Asia, Mongolia, Travel

Four Seasons in Mongolia

IMG_4276Mongolia is often known for its blue skies with about 250+ days of blue skies a year! To see this blue sky, make sure to leave the city of Ulaanbaatar behind, because it is filled with pollution. On my five-days in the country side, we not only saw blue skies, we also saw all four-seasons! We arrived in April, thinking, it’s SPRING! Nope…it’s just barely beginning to warm up. Lucky for us, the picture above was our road condition to kick-off the trip. While driving throughout Mongolia, there are many Ovoo (pile of rocks), which is a shamanic tradition: circle it three times while adding a rock and a wish each time.

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Before you head off to Mongolia, you should be prepared to:
– rough it
– be flexible
– be ok with not showering for days
– be ok with using nature as your toilet
– eat and drink anything placed in front of you
– hours of rocky car ride
– sleeping on the floor
– no electricity/internet/tv
– lots of down time
– do some chores
– ride/herd/play with animals (sheep, goat, horses, camels, cows, yaks, dogs) and children! Mongolian children are adorable!
– lots of surprises along the way!
If so, you will have plenty of fun! But this is definitely the one place in the world that I wouldn’t recommend to everyone.

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Our first yurt stay(Rashaant Village, Bulagn province) with a Mongolian family and they lived right by the small rock mountains! I had fun hanging out with the family and they even let me into the baby goat/sheep pen, where I was able to play with all the baby goats/sheep to my hearts desire!
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Day 2 of our drive, we headed even further in-land and encountered some camels! Of course we got off the car to try to catch one!

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Stopped at the Erdene Zuu Monastery. The temples are Tibetan Buddhism and spread out from each other. It’s a nice break from the bumping road, but otherwise, not worth the stop.

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Day 3: In the morning, we lived the yurt life, doing chores like herding the animals and helping prepare meals. Mongolian boys are known to be expert horse riders and I can see why! This boy is only 4 years old and he’s probably the coolest 4 year old I will ever meet! He hopped on his horse to herd in the animals, everyday! I wish I was this cool!DSC_0102

In the afternoon, we took a horse ride to the frozen waterfall about 1 hour away! We even got to wear deel! Since the weather gets very cold, the herders usually wore deel to keep warm. They have nice big pockets right above the belt, which is used to carry things. Can you spot how I’ve made efficient use of the pocket with my selfie stick?

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As we were riding over to the waterfall, the snow started to fall, but it was so light that I thought nothing of it. Nothing could stop us from getting to this amazing waterfall! We even hiked all the way to the bottom of the fall. Even as night was falling, we could feel the wind picking up and the snow getting heavier. As we fell asleep in the yurt that was kept warm by the stove in the middle, we heard the wind howling around us and woke up to….

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WINTER WONDERLAND! This is literally the first time in my life that I’ve seen a landscape turn completely white. We still had 2 days left in our trip with more things to see and camels to ride, but thanks to mother nature, we ended up spending the rest of our time trying to get out of the snow and back into the city. All part of the experience.

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Thankfully, I had a total of 3 weeks in Mongolia, so lots of other stories made Mongolia a wonderful experience! You should visit Mongolia and experience it for yourself, because it’s safe to say the experience is different for each person. Be sure to say hi to this little guy for me! 🙂

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