A lot of my travel decisions are driven by airlines and hotels. I realize that’s a different motivation than most have when it comes to deciding what trips to take, though it has served me pretty well over the years, and I’ve visited some cool places thanks to that approach.
While departing Incheon Airport last week, I saw a 767 with a livery I was at first unfamiliar with. After taking a picture and zooming in, I saw that it was a MIAT Mongolian 767-300.
While I’m familiar with Mongolia, I can’t say it has ever been anywhere close to the top of my list of places to visit. While taking a city tour in Astana, Kazakhstan a few months ago, my guide told me that it was the second coldest capital city in the world, after Ulaanbaatar. That’s probably the last reference I’ve heard to the place.
Well, I’ve been looking into Mongolia since I saw the plane last week, and am fascinated, both by the country and the airline.
MIAT Mongolian has a fairly limited route network. Here’s their routemap, though note that many of their routes are seasonal:
Now, I sure as heck don’t want to visit in winter, given that I don’t handle cold well. So I’ve been looking at summer options, and it looks like the best way to catch a flight there on their 767 is via Seoul Incheon or Frankfurt.
Roundtrip business class tickets between Seoul and Ulaanbaatar run just under $1,000, though it’s a short flight:
Meanwhile their seasonal Frankfurt to Ulaanbaatar route costs ~$1,750 roundtrip, which isn’t that bad for a pretty long flight:
Given that I plan on being in Europe for most of the summer anyway, I was thinking of perhaps using that as a jumping off point to Mongolia (as if I didn’t already have enough places I wanted to visit this summer).
So I’d love to hear from anyone who has been to Mongolia. Going to Ulaanbaatar is easy enough, and there’s a nice looking Shangri-La there, that’s reasonably priced.
But what else is worth seeing in the country? The Gobi Desert looks incredible, but also doesn’t look especially easy to get to. Furthermore, being able to constantly stay connected is important to me. I’m fortunate to be able to travel constantly, though at the same time that also means I have to be responsible and not disconnect for extended periods of time.
A majority of the stories I’ve found online about visiting the Gobi Desert involve backpacking, which doesn’t work all that well given my schedule.
So if anyone has been to Mongolia, I’d love to hear about it. Ultimately I’ll probably visit even if it just means trying MIAT Mongolian and visiting Ulaanbaatar, but I’d love to get out of the city, if it’s practical.
Anyone else have an interest in visiting Mongolia?