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No complaints, two couples enjoyed the trip. Horseback riding was wonderfull. Very cool service! We will recommend Blue Mongolia to our friends.

~ Catherine and Susan, UK

TRAVEL NOTE FROM VAST STEPPE, EASTERN MONGOLIA - Part 3.

Blog | published: 2018-04-06

Day 5. Menen vast steppe and Khalkha Gol river basin area

At 6.00a.m my hotel roommate Mrs.Narantsatsralt and me were welcome to the our tour van and we picked up our other tour campanions and headed into the feather grassland vast steppe of Menen. For a while after leaving I had some nap and I was awakened when the vehicle stopped. The driver wants “to see a horse” – (need to use nature toilet), it was just exactly the time of sunrise. Some of our group members respected and felt happy from deep of their hearts as looking at beautiful golden globe. Then our 8 hours drive through the Menen steppe continued with some prides and some sadness from nature. The cloud color, coloud shape, cloud’s 13-15 layers in very big blue sky makes me amazed and the yellow endless steppe made my soul as dreaming in another world. I was here for the first time in 2002, and then many times I had chance to drive through this enormous steppe without any small hills and mountains. That time I saw thousands of gazelles and antelopes. But this time I did not. Because of development, mining of oil, I saw many of oil pumps from Chinese mining company. They mine lots of oil and send it to China to make petrol. But Mongols don’t receive any good profit from this business. The Menen steppe was the place, which was keeping old ecosystem in last 1000 years and with this unique feature it is one of the precious wildlife and nature view in our world. Today Mongols and out globe are loosing the nature wilderness and big herds of wildlife of this old unique place. It was so pity for me.

In the morning before we left the Choibalsan town, Mr.Zorigtbaatar, Director of Dornod Tourism Association, gave us lunch boxes and said us to have a nice journey. Still now I am thanking him and his beautiful kind wife to prepare us the lunch. By 3p.m we arrived at Buir lake. Can you imagine that we stepped sit on grey sandy the beach located thousands of mile distance form any ocean? Buir Nuur has beautiful sandy beaches and a wide variety of fish, including carp taimen and lenok. In addition, the longest water border of Mongolia stretches across the lake. We were filmed a lot here with different positions and rushed to Khalkha village, where the village officials were waiting for there. When we arrived in the village it was 7p.m and we had dinner with village officials. We discussed our next day plan and sightseeing and the possibility of promotion of tourism products.

After 9p.m we received a big guest- Mr.Myagmarsuren, Director of Victory Museum in Khalkha village. I was very happy to see him again. We visited the Victory Museum, which was built as a memory of the Battle of Khalkha river in 1939.  In 1931 Kwantung Army of Japan occupied Manchu and turned its military interests to Soviet territories including Mongolia bordering with Manchukuo. Since 1935-1939 Japanese army had trespassed Mongolian border more than 60 times.  Battle of Kharkha River lasted longer than 8 mounts, 11 May to 31 Aug 1939 and 45,000 or more Japanese killed and least 17,000 Soviet soldiers killed. 

Mr. Myagmarsuren is working as commentator and director of this museum in his last 30 years. He knows how to explain the battle process, spy operation, sky battle, chemical and biological weapons and other arms and weapons. He is the very capable with art sense on guiding people in the museum. Some of our managers and tour guides are impressed with his ability on guiding, and they are shocked and cried with his explanations.

After visiting this old museum, we went to our hostel rooms in first floor of the museum. Fortunately, my roommate Nara chose the warm small room and we went to our beds.

Again one of the unforgettable nice day passed very quickly with our active young tourism guys.

Day 6.  Numrug Strictly Protected Area and Khalkha Gol River basin area    

This day we got up by 5a.m in the morning and we greeted with the sun at the giant statue of victory. Then we headed to  Numrug Strictly Protected Area, which was a dream of mine in last 10 years. I tried and wanted to travel here 3 times since 2002, but unfortunately, our tourist groups were rejected with special reasons: forest fire in the park, poison operation for the butterflies, water researchers project implementation and so on.. I had one very big smile on my face and another big smile in my soul during our drive to Numrug area. The protected area is now open to the public and tourists. The park people are welcoming guests since 2015. This park keeps Manchurian flora and fauna that occur nowhere else in Mongolia are found in, which is ecologically distinct from east of Mongolia. The protected area, with high biological diversity, is home to 44 mammals, 234 species of birds, 24 fish, 3 reptiles and 4 amphibians. Rare Ussurian moose, black-napped oriole and great black water snake and the endangered hooded crane and Houbara bustard are found here along with offer, brown bear, lynx and wild boar.

We had a new member – ranger from national park office in our every car. Those rangers are piled with our questions about the national park and it’s fauna and flora. After driving in 80 km, we reached to the endge of the national park, and there are some check wooden towers in some higher hills. Rangers wanted to stop on here and to check the surrounding area for wildlife observation. Then we headed to Ar Alag tolgoi valley with pine tree forests and small lakes. It was beautiful place with bright yellow color of dried grass, some big red colored leaves of the bushes, green pine trees, some white color from the snow, the blue color of the sky and crystal look of the small lake.

Suddenly Shijirdei, a French speaking tourism manager, shouted Moose, there are Moose!! Stoopp!! We ran out off the vehicle and run into the pine tree forest. I was just dreaming of taking picture of the Moose and my body was so light, my legs speed was on the so high, my soul was on high too with much happiness. I was running through bushes, jumping over big woods and branches and tried to see the moose. But I could not. I was too late and too slowly to compete with mooses in his own forest. We went back to our van and sat there and drove slowly in very tough bumpy area with big big bumps. Suddenly we saw 3 mooses running from one forest to another forest. Again we run out the van and tried to photograph them. This time our travel was full of fun chasing after moose to picture them. Our drivers took us one high hill area and said go where you want to go and look for mooses. I was very happy with this decision and most of us walked into the forest to look for the moose. The weather was beautiful with nice breeze, clear sky, sun shine and plus very peaceful colorful forest. We saw mooses on high hills and headed to them. We chased and played with mooses for a whole day. Very nice fun in our trip.

Then we came back to our van because it was already 3 p.m and we felt hungry and had nice lunch with rangers. Then we were only at the edge of the national park, I wanted to go the center of this national park, but others decided to cancel the excursion to center of the park, the joint area of 3 rivers, because it will be evening when we reached there, so coming back is not possible in the night time, so others decided and I had to accept this version. It was my 4th time to fail to see the Numrog river and Numrog mountain and center of this national park with rich wildlife.

I said to myself, Don’t be sad Nara, next time you will see this place.

When we came back to village, we decided to see the monuments in Khalkha Gol river basin area. There are more than 38 monuments and memorials including Khanan Khushuu – Monument of Ger Walls, Yeren Baatar – Memorial for 90 soldiers, and Victory monument are located among the bank of Khalka river basin.

We were talking about Mongolian movies and stories and documentaries about the battle and Russian, Mongolian soldiers and Japanese captured soldiers and so on… We came back to our hostel rooms and I was planning my next trip to Numrug area. I visited to my companions room to express my idea about flower exploring travel in Numrug area in next year. Munkhjargal, English speaking tourism manager had a great experience to publish a book of wild flowers of Mongolia. Also Soyolo and Javzaa, Japanese speaking tour managers, like flowers too, that is why I told them about my idea of flower trip to this beautiful national park in next year. They accepted my proposal and I went to my bed happily.

Narrated by Naran, tour manager of Blue Mongolia Tour agency.

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