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Old 07-21-2008, 11:39 AM   #21
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OMG, is there definitely not a Hilton out in the provinces! In UB, though, we had a fabulous hotel room and they have all the amenities you could hope for in a modern city. Suffice it to say that I am pretty sure that I "went" more times outside than inside over the course of this trip, thanks to the long travel days and lightly populated countryside! Not for the dainty!

We will be going back to the Hustai National Park, where efforts have been made since the fall of communism to reintroduce the Prezwalski's Horse, known as the Tahki. These were hunted to extinction and the remaining zoo animals in America and Europe were used to help rebuild herds in the wild. The Tahki is closer genetically speaking to the zebra than the horse.
Also we would like to see some of western Mongolia, the Otgongen mountain/glacier and perhaps the Eagle Hunters, part of the ethnic Kazakh minority living in the Altai mountains.
Plus, "Don America" may want to try again at the wrestling for Naadam, the old fool! We will probably return to the Gobi and to Huvsgol province again, though.
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:42 AM   #22
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Khan, you would love it there--everyone is related to you!
The reindeer are pretty small for us to ride, though they did offer one up if we wanted.

Oh, and as an aside, we caught the new movie called Mongol at a indy theatre this weekend, and it is awesome! Fairly bloody battle scenes, though.

Funny story: there is a popular wrestler who dresses up as Chingghis Khan for events and is featured grinning on the juice boxes sold there. Hard to relate to a grinning Chinnghis Khan!
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:45 AM   #23
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Thanks for posting! Looks wonderful!

I was in Inner Mongolia in 1994, loved both the desert and the grasslands, but there were no lakes like you have here. Thanks again for sharing.
That is down below Mongolia in China, and it is entirely desert, from what I read. Lovely, but the steppes and mountains are even more beautiful Mongolia has a temp range of -40 C to 40 C, and the capital is considered one of the coldest on earth. I'll not be going in the winter!

We did visit Yoliin Am (the Vulture's Gorge), where the ice stays all year!
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:56 AM   #24
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Now THAT is what I call a vacation! Great post.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:00 PM   #25
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"Don" might have to go the marmot route! Sarah, what a great diary/photo album..! Really a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for most, but I think you're right to continue to explore where your experience has taken you; once you get to know a place, even superficially, you get much more out of it the next time around. Best wishes and thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:19 PM   #26
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Thanks Sarah. Your descriptions and the pictures are wonderful. I was surprised to see the statue of the Buddha, as I thought the people were primarily Muslims. Wrong! I see in a State Dept article that over 90% are followers of "Tibetan Buddhist Lamaism".

Mongolia (02/08)

Very interesting history, both the early period of world domination and to me especially their role against Japan around WW2 and in Sino-Soviet relations. One tough bunch! I am glad Don survived wrestling them- seems like they could likely defeat a Siberian tiger hand to hand.

BTW, no idea why the State Dept link got tranformed to cool guy smiley.

Ha
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:23 PM   #27
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Very adventurous. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:56 PM   #28
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Huh, for some reason I thought you were familiar with the area, Ghengis.
It's been a while.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:59 PM   #29
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Thanks Sarah. Your descriptions and the pictures are wonderful. I was surprised to see the statue of the Buddha, as I thought the people were primarily Muslims. Wrong! I see in a Sate Dept article that over 90% are followers of "Tibetan Buddhist Lamaism".

Mongolia (02/08)

Very interesting history, both the early period of world domination and to me especially their role against Japan around WW2 and in Sino-Soviet relations. One tough bunch! I am glad Don survived wrestling them- seems like they could likely defeat a Siberian tiger hand to hand.

BTW, no idea why the State Dept link got tranformed to cool guy smiley.

Ha
"8" followed by ")" no spaces creates cool guy. Leave a space between the 8 and the ).
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:16 PM   #30
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Sarah,

Thank-you for the info on costs. I will PM for more details. What other trips have you and your adventurous husband taken?

A sidenote regarding Mongolian wrestlers. Last month I attended the Grand Sumo tournament in Los Angeles with a Japanese friend. The program featured the top forty sumo wrestlers from the Japanese Sumo Federation, and was the first time such a tournament had been held in America since 1981. Probably six or seven of these top wrestlers were Mongolian, and the crowd included many Mandarin speakers, and probably Mongolian as well, although I wouldn't have recognized it as such. The tournament was won by a Mongolian.
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:36 PM   #31
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Sarah,

Your photos and descriptions are simply wonderful! I will be dreaming about Mongolia tonight. It is a magical place.
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:38 PM   #32
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They are way tough hombres! I read somewhere that the Mongol army would run out of provisions, so they would keep going and just cut their horses necks open, drink some of the blood, and soldier on.

Can you imagine that Chingghis' army made it all the way to Vienna? And if it hadn't been for the death of the existing Khan that caused them all to turn around and go back home, I suspect they would have sacked all of Europe, and not just Russia, the Middle East, and the rest of Asia in the 15th century!

Ha, only 5% are muslim, the Kazakh in the West. Our guide and our driver were both Buddhist. Under the Russians, of course, all religion was outlawed, so the resurgence of Buddhism is pretty cool.
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:55 PM   #33
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Great shots! I'm happy to visit Mongolia through your camera lens. As for the upcoming music fest in Va, I'm there. Just stow me in a storage bin; I don't drink smoke eat much...
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:24 PM   #34
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Thanks for sharing. Very interesting trip. A bit more than $10K for a unique experience, which really isn't bad, considering a couple trading in their cars every 2-3 years spend easily that much per year.

But I've got to admit it is not for me. I like, or rather need creature comfort, and have to spend the nights at something at least like a Motel 6.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:27 PM   #35
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More like Motel 1! When the fire goes out at 1am, you have to restart it or risk waking up freezing! This is our ger at Lake Huvsgol.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:49 PM   #36
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Sarah like you I've always wanted to go to Outer Mongolia. A couple years ago I judged a college business plan competition, and by far my favorite were two Mongolian students who want to set a tour business for their country.

Thanks so much for posting your pictures and telling us about the trip, that looked like a great adventure. I am going to get there soon.

P.S. tell your boss you sound smart on the forum also, so maybe NPR isn't a fluke
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:23 PM   #37
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More like Motel 1! When the fire goes out at 1am, you have to restart it or risk waking up freezing! This is our ger at Lake Huvsgol.
Hey, that doesn't look bad. I can handle that. But the bathroom facility??
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:24 PM   #38
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Really neat! That looks like it was quite the experience.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:09 PM   #39
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Looks great - be sure and post more pictures when you get back!

heh heh heh -
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:21 PM   #40
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An Internet Star is born! Good work. I don't know, you sounded very smart in the Interview. I would have said, "Hey, when did Mongolia become its own country? Because on the propaganda maps that they gave us in school, they still showed Mongolia as part of China."
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