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Cycling in Mongolia

Listed under Cycling in Mongolia.

  • Photo of Cycling in Mongolia
  • Photo of Cycling in Mongolia
  • Photo of Cycling in Mongolia
  • Photo of Cycling in Mongolia
  • Photo of Cycling in Mongolia
  • Photo of Cycling in Mongolia
  • Photo of Cycling in Mongolia
  • Photo of Cycling in Mongolia
Photo of Cycling in Mongolia
Photo by flickr user James Seith Photography
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Mongolia is yet to become a common travel destination so offers a true wilderness experience for adventurers wanting to see more than just the capital and tourist highlights. The undulating plains of the steppes are inhabited by people living traditional lifestyles, as nomads herding goats, yaks or horses or in small yurt settlements and you can ride on cattle trails for days without seeing a vehicle. If you think of Scotland, but on a larger scale and with camels you will have the right image in your mind of the countryside.

By starting your journey on the edge of the ochre coloured Gobi desert you'll see the full spectrum of the landscape. From the Gobi's northern edge travel up into the Khangai Mountains to Karakorum, Genghis Khan's capital and one of the main cities along the Silk Road; from there you can visit his palace, part in ruins but parts are kept in good repair by local monks who have preserved art and other relics of the Mongolian empire including the 12 foot carved stone turtles which guard the perimeter.

Travelling deeper into the mountains the countryside becomes more empty but the local people are very friendly and you can expect to be invited into people's houses for a drink and some cheese.

There are some high passes along the route so you need to be a fit, competent cyclist but you won't need strong technical mountain biking skills, just the guts to launch yourself off some exciting descents. There isn't much tarmac out here and most of the tracks have been worked into the land by passing goat herds, motorbikes or four wheel drives so you need to be confident on a bike.

You definitely can't do a trip like this without a guide. Tracks aren't marked and you could easily become lost in an unfamiliar area without supplies.

Written by  John Fulton.

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