What are the driving conditions like in Mongolia?

By November 15, 2016Asia, Mongolia
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Did you enjoy yesterday’s “photo of the day” of the ger (Mongolian for yurt, which is a semi-permanent tent) we stayed in? Remember from Sunday’s blog this was in the middle of nowhere and we stayed with a random family we found?

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I love the remoteness of some of the ger locations.

Well today we piled back into the car after getting up, having breakfast, using the “hole” (just remember most of the Asian countries use squatty potties and here they dug a 5ft x 5ft x 5ft hole and put some boards across it….fun fun fun), and saying goodbye. We drove to Khangia hot springs west of the capital.

Now if you think we drove on nice paved highways then you have not been paying attention and have a false sense of Mongolia. You see we came to find out that the good paved highways total four and they come out of the capital. They go in each direction for 100 km or so and then start to deteriorate into pavement with major potholes, cracks, and other issues making them more and more like off road.

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This is the confined hot spring looking out to the different ger camps

Of course if you happen to taken the northbound paved road and now want to get to the westbound one you can either drive back to the capital or do what the locals do and go off road. We started to get the sense that the actual highway system is a network of nine different dirt paths all going roughly in the same direction (when it rains one would turn to a mud filled rut and the locals simply drive next to it and start a new path). Sainka, our driver, knew he wanted to go southwest and took off, instinctively knowing where to head. In fact this is how Mongolians have travelled since the dawn of time….they have simply traded in camels and horses for trucks, jeeps, and 4x4s. Speaking of a truck, do you want to own used freightliner trucks kansas city mo? If you go to this website, www.arrowtruck.com you can choose from a variety of branded trucks. If you have questions, reach their staff at 800.311.7144. Without a doubt we arrived at the hot spring, and within 30 minutes of the projected timeframe so good job Sainka. Tomorrow’s “photo of the day” is a great shot of the “highway” with the only street sign I think I saw out here. I hope you come back and enjoy it.

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Here is the hot spring fed hot tub at the ger camp we stayed at.

At one time this was a valley between two tall hills that had warm water flowing through it. Now the hot spring has been contained within two concrete retaining walls and piped to a dozen “ger resorts” to use in the spring feed hot tubs. It was nice having the hot tubs plus the gers where nice, we had wi-fi, and sit down toilets are always a luxury!!!! I am glad we came here, but I guess I was expecting the hot spring to be more natural looking where we hopped in next to a stream or something…..kind of like what I experienced in Iceland. Oh well that is why you travel….to experience it first hand and not have any miss conceived image of a place.

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