Seems the Mongol Road rally participants were arriving and most were hanging out at Dave's Pub (who helps promote the event)
I was in Kathmandu when a rally group came through with classic cars and support trucks and stayed a few days to show off their cars. But this was quite a different sight.
Seems in 2001 some blokes got this crazy idea to drive the 8,000-10,000 miles or so from London to Ulaanbaatar as a sort of challenge. In 2007 180+ cars left London's Hyde Park square on July 21st and another dozen or so started from Madrid. Now these are not your usual rally cars they are (in American lingo) "junkers". The rules state that the engine cannot be more than 1000cc and no support team is allowed. the drivers choose their own route and aside from a few predetermined places where they can meet up might not even see each other until the end of the rally (if they make it that is). The final stretch is through western part of Mongolia with it's legendary lack of roads and muddy tacks for these small cars to get bogged down in.
It usually takes 3 to 5 weeks to make the trip. The final figures are not in yet but the estimate is some 130 vehicles finished the trek. There are exceptions to some rules for special vehicles like the classic London black taxi that made the trip this year along with the ice cream truck and two guys on mini motorbikes dressed as the Incredibles and Yes they did finish. This not only looks like a crazy thing to do which would only done by crazy people, I think it really is crazy. But why would someone do this?
Let's make it even more interesting. First each team has to raise a minimum of £1,000 for charity and pay a registration fee of £387. Then not only to they pay for their cars and all their own expenses (gas, visas, food, equipment, bribes, etc; easily totaling more than £1,000) but when they arrive (those that do arrive) they donate their cars and kit which are sold at auction with the money donated to local charities. Total donations expected to top £300,000 this year. They hang out for a while in UB and see a bit of Mongolia until they eventually find a way home.