With this brief post I’m going to go back to a theme that forms a centre piece of the EL Mongolian philosophy – it’s not necessarily where you visit but how you visit.
Within the travel / tourism market here in Mongolia, I’ve noticed that there seems to be more and more competition at who can offer experiences that go the furthest, the highest, to the most remote off the beaten track location. Who can provide the most authentic, real and unique experience.
That’s great but as companies try to out do themselves I thought I would just show what happens if you opt for a slower paced more immersive experience.
Welcome to the Orkhon River Valley!
The Orkhon River Valley forms part of one of Mongolia’s World Heritage Sites (four in total for those asking).
For those with a map available, its in Ovorkhangai Aimag in central Mongolia. Kharkhorin (the ancient capital city of Ogodei Khan) forms part of the World Heritage Site. In fact, this region is considered the cradle of Mongolian civilisation and an area rich in nomadic life as the Orkhon River provides as essential lifeline for nomads and their livestock.
It’s roughly 355km from UB (which in terms of distance in Mongolia is NOTHING) and very firmly placed in the guidebooks and ‘tourist’ maps. The family that provided these great photos had only a handful of days to spend in Mongolia. Yes, we could have arranged for them to fly on the ever popular Khovsgol or Gobi loop but we are not a general travel agency and anyway, they would have spent more time ‘getting to’ their destination rather than ‘just being’.
They made the most of a three day trek with the Khangai Mountains forming a backdrop…with the EL vehicle coming each evening to set up camp. During the day they were led by Tumee on horseback – the head of one of the rural families we work with throughout Mongolia.
(No outside agencies for us. We go directly to the local people.)
And if you’re interested in how they felt about their EL experience:
‘It was so tranquil and remote and we really felt like we were having a real experience rather than going to all the main tourist attractions.’