijing to St Petersburg is one of my dream holidays.ReplyDelete
I would definitely recommend Vodkatrain; it's a fair layout of cash but the city guides and having accommodation set and visa support (particularly in Russia) is great for first-timers. And Beijing to St Pete's is definitely the way to go - we only had 5 people on our trip as opposed to 15 coming the other way! It made for a really close-knit fun group.
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