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On top of the world at Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Not a generic tourist ger camp in sight.

On top of the world at Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Not a generic tourist ger camp in sight.

Are you planning on a winter trip on the Trans Siberian / Mongolian train line this winter or next? Most companies will send you off to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park for one or two nights and why not, it is glorious.

However, if you’re looking to do something just that little bit different but don’t really know what you’re looking for, this post is for you! Here are three mini-inspirations or short winter tour ideas for Mongolia – short, close to Ulaanbaatar, with a cultural focus or dose of adventure.

At Nogoon Nuur Community Project, Ulaanbaatar. Image by Nick Fletcher

At Nogoon Nuur Community Project, Ulaanbaatar. Image by Nick Fletcher

To keep it real, all images below have been taken this winter (2017/18) by EL or guests of EL.

Local Sleeps

Most companies are keen to get you out of Ulaanbaatar. But. Consider a homestay in the city. Ditch the generic bland hotel room and instead swap it for real life. True, in Mongolia that might mean a mattress on the floor and an outside toilet rather than a memory foam mattress and an en-suite bathroom. However, this is real everyday life and you get to be part of that.

As part of the experience, spend the day exploring the city from a local’s perspective with a resident of the city. We keep the itinerary fluid depending on the weather but in essence it encompasses locations and activities of a typical UB citizen such as visiting Gandan  – Mongolia’s most important monastery to ice skating with the local kids.

 

At Gandan Monastery, Ulaanbaatar

At Gandan Monastery, Ulaanbaatar, Image by Nick Fletcher

At the National Park, Ulaanbaatar. Image by Nick Fletcher

Day In The Life Of

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. You choose one of the destinations we work in close to Ulaanbaatar. Although close to the capital, within the winter landscapes you will feel as if you are deep into the middle of nowhere. The feeling of isolation can be hard to achieve these days but these trips get you exactly that.

 

A Mongolian woman looking at a winter view

On top of the world at Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Not a generic tourist ger camp in sight. Image by EL

What to expect? It’s all about flexibility but expect to learn more about the daily way of life. Breath in the fresh air. Explore on horse back (wrapped up with a traditional Mongolian winter deel).
Mongolian herder with his horse in winter

In the footsteps of Chinggis Khan. Saddling up for a winter horse trek in the middle Gobi. Image by EL

At the end of the day, relax in your ger in the evening with the immensity of the Milky Way stretching out before you.
The night sky at Gorkhi-Terelj National Par

Stars on your eyes. Your evening view. Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Image by Nick Fletcher

Dog Sledding

A person wearing a traditional Mongolian del while dog sledding

Freedom! Image by Nick Fletcher

 

 

Be a real dogsled musher for 2 days! Learn how to set up the sled, drive it, and care for the dogs on an epic short break.

One of the husky dogs used for dog sledding in Mongolia

Here’s looking at you. Part of your loyal team. Image by Nick Fletcher.

Lunchtimes will be spent by a campfire on the ice and evenings at the home of Mongolian herders who live alongside the chosen route.

However you choose to explore Mongolia on your Trans-Mongolian trip, wrap up warm and enjoy the feeling of tackling the season head on. Winter in Mongolia brings a drama and beauty of its own. Come and embrace it – it invigorates the soul.

For more ideas and inspiration, search the Eternal Landscapes Mongolia website.  I look forward to hearing from you!

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/
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