One Day Tours – Experience Local Mongolia

'From small acorns.' Seedlings ready to be planted at the Gobi Oasis Tree Planting Project, in Mongolia's middle Gobi
Earth Day Mongolia – April 22nd
April 22, 2018
Experience the real Mongolia on our small group tours
May 8, 2018
Batmonk - a master bow and arrow maker standing in his workshp, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

This is Batmonkh - a specialist bow and arrow maker based in Mongolia's capital city - Ulaanbaatar. You can meet him as part of our One Day Mongolia tours.

Experience Local Mongolia

One day? What can you hope to experience in one day? I suggest you ditch the guidebook and the recommended highlights and choose one of our One Day Tours of Mongolia and come along and see how you can experience local Mongolia.

All our Mongolia one-day tours are private, flexible and fluid and designed to get you just that little bit closer to daily life and give you a more local aspect.

Here’s an example of what we can offer …

Meet Bat­monkh.

Meet Batmonkh as part of our experience local Mongolia one day tours

Tomorkhuu Bat­monkh is a specialist bow and arrow maker in Ulaanbaatar. Batmonkh’s home is also his workshop and every surface of his home is dedicated to his skill with sinews, glue, ar­rows, bird feathers, arrowheads, ready­made bows, tools, and implements ev­erywhere. As soon as you enter his 3-room apartment in the Bayangol District, his love for this profession is evident.

From outside Batmonkh’s apartment, you would just think it yet another piece of brutal Soviet inspired architecture in need of some TLC. It is. But, inside Batmonkh’s apartment is a different story. As you cross through the doorway, his dedication for what he does becomes apparent. It is remarkable what you can fit into a three-room apartment.

In Mongolia, bows were primarily used for hunting animals for food and protecting the tribe from outside enemies. The composite bow and arrow also accompanied the Mongol Army as they conquered what became the largest contiguous land empire on earth. Over the centuries, the tradition of archery was passed down to become one of the Three Manly Sports of the Naadam Festival.

 The Mongolian composite bow remains a formidable tool. And those that have experienced the archery competition at the National Naadam in UB will tell you that is has an explosive acceleration and velocity.

Experience Mongolian archery as part of our experience local Mongolia one day tours

Experience Mongolian archery as part of our experience local Mongolia one day tours

It takes one year to make one bow. Birch wood is typically used as it is resilient (and in plentiful supply in Mongolia). It is cut, glued and shaped into a bow and kept to dry. Most available surfaces of Batmonkh’s apartment  are used for drying the bows and each one of them had dates of when they were put up to dry. 

Also filling the apartment are the other component parts required for making the bows (and any arrow sets). There is also the fish glue, birch bark (to protect against moisture), horn or bone (Ibex is good – used on the ‘belly’ of the bow), sinew (stretched on the outside of the bow) and feathers and arrowheads. As I said, as soon as you enter his 3-room apartment in the Bayangol District, his love for this profession is evident.  

As a visitor, not only do you get to see Batmonkh’s craftsmanship, you’ll also get an informal history lesson as he tells you about the development of the bow and arrow in Mongolia. So enthusiastic is he about his profession that it has become a family affair – with all family members involved and his son following in his footsteps.

 Batmonkh was formerly a  professor of geography but he was a competitive archer so for him it was a natural progression to constructing them. He still competes and as you spend time at his apartment, archers pass through – coming to talk about the purchase of a new bow or just coming to have a chat in general. Like I said, from outside Batmonkh’s apartment, you would just think it yet another piece of brutal Soviet inspired architecture in need of some TLC. It is. But, inside Batmonkh’s apartment is a different story.

 If you’re interested in meeting Batmonkh as part of your Mongolia experience, just let me know. Alternatively, spend time exploring our Eternal Landscapes Mongolia website for other ideas on experiential travel in Mongolia.

Jess @ Eternal Landscapes.

Jessica Brooks
Jessica Brooks
I’m Jess Brooks. I am the founder of Eternal Landscapes Mongolia - a registered Mongolian business and social travel enterprise that focuses on providing travellers with a real 21st Century insight into Mongolia. I have been based in Mongolia since 2006 and together with my beloved Mongolian team, we focus on tourism that makes a positive difference. I'm also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society - awarded for my work in Mongolia and a published guidebook author - having worked together with World Adventure Guides to produce a digital interactive guide to Mongolia. http://www.jessbrooks.co.uk/
Sign up to our Newsletter

Written by Jess - the founder of Eternal Landscapes - there's no spam, no sharing your details and no random offers. It goes out once or twice a month. Hopefully enough to be of interest but not too much to annoy.

We respect your privacy.