Blogs from Kharkorin, Mongolia, Asia


Asia » Mongolia » Kharkorin November 24th 2019

Having the lowest population density of any country on Earth has always made Mongolia extremely appealing to Magdalena and me; this is the reason why when living in Newcastle we often chose to go hiking in the invariably empty Cheviots, the UK’s least visited national Park, as opposed to the much lovelier but also much busier Lake District. Every Mongolian square kilometre averages just 1.9 people, compare that to 274 people per km2 in the UK, 334 per km2 in Japan, which I now call home, and a thoroughly cosy 18,960 per km2 in list-topping Monaco. A consequent highlight of Mongolia’s emptiness is that you can pick a direction and walk. You will see more wildlife than humans, more animal tracks than vehicle tracks, and hear more bird song and animal noises than mobile phone social ... read more
The 8 Lakes horsetrek in Orkhon Valley
The 8 Lakes horsetrek in Orkhon Valley
The 8 Lakes horsetrek in Orkhon Valley

Asia » Mongolia » Kharkorin July 30th 2019

20 juillet Je quitte ce matin le campement de yourtes alors que dans la pâle lueur du jour, les nomades détachent leur bétail pour leur permettre de disparaître dans le paysage jusqu'au prochain couché de soleil. Les vaches reviendront d'elles-mêmes ce soir. Par centaine, les chèvres tout près seront, elles, récupérées parfois à cheval, mais plus souvent en selle d'une moto. Puis les chevaux eux, ne reviendront jamais. Ils seront récupérés au besoin, après un coup de téléphone (peut-être) d'un voisin de yourte, à des kilomètres de là. Dans la steppe, des nerveuses musaraignes et des écureuils de Sibérie s'éclipsent dans les bosquets de lichen à l'approche de notre véhicule. Les rapaces tournoient en un 8 infini dans le ciel vide, prêt à décocher leurs crochets sur les plus imprudents carnassiers. Il y a peu de ... read more
Pause dans les champs

Asia » Mongolia » Kharkorin June 15th 2013

We are heading back to Ulanbaataar now, and on the way stopped at a monastery and museum, the most touristy site I have been to in Mongolia. We had a guided tour of the temples which was good on specific details - the story of the terrifying-looking female protector with her demon baby in her mouth, the offerings made from flour and salt preserved for 50 years, the different Buddhas (the Buddha for longevity had by far the most offerings) - but assumed a knowledge of the principles and context of Buddhism that I don't have, so I couldn't relate it to the wider philosophy, other than learning that there are close ties to Tibetan Buddhism (the politics of Tibet are much on the minds of many Mongolians as they see the countries as comparable - ... read more
Buddhist temples

Asia » Mongolia » Kharkorin October 11th 2010

Mongolia 2 I am sitting on the train from Beijing South Station headed to Jinan. The trip will take about three hours and I am off to see Du Ying, a friend from Madison who completed her PhD in economics last October. Wow- so much has happened over the past year, not to mention the last hour! I love to travel. I love meeting new people and discovering new places, but it’s hard to articulate and synthesize it all into a neat package such as a blog. This reminds me of when I studied art in college. I discovered that I have a proclivity to use all of the colors versus being selective. Whether it’s art or writing, I get so excited and want to convey a sense of wonder and amazement about what I am ... read more
Meditation room- homestay
Homestay living room
Homestay kitchen

Asia » Mongolia » Kharkorin September 28th 2010

17/09/2010 - 23/09/2010 Next day me and Roman checked out the nearby park, Terelj. Here we already had a good taste of the incredible landscapes Mongolia has to offer (more was yet to come). We stopped also at the huge Djenghis Kahn steel statue, for which a lot of respect exits with the Mongolian people. Then we went on a 4 day trip exploring the Mongolian country. We did this in a little van, wiggling our heads (and sometimes entire body) constantly. During these days we stayed with local families in a 'ger' (local specific hut). First day we visited the big monastary in Kharkorin, still needs some renovation. Next we moved on to see the waterfall. Amazing contrast between the big dry mountains and this oasis looking waterfall. I also had my first real horse ... read more
local musician in out ger

Asia » Mongolia » Kharkorin July 13th 2010

Naadam - The grandest festival in Mongolia. It takes place around the same time in different towns across the land. We intentionally opted against being in Ulaan Baatar for the event because it gets way too crowded with tourists and locals alike and it's impossible to find accommodation there or even see the games properly. So instead we all decided (my Gobi companions and I) to check out the festival in the ancient town of Kharkorin, a former capital of the grand Mongol empire, but now reduced to a simple ramshackle Mongolian town, with a very small population and way less tourists. The Naadam festival is centered around the three manly games - Horse Racing, Wrestling and Archery, and are skills that all Mongolian men were supposed to posses to survive and defeat their enemies. Tume ... read more
Wrestling Dance
Horse Racing

Asia » Mongolia » Kharkorin June 17th 2010

Day 55 - Leaving UB. Another pretty miserable day and still pretty cold. We were going on tour with 2 Dutch people which was good but our vehicle was not quite a jeep! A 4x4 minibus which looked like it was in need of a bit of TLC. Joining us we had our driver and a 20 year old translater who were both Mongolian. The roads in Mongolia also leave a lot to be desired but for the first 2 hours we had paved roads, unfortunately we still managed to hit a guy crossing the road! There was a lot of yelling and screaming as to who's fault it was but we were back on our way within a few minutes. Stopped at a local restaurant for lunch surrounded by open spaces and green hills. Now ... read more
Inside Karakorum
City walls - Karakorum
Walls of Karakorum

Asia » Mongolia » Kharkorin November 1st 2008

Km travelled 12803 31.10.08 The little boy Dava shook hands with us and energetically waved standing with his family while our Jeep slowly turned on its bumpy way. Today we tried the half frozen river crossing. Without big success we have to say. Ochkhar stopped the car and got off to check the river and find out where best to cross, and at the end valued that we were in the best place. So we tried, as I said. The ice was very thick, not enough to support the car, enough to break the car's headlights. We eventually came past a lady on her horse that advised us about a bridge close by. Good. Good. After the failure in finding the Tovkhon monastery we decided to make an after lunch stop at the small Shankha monastery, ... read more
Sunrise on Khongo Khan
Front and back
Mongol sand

Asia » Mongolia » Kharkorin October 27th 2008

Km travelled 11823 26.10.08 Ochkhar has brown thick skin, like one that has seen many suns. His hair is dark and fizzy, covered by a tight green hat. He spits loud words between thin lips and keeps his hands always up on the steering wheel. His jeep is blue, blue outside and blue inside. Inside is all padded like an old piece of furniture. Dava is a smiling girl that keeps the smile even when she's speaking. She just got her degree in tourism economy and she's our English speaking guide. Before leaving the guesthouse we've been lucky enough to have a chat with an American guy that gave us some advice on Cambodia. And before leaving Ulaanbaatar we had the opportunity to see how to get away from a police check point, which didn't seem ... read more
Hungry vultures
Local farmers
Our first ger

Asia » Mongolia » Kharkorin August 29th 2008

freitag, 29.08.08 am tag nach dem orphan camel fahren wir weiter, viele stunden, richtung norden immer noch durch karge gobi-landschaft, aber je nördlicher wir gelangen, desto länger werden die grashalme und die kamelherden werden wieder durch pferdeherden ersetzt - wir sind wieder in den grasslands angekommen. hier gibt's die erste asphaltstrasse seit ub... gegen abend erreichen wir unseren campingplatz in den khogno khan mountains. der zwar ein bisschen wehmütige blick zurück richtung süden ist umwerfend! die natur präsentiert sich wie eine filmkulisse mit einer weiten ebene, schroffen bergen, weich gewellten und leicht bewachsenen sanddünen und skurrilen, krüppeligen bäumen - unser erstes zwei-tages-camp. gegen abend beginnt es leicht zu regnen... nach einer stürmischen und ziemlich kalten nacht ist es am morgen immer noch nass - tja, dumm gelaufen für einen fr... read more
paved road
tire repair

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