Erdene Zuu monastery, Karakorum
Erdene Zuu, (meaning "Hundred Treasures"), was the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. The monastery was started in 1586 by Abtai Khaan, but wasn't entirely finished until about 300 years later. It had between 60 and 100 temples, about 300 gers were set up inside the walls and, at its height, up to 1000 monks were in residence.
Like Karakorum, the monastery was abandoned and then vandalised by the invading Manchu’s. Attempts at restoration were made in about 1760 and, again, in 1808 under the direction of the famous architect Manzshir, but then came the Stalinist purges of the 1930s. All but three of the temples in Erdene Zuu were destroyed and an unknown number of monks were either killed or shipped off to Siberia and never heard from again.
However, a surprising number of statues, tsam masks and scroll paintings were saved from the monastery at the time of the purges - possibly with the help of a few sympathetic military officers. These were buried in nearby mountains, or stored in local homes (at great risk to the residents). The monastery remained closed until 1965 when it was permitted to reopen as a museum, but not as a place of worship. It was only with the collapse of communism in 1990 that religious freedom was restored and the monastery became active again. Today, Erdene Zuu still retains much of its former glory and is the largest tourist draw outside Ulaanbaatar.Related to:
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
Formerly one of the largest monasteries in Mongolia, Ongi Temple, located in Dundgovi Aimag south of Ulaanbaatar and north of the Gobi Desert, was founded in 1760 and combined two temple complexes on the north and south sides of the Ongi River. The older southern side consisted of various administrative buildings which were linked to the northern side by a bridge over the river which has long since disappeared but you can still see the base foundations of it. It used to have around 1000 monks bustling about their daily services in the 30-odd temples that were originally here. I say originally, as the whole monastery was destroyed by Stalin’s cronies in the 1930's and 200 monks were killed and many more imprisoned or forced to join the Communist army. Other monks escaped certain death by becoming farmers and common workers. The temple was then simply left to decay further. However, after the end of Communism in 1990, 3 monks returned where they had begun their Buddhist education as young children some 60 years prior. Slowly, these monks started laying new foundations upon old ruins with a vision of restoring the temple.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
Mongolian traditional show
Its a show combining traditional mongolian dance, music, troathsinging, snakepersons, performances on traditional instruments. All in one show! Its just Amazing!!!
Entrance: $5, - or $10,-
(can't remember the exact price, but it's worth it)Related to:
- Theater Travel
- Arts and Culture
TRAVEL WITH KIDS
TRAVEL WITH KIDSit’s possible to Travel with kids in Mongolia, but you must adapt your trip and means of transportation according to the age of yours kids . Roads in Mongolia are really difficult so we recommend to make short trips each day and choose private transportation as jeep with driver istead of a public bus. On public buses you will be often 12 people instead of 8 for example, privacy not possible, it can be difficult to find place for all your luggages and generally for trip more than 24 hours no night stop as the drivers will drive all the night.Related to:
HORSE TREK INFORMATION
%HORSE TREK GENERAL INFORMATION
it’s the traditional transportation in Mongolia, if you make only short riding as around Kosgol Lake and Trekhin Lake, no matter if you never ride in your life!To rent a horse is 15€ day and > 400€ to buy one. Don’t go alone or with a group WITHOUT A GUIDE as even you are good riders as the steppe can be dangerous (wild animals) and it’s easy to loose your way and also to loose the horses o someone could steal them. A guide costs around 15/20€/day, also he can be helpful to have contact with nomads or for anything else especially if you aren’t used with the horses. Mongolian saddles are made of wood and not at all comfortable, for long riding better to have own equipment. You can find goods for riding at the Black Market (be aware to pickpockets) and in big stores in U.B (saddles=200$…) the best season seems to be June as it’s the month of the flowers and weather is fine. July is very hot during the day and the nights can be really cold! Be aware to thunderstorms and rain, think to take something to protect yours luggage. It’s better to buy your horse near the place you decide to start your trip, if possible ask help for the price to a local person, you need an horse for 2 person to carry luggage, study carefully your itinerary (mountains, rivers…) try to not go in area with few population or arid areas as risk to not find water for the horses and nomads to help you if you need help and at the end of the trip why to not offer your horse you bought to a nomad? Do not think you are a real good rider even you are experienced and so if your guide ask you something or explain something just listen to him as he know why. Mongolian horses have a different character than ours, by example they don’t like long coats, bright colors as if windy they can have fear and make you fall down. Your guide as your driver are alos there for your security.
Advice to rent, buy, find a guide: contact in English firstname.lastname@example.org and see http://www.horsetrails.mn and some video here and here advice to buy and prepare horse trek
HORSE RIDING MONGOLIA: SOME BEST PLACES
• Khatgal horse riding around Khovgol lake all tourist camp arange a horse trek with guide
• Terelj horse riding around Gorkhi Terelj National park, all tourist camp arange a horse trek with guide. Mejet has a contact there for nomadic home stay and horse riding . Contact at email@example.com (English)
• Khustain Nurruu park
• Bogd Khan
• Darkhad Tsagaan Nuur
• Mandshir khiid
• Khorgo terkhiin Tsagan nuur
• In Tsetserleg (6-8 hours bus from UB) Fairfield guest house can arrange horse trips either for a day or for several days. For longer trips you need some experience in horse riding, as the horses can be a bit wild. Landscape around Tsetserleg is wooded mountains and also plain steppe country. Also good for walking just into the mountains from that small town.Related to:
- Horse Riding
BUYING A MOTORBIKE
BUYING A MOTORBIKE (information 2014)
To rent, if it’s possible, or to buy and sell at the end of the trip please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to buy a Chinse motorbike?
You can find 125 and 200 cc Chinese motorbike for around 800 to 1200€. You can buy in some shops in UB and to markets of major cities. You can sell the motorbike when you have finish your trip in same places you can buy motorbikes. It’s really more easy to buy or sell a motorbike if you are with a Mongolian as it’s hard for the deal and to have the papers (this can take several days). Chinese motorbikes aren’t good quality, but if you buy it new this will reduce a lot of problems. Nomadic can repair them. They need only around 4 L for 100km. Russian motorbike as Planeta or IKH are more expensive but best qualitiy. BE AWARE:don't take a Japanese motorbike as impossible to find outside UB for repair the motorbike!
• ABSOLUTLY take with you for 3-4 days food and some petrol even you can find now petrol in all over Mongolia and sometimes can buy to nomadic families.
• If you have a real good map you can forgot your GPS and also nomadic families will enjoy to help you
• 250km per day are enough
• weather changes so quickly so have good equipment and a tent with you
• always note the last iurt you saw so in case you lost your way or others problems you can come back and ask help
• don’t drink alcohol and remember no ambulance will come to pick you if you have an accident!
RENT MOTOBIKE: http://www.motorbikemongolia.com/index.html
ROAD CONDITION 2014
The Chinese build many paved roads in Mongolia. This reduces the distances in this huge country, but also takes away the charm of the steppe and true adventure. Generally the percentage is 50-50 , depending on the route choice. Out of a total of 50,000Km of roads in Mongolia only about 5,000Km (10%) are asphalt paved roads. In 2014 it is expected that over 2000km of new paved roads will connect east and west Mongolia to the capital city Ulaanbaatar . All other roads are gravel and dirt roads. The majority of paved roads are roads leading out of the capital city Ulaanbaatar.Related to:
BORDER CROSSING 2014
BORDER CROSSING 2014:
Please as crossing points can change ask more to your nearst embassy.Foreigners may now enter Mongolia by automobile or motorcycle at four additional land border crossings.
I were in south Gobi from July 3 - 5, the weather was nice even we had rain. The rain never lasted long and it dried out very soon.
There was no road sign, no paved road, no city. It took 5 hours to drive from Dalanzadgad to Khongoryn Els (180 km), we saw no more than 4 cars.
I did not mind the bumpy roads, it was part of the fun to me. Visiting normads in ger and tasting airag with them were a great experience.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Women's Travel
- Arts and Culture
HORSE GUIDE TO TSAATANS
BE AWARE: as some guides only want to get money and will never drive you the Tsaatans tribe, just make you a tour on forest and after 3 hours will say that they moved and so can’t find them! Many tourism report this kind of problems, if this happen just let it know to the Police in Tsagan Nur and in ***. Often people will make you believe that Tsatan live near Kösgöl lake. This is not the truth! Only one or 2 families go there for the folklore. You must be know that reindeer like only clod weather and the hot can kill them. That the reason of the numerous migrations during the year. So you can understand that the family who came every year near Kösgöl Lake don’t respect reindeers and the choice of live of real Tsatan with it rules but they are settle only to make business. Every year the reindeers who have to live near the lake suffer a lot of the hot weather. Don’t go absolutely there!
To meet really this tribe you have to go to Tsangan Nur Sum and join the camps riding, no others possibilities. You can start from Ulan Uul but it’s longer to join the camps. Once upon the time, under Sovietic rules, Tsaatan tribe lived near Ulan Uul forests but they have being oblige to move in Tsagan Nur village as Sovietic create for them. They resisted going to live in the mountain near the village.
HORSE GUIDE: ask for Bayna and Orcher tsatantours.com to Namunn Guest house in Tsagan Nur sun. the guest house is near the bank and the school. The owner of the guest house is also the Director of the scholl, so you can ask for her during school time in the school, mane is Drimaa. Most of the horse guides has being theirs pupils so she know them very well. Give work to local people without, if possible, going to the Tsatan center. Bayna and Orcher are more cute, both Tsatan and have some relatives leaving in the mountain with reindeers. Even they don’t know English they will do all for you, helping you. Around 6/7€ per day /horse, same for the horse guide per day (price October 2009) According how many days you will stay to Tsatan families and how many luggage you have to carry (some can be leaved in the Nammun guest house) you will need 2 or 3 horses per person. You can also ride in the area without problems.
Electricity arrived now in Tsagan Nur (October 2009), public shower are welcome after the ride: see time table, it’s near the school, 0.50€ per shower.
HOW TO GET THERE?: from UB is not so easy by public transportation. No daily and direct bus especially after ***. So in *** see when leave collective taxi, you can go village by village or buy all the seats of the mini bus and so leave quicker. With a private jeep it take 4/5 days from UB.
More? Ask to Mejet: email@example.com also to contact horse guides and the guest house Nammun and www.tsatantours.comRelated to:
- Adventure Travel
- Horse Riding
EQUIPEMENT TO TSATAN TREK
EQUIPMENT TO RIDE TO TSAATAN
You must be prepared if you want to go to Tsatan as difficult because of the changing climate and the ride is not easy in summer as in winter:
• you need a special permit , this permit is to ask in Ub before you leave where your names and passport number will be written both name of the driver and car number. When in *** you must go to the Police and also when arriving in Tsagan Nur. Wwhen finish the ride you must go again to the Police in Tsagan Nur and in ***. This permit is obligatory because you go in a border area.
• Even in summer it’s cold and weather change many time a day.
• Don’t wear small clothes as immediately the ride will become a hell and also because you have to wear with many clothes
• Tent with DOUBLE ROOF (risk of rain, snow and ice)
• Real warm sleeping bag for high mountain because nights really cold (under 10.C on summer)
• Warm clothes because weather changes quickly. Take some clothes in case of rain
• Warn gloves, warm cup, warm scarf, clothes to protect you from rain (no cloak as if wind the horse can be afraid when the cloak will move) okay for a dell who will cover you well, it’s warm, can be used also as blanket, not expensive. Well cover your neck as wind will go there!
• Warn stocking, good shoes better boots to protect legs. You can buy them at Black Market in Ub or in ***, you will find different type, not expensive and at the end of the ride if you don’t want them just give them to a nomad.
• Riding breeches and wear underpants who use the professional cyclist to have more comfort on the saddle. No wear your usually underpants as the elastics will hurt you. Okay as confortable summer as winter fleece trousers
• Trouser for rain to wear up your riding breeches
• Rain coat, do not buy as horses don’t lake with bright colors, you can buy also in UB
• Sun glasses with a strand in case of fall of the horse, cream against the sun
• Repulsive against flies in summer
• Some energetic and dry food and water for the riding
• Small and not delicate luggage to be carried on horses, protect them in strong bags
• Take with you enough food for your journey to the tribe, you can ask them for water and cook on their stove but remember to divide…
• Medicine against pain, before leaving on morning take some pills against pain to have less pain when arrived
• No problem if you never ride on your life, but we can recommend you to take some lessons before to enjoy much the ride. To know to ride can be usuful if you fall down
• For your guides.: lighters , cigarettes and knife welcome
• Take with you wound dressing, bend as to Tsaatan families you will have to take care and also leave them some products. Bring medicine against all kind of pain and fever.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Horse Riding
Looking caravans leaving mountains camps
Incredible! Time has stopped. It's difficult to imagine what you feel when you meet nomads on horses and camels, with all their goods with them.
The Mongolian horses are small and quiet. Even if you have never ridden a horse, it will be easy. The saddles are not very comfortable. You remember the day during the night.
Riding camels in the Gobi
Camels go where they want to go. They don't obey readily, especially if they see food not too far.
Camel riding is a kind of assertive therapy.
Singing in a yurt
If you know traditional songs of your country, you will be the star. If not, you can simply listen to the traditional mongolian songs sung by by the owners of the yurt.
Attending a show
In Ulaan Baatar, you can attend very interesting shows. The Mongolian are experts in throat singing and very good contorsionists.
I stayed here for a couple of nights - the first and last night’s of my Mongolian tour. This 4-star...more
My opinion is pretty simple, they need to become more professional.We got a twin bedroom on Sunday...more
Very good high end hotel. Modern, recently built. Very good service. We went there with very low...more
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