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TRAVEL NOTE FROM VAST STEPPE, EASTERN MONGOLIA

Blog | published: 2018-03-21

Day 1. We are now a team.

When some parts of land was already covered by snow by the end of October, I joined a wonderful FAM Tour to vast steppe in east of Mongolia as sitting in Russian 4WD van. This trip purpose is to research what is the possibility of tourist products in Dornod province and what is the ability and facility to serve for our guests. The FAM Tour group consists of vivacious and active young boys and girls except me, who are working in travel agencies in Ulaanbaatar, and also 2 headstrong kind drivers, who are working in tourism field, too.    

After 2 hours later leaving UB, we stopped at the ovoo according to Mongolian tradition to pray for the god and goddess of nature to have safe and nice journey. Men managers offered vodka to the ovoo and lady managers offered rice to the ovoo. Now it is time to get introduced with each other. Our travel team is lead by young guy Bolorkhuu, who was in Buriatian ethnic tribe in east Mongolia. There are 2 Soyoloo-s and 2 Nara-s ladies and 2 baatars (heros) boys. Our gray car team are 3 girls and 4 boys and later called ourselves as “wild tribe leaders”. First day and our planned travel distance was 650 km from Ulaanbaatar to Bayan-Uul village of Dornod province and we did it for 14 hours.

In late evening we arrived in Bayan-Uul village, which made me amazed with the street lights and planted trees. I have never been expected to see that so many and old trees and street lights of blue and purple colors. Soon our van team had news from leader that we were heading to kindergarten building and we had to stay in a big room of kindergarten. This was heard to me as a surprise and on the other side I was shocked. However, I had nice sleep and rest except I could listen to noise of that one girl was talking in spanish and a boy was dreaming in french, 2 guys were snoring with rage and other guys were breathing peacefully. In the morning by 5a.m I was awaken and I washed me face and teeth with water outside in the fence of kindergarten. It was -4-7C degrees and my face was completely frozen. Then I felt that every part of my body was sore and painful because of bone & muscle massaging drive.      

Day 2. Shamanism & Ugtam Mountain Nature Reserve

Bayan Uul village is the home of Mongolian best 11 archers and they are very proud of these people as showing us the monument of Mr.Tseveen archer. We started our tip to the shamanic sacred Sharnar place – Yellow Sun place, which is considered as the most energetic place due to yellow shamanism. Here we met old shaman Oyunbaatar and he explained about the place and we went around the place and we had some good information as welcoming our tourists with permission prior to their arrivals. You know tourists are curious and tour managers are, too. Our team stayed there for a half day and got lots of blessing with blue khadags – silk as a respect. Shamanism philosophy is that sky father, land mother and our ancestors are gods for humankinds. Mongolian politic situation suddenly and violently changed mongols’ belief of shamanism and it pushed Buddhism with much power to mongols. Consequently, some shamans made Buddhist deities as their altar and recited incantations in Tibetan language in order to show their obey in the Buddhist society.

Then we continued our trip to heading to Bayandun village and then to Ugtam Mt. Nature Reserve area. Ugtam Mt nature reserve area has several things to see: the sacred Mt.Ugtam with wild heep and wild mountain goat herds, spring water, which is used as magic cure water for internal organs, more than 300 years old Buddhist monastery ruins, and restored small temple. Two Nature & Environment Inspectors, 1 WWF representative and 1 tourism specialist from Dornod province met us at the Bayandun village. We together 19 people traveled to beautiful places: Ugtam mountain and Ulz river basin area. We arrived in Dashbalbar village, which are homes of Buriat ethnic group. Village Administration head meet up us at their office and we talked about the possibility and facility of welcoming tourists to this region. Tonight we stayed in hotel rooms at the Dashbalbar Village administration building. I shared a hotel room with 2 japanese speaking managers and we had nice talk about wild flowers before going to bed.

Story is narrated by Naran, Marketing Manager of Blue Mongolia Tour LLC

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