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Trans Siberian Onwards

It starts tomorrow

CHINA | Tuesday, 9 September 2014 | Views [317]

11:22.  The departure from Beijing.  Train K3.  847 miles.  Twenty Eight hours.  The real adventure begins.  Through the great wall, into inner mongolia, the Gobi desert and across the border into Mongolia, over the vast grasslands of the steppe and into Ulaan Bator.  I still haven't figured out how to spell or pronounce that properly yet, so I'm calling it "UB" from here on.  If China was really just a prologue, this is where chapter one of my new adventure really begins.

 

Mongolia was originally just a curious stop off point on the way from Beijing to Mosco, but dy by day, the intriue has increased.  The gobi, the steppe, the yaks, the yurts (known as gers locally), nomads with their horses.  Not all are completely aien to me - yaks I have seen in Yunnan.  The Gobi I have stood on in Gansu.   But this should be  a very new experience.  The other interesting thing about Mongolia is the chance to see the "other side" of certain parts of Chinese history.  Beijing, the imperial Chinese capital was originally made the capital of China under a Mongol - Kublai Khan in the yuan dynasty.  The Mongols of Genghis, and his grandson Kublai, were apparently quite busy with their own empire, but what is known to Chinese as the yuan dynasty was apparently a Mongol invastion.  It will be interesting to see how this period of Chinese hisotry is depicted from the Mongolian side.

 

I'm expecting quite a rush when I arive in UB, before heading out to the steppe, to the UNESCO recognised Orkhon Valley, but I need to pick up my train ticket to Mosco in UB before heading out.  The train ride, at 28 hours, is not  ashort one, but with my many hours of planning, buying books, downloading videos etc, I should be well prepared enough.  I wonder who my bunk mates will be.  And a single McDonalds, which I do intend to buy, will not keep me going.  So I hope there is good food on the train.

Tags: beijing, china, mongolia, train, trans-mongolia trans-siberian, ub, ulan bator

 

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