22nd October 2015
Tailor-made specialist Marianne recently spent two weeks exploring Mongolia. We asked her about the highlights of her trip, from staying in ger camps to climbing sand dunes and enjoying the magnificent views over the Gobi Desert.
If you'd like to visit Mongolia, take a look at our Mongolia holidays.
Sitting high up on a rocky mountain side, the views from the Tövkhön Monastery in Central Mongolia stretch out as far as you can see over endless forested valleys. Behind you the peaceful monastery is home to a handful of chanting monks and hundreds of fluttering prayer flags.
Favourite ger camp
My favourite ger camp was Ursa Major in the Orkhon Valley in Central Mongolia, surrounded by rolling hills and valleys. As it's an eco-camp there is no running water so it is long drop toilets and no showers – but there is a hair washing ger if you wish to relax a little after a day’s walking and riding. The gers are traditional and beautiful with the best quality stoves to keep you warm, the dining ger provides delicious meals and the hosts are incredibly friendly.
We chose the highest dune at Khongoryn Els to climb – I was told it was around 700m. After 45 minutes of hard scrambling and many rests up the incredibly steep dune our van was a little speck in the distance and we could see for miles across the Gobi. The dunes are known as the Singing Sand Dunes due to the noise the wind makes as it sweeps across the surface.
I didn’t visit the rest of Mongolia! I was ready to go back before I had left.
Tips for travellers
Be prepared to have no communication options once you leave the city and just enjoy the peace and silence. Phone signal appears every so often when you pass near a town and there is no internet. Roads outside of the main cities are tracks – be prepared for them being very rough.
Watching the sunset from our beautiful ger camp in the Orkhon Valley in Central Mongolia. I also loved heading out into the steppe without a soul around and finding a herd of horses cooling off in a beautiful salt lake.