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  1. #876
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandaloopy View Post
    I could do a few photos on that I guess
    Mandy slums it in UB

  2. #877
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    Did you go away on this trip?

    Mandaloopy does China-236-jpg


    Any report/pics?

  3. #878
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    ^I'm still waiting on immigration for my new visa and resident card-I'll be off as soon as I have them.

  4. #879
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    I look forward to hearing of the places you visit, the food you are served and the availability of bed warmers.

  5. #880
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...ever come across any of these decorative items?:

    Mandaloopy does China-28698172-8347459-image-m-6_1590140967350-jpg

    Mandaloopy does China-28698174-8347459-image-m-34_1590141170659-jpg

    Mandaloopy does China-28698194-8347459-image-m-30_1590141134314-jpg

    Mandaloopy does China-28698196-8347459-image-m-20_1590141060776-jpg

    Mandaloopy does China-28698200-8347459-image-m-12_1590141010709-jpg

  6. #881
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ever come across any of these decorative items
    One of the affects of drinking fermented Yak's milk is impaired vision, I hear.

    Excellent photo site.

    Galleries | Solent News and Photos
    Last edited by OhOh; 13-06-2020 at 12:16 PM.

  7. #882
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    Visa came through a few days ago and I am off to Tsertserleg tomorrow for a few days of mountain biking and long hikes. One of the bike trips will end at this resort where the plan is to do nothing but chill by the hotsprings and explore the local hills.

  8. #883
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    Back in UB after a long weekend away- wanted to be back before the election as transport could become rather limited over the next few days.
    Some pics:
    After a 10 hour bus journey it was nice to walk up the hill

    Next day cycled around and sway in the river




    The rest of the time was spent hiking








    Did make it to the hot springs, a little underwhelming tbh so I just spent the day there rather than a couple of nights

    Food was solid back at the guesthouse in the main town though-even got a roast!


    I guess there is no accounting for taste...

    I'd imagine yaks are cheaper and they are less gaudy


    All in all a good trip- now for a trip to Shangri La for some beers- I've been stuck on a coach all day. Actually overland trips here are pretty good, better than Myanmar-less prone to delays and road blockages-looking at you road to Hsipaw!

  9. #884
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    Thanks for your trip report.

  10. #885
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    Mongolia’s Future as ‘Oasis of Democracy’ Put to Election Test

    By Terrence Edwards
    June 24, 2020, 6:00 AM GMT+7
    https://www.bloomberg.com/asia


    • More than 600 candidates compete for 76 parliament seats
    • Leaders’ efforts to consolidate power looms over contest


    An elderly resident prepares to vote at his home in Ulaanbaatar on June 23. Photographer: Byambasuren Byamba-Ochir/AFP via Getty Images

    Mongolian voters are heading to the polls facing a electoral paradox: More candidates than ever to choose from and increasing concern that the government is focused on two political power brokers.

    More than 600 candidates are competing Wednesday for 76 seats on the country’s Great State Khural -- in the first parliamentary elections since a landslide win by the Mongolian People’s Party four years ago. The Democratic Party and a handful of smaller opposition groups face a tough battle to unseat Prime Minster Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, 52, whose party currently holds 63 seats.



    Khurelsukh Ukhnaa
    Photographer: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

    Since taking the premier’s post in 2017, Khurelsukh has strengthened his political position through unlikely cooperation with President Battulga Khaltmaa, 57, of the rival DP. They pushed through a series of legislative changes last year including the removal of measures intended to protect the independence of the courts and anti-corruption investigators. Khurelsukh also secured new powers to select cabinet members and extended the length of the president’s term.

    The shift has fueled concerns that Mongolia’s status as an “oasis of democracy” between Russia and China may be under threat three decades after the country’s first open election in 1990. Authorities took the unprecedented step in recent weeks of arresting five candidates, including three from the DP and two members of the MPP.

    Such scandals have helped weaken support for the two main political parties, amid broader concerns about coronavirus outbreaks and a sudden drop in exports. That’s helped fuel a surge in independent candidates -- with 121 running for seats this year -- and unflattering comparisons to other countries seen as suffering from a decline in democratic institutions.

    “Let’s think about India and Turkey. A decade ago we thought ‘Oh, nice institutional democracies,’” said Julian Dierkes, a researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver who focuses on Mongolia. He said Mongolia was “similar to those places.”

    Mongolia’s polls are open from from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. local time. While final results may take days to compile, recent winners have been announced within hours of polls closing. This year’s vote has been complicated by the pandemic, with Mongolia adopting similar infection-control measures to those used for elections in nearby South Korea in April.

    The DP’s standard-bearer is former Prime Minister Amarjargal Rinchinnyam, who held the premier’s post from 1999 to 2000. Amarjargal, a leading protester and activist during the country’s transition to democracy in the 1980s, faces competition from a handful of new smaller parties vying for the interest of younger voters, residents of the capital Ulaanbaatar and other disaffected groups.

    While the MPP is hoping for a repeat of its decisive 2016 victory, the successor of the Soviet-era ruling party must overcome a Covid-driven economic downturn. A short-term ban on sending coal to China in February sent exports sliding 38.5% in the first five months of the year, and Mongolia reported a 10.7% economic contraction for the first quarter.

    Yet the country has managed to keep its coronavirus cases low by closing its border, banning public gatherings and establishing curfews on restaurants and pubs, giving Khurelsukh a boost.

    “Election campaigning will be in favor of the ruling party,” said Sumati Luvsandendev, political analyst and head of the Ulaanbaatar-based polling group Sant Maral Foundation. “The economic downfall will be blamed on the epidemic, thus giving the ruling party pretty good chances to form the government without a coalition.”
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  11. #886
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    It's going to be an interesting one- there have actually been small demonstrations about the border closures and the relatively small amount of repatriation flights for stranded Mongolians. A coworkers husband is running for office and it has been very expensive with a lot of outlay and "fees". I'll be avoiding large public squares who the next couple of days. Pub and bar curfew will be lifted this Friday, so there is some good news to report here!

    I think they might allow flights from S.Korea in a couple of months as it is one of the few places that is a hub in Asia and connects several times a day with UB- imo it is the only realistic way for the stranded to return home, although I would imagine the 3 week hotel quarantine + 2 week at home quarantine will remain. One of the hotels used is pretty close to my apartment- the lucky buggers will be able to get Texas BBQ and craft beer delivered to their rooms due to the attached bar.

  12. #887
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    More than 600 candidates are competing Wednesday for 76 seats on the country’s Great State Khural
    Excellent news. May the best candidate win.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    While final results may take days to compile
    Who is monitoring the count?

  13. #888
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    I wanted to get some good hiking in so headed out of town for a couple of days.




  14. #889
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandaloopy View Post
    so headed out of town for a couple of days.
    Are you ever stopped by the Police/Army, checking what you are doing, driving, walking, photographing ....?

    Are you allowed to camp wherever you like or must you stay at a "hotel"? Can you effectively travel wherever you wish or are you required to file a plan of your journey and given a chit to show if requested?

    In Thailand when travelling, either inter-province or locally in the jungle, one is liable to be fined etc. if the proper papers are not in order.

    When you meet locals, what is their reaction?

    Any wild animals to be aware of? Sheep/Goats/Yaks in the hills, must attract some interest.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  15. #890
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Are you ever stopped by the Police/Army, checking what you are doing, driving, walking, photographing ....?

    Are you allowed to camp wherever you like or must you stay at a "hotel"? Can you effectively travel wherever you wish or are you required to file a plan of your journey and given a chit to show if requested?

    In Thailand when travelling, either inter-province or locally in the jungle, one is liable to be fined etc. if the proper papers are not in order.

    When you meet locals, what is their reaction?

    Any wild animals to be aware of? Sheep/Goats/Yaks in the hills, must attract some interest.
    You can camp anywhere out in the countryside, but it would be polite to let nomads know if you want to camp close to them, they'll more than not insist you stay with them in their ger.
    Locals are very friendly, the Lonely Planet seems to paint this picture that their are drunken ultra nationalists roaming about wanting to duff up foreigners , this is BS.
    Lots of livestock about, most are pretty chill but yaks can be moody, it is best to keep your distance from them. One animal to be wary of are Mongolian Bankhar dogs- they are massive, fast and very territorial


  16. #891
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    In Thailand when travelling, either inter-province or locally in the jungle, one is liable to be fined etc. if the proper papers are not in order.

    WTF are you on about now?

  17. #892
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    Booked a 4 day trip to the Gobi, leaving on the 15th, can't wait for this trip.

  18. #893
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    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    WTF are you on about now?
    When driving around Thailand one meets police check points. Generally at province borders. It's up to the individual officer to decide if he wants you to stop and answer questions and or show documentation or just waved through.

    If you are in the jungle, close to a national boundary, the border police, if you meet them, can act similarly.

    Both and all options have been experienced by me. Driving with my Thai wife and alone and walking along jungle tracks close to the border.

    Do you ever get up off your lazyboy?

  19. #894
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    I have travelled all over Thailand by car the last 30 years. Never been stopped and only waived through checkpoints. Until Clovid never once had to show a passport only my Thai DL.



    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Do you ever get up off your lazyboy?
    Say what?

  20. #895
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandaloopy View Post
    Booked a 4 day trip to the Gobi, leaving on the 15th, can't wait for this trip.
    Mandy, one of the benefits of working in some of these unusual places is the travel and getting immersed in the culture - its not a country i have visited but its has a kind of raw beauty - being in a place full time opens doors and opportunities never available to travelers - enjoy it.

  21. #896
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    Back from 4 days in the Gobi, I'l be flying to Khovsgol Lake tomorrow so here are some pics of the desert. The bus pretty much takes all day, board at 8am get of at 5. Still, at least the distance can be covered in a day at the road is paved all the way. First stop was the Yolin Valley- you'll need to rent a car and driver to get here, we opted for a V8 Landcrusier that made easy work of the terrain in relative comfort


    Yolin Valley is stunning, and famous for its year round glaciers




    Next stop was some dunes, some 200km away from the valley- of you go prepare for a basic camp- there might be electric and running water, but probably not. Bring your own drinking water/beer/vodka




    I'd also recommend going in the early morning to escape the heat.
    Last stop of this little tour was the Flaming Cliffs.



  22. #897
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandaloopy View Post
    Last stop of this little tour was the Flaming Cliffs.
    Visit Azerbaijan for the real thing, it burns 24/7:

    Mandaloopy does China-800px-yanar_dagh-jpg


    Yanar Dag - Wikipedia

  23. #898
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    Just browsing the Beeb and came across this article about footy in Ulan

    The Mongolian Rooney, the thief, and the fightback

    On a cold, dark Mongolian morning, a teenager leaves his family's tent and heads to school through thick, smoky air.

    It's 06:00 and -20C (-4F). School 107, on the edge of the capital Ulaanbaatar, doesn't open for two hours. But Ochiroo Batbold has a key.

    The 14-year-old lets himself into the gym, turns on the lights, and gets to work, alone.

    He kicks a ball against a wall. He practises turn after turn. He runs and jumps and sweats and - bit by bit - he improves.

    As the clock nears 08:00, he gets changed, leaves the gym, and begins normal lessons. But in the classroom, he dreams about football.

    He wants to be a player. He wants to move abroad. And he wants his name in lights - or at least, on the back of his shirt.

    Amazingly, the offer comes sooner than he dreamed. But the offer - and the dream - is not what it seems.

    Pollution in a ger district, Ulaanbaatar (2012 picture). A recent ban on burning raw coal has improved air quality

    Ochiroo Batbold was five when his family moved from Tov province to Ulaanbaatar. For provincial Mongolians, it's a common journey - there are more opportunities in the capital.

    Like many newcomers, the family moved to a ger district, where round tents sit among brick and mortar buildings. In the winter, chimney smoke would choke the freezing air.

    Football is not the main sport in Mongolia. The climate suits indoor games, so most boys wrestle and play basketball.

    But as a teenager, Ochiroo played Fifa on the PlayStation. His older friends introduced him to Manchester United and he became hooked.

    He wanted to be like Wayne Rooney, so he started practising with a ball. And, when winter came, he spoke to his school caretaker, got the key and went to the gym every morning.

    Then - two years after he started playing - he joined a team. And, at the same time, a reality TV show.

    Rest of the article here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-53399862

  24. #899
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    Can't be that hard to get into the Mongolian national team surely.

    I used to dream that my grandparents had some far off exotic passport that was in desperate need of a left back.

  25. #900
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    I suppose its relative. A nice story with some insight, just wondered what Mandy's experience is with kids and sport - maybe to stop them stabbing each other with pencils. Gawd knows what the air quality was like some years back.

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