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April 19, 2016

A Photo Diary Of Mongolia

Throughout our social media, we use images taken by our guests. We always feel that Mongolia inspires and we receive some stunning photographs taken by our guests during their Eternal Landscapes Mongolia experience capturing the immensity of Mongolia’s ‘eternal’ landscapes. The way the local people live their homes within those vast landscapes. The impact all of this has on their daily life. 

We are lucky we can use such a diversity of images. We mainly use them on our Instagram page – which is what our Mongolia Photo Gallery page links to. It’s an ongoing project but it provides a chance for our guests to experience Mongolia‬ through the eyes of our guests.

Mongolia is such a richly diverse country that we couldn’t hope to represent all the elements that make it the country that it is but … here are four images that that will shortly be making it into our Eternal Landscapes Mongolia Photo Gallery.

Mongolian Horse Games

This image was taken in the Bayandalai district of the southern Gobi. It was during a community mini-Naadam held to honour the local ovoo (sacred shamanistic shrine) – we were invited along to the celebration by the Batsuuri family that we work with. The ovoo was erected by the local herding families in the area to show respect and gratitude and to honour the spirits of the mountains of Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park – the region where the families have their livestock pasture.


The ovoo (with juniper (known as arts in Mongolian) and the sacred blue khadag (scarves).

After a ceremony to bless the ovoo, the rest of the day was dedicated to the ‘celebration’ part – mainly wrestling and horse games interpreted with eating and drinking (naturally!).  The main image was taken as the local herders and ‘aduuchiin’ (horse wranglers) competed to pick up a ‘uurga’ (a type of lasso combined with a long pole particular to Mongolian pastoralists). 

Northern Mongolia Reflections

Zuun Nuur is a lake in northern Mongolia in Khovsgol Province.  For me, northern Mongolia is not just the highlights listed in the guidebooks such as Lake Khovsgol but also the quieter places in-between that make this region so special – the ancient deer stones, meadows of wild alpine flowers, winding rivers, volcanic landscapes and lakes.

On our Untamed Mongolia trip we take three days to cover what is typically a one-day trip – from Jargalant to Murun crossing the Ider River and heading north across some wild and beautiful grassland dominated mountain passes passing through the community of Shine Ider. 

We leave these days flexible as although there are no hiking trails there is plenty of scope for day-hikes within these timeless landscapes. The area is also rich in archaeology including burial mounds (some dating back to the Bronze Age) as well as Deer Stones – known as Bugan Khoshoo in Mongolian they are believed to possibly be ancient grave markers for warrior chiefs.

This image was taken as the sun set during an exploration of the local landscapes surrounding Zuun Nuur.

A Mongolian View

Where? Khogno Khan Nature Reserve in the south of Bulgan Aimag. Khogno Khan itself is an immense granite massif that extends north to south for some 12 miles and east to west for around 6 miles. It also rises to 2000 feet over the surrounding steppe and sand dunes.  It is home to what was once a very important monastery – Erdene Khambiin Khiid.
It may only be 285km from UB but the views here provide the perfect antidote to the rush and crowds of everyday life elsewhere.  Sometimes it’s not necessarily where you visit but how you visit. 

Mongolian Wrestling Outside of Naadam

Back in September and October, we arranged the logistics for a photography workshop led by US based photographer Scott Davies. This image was taken by one of Scott’s participants – Paul Allerton.
Wrestling (known as bokh) in Mongolia is one of Mongolia’s most popular sports. 
During the national Naadam Festival, held in Ulaanbaatar in July, 512 wrestlers compete in a single-elimination tournament of nine rounds (during Naadam in rural area there may be a smaller number of rounds).
However, wrestling takes places all year round and one of the best locations to experience top-level competitions is the Wrestling Palace in Ulaanbaatar where tournaments take place prior to and during national holidays and important anniversaries. You can get close up to the action, all for a ticket that costs around 15,000 MNT!
If exploring some of the imagery on our Mongolia Photo Gallery has inspired you to experience Mongolia, why not look at the range of Mongolian experiences we offer. 
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