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After a very long trip, all eight Young Explorers arrived safely in Ulaanbaatar this morning. They finally got to meet the man and motor behind the Pangaea Expedition – Mike Horn.

Blog by Tirza and Constantin

After a long flight we arrived at the international airport of Dschinghis-Khan in Ulaanbaatar in the morning at 6 o’clock. We all felt a little jet-lagged, but after an interesting drive to our hotel we forgot about that. We could already get a first glimpse of the mountains and the yurts, typical Mongolian huts of the nomads. The potholes on the way indicate that Mongolia is still a developing country in many respects. 
Arriving at the hotel we met the rest of the expedition team, including the man who made this project possible, our expedition leader Mike Horn. We were excited to explore the city. Joe, our Mongolian guide, showed us the impressive sights: poor neighbourhoods, the administrative district but also the crowded and busy market. We saw everything! The market was a special experience we for sure will remember. Everything was really hectic and narrow. Some people looked a little seedy therefore we tried to keep an eye on our valuables. Unfortunately it wasn't long before some reading glasses went missing. We decided to leave the market but only after trying some traditional headgear. 

Back at the hotel Mike and Martin did a briefing about the first part of the expedition to the Lake Hovsgol. Later Roswitha, our scientific leader from the University of Munich, introduced us to the geography, flora and fauna of Mongolia. She also explained how to use the measuring instruments in the upcoming surveys on water and soil conditions. 

After a late dinner we had to pack only the necessities for the next days as we will leave the remaining equipment in the hotel. We‘ re already curious what’s expecting us at Lake Hovsgol!



The first stop of the YEP Mongolia Expedition: The “red hero”, the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar. It is the coldest national capital of the world with an annual average temperature of -2°C, due to its high elevation, the continental location hundreds of kilometres from any coast and the effects of the Siberian anticyclone.

It is the only city in Mongolia with an international airport and the center for trade, economics but also culture. Roughly 1 million people live in Ulaanbaatar, 39% of the country’s population.

With only 1.9 people per square kilometre, Mongolia has the lowest population density of any independent country. Vast and majestic emptiness and beautiful nature are waiting for the Young Explorers.

Have a guess: How many times would Switzerland or Singapore fit into Mongolia?

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