Bus is my least favorite way to travel. I’ve done some short three to four hour rides which have been doable but when I learned I would be taking a 16 hour bus ride to Mörön I panicked. I would worry about it when I got there as there were other things I needed to focus on. Plus, I knew I could do it, it was just going to suck.
Like most things in Asia the bus late (and by late I mean over an hour and a half late). But before the bus even left I had made a new friend. A boy said hello to me in Mongolian and before I knew it I was showing him pictures of my travels and family on my phone and he was teaching me Mongolian. A a few hours in to the trip he declared, “You are my sister.” Like most little brothers he could be very annoying but also such a sweetheart. “Tic tac toe” and “Rock Paper Scissors” are classics wherever you go and we played to pass the time. He gave me a hair makeover twice but was frustrated that I had no comb. He also helped me when I ordered food at a restaurant which was great because the currency here simply confuses me.
It was an overnight trip and we made some stops along the way which makes sense because there is just no possible way for the driver to drive 15 hours straight! The guy needs food and at least one cigarette break! We stopped for dinner at around 9:30pm and there were a few bathroom stops along the way. Bathroom breaks included stopping in the middle of nowhere on the side of the road and using snow as a toilet.
I handled the trip pretty well thanks to my new little brother. I could of slept the whole thing but he kept annoying me but after five tough months in China it was nice to be annoyed. I have the world’s smallest bladder so there was a rough point in the middle of the night when I didn’t know when our next stop would be and I was in pain. Thankfully we stopped after some time and squatting in the middle of nowhere freezing cold Mongolia never felt better.
Would I want to do another 15 hour bus trip? Hell no. I will avoid them at all costs but sometimes you have to do what you don’t want to do.
What is the longest bus ride you have ever done? What are your tips for surviving long bus rides?