Cross China Road Trip 02: Beijing > Hebei > Inner Mongolia: Maximum Freedom & Genghis Khan


Saved by the ger

So after nine and a half hours I make it to my first target Ulansu Lake in Inner Mongolia with just enough time to find somewhere to park up before the sun goes down. Unfortunately it soon becomes apparent that there’s no lake! Well there is but a bare trickle compared to what’s on my map of China. After miles of driving on appalling roads I find the remnants of the lake only accessible via a Windermere-like holiday area for ski jets and the like. It’s just in the throws of closing down at the end of the season and there’s nowhere to leave the jeep. Taking a small dirt road I end up throwing the jeep through sand dunes to find somewhere but all there is is a deserted litter strewn wilderness with a terrifying empty half built mansion which is a definite no go.

Finally I find a clear space and decide to make my stand. It’s getting late and my stomach’s sending out alarm bells. Despite the wind and sand being blown everywhere there’s no choice but to get the stove going. Worse is to come as the entire insect population in the area descends on my torch light including locusts! Unperturbed I battle on, cooking the blandest unsatisfying first camp meal of the trip. Four mouthfuls later though this guy pulls up in his car and chucks me off. No negotiations or nothing. Cheers mate! I mean all it is is a clear area miles away from anywhere with nothing else apart from a few trees. AAAAAAGH!

Throwing my half eaten dinner in the bushes and the camping kit back in the jeep I drive off into the darkness mumbling complaints. Hold on. I remember a get/yurt a few miles away so I head back there, drive down the track to the owners house and bang on his door. Inside the guy’s watching the footy and though a bit shocked at the sight of a Westerner outside in the middle of the night, he lets me stay in his gear for the night. RESULT!


One of the more bizarre places I’ve stayed

Turns out it’s not a ger for sleeping in but somewhere Mongolians would come for a banquet and has a huge circular table for which they would normally destroy a whole goat washed down with no doubt a few gallons of vodka. As per usual it’s brightly decorated with loud Mongolia colours; purples against bright reds and vivid pink against lime green. With a huge sigh of relief I brew up and crash out on the padded seating surrounding the table with.a giant picture of Genghis Khan above me.

Cheers Genghis mate!


The lady of the house herding the goats on her motorbike in the morning

46 replies

  1. how big is that ger? Is that an air cond compressor I see on the outside wall? Was wondering why there was a paved foot path so neatly up to the entrance as I thought gers could be moved when necessary. You are showing such wonderful scenery and your stories are amazing. to more amazing travels Andy and be safe ok.

    Liked by 1 person

      • hiya! I am good! Sweltering in the tropical heat as usual, but having a great time! second daughter is in university 2 states away and i am enjoying the road trips to visit her and see different places as well share in her college adventures. Have you been able to take any views of the stars at night or how the sky looks like just as twilight comes? Would love to see that if you manage it. hope to read more about the fabulous things you see on your way!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hiya Singledust. I had a good night under the stars last week and it was really quiet. The rain clouds are low over the mountains every morning here and it’s getting cold. Hope to get the jeep out of town tomorrow as the forecast is for clear skies. Your road trips sound great. What car are you driving?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Spectacular! I can imagine how amazing it is to look up at the stars and feel the earth spin. I like the sharpness solitude gives. Makes us so in touch with nature and our deepest thoughts. Hope there’s clear skies and a lovely road that comes up to meet you tomorrow. I have a small locally produced car called the MyVi. Low fuel consumption and easy to park in tight spots. We drove in 2 cars as she would keep the other car with her. Brought the other 3 kids back today. We had a great time taking the scenic village route than the expressway.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Christine > Thanks for dropping by. Yes it’s awesome but more so because I’m going it solo and can do my own thing. I think out of everyone I know on WP you’ll know what that’s all about. Tomorrow I plan to take the jeep out into the mountains for a day or two > scary


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