Mongolia is home to some of the finest, and highest, Ibex sheep in the world. It is also home to the cheapest sheep hunting around as I write this. If you choose Mongolia for your next hunt, you will not be dissapointed. You will be very tired at the end though because such hunting is extremely tough. Be warned - no amount of training in a gym will prepare you for walking up and down mountains at 3000+ meters. But no matter - the pain is worth the 40-50" Ibex you will see in large numbers.
I recommend Canasia Expeditions, which was extremely helpful on both ends. Their guides are professional and tolerant enough of your relative helplessness in a remote location. They will let you 'rough it' as much as you like.
P.O. Box 310727
Birmingham, AL 35231
Phone: (205) 674-0101
Fax: (205) 674-0190
Kharkhorin is ‘only’ 8 hours away from Ulaan Baator. That is near compared to how spread out the rest of Mongolian civilisations are.
Karakorum, the name of the old town, was Chinggis Khan's capital in the 13th century but it only served as the capital for 40 years. After the capital was moved to Beijing by Kublai Khan, Krakorum was abandoned and destroyed by the Manchurians.
The present town of Kharkhorin was built on the same spot and is now just a dusty little town, with wooden houses and a few abandoned containers that are converted into shops and eateries.
The weather here can be harsh. The houses are surrounded by wooden fences to protect them against the fierce, vicious wind. The day we were there, we experienced a sand storm.
The claim to fame here is the Erdene Zuu Monastery which was the first centre of Lamaism in Mongolia. The monastery was also destroyed by Manchurians and Stalinist purges during the 1930s.
It probably had between 60 to 100 temples but now, only 3 remained. It is set in a large monastery ground surrounded by 108 stupas (lucky number for Buddhists).
To go there, take a minivan in front of Sukhbaator Square to Dragon Centre. Ask someone who knows English and Mongolian (Nassan’s family) to write down on a piece of paper so that you can show to the passing minivans until you find the right one.
At Dragon Centre, there is a sign that reads ‘Kharkhorin’ and the minivans leave when full. Get there before 8am. The minivans are in questionable conditions and the journey is on harsh road conditions but you get there, somehow…
This village was just next door from our fancy hotel. While walking around we ran into the horse guide we had met earlier. He was so excited to see us venture into the village. He gathered a few friends, his girlfriend and invited us to a "club" that was in the village for some beers and dancing. We went to the village to go to a local small grocery- that was it. This "club" wasn't even open as it was 3 p.m. but wanted to show us some local hospitality, how could we say no. It was probably one of the best traveling experiences I've ever had...namely for the fact, that we could barely communicate with these people (smiles and nodding goes a long way), that they were so happy we weren't intimidated to venture into the village (it was intimidating) and the fact he went and got his friend to open up his bar for us. The people were so friendly and thrilled to show us a good time.
Ogyi Nuur, or Ogii Lake, is a large lake located about 65km north of Harhorin and about 300km west of Ulaanbaatar on the road to the Arhangay provincial capital of Tsetserleg. I came here on the 4th day of my 12-day tour around Mongolia and stayed the night in a tourist ger camp beside the lake surrounded by horses. The lake measures a length of about 8km by a width of 5km and has a surface area of 25.7 sq km. The lake is very beautiful and still with no boats on it.
Mongolia is a unique fly fishing destination, a rolling green pasture, snow capped mountains , clearly blue sky, streams and glaciers ,purely pristine rivers. In the early times Mongolians say Fish is the animals of the heaven, and abstain fishing. But now fishing and rafting, floating become one of the adventure sport in Mongolia. Grayling, Lenok, Trout, and the Legendary Taimen are abundant in Wild rivers.
You can fly fish for the Taimen, which is very fascinating fish well known by the largest member of the Salmon family.
There are many places which is possible for fishing famous Darhad valleys, Ogii , TerhiinTtsagaan lake , Pristine Khovsgol lake Chuluut river in Arhangai province are noted for the best tropies. Bring your own fishing stuffs it’s difficult to fund them in the countryside,
The best time for fishing is September and October.
Are you the sort who likes a challenging hunt? If so, challenges don't come much more difficult than wolf hunting. Mongolia is probably one of the only places on earth where a foreigner can sign up for such a hunt without a month or three of advance planning or an expensive permit.
If you are pinching pennies, this is the cheapest 'international' hunting on earth.
I made arrangements in Mongolia the day before a two day hunt. You need nnly bring yourself because EVERYTHING else will be provided. Not only will you get some downright fun shooting and stalking in, but you will stay overnight in a local yurt and enjoy the legendary hospitality of the Mongolian nomads.
Cost: Negotiable, but roughly $200 per day. Depends how far you go from Ulan Bator, etc...
The website will give you full details: www.Offroad.mn
The Marshall Zhukov Museum isn't exactly off the beaten path, but does fall under the catagory of randomness...The Russians don't even have a museum for there greatest general of all time, yet the Mongolians do...That is because Zhukov moved here to live out the remainder of his days after he fell out of favor with Stalin. (Stalin was jealous of Zhukov's populartiy with the people after the close of WWII, and Zhukov "volunteered" to move to Mongolia.) He had helped the Mongolians a few years before defeat the invading Japanese and this was a familiar city for him. The musuem is housed in Zhukov's old residence, and the guide speaks russian as well.
This stone, which our guide told us was a Turkish grave, was situated in the countryside a short walk from where the first nomadic family that we stayed with lived. This was between Ulaanbaatar and Tsetserleg and near what they called the Fake Gobi.
The head of this stone figure had been knocked off and was lying on the ground. Our guide said it was from around 700-800AD. I don't really have much more information but it was an interesting site.
If you end up taking local transportation to the far reaches of the country, you should be warned that the promiscuous English backpacker chicks normally found scattered about the world are in short supply in places like Kharkarim. You would do best to bring your own from Ulan Baatar, where they can be found in abundance.
By end of August the summer in Mongolia is over...Be prepared for freezing nights. For late September - October on the steppe or in the mountains you will need to bring layered winter gear (not necessarily snow gear - it's a very dry place) if out hiking or staying at local gers, such as on a horse trek. Already the first half of September you may have frost at night and into the mornings. You can count on occasional snow dusting above 2500 m. in central and northern Mongolia. Last September (04) I flew fairly low over Mongolia (5500-6000 m) and could see snow cover from the mountains and forests between UB via Hövsgöl and all the way to the Sayan mountains of Russian Tuva. Conditions are like this due to the high elevation of Mongolia generally (average about 1500 m)and a super-continental climate with very sharp seasons. Clear skies may give deceptively high daytime temperatures during lucky autumn periods, but you'll experience freezing temperatures even inside the ger. On the other hand, if you have plenty of time at hand and good cold-weather clothes, it will be very exciting to experiencing late fall there. You wouldn't have much competition from other tourists...
The currency of Mongolia is called Tögrög.
In 2004 the exchanges rates were $1 - T1500
There are several banks and hotels in Ulaan Baatar where you can chage mayor european and asian currency.
There is also one ATM machine somewhere near the Sukhbaatar square.
It is wise to bring some travellerscheque in US-dollars with you. I know they do not accept all types of travellerscheque, but one they sure accept is Thomas Cook Travellerscheque.
Mongolia is famous for its contortionists. They are highly sought after by circuses all over the world. In Mongolian, they are known as uran nygralt, which means, "skilful deviation"!
They are usually young women under five feet tall and can twist their tiny bodies in unimaginable ways. I was told that it is every Mongolian man's dream to marry one. Don't shoot the messenger! That's what they told me.
You can see them perform at the Mongolian State Circus in Ulan Baatar.
"Heun" or "hun" if you prefer, is the Mongolian word for "person". So, for example, an Englishman is an Angelheun and a Mongolian is a Mongolheun.
When the Mongol hordes invaded Europe, their response to the question "Who are you?" was, of course...
The name stuck. thus it was that Attila the (possibly very nice, if only they'd understood him) Person struck fear into the hearts of thousands of linguistically untalented Europeans.
if you have time and travel between may and sept,go to visit the Olgiy aimag.It's other Mongolia.Huge mountains,incredible lakes,khazak-muslim but tollerant-people, busy bazaars and breathtaking treks
The landscape near to Karakorum town is amazing, especially at the river valley next to the town. There is a tourist ger camp next to the river and you should spend a day here during some trekking (especially up the hill overlooking the Karakorum town and the river valley, which is simply amazing).
during my stay in UB I was completely cought of guard by this hotel. now they have a new fitness...more
I stayed here for a couple of nights - the first and last night’s of my Mongolian tour. This 4-star...more
Very good high end hotel. Modern, recently built. Very good service. We went there with very low...more
More Regions in Mongolia