Dornogovi (Дорноговь; eastern Gobi) unfurls like film through a viewfinder past the train window, where a seemingly infinite landscape of green and gold grasses rolls by. This steppe teems with camels and horses, goats and sheep, and sprouts with the occasional hard scrabble sum punctuated by decaying socialist relics. Through it all the bucking, rocking rhythm of the coach will lull you like a baby's carriage, until it all feels like a peaceful dream.
Such is the first taste of Mongolia experienced by many overlanders, as the train line from Bĕijīng to Ulaanbaatar blazes straight through the eastern Gobi. The railway supports local trade while the rest of the economy rides on the back of uranium development, coal and small-scale oil extraction. It is the transport links that attract most foreign visitors, but there is a spectacular nature reserve here too, and it is not to be missed.