For my last day in Beijing, I was looking for something to do that wouldn’t make me feel like I was melting in the humid heat of the city. I also still needed to visit the Drum Tower, which was right around the corner from my hostel.
I woke up after my first night in Beijing, hoping that the morning would be less hot than the previous day. It was, but it wouldn’t stay that way for long.
After a great week in the Gobi desert, it was time for me to leave Mongolia. The last leg of my Trans-Mongolian railway journey would take me from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing in about 30 hours.
The second half of the Gobi desert tour turned into a little bit of a safari. We went in search of mountain goats on a morning hike in Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, and tried to find wild horses in Hustai National Park.
Last week, I travelled to the south of Mongolia on a week-long guided tour. Along with the guide, two drivers and 7 other travellers from Holland and Belgium, we set off from Ulaanbaatar in 2 Russian 4×4 vans, to explore the Gobi desert.
I spent my first few days in Mongolia in the capital city. I prepared for my week-long trip into the Gobi desert. This included grocery shopping, but also getting to know the country and some of its history before heading south.
The city of Irkutsk was my last stop in Russia. After the tough but beautiful hike at Lake Baikal, I had one free day left to explore the city, before I would take the train to Mongolia.
When my train arrived in Irkutsk on Saturday morning, I went straight to the most popular destination on Lake Baikal’s 2000km long shoreline: Listvyanka.
I have to admit I was a bit sad when my train rolled into Irkutsk Passazhirskiy station this morning. Living on a train for 83 hours was everything I hoped it would be, and more. It was the ultimate way to get to know Russia.
Tomorrow I begin my overland journey from Holland to Hong Kong. My backpack is all packed. It’s probably far too heavy. This is my first backpacking trip and I’m slightly nervous. This is the moment when my brain always tries to tell me I’m forgetting something important. I’ve had so much time to prepare and it never feels like I’ve done enough.