Mongolia, Trans Mongolian Railway

Staying at a Mongolian Ger Camp

The highlight that many people had been looking forward to was to visit a traditional Mongolian ger camp to sleep in so called “yurts” like the nomadic Mongolians still use today. These round shaped tents, along with horses and cows running freely were a common sight on the three and a half hour drive between Ulan Bataar and Gorkhi Terelj National Park where we would spend our next couple of days.

After about an hour drive away from the Mongolian capital we stopped to see the a huge statue of the former emperor of Mongolia, Genghis Khan on a horse, which is the worlds highest horse statue. A statue with a height of 40 meters and the possibilities to take an elevator up to walk up top of the head of the horse to get a panoramic view of the landscape, as the horse was practically in the middle of nowhere.

After getting to the ger camp around noon we had some freetime to walk on top of the neighbouring hilltops to have a view over the beutiful area we were staying at, and sledding down the hill if we wanted to. The freetime, the fresh air and the comfortable wood heated “yurts” made us instantly switch into a more relaxed mode, and not even the toilets that were litterally just a hole in the ground could change that. In the evening we went to visit a local family to see how they lived on the countryside, talk to them with translation through our local honcho and taste their homemade food and drinks. The highlight was eating a horrible tasting cheese and drinking fermented alcoholic horsemilk, which tasted very sour, but still was quite good! When getting back we gathered into the master “yurt” to watch a movie called “Mongol” and have dinner and some drinks.

On our second day we visited a temple located at a hillside, with a nice walk up throgh steps with the praying rolls that you find in Tibet and hanging bridges. We also drove past and stopped to see a mountain shaped like a turtle and some piled up stones used by the shamans for praying, where we also stopped, walked some rounds and trew rocks at the pile for good fortune for our travels. At the evening of our last night at the Mongolian gers we also got to do a Mongolian cooking class to learn how to make dumplings. When eating them afterwards it looked like a six year old had put them together, but they all tasted good and it was a great way of rounding up a stay on the Mongolian countryside that never will be forgotten.