Independent travel in GOBI- DALANZADGAD
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Jun 24, 2012 8:12 AM Last Post By: nycalfredo
Apr 26, 2012 10:12 AM
Independent travel in GOBI- DALANZADGADThis is about our most recent experience in the Gobi desert, mainly Omnogov aimag, Dalanzadgad and the Khongoryn Els Sanddunes.
We went to UB by train from the chinese border and stayed at the Golden Gobi Guesthouse, where the owners are really nice but a bit pushy about the tours they are trying to sell you.
First we were a bit concerned if it was possible to go to the Gobi independently, but after a few minutes of thinking we came back to our senses and wondered why we were even considering thinking about taking a tour, as we travelled without a guide everywhere.
So we went to the Eastern Bus Station (one day before we wanted to go! usually you can't just turn up and hope to get a ticket, theres not too much room in the busses and tickets sell out quickly, to get the best seats which are no 5 and 6 you should try and buy it three days in advance) to buy a ticket to Dalanzadgad. The Bus Station is quiet a few km east from Sukbathaar (or how ever you spell that... :)), take bus no 27 and stay on it for ages, until you are right in the ger districts. There's a Berlin Burger Restaurant with a Supermarket attached, thats the stop you have to hop off. You can tell the ticket girl "awto woksal", but don't bet on her remembering you and your stop. Once at the Berlin burger you cross the street and should stand right in front of the bus station. its a small building with a little shop next to it and a supermarket like parking lot in front. there's no busses in the afternoon, so you can't look for the tell-tale vehicles.
buying the ticket was straighforward, you need a passport and money (to Dalanzadgad it's 27500 tgr), but thats all.
The ride to Dalanzadgad is 15 h straight from hell, shaky, squeezy, jumpy and not likeable at all. Don't hope for any sweet memories... :)
Once in DZ, there's few accomodation options, the cheapest we found was a hotel called HOTEL in blue illuminated (if there was power) letters, it's on the right hand side from the park if you go down towards the mountains, opposite the Dalanzadgad Hotel, which has a fair enough restaurant. It's 9000 tgr per person in a usually four-bed-dorm, but we had it to ourselves and the only key, so it's a double for 18000 tgr. There is no shower, but a sink with warmish water, which does the works quiet good.
our favourite of all favourite restaurants in DZ is by far the lovely CHICKEN HOUSE, which is just around a dusty corner of the afore mentioned hotel. The drum sticks with fries are awesome and cheap (filling meal, 4500 tgr), the chicken soup is also a definite "I want moooooooooooore!" and for breakfast you can have fried eggs, bread and coffee for about 2000 tgr. The girl who runs the place with her boyfriend speaks great english and is very sweet, if you have any questions, she'll do anything to help you. we wanted to go out hiking in the desert for a few days, so she called up some friends of her boyfriend to make sure they were at home in their ger, then they drove us out on the right road and everything. a really great couple and great food!
then theres the MARVEL restaurant, on the left hand side of the park, on a small path before the one with all the minivans. serves good and filling dishes, sometimes you strike it lucky and get some real great goat goulash instead of the ever sheepy mutton.
There's a lot of supermarkets and delguurs, they're all the same, Dino market is a bit more expensive than the other ones. But you have to look around anyway, as there is usually soviet deserts in the shelves, but one of them will have delivery stock up day.
As DZ is quiet poor in touristic infrastructure, you have to ask around a little to find a driver. Suuka, the girl from the Chicken House, is also quiet helpful and could rustle up a driver for 300.000 tgr (which is the going price for non-mongolians, even the peace corps guys who speak fluent mongolian can't get a better bargain) to go to the Khongoryn Els and Bayanzag for two nights and three days. usually it's a russian van, so there's a lot of room, if you can find some one to share the ride. Now (mid april) DZ wasn't to filled up with travellers, so we did it on our own. It takes about 7 hours to get to the dunes, but it's definitely worth it, as they are spectacular. Bayanzag was a bit of a windy place and quiet impressive too, but not as great as the dunes. There is no nothing to go shopping, so make sure you have all your water, food and chinggis vodka.
as said, we went out for some hiking in the desert, actually we wanted to go to yolyn am(about 30 km from DZ), the ice canyon, but never found it. :) but we had an awesome three days walking through the great nothing and the blue skies above. We took 9 liters of water for two people, which was enough (if you restrict yourself a little), it would have lasted even for a fourth day. better be on the safe side! And there's always a ger in sight, so if you really do have a problem or some emergency it's always possible to go there and ask for help. But it takes a while to get there, if you can see the ger and tell it's one, it's still between one and two hours to walk. So don't go on your own! But it's really great going hiking there, it's just the right mixture of nothing and very little something, with that mountain range and a lot of horizon around you. but you don't get too scared being all on your own.:) Getting back is no problem at all, until about three in the afternoon there was a car going on the road close to the electricity lines every hour or so, they will pick you up for a couple of tugrigs and get you to DZ.
Apart from that not much to do in Dalanzadgad, besides making new friends, hanging out in the park while doing so, eating at the chicken house. :) but it's a great place to be and if you have planned more than a week for your stay in mongolia, do it on your own, we had the best of times!
Edited by: Itzkiif
May 1, 2012 5:49 PM
1It's really nice to read. Thanks for your post and came to Mongolia.
May 6, 2012 3:29 AM
Jun 24, 2012 8:12 AM
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