Some Of Our Mongolian Winter And Spring Adventures in Pictures

A Mongolian ger - Gorkhi Terelj National Park in summer in your guide to Mongolia's seaons
Your Guide To Mongolia’s Seasons
May 17, 2015
Food of the Nomads – Tsuivan – Mongolian Noodles
May 26, 2015

Hello from Mongolia! 

According to the Mongolian Lunar Calendar,  the 19th of May was the first day of summer. So as we face ahead to the summer, what better way to say goodbye to the winter and spring than through photos taken by Turuu throughout some the trips we have run from December through to April. 

(For those new to the blog, Turuu is my informal business partner and the lead driver for EL. He is not a photographer and his camera is a new purchase but he’s proud to take photos of his own country.)

December 2014 – Winter Journeys

‘The trip was amazing. We loved it thoroughly. We always try and travel with smaller companies offering more sustainable and cultural experiences. The price and support were the best we had seen in Mongolia.’

Tammy, Australia

Selenge Gol – Mongolia’s principal river
Orkhon River – now an UNESCO World Heritage Site

Note the excellent felt winter boots!

Khovsgol Nuur National Park with the Khoridol Saridag Mountains forming a western backdrop 

February 2015 – Tsagaan Sar Insight

Sunrise over the Gobi during Shine Negiin - New Year's Day in the Mongolian Lunar Calendar

'I have enjoyed this trip immensely. Turuu and Enkhee have taught me so much. I have a greater understanding of Mongolia and the people.  I have observed the closeness and strength of families and see the strength of Mongolia.'

Ross, New Zealand

With the Zorgio Family at Tsagaan Suvraga

This description is from Ross who joined us during our Tsagaan Sar Insight:

‘On to our hosts, the Zorgio family.  We are invited into the main ger, it is beautiful.  Centre at the back of the ger is the Tsagaan Sar feast.  A stack of large biscuits, 9 high topped with dried cheeses, dried yoghurt, white sweets and sugar cubes.  Around this are plates of buuz, potato salad, pressed mutton, salami and gherkins, pickled vegetables, a large bowl of sweets and beverages.  The eldest daughter serves us individually, milk tea first followed by airag (here it is fermented camel milk, I like it) followed by all the dishes and beverages ending with a shot of vodka.  The hospitality is marvellous.’

With the Zorgio Family at Tsagaan Suvraga
Again from Ross:

‘Shine Negiin (New Years Day) sees everyone together for zolgokh, a ceremony to show respect and support for your elders. The eldest person is the mother of the Zorgio family, she has pride of place and I, being the second eldest, sit beside her.  The rest of the family form a line around the inside of the ger in age order and start by greeting the mother first and then me.  Being the eldest we are supported at our elbows, the greeting amar mend uu is exchanged, and we kiss the cheeks of all the others.  The line folds on its self until everyone has greeted each other, the younger person with their hands under the elbows of the older.  I feel very honoured to be included in this very Mongolian ceremony.’

Ross with Turuu and his family
Again, from Ross:

‘Erdenedalai is Turuus home town, we spend the night there visiting his parents and family members.  The Tsagaan Sar traditions are observed but are less formal this fourth day of the holiday.  It is also time for Turuus nephew to have his hair cutting ceremony.  Mongolian children do not have their hair cut until they are about three when all their hair is clipped (time in the womb is counted as a year).  All the family members cut a lock of hair give gifts and money.  The final cutting is done by a family member with a birth sign most compatible to the childs, Turuu does the clipping. I feel privileged to be included and to witness this event.’

Essence of Mongolia – March and April 2015

‘Just to let you know that we are having an absolutely magical trip, it could not possibly have been any better.’

Kate and Karin, Canada
The Orkhon River landscape

Spring in Mongolia! Heading from UB on the Dundgobi road

Highlights? Vulture Canyon, climbing the sand dunes, the school visit, sleeping in the gers, and all of the baby animals.’

Andrea and Tom, USA 

Just had lunch! At the Gobi Oasis Tree Planting Project in Mandalgobi, Dundgobi Aimag

Not a sight everyone gets to see – snow and sand at Khongoryn Els in the southern Gobi

 ‘Just writing to say a huge thank you, the Gobi Desert trip has been perfect. Your team was the best we could expect and every day was a new surprise, a new world. We had such a food time together. Time passed so fast! ‘

Eugenio and Valentina, Italy 

The hidden landscapes of Baga Gazriin Chuluu

Incoming weather – en-route to the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park

The road less travelled!

‘Highlights? Connecting with locals, the great flow of the trip, the great guides, your accommodating vegetarians (I know this is not so easy), the gers and new borns, and the sense of security we felt and the knowledge of the drivers and guides. And how well you read us and what we were wanting to experience.’

 Katherine, USA

Entrants for the best dressed competition at the Thousand Camel Festival, March 2015 in Bulgan Soum, Omnogobi
Sunset….and a time for quiet reflection

'We experienced the real Mongolia - helping people in a snowstorm, asking to use a family's ger for lunch, sleeping in gers, matching baby goats with their mothers! Highlights? The continually changing scenery, the expansiveness, the changing weather, the baby animals, the geographic variety, the warmth of the people, our TERRIFIC guides!'

Kathy, USA 

If any of the above has inspired you to travel outside of the main tourist season in Mongolia then please do get in touch. We have a variety of Mongolia short tours available throughout the winter and spring  – each one different in its focus (and all can be adapted and tweaked to be a private trip or to connect with the Trans-Siberian/Mongolian).
That’s it for today from my Ulaanbaatar base. Thanks as always for reading. Back shortly! Jess

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