Mongolian travelogue

These are an eight-part travel diary from someone’s trip to Mongolia. In case anyone was thinking of visiting. . . . :mrgreen:

part 1:
part 2:
part 3:
part 4:
part 5:
part 6:
part 7:
part 8:

Some spectacular photos, with an at-times-hilarious narrative. It may take a while over a modem, though; each part is huge and has lots of photos. Really well done.

My brother went through both Outer and Inner Mongolia on his overland journey from Finland to SE Asia. He really liked it and found the people very friendly. There isn’t a large population, though; he saw the Prime Minister in the street twice in one day, on Mongolia’s national day.

He’s been on a working holiday visa in Australia for a year and is now fixing up a job teaching English at the (Outer) Mongolian national university and will head on there after we meet up in Thailand to go motorcycle touring around Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai at the end of October.

The job won’t pay much though and he may have to use some savings if he wants to do interesting stuff there and have the odd western-style meal.

Went through UB and Mongolia as I traveled the Trans-Siberian (the mongolian route) back in 1992. Had friends who stopped over for 2 days in 91. What I could see from the train, looked like wonderful place to go. Heard the fly fishing is AWESOME… maybe after I get off this stinking island and move to where the $$$ is better, I can get the shark family up there for a trip…

My brother took his wife there as a prerequisite to their getting married (the idea being, if they could survive traveling in Mongolia together they could survive anything). He was interested in the area and wanted to travel there to find people making native handicrafts (his long-time mentor in life has been one of the world’s yurt-building experts, who lives in Maine on 500 acres and travels the world building yurts and exploring native handicrafts). My brother’s wife is a super high-powered executive, former class-president at Dartmouth, who was headed to Beijing to participate in the International Woman’s Conference. So they decided after her conference she would stuff her skirts and nylons in a locker in Beijing, put on her levis, and head off into the Mongolian hinterlands with my bro. . . which is exactly what they did.

Although she passed the test and they got married, I don’t think she would describe it as a pleasant experience. She’s a vegetarian with strict dietary restrictions, but in most of Mongolia, apparently, the only food available is mutton, cheese, vodka, mutton, cheese, vodka and more mutton. She brought along a stash of powerbars but they didn’t last long. And, from what they said, it’s a very traditional society, where women do all the hard work and men sit around drinking. I think that troubled her too. Nonetheless, it does look like a beautiful and interesting place. Reminds me of Tibet (I once went overland from Katmandu to Lhasa), which is also a vast, dusty plateau whose people are also very-brown skinned from all the sun and don’t seem to have much variety in their diet.

At long last, parts seven (Return to Ulan Bator) and eight (Escape to Beijing) have been posted. I’ll add them to the list in the OP.

My brother’s just arrived there after our biking holiday in Thailand. He’s going to be teaching English in the national university, not in Ulaanbataar, but in the second city. He was a little surprised to discover that for the first two weeks, he’ll be teaching ‘American History’ as the woman he’s taking over from still has another two weeks to go but they still want to give him work and keep him doing something useful.

We are both pretty clueless about ‘American History’ although I dredged up from memory something about a nice little tea party in Boston. Troublemaker that I am, I told him that a course on American history would be incomplete without an in-depth look at Simon Bolivar and the Colombian war of independence from Spain. That’s American history, isn’t it? (They didn’t specify the U.S., or even North America).