Gachuurt Local Customs
Mongolian men carry with them a snuff bottle, filled with snuff, a sort of tobacco powder. A custom upon meeting friends is to exchange their snuff bottles with the other men.
Unscrew the cap. Take the little ladel which is attached to the cap and scoop out a miniscule spoonful of the powder. Place it on your finger and sniff the powder. If you cough, you have taken too much but that is usually to the delight of the owner.
While this is to be practised among men only, we female tourists somehow got away with sniffing it.
Entering the ger, one should walk clock-wise around it.
There are standard places to put things. The stove is in the middle. On the left, upon entering, is where they put the horse saddles and other related items. In the back-ground is the family chest. To the right of the family chest is the bed. On the right side of the door is the kitchen area.
The door is always low so a guest needs to bow his head upon entering. This means that the guest, even if he is the emperor, is still subservient to the host.
0 Hotels in Gachuurt
Gachuurt Warnings and Dangers
My impression is that horses in Mongolia are wilder.
During our stay at Gachuurt, the kind Mongolians offered to let us ride their horses to cross a river or whatever. However, in one incident, a horse with my friend Pablo on it panicked and galloped away at top speed. Pablo steered the horse to a slow-down and jumped! He managed to get out of this danger but just barely.
Another time, a horse also panicked and started jumping on the spot. Tina fell from the horse, her boots caught in the stirrups. She finally fell down on the ground and thankfully, just suffered minor injuries to her face and feet.
Unless you are familiar with horses or are on a horse-trek (most likely with tamer horses), be careful when offered a ride on the Mongolian horses. The Mongolians are just being kind and friendly but the horses do not know better.
Gachuurt Off The Beaten Path
If you do not have time and are not going on a jeep tour into the outskirts of Mongolia, here is a suggestion : You can take a local bus to Gachuurt, a village just 20km from Ulaan Baator.
There is a river nearby. Walk around until you find a nice spot to camp. The view across the river, spotted with gers, is gorgeous.