mongolia highlights

these are some images i thought would give you an overall impression of the country.  during my trip i stayed in a small tent called a gur (pronounced “geer”).  they were very comfortable and when it turned cold (it was very cold one week) we would light a small stove in the middle of the tent (that and very heavy blankets).  the gurs can be moved and taken down in less than an hour.  the mongolian people who live in the valleys are nomadic and may move from 2 to 4 times a year along with their flocks.  their diet consists mainly of meat, milk products and bread.


the gur is made of a light wooden frame structure, an inner cover cloth, a very thick felt insulating cover (about 1″ thick) and two outer canvas covers that were waterproof.  In summer, they don’t have the thick felt cloth so you can see the light come through the walls.  MONGOLIA-0412

we saw all sorts of creepy crawlies and little mice in our tentphoto 1 (3) copy 4


a teeny outhouse.  the sign says “children only”MONGOLIA-0621

a little doctor’s office.MONGOLIA-0623 MONGOLIA-0624

i head that some people take the manhole covers.  i guess they were right.

i arrived in time for the yearly nadaam festival and opening ceremonies. an important part of the festival is horse racing.  only boys between the ages of 5 and 13 participate in these races.  we were still in the outskirts of ulaanbatar when we came upon a local nadaam horse race and stopped to watch the boys begin the race.  later on, we went to the big race just outside of the capital on the race track.MONGOLIA-0667 MONGOLIA-0674 MONGOLIA-0676 MONGOLIA-0700 MONGOLIA-0707 MONGOLIA-0721 MONGOLIA-0731 MONGOLIA-0751 on the race groundsMONGOLIA-0841she kept admiring her new pink shoes!
MONGOLIA-0842 during the opening ceremoniesMONGOLIA-0934 MONGOLIA-0947 a quick brush after a haircutMONGOLIA-0979 a typical town with multi-coloured roofs.  since there was no phone reception in the valleys our driver would whip out his phone and call home whenever we came close to a town.MONGOLIA-5368 a luxury breakfast with vegetables.MONGOLIA-5590 there are very few roads in the mongolian outback and the few that there are are in terrible condition.  that is why you almost always see a track like this next to the road.  this is the main highway across the country.  when it rained it was slow going and very bumpy.  the trucks we travelled in were made in russia and were affectionally called “loaves of bread” because of their shape.MONGOLIA-5620 MONGOLIA-5726 MONGOLIA-5727 MONGOLIA-5728 most stores inventory consisted of 2/3 dried goods and 1/3 vodka and other spirits.MONGOLIA-5756 MONGOLIA-5790 MONGOLIA-5809

fairgrounds at the nadaam opening ceremoniesMONGOLIA-5912gandan monastery, ulaanbaatar


4 thoughts on “mongolia highlights

    1. Since there weren’t that many gurs we shared them with others or with the family we were staying with. We travelled from one semi-permanent camp to another or to a family “homestead” so it wasn’t necessary to set up our own. We did bring out own food and dishes though and our drivers knew where to pick up foodstuffs along the route. We would share our food with the families we stayed with – as you will see in my next and last blog post about the second family homestay.

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