“Drive for four hours with the mountain on your left. When you reach the camel herders, turn right and drive another hour. And then you’ll be there.”
The directions you get along the road in Mongolia tend to be a tad less precise than your GPS app. But they’re backed by a few thousand years of wisdom – and, more to the point, they get you where you’re going. In a country that encompasses mountain ranges, grass-covered steppes and the vast Gobi Desert, travel can be challenging. Indeed, in the world’s most sparsely populated country, bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, that old cliché about a place being unlike any other on Earth becomes a reality – which is why you need Brown + Hudson to help craft a truly bespoke Mongolian adventure.
In the land of Genghis Khan, people still enjoy traditional bokh wrestling and feasting on yak cheese – but in the next moment they’re surfing on their smartphones or Skyping at an internet café. Khan would be impressed – as he would by the chunky 4X4s cruising the streets of Ulan Bator. The capital’s name, literally “Red Hero,” reflects a legacy of decades within the Soviet sphere of influence, yet since 1990 Mongolia has emerged as one of Asia’s true democracies. We’ll introduce you to politicians and journalists who’ll deepen your understanding of Mongolia today.
The summer season, when it’s best to visit Mongolia, is decidedly short. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be imaginative. While others may head across the barrens in a Russian jeep, why not let us organize a trek on Harley-Davidsons or in a vintage Bugatti?
Setting out from the capital, we’ll bring along a ger (yurt) camp – with all the comforts, of course – as you explore the plains on horseback and immerse yourself in the life of the region’s nomadic inhabitants. And we’ll try to ensure your adventures include a traditional naadam festival of wrestling, horseracing and archery – truly an amazing spectacle.
But while Mongolian culture is fascinating, it’s the brutally stark wilderness that gives the country its real beauty. At Khovsgol Nuur, an alpine lake nicknamed the Blue Pearl, you can fish for salmon and sturgeon. Nearby you might encounter bears, wolverines, sable and moose, while bird lovers will be intrigued by the many rare species. West of Ulan Bator is the Darkhad Depression, a massive glacial lakebed that’s now a bleak landscape dotted with forests and smaller lakes. Here you’ll meet Tsaatan reindeer herders who share secrets of their shamanist culture. Elsewhere we’ll arrange mountain hikes beneath the peaks of Kharkhiraa Uul and Turgen Uul, both soaring to more than 13,000ft. Or how about visiting the Flaming Cliffs by helicopter, accompanied by a noted paleontologist?
Wherever you explore, it doesn’t take much to escape the Mongol tourist horde – because it was never there to begin with.
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