Mongolia Diary x Ulan Bator : A nomadic affair

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Finally, my laptop is back in the game after it gave away false alarm the past 3 days.

But I’m lucky I get to share this once-in-a-lifetime love affair of nomadic living at the Ger Camp. Located at the Terelj National Park, Ger makes a decent accommodation. Until now I still couldn’t find the word to describe how beautiful the bare land can be. They name Mongolia as the Land of Eternal Blue Skies for all the right reasons. 

We visited the host’s Ger, where we are served with the local yogurt and milk curds. I remember I couldn’t keep my hands off the curds because they tasted like yogurt frosties!

After Kali, Susie and I went for our horse rides, we were welcomed at the dining loft for a scrumptious mutton dinner before heading to bed. I must say the food at Mongolia was impressive and I definitely had the best blueberry jam there.

It was a practice to not lock the door when you sleep in the Ger, as the housekeeper will have to add coal to the stove heater every 3 to 4 hours. Unfortunately, some of us were worried that our things might get lost so we declined the offer (that was a silly idea). As predicted, the heat died off at about 3.30am and left us shivering at -4 celsius. Thankfully we found the housekeeper outside and called for some heat emergency.

On the next day after a hearty breakfast, we went to Чингисийн талбай (Chingisiin Talbai) also known as Chinggis Square. A large monument of the Genghis Khan and the equestrian statue of Damdin Sukhbaatar dominates the square. I remember there were a business gathering, summer break visit, and photo shoot going on simultaneously. Hence, the square filled with people wearing colourful costumes, sleek suits was very pleasing to the eyes. 

We also went to Гандантэгчинлэн хийд (Gandantegchinlen khiid). This monastery has been restored and known to the world as the ‘Great Place of Complete Joy’. The place was so sacred that when I stepped foot in, I felt a peace of mind. The locals both old and young could be seen walking around, spinning the prayer wheels. It is believed that when you spin each and every wheel, your wish will come true. I truly admire the upbringing of the locals where they instil religious practice to the younger generations, such as the newlyweds are to receive their blessings from the monastery and to always pray sincerely for family’s health and well-being. 

Before we proceed to the train station for our next destination, we had an early dinner at the BD’s Mongolian Grill. It’s a self-service restaurant where you pick your choice of meat/pasta/greens, sauces and watch them grill right in front of you. It was a nice place (albeit stuffy warm) for some last minute chat before we bid Mongolia goodbye.

So, there was my awesome time at Mongolia. If Mongolia is in your places-to-go list, I’d say give it at least one week to absorb their rich culture and geomorphic beauty. And make sure you go nomadic! 

Can’t wait to share about my experience in Russia next!

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