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Trans Mongolian Tour

Torquay
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Trans Mongolian Tour

Hi my partner and I are going on the Trans Mongolian Tour from Beiging to St Petersburg in April 2008 (21 day tour). This will be my first trip out of Australia and I'm not really sure what to expect. My partner has travelled through Europe before (years ago) but not to the areas we're going to on this trip.

Is there anyone who has done this trip or one similar that can give us any tips/advice on what to take and wear and things not to miss, etc, etc?

New Zealand
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1. Re: Trans Mongolian Tour

This trip is quite exciting.You will be in shared compartments,quite comfortable, with two others, probably.Each carriage will have toilet at each end, with a basic shower.Take plenty of snacks,biscuits,soup in a mug,coffee and tea as there is ample hot water with a samovar boiling away in each carriage.There will be a dining car also but we preferred to use that only once a day as meals were limited in variety.And at some of the stops you will be able to buy local produce.

Border crossings into and out of Mongolia were long and tedious.But when they pull the train apart to change the bogies to fit the Mongolian/Russian tracks, now that is really something to watch.Stay on the train for that.

Scenery is awesome,as you wend through the different zones of desert,forests and mountains.

Take a break in Ulaanbaatar.Monglia is like no other place.Get out into the wide vastness of the steppes.Spend a night in a ger.And stop over in Irkutsk.Head off around Lake Baikal.Lystvyanka is delightful and worth a stopover.

You will have a wonderful trip.

Torquay
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2. Re: Trans Mongolian Tour

Hi Jimshu

Thank you so much for your reply. We are actually staying in a Ger Camp at UB for two nights and also staying at Irkutsk and Lake Baikal too.

I was really looking forward to this trip but after reading your comments I'm really a lot more excited about it all now.

Thanks again

Lea

New Zealand
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3. Re: Trans Mongolian Tour

Try and get hold of the following DVDs.

Cave of the Yellow Dog.

Story of the Weeping Camel.

Beautiful films made in Mongolia by Mongolians with French cooperation.

And my personal favourite'Ghenghis Blues'A documentary of blind US blues singer Paul Pena.And how this amazing man teaches himself throatsinging and is invited to compete in throatsinging competetion in Tuva, a Russian Federation Republic, next to Mongolia, with a similar culture.

Once you begin to listen to throatsinging, and have stood out on those vast open steppes, after staggering out of your ger, to have a pee, in the middle of a starlit night, watching the first light break at the lip of the valley 50 kms away, you will be captivated and yearn to go back.

My reverie was broken by the horse snorting a yard away from me, that I had not seen in the blackness.

New Zealand
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4. Re: Trans Mongolian Tour

And do try the fish at Lystvyanka.Smoked Omul.

Nice.I can still taste it.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Trans Mongolian Tour

Jimshu thank you for the time to write these suggestions down.. I borrowed a copy of Story of the Weeping Camel and it just arrived so I look forward to it. The throat singing sounds beautiful and I shall follow up on that as well. I am doing the Trans-mongolian with my two daughters and stopping in Mongolia for 10 days enroute to Beijing. I appreciate all of this info but sometimes an extra special kernel emerges, Thank You

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6. Re: Trans Mongolian Tour

Nice to hear that.Of all our travels, Mongolia brings back fondest memories.Perhaps because instead of going as tourists, we went as homestay exchangees for a week where we were hosted by a Mongolian family.In their Soviet era concrete apartment, in UlaanBaatar, and in their extended family's suburban summer house, and a nomadic ger stay.

The Ghenghis Blues dvd will intro you to throatsinging.The Karygaa style initially may sound like someone gargling, but boy when they let rip with their high pitched almost whistling style, that makes the spirit soar.And you can imagine yourself back on those vast grassland steppes.

Mongolian traditional music, of all Asian music, is easier for Westerners to listen to.Asian music to our ears is often discordant, and lacks the structure we are used to.Mongolian is rich in melody with it's strong Kazahk and Russian influence.

I have 10 cds of Mongolian music.And still seek out more.

Have a great trip and build those memories.

Jim

7. Re: Trans Mongolian Tour

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