• Asia,  Mongolia,  Trekking Tips

    what trekking in Mongolia is REALLY like

    Mongolia was an unexplored faraway land that I dreamt about one day visiting. Sometimes dreams turn reality, and I found myself in a small, rattling propeller plane on my way to Ulaanbaatar. The thing about Mongolia is that it’s unlike any other place in the world. Once you get out of the capital, you feel like an explorer. Sure, travelers have left routes to be followed, but there’s a looming sense of adventure and discovery in every step you take. Phil, my travel partner, and I found ourselves in the West, deciding to go on a week-long independent trek in the Altai Mountains, which are also shared by Russia and…

  • Asia,  Mongolia

    unexpected tips: 15 things I wish I knew before going to Mongolia

    Mongolia is a stunning country with the friendliest people and a vibe that is completely it’s own. Compared to the rest of the world, it’s relatively unexplored. I didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to get around, and there are certainly some things I wish I had known prior to arriving in UB. I hope these tips help. 1. During summertime, it’s HOT during the day, but FREEZING at nighttime. 2. The roads are not roads. They are paths, if you’re lucky. 3. That being said, the ceilings in the cars are padded for a reason. 4. Public transportation (outside of Ulaanbaatar) is sparse and quite inconvenient. 5. I…

  • Asia,  Mongolia

    unexpected mongolia: naadam and trying fermented mare’s milk?!

    Naadam is what I like to call the Mongolian Olympics. It’s a festival/competition of three events: horse racing, archery, and wrestling. Naadam is quite interesting because there’s the main one in Ulaanbaatar, but also smaller countryside ones. The two types of Naadams, countryside and UB, are completely different from each other. UB’s is supposedly a big party/tourist attraction, whereas the countryside ones are more authentic. We chose to go to a countryside Naadam in the Khovd (Hovd) province. Be mindful of dates when picking where to go, as they depend on the region, but are all generally around the 10th of July. Naadam is a time to celebrate, laugh, rest,…

  • Asia,  Mongolia,  Trekking Tips

    Independent Trekking in the Altai Mountains, Mongolia

    In the beginning of July, I mentioned that I wanted to explore Mongolia. It’s a place travellers often overlook, and it was calling my name! So I made it happen. Phil (from my Chinese school) and I met back up in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and then flew out West to the Altai Mountains. The Altai are right on the border of China and Russia, and not too many people visit them because you can only get there by either A) a 60-hour bus journey on unpaved roads or B) an expensive USD $150 flight. Because we were on a tight schedule, we chose to fork over the money and fly. We…