Before arriving in Mongolia I had already some thoughts to extend my 30 days visa by another two weeks. As I was so impressed by the city in the first days and wanted to take the chance to see as much as possible from the country I decided to do this.The first week in UB was great fun. Organizing some stuff, going out, meeting new people,… But in this week I‘ve also heard some negative stories about the tourism business itself: Tours might be overpriced, they are promising you things, which will never be done, they might refuse you the stay at the hostel, when not doing tours with them,… Due to this it was a even bigger coincidence that I met Graeme in Russia, who was couchsurfing at a tour operators place, where he organized two great tours for a good price for us. When coming back from the Gobi and Lake Khuvsgul I still had to apply for the chinese Visa and to make up my mind, what I wanna do within the next two weeks. First I wanted to go to the West by bus, but as it turned out that it would have been a 3-4 days journey in either direction, I had wait for my Chinese visa for some days and I could start a tour to the West by plane just some days later, I decided to fly there. As already written in my entry for the Altai region, the tour was landscape- and hospitalitywise great and simply stunning, but I ended up with a guy, I couldn‘t deal with and got quite a lot disappointments from our guide. Nevertheless I was glad that I did the trip to the Western Region of the country.
The mongolian people, who are famous for their hospitality, especially on the country side were great. Only in the Ulanbator itself, I experienced some verbal offenses and also one guy tried to pickpocket me… without success. After talking to several travellers, I still have the opinion, that in Mongolia people from the West, especially Austria and Germany, are seen as cash cows and they would pay every price for everything.
In the end, the six weeks in this country were quite cheap. Only the last trip was overpriced.
Nevertheless some disappointments, I can recommend a trip to Mongolia to everyone. This country has so many things to offer: great landscapes, the hospitality on the countryside (especially on the countryside) and the smile of some mongolian kids.