mongolia - solo trekking route
Replies: 1 - Last Post: Jan 2, 2013 11:27 AM Last Post By: tomongolia
Dec 4, 2012 2:12 PM
mongolia - solo trekking routeHello,
english is not my spoken language so I apologize in advance
i'm planing on hiking in mongolia in may\june, I have plenty of time (3 months at least) so theres no problam in that direction.
the point is I want to hike alone. And by "alone" I dont mean meeting people in UB and traveling with them (maybe ill just join a group for the ride..?)
I have experience in trekking alone and I want to plan a couple of routs wich are about 8-10 days of trekking and camping with one or two stops for supllies (if possible, of course. If not than just 8 days with everything on my back). I have done this kind of trekks before, but not in Mongolia.
with that said, here are my questions:
- is hitchhiking possible in mongolia? Can I count on it as a way to get around?
- can I plan on building my routes through "ger spots"/small towns to fill my supllies (food mainly)
- is Mongolia safe to travel alone (theives and that kind of stuff)?
- have anyone here ever did this sort of thing in Mongolia?
I plan on walking, no horses for me.
Dec 5, 2012 2:05 AM
(keywords: Mongolia, Nepal, UB, Ulaanbaatar, Europe, Russia, Gobi, Hovsgol, Tavan bogd, Khenti, Khangai)
You are one of a very small group of tourists that travel this way in Mongolia.
I encourage you to do so, even though the conditions and infrastructure are not designed for this kind of traveling. The time has come to develop such routes similar to what became very common in Nepal. As you have mentioned, you should be an experienced hiker to do so in Mongolia.
Part 1 - answering your direct questions
Q: Is hitchhiking possible in Mongolia? Can I count on it as a way to get around?
A: Not easy. On long distances you are expected to pay and share costs. In remote locations there are only few cars a day.
Q: routes through "ger spots"/small towns.. a model that is a bit like nepal
A: The distances are very large. Unlike Nepal where there are tea houses along popular treks, in Mongolia this kind of service is not developed.
Q: is Mongolia safe to travel alone
A: YES. Once you get out of UB (where you might get pick pocketed) Mongolia country side is absolutely safe, you will find that hospitality is a way of life.
Q: anyone here ever did this sort of thing
A: Very few. But trekking is rewarding, and well worth the efforts.
Part 2 - the challenges
Background: Mongolia is a huge country and can fit into it's space several European countries. The 3 million population of Mongolia can fit into any medium size town in Europe. Almost half of Mongolia's population lives in the capital city Ulaanbaatar. The rest of Mongolia is sparsely populated. This explains most of the challenges for hiking alone.
Maps: There are no good topographical maps to enable precise navigation. The only maps available are the old military Russian maps, surveyed in the 1950's in scales of 1:500,000, 1:200,000 and 1:100,000.
Because of the size of the country these maps spread over many sheets.
The best source for these maps today is at Maps for the World , takes some time to understand how to use this site. It is free, and you can download and print sheets at any printing house.
Distances: The distances are very large between towns in remote regions. To plan routes you can use Google satellite maps. To increase chances of meeting nomads, choose your routes along rivers, or along jeep tracks.
Getting there: In most cases you will have to hire a local jeep to get you to your starting point, and arrange someone to pick you up at your end point.
Part 3 - Trekking regions
North - Hovsgol: there are several trekking options around the lake and to the mountains and rivers in the region. Some walk to the Tsatan tribes north west of the lake.
South - Gobi: there are several popular treks (ice canyon), and many other more remote options.
West - Altai: the more popular Tavan-Bogd national park, and many other less known treks.
East - Khenti: Forested mountains, and rivers.
Center - Khangai - mountains, many small lakes, rivers.
Near UB - terelj park (popular).
Part 4 - Links to a few detailed treks
Tavan bogd , and Khoton Nuur , in the far west.
Khangai mountains in the center. (challenging trek, there are several other options).
Trek to Amarbaysgalant monastery in the north.
Story about Khamariin Khiid with a detailed google map of treks around the monastery.
Have a great time, share your experiences.
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