Mongolia

Famous for its Gobi desert and empire, Mongolia is a breathtaking journey!

 

Ready to dare a trip that resets all the counters to zero? Then go for ajourney to Mongolia! This trip is incomparable, you will forget here everything you think you learned on the roads.

Сайн байна уу? Намайг Кристин гэдэг. Би франц хүн. Би тантай уулзсандаа баяртай байна. Hi Mongolia!

baina uu? Namaig Kristin gedeg. Bi frants khün. Bi tantai uulzsandaa bayartai baina

It’s easy to realise, transportation is the key to Mongolia’s journey

 
Mongolia has its specificities, exploring this country through travel requires a little know-how and a lot of adaptation.
Mongolia is huge. We generally know it before setting foot in it but what awaits the visitor exceeds what we imagine. 1.5 million km², right away, let us speechless. Exploring Mongolia will therefore require making choices, seeing everything would take years.
 

Transport in Mongolia is a challenge

 
You can see it very quickly, transportation is the key to Mongolian travel. The country is so vast that nothing can be done without 2 or 4 wheels… or 4 legs.
 
Mongolia’s rebellious nature to any tourist industry is a challenge for travelers with a strong heart and good calves. I met on this road cyclists who hitchhiked through this immensity without paying a cent. Hats off.
Mongolian roads are mirages: some exist, others do not. The Gobi Desert is strewn with paths traced by cars and minibuses. But there are hundreds of them, parallel, perpendicular, secant, in a circle or a hairpin. To find your way around, you have to be Mongolian… or Avenger.
 

In spite of a compass and a pair of shoes, some places will remain difficult to access

 
The relief makes exploration difficult, but the rough roads are not the only reason. Sometimes there is just no road, nobody goes there except a few yaks in pasture. The discovery of Mongolia requires a lot of persistence from the adventurer. It’s the price of beauty that awaits the brave at the end of the road.
 

We might as well know it right away: transport in Mongolia is like the Parisian metro during a strike, without technology

 
The best way to explore the country is to have your own vehicle. Public transport is available, but it is not easy to use. Almost all buses leave from Ulan Bator. So to go from Tariat to Mörön, you have to do Tiriat-Ulan Bator-Mörön. Otherwise, you can hitchhike, but sometimes it’s special: you have to pay. It is a blablacar without application and the price is negotiable. There are even stops: a traffic sign, a can, a crossroads. The drivers know that here they can take passengers. It pays for the gas and it rounds off the ends of the month.
Shared taxis are very popular but you have to be patient because the car only leaves when it is full.
For the most comfortable budgets, an organized tour is a good solution, even in a marked out route, the adventure will invite itself to the trip. Mongolia is crazy! 

Mongolia is indefinable. Nomads, horsemen, cattle breeders. Mongols are not savages. They are a proud volk, attached to their culture. The soul of this country is somewhere between heaven and earth, wolf and eagle

The Mongolian identity won’t be understood after a sip of Aïrag

 

In this country it is essential to respect and pay attention to customs and habits. There are more of them than you might think at first glance. This will really change the way you relate to the people you meet along the way. Going around the Ovoos (öbôɣɣa), this sacred stone embankment, three times with prayers, wishes and offerings will touch the Mongols in what they hold dearest: their traditions.

It is inevitable, unavoidable to say it: Mongolia is beautiful even if the Mongols are sometimes confusing

 

The journey, however hair-raising, can be full of unpleasant surprises. Travellers report horse theft, assaults (especially alcohol-related) and incivility. Elegance is not always at the order of the day. Mongols can be rustic and they drink not a lot but too much. The figures speak for themselves: 55% of the population is said to be alcoholic. It is very plausible, the corpses of vodka bottles are swarming all over the country. Not surprisingly, vodka is sometimes cheaper than water.

Adventure is adventure, let that not prevent you from discovering this beautiful country. Mongolia is beautiful, worthy of all superlatives.

Баярлалаа, баяртай, удахгүй уулзъя!

Bayarlalaa, bayartai, udakhgüi uulziya!

Mongolie

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Next travel: Why not Kazakhstan?

And yet nobody rush into it. The country is not touristy, to say the least. So much the better: the Kazakh adventure will be all the more beautiful!