Mongolia June 2-24, 2009
Vast Expanse of Nothingness
Driving through the Gobi Desert for 11 days on a Jeep Trek was amazing. We loved all of it–well the 2 showers in 11 days while living in tents called Ger was unique. We were able to participate in daily life: shaving camels, making cheese from goat milk, herding the goats, making noodles and chopping wood.
At times, it felt like an animal safari, we saw huge herds with their babies and surprising to us no fences to be seen anywhere. The camels, sheep, goats, yaks, horses and cows were roaming everywhere. I have never seen so many animals. We heard a sheep symphony on a mountain when we passed about 300 animals all bleating to each other.

On our trek we drove 2 days south of the power lines, many of the Ger have a solar panel to charge their cell phones and televisions. We drove through rain, hail, sun, clouds, and a huge dust storm to get to incredible sights like Yolin Am (Ice Canyon) where there was ice covering the river in June, Bayanzag (Dinosaur Canyon) where Ray Chapman Andrews uncovered 70 camel loads of dinosaur bones, and Tsagaan Survarga (Flaming Cliffs) which are beautiful colored cliffs where all you can hear is the wind. But the highlight after 5 days of driving 5-9 hours a day were the sand dunes. We were lucky to be able to hike
to the top of the dunes twice. They are 180 km long, 3km wide and 30 m tall. It is incredible…you have to go!

Mongolia by Lisa Niver

Ulaan bataar and Terelj
We spent most of a week in the capital and in the National Park, Terelj. We had power outages, no hot water, and saw urban sprawl. We definitely recommend you spend your time in the desert. We want to go back to see more in the North especially Khovsgol Lake and the Amarbayasgalant Monastery.

View the MAP of our trip


We took the overnight bus and the overnight train to get from Beijing to Ulaan Bataar, it took us 46 hours of traveling. Our 11 day trek had some long days on track with no road and no signs or directions. Oogii was a great driver with GPS in his head! He stopped at lots of Ovoos and we joined in the circling three times and adding rocks to the piles.

We saw Erdeen Zuu when we were in the old capital city, Khortum. It was the first Tibetan Buddhist Monastery built in Mongolia. A Mongolian king named the Dalia Lama (it means ocean which in this desert is high praise).


Thanks for reading about our trip! We really appreciate it! We are now home in Los Angeles!
Happy 4th of July! George and Lisa


Lisa Ellen Niver

Award-winning travel expert Lisa Ellen Niver has explored 101 countries and talks travel on KTLA-TV and her website, We Said Go Travel, which is read in 212 countries. Her YouTube videos have nearly 900,000 views and she has more than 140,000 followers on social media (verified on Facebook and Twitter). She sailed on the high seas for seven years and she has been nominated for five Southern California Journalism Awards in the past two years and received 2nd place for her Jewish Journal article. Niver has written for publications including AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Robb Report, Sierra Club, Smithsonian, Saturday Evening Post, United Airlines (Hemispheres) and USA Today 10Best.

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