Eastern Mongolia is immense. And diverse. And empty. The vast far stretching landscapes are characterised by flat treeless plains, rolling hills and a significant number of important wetlands –
Saturday night was spent in Ondorkhan – the provincial capital of Khentii Aimag. Admittedly, it might not be on everyone’s must see list of Mongolia but it provided a room to take shelter from an ever increasing bitter wind as well as a contrast to life out on the open steppe and city life in UB.
|The remote and beautiful Baldan Breevin Khiid in Khentii|
We celebrated our last night on the east tour with dinner in the ‘Och’ restauarant (a local recommendation from a delightful lady who wanted to practise her English), finishing off with a couple of hours karaoke. The singing was abysmal (apart from Turuu who always sings well) but for a couple of hours it was ‘rock and roll’ in Ondorkhan – finishing off with a dance on the disco floor of the restaurant (don’t worry, we were the only patrons).
We departed early in the morning for UB, and although we have travelled back on ‘Route One’ (also known as the Millennium Highway, this is Mongolia’s main road connecting east aimags to UB and those in the west) we saw more birds of prey than we did vehicles.
|Our home at Toson Hulstai, Dornod|
Eastern Mongolia is almost certainly the region of Mongolia least visited by international travellers. The final frontier – it’s a perfect destination for those wanting to gain a genuine insight, travel the road less travelled and in the opposite direction to where most travellers go. It comes highly recommended whether you choose karaoke or not!