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    Like a budget conscious seasoned traveler, bad habits are hard to break. If I had to choose to between a Hilton or a budget hotel, I always picked the budget. You can always tell a budget hotel because they always have digits after their names (Motel 6, California 8, Sleazy 8, Crazy 8, etc., or the name Budget or Economy as in Budget Inn or Economy Inn)...always next to the busy highway offramp. I refuse to stay at motels which posts hourly rates! (I have minimum standards). But when I got to Halgol in the vicinity of Khalkin Gol, it was an entirely different story!!! There were only 2 "hotels" in town...and we had stayed at this one hotel years prior, which was OK. The only problem was, the toilet was an outhouse outside the building in the middle of a dirt lot! And it was padlocked. If you were staying there as a guest, you got a key!

    So the next time around, we decided to stay at the museum/hotel in town. It is a decent museum, housing mostly Khalkin Gol battlefield artifacts. We booked a room and I thought everything was cool until that night. It had a very high ceiling. We turned off the lights and tried to get some sleep until...I felt something crawling up my leg! Yikes! I threw off the covers, cursed, and turned on the lights. There were these tiny black beetles in my bed!!! Then my buddy woke up, he felt something in his bed, too! We took off the thin blankets and brushed off the bugs and turned in. A few minutes later, I felt something on my face!!! 

    I bolted out of bed and turned on the lights. I got quite a shock. There were bugs on the floor and on the blankets! Then I looked up at the ceiling...there were zillions of tiny black beatles all over the ceiling, and they were dropping off and hitting the floor with a thunk! I put on my jeans, long sleeved shirt, and covered my face with an old T-shirt, and tried to get some sleep, but they were crawling up my arms! They didn't bite, but it is unnerving to have creepy crawlies crawling up your face in the middle of the night!!!

    The two of us were pissed, tired, and exasperated!!! Finally, my buddy Justin came up with a great idea. We got a plastic bucket, put some water in it, and then I got my keychain flashlight and switched it on. Then we got into bed. We figured that the light would draw the buggers away from us, fall into the bucket, and drown themselves! After another hour, we simply were exhausted and fell asleep. When we awoke, the plastic bucket had a lot of dead bugs. They were the ones which fell from the ceiling!!!

    We complained to our Mongolian guide about our most horrible experience, and he agreed. He said, "All the insect eggs must have hatched that night! (it had been a very hot summer night). 

    The hotel's bathroom was out of order...it was dark, wet, and stank! Their toilet was leaking and couldn't be flushed. It was sooooooooo GROSS, it was enough to gag a maggot!!! The hotel provided an outhouse. You didn't dare loose your balance while squatting, otherwise, you'd loose your wallet or worse! After coming out, it was wonderful to breathe fresh air!

    We went to the kitchen where some Mongolians were cooking breakfast over a wood burning stove. If they were burning wood, why was the kitchen full of BLACK GREASY smoke? The guests had scrummaged around and found a stack of old painted fence boards...painted with oil based paint (which probably had lead in it). I got the hell out of the kitchen!!!

    Now that we had experieced the "hotel from hell," we can sleep anywhere!!! 

    Photo of the hotel, then our room. The plastic bucket in the corner filled with water and the dead bugs found in the morning.The last photo shows me and my buddy  Justin holding a replica of the Soviet flag of Victory at Khalkin Gol. I had purchased it off of eBay and brought it to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Khalkin Gol Battle.




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    Edited by GeroiCCCP
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    I could have told you NEVER to go into the kitchen in any establishment in the developing world.  Better not to know, as it just spoils the appetite.  The 'squatter' toilets in Nigeria were a rude shock for the Canadians when we arrived there many years ago.  Luckily, at the school where I worked, the staff lines had 'sitters'.  Nothing worse than having a case of the crud and nowhere to go but a dirty squatter.  I stayed right out of our multistory dormitory, as the fact that it had never had running water didn't stop the students from sing the toilets. :(

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