Mongolia
Ömnögovĭ

Here you’ll find travel reports about Ömnögovĭ. Discover travel destinations in Mongolia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

27 travelers at this place:

  • Day22

    Walking on the Dune

    September 16 in Mongolia ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    Our Sunday afternoon activity was based around a visit to the nearby Sand Dunes. Now we told you there is actually little sand in the Gobi Desert but these huge Sand Dunes run for 180 km through the middle of the region.

    We had asked if we could ride camels and were taken to a spot close to the Dunes where a Mongolian Ger Camp have a herd of Bactrian Camels (two humps) which can be hired for riding. Cutting a long story short our Camels were prepared by being saddled and kneeling on the ground but John’s back problem meant that climbing on board was almost impossible for him and he found himself three quarters of the way onto the Camel physically unable to either sit down or get off, being stuck between the two humps. He was in absolute agony in this position but with the help of the Camel herder, Janet and NK was eventually able to fall away from the Camel to safety. So Janet decided that she wouldn’t ride alone. We had passed the cash over before starting, however the Camels owner, who was involved in John’s rescue, sympathetically returned the money and we rewarded them with a healthy tip. John’s Camel riding days are over before they begun!

    Despite the Camel loading problem John felt fine to walk and this was very necessary as we embarked on the main event of the afternoon, which was an attempt to climb the highest point of the Gobi Sand Dunes named Khongoryn Els.

    Now from the base to the peak is a walk of around 300 metres which does not sound much of a distance but after a gentle start of around 100 metres the face of the Dune becomes almost sheer and every two paces forward in the soft sand results in one pace back. As we looked up to the summit and saw those on top looking like dots the task was daunting and Janet’s view was that she would probably be able to complete a third at best. John was hoping to make it but was not totally confident.

    Our trusty guide NK, after giving us a bit of a warning about potential health risks, told us that we should try to complete the walk but that we should take it slow and easy. He said that once the slope really steepened we should consider taking about ten steps before stopping, sitting for a few minutes and then completing another 10 paces. He recommended us not to adjust our climbing style by trying to move on all fours (we saw several people trying this method) as this hindered rather than helped progress. There was no hurry he said. He always kept about 20 yards in front of us, encouraging us and bit by bit we made our way up, at times feeling we were not moving forward despite our efforts. We then realised that the size of people on the summit was such that the end point seemed achievable then found ourselves within touching distance. After about 75 minutes climbing we finally made it to the top with a sense of real achievement. Once we had celebrated we looked around us and could not believe the view. It was stunning across 360 degrees and most definitely worth the effort. Big thanks to NK who said he was very proud of us.

    There had been a big festival at the base of the Dunes and a number of Police from the main town (200 km away) had been on duty. At the end of the event they decided to climb the dune and arrived at the summit shortly after us. They were interested in us Westerners and a couple of them practiced a few words of English much to the amusement of their colleagues. The Police Chief was particularly keen to communicate with us and for about 20 minutes NK had to translate a number of questions from him about our views on Mongolia and what the UK is like. NK said it seemed more like an interrogation but then we guess that’s the Police Chiefs job. They were in good spirits and were keen to have photos taken with us as well as singing some traditional Mongolian songs.

    We said farewell and then began our descent which was great fun as you could almost run down in a zig zag manor and it took us around 5-10 minutes to get to the bottom, creating sand avalanches all the way down. You would not believe the amount of sand the three of us dumped from our shoes before we got back in the vehicle.

    It was getting late and we arrived back at Camp 3 just before sunset having seen both Golden Eagles and Vultures close to the roadside on our way. After dinner we were just leaving the dining area when who should walk in but our still heavily camouflaged Ibex murdering American acquaintance, Larry. He was interested in our train journey and gave us his business card so we could email him details of our travel company. He also told us enthusiastically that the rest of his itinerary in Mongolia is a couple of days back in the Capital, UB, and then he is going on a 10 day hunting trip, presumably to bag a few more Ibex, plus some Antelopes, Wolves and anything else that moves.

    We told NK what Larry was up to and he shared our displeasure. It gave us the perfect opportunity to explain to NK what is, and who is, an ‘asshole’!!

    This didn’t spoil another lovely Gobi day and we went to bed happy and exhausted. We have one day left in the desert before returning to the big City.
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  • Day20

    Into the Gobi Desert

    September 14 in Mongolia ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    It’s Friday morning and our alarm goes off at 3am (ouch!) for a 4am pick up to UB Airport for one of the highlights of our journey, a four day trip to the Gobi desert. We only have a small weight allowance for the flight so the bulk of our luggage will remain at our UB hotel for our return. Eggy is ready and waiting for us in the lobby and everything works well as after a good flight we arrive in bright sunshine at Dalanzadgad Airport, in the middle of the Gobi, on time at 7.50am. Our guide NK and driver Choijo are waiting at the airport, having driven 700 km yesterday from UB.

    Our accommodation throughout the four days will be in Gers which are the traditional homes of Mongolians and can be seen all across the country, even close to UB. Ours will be in Tourist Ger Camps which gives decent comfort whilst allowing you to stay in remote parts of the Gobi Desert. These Camps have around 20 Gers and two shared buildings, one a dining area and the other containing toilets and showers.

    Our first night will be in Camp 1 then we will travel in a loop through the Steppes and Mountainous areas staying at two other Camps before returning to Camp 1 on the last night before flying back to UB on Tuesday morning.

    We had a great cooked breakfast at Camp 1 before going through our itinerary with NK and then having a couple of hours sleep. After lunch we travelled about 40 minutes from the Camp to walk the Eagle Gorge. There are three tarmac roads on the Gobi but the majority of driving has to be done off road which is challenging but provides constant spectacular views.

    Photo’s cannot do justice to the scale of everything we will see here. This afternoon as we drove to Eagle Gorge there were shadowed mountains to our left and on the other side perfectly flat Steppe to the horizon, punctuated by occasional nomadic Ger (always white) and herds of various animals.

    We will run out of superlatives during these four days but the walk through the Gorge was fantastic. From the car park it begins about 80 metres wide but narrows down gradually until after about an hour it is just a few metres from side to side, before gradually opening up again. A stream runs through the Gorge and has to be negotiated via natural stepping stones and we kept dry. The narrowest point was tricky to negotiate but achieved and we walked a bit further past this point and then returned to the car after a well paced three hour walk.

    At the wider points of the Gorge we encountered several Yak herds, there were lots of gerbils running around (nest building for winter) and plenty of horses. We also saw a number of Golden Eagles (hence the name of the Gorge) and also Bearded Vultures, Mongolia’s biggest bird with a wingspan of over 9 feet.

    We had a bizarre incident as we wandered through the Gorge. There were occasional hikers, but then we happened upon three Mongolian men one of who was staggering around. It quickly became apparent that he was completely drunk and extremely aggressive. One of his friends was trying to hold him back and the other one looked drunk but stayed in the background. The very drunk one approached NK, slurred some kind of insult and looked like he was going to take a swing at him, but his mate caught him in time. We had some concern but managed to divert past them and continued to the Gorge, whilst the drunkards walked towards the Car Park. Our driver later told us that he saw these people pick an argument with the local horse trek guides who gave them all a good thumping. That was good news!

    Despite this minor blip we had had a memorable walk in the Gorge in the most perfect weather. It was a totally blue sky. Warm in the sun but very chilly when in the Gorge in the shade of the surrounding mountains.

    Although we have already been to locations with big annual temperature swings, nothing matches the Gobi. Summer maximum can hit +50C and just to give it some symmetry the winter temperature can fall to -50C. Quite incredible.

    We drove back to our Camp across the Steppe with the sun going down and arrived back just as the full harvest moon was rising above the horizon.

    We enjoyed a hot shower, dinner (delicious spaghetti bolognese - something we weren’t expecting in the Gobi!), a beer and an early night. Janet had noticed a small mouse in our Ger (not really a surprise in our location) when we were getting ready for dinner so we mentioned it to our guide. We were presented with a solution which was a ‘sticky mouse trap’ to put under the bed which would glue the poor mouse’s feet to a glue pad when it ran over it. We decided we could not be that nasty - and didn’t mind sharing our accommodation - so we abstained from using this primitive execution equipment! We only saw the little thing once more before bed time and we think it slept as well as us.
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  • Day88

    Kate loves a double humper!!

    September 27 in Mongolia ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    After our goats milk tea we all apprehensively mounted our double humped Gobi camels.
    Kate’s had a definite limp front hump!!
    The females of the camp led us off in 2 groups of 3 camels. We then had the funniest 30 min camel ride through the Gobi desert dealing with one camel with obvious IBS, one who took a like to Isobel’s T-shirt, one who kept trying to get ahead crushing Libby’s leg and Kate bringing up the rear with her limp hump!!
    We all loved it but could hardly walk after an unceremonious dismount.
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  • Day88

    The singing sand dunes

    September 27 in Mongolia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khongoryn_Els
    After our camel ride we dismounted at the base of the singing sand dunes. They were beautiful but sadly we were losing the light to be able to attempt to climb to the top so we contented ourselves with sitting and watching the changing light.
    After this it was a stop at a spring which flows faster with ground vibration or loud noise!!!
    Back to the camp for dinner and a beer. Brilliant day!!
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  • Day36

    Tour durch die Mongolei - Tag 8

    October 6 in Mongolia ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    Endlich wollten wir mal die Gelegenheit für den Sonnenaufgang nutzen und sind daher ein wenig früher als sonst aufgestanden. Danach gab es dann Frühstück. Nachdem wieder einmal das Auto gepackt war, ging es auf zur Fahrt zu den Sanddünen.
    Nach dem Mittagessen brachen wir zur Wanderung in den Sanddünen auf. Nach der Rückkehr gab es Abendessen und als Anlass zu Domis Geburtstag ein kleine „Party“ mit deutschen Chips, Bier und Vodka. Als Überraschung haben unsere Guides für Domi einen Geburtstagskuchen gebacken. Total Improvisiert mit Kuchenböden aus der Pfanne, Nutellacreme außen, Schrift „Happy Birthday“ aus Butter, Deko aus halbierten Cocktailtomaten und einer Kerze, gebastelt aus einem Deckel mit Pflanzenöl und Docht aus Holz. Das war wirklich total lieb! 😊Read more

  • Day89

    Havtsgait Peteoglyphs

    September 28 in Mongolia ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    After breakfast we left Gobi Erdene at 8am and jumped into our 4 wheeled drives.
    We took a breathtaking route through a valley of jagged rocks which looked like the backs of sleeping dinosaurs.
    Stopping for a break after 2 hours K found what looks like a man made flint and given its location may have to be gifted to the museum when we get back to UB.
    Next stop the Petroglyphs- 5000yr old stone carvings high up at the top of a v v steep hill.
    Sadly Unru does not know the type of stones but they were huge slabs of the darkest, purple metallic rocks unlike any I have ever seen- so wish we had a geologist with us. It was a v special place with a jaw dropping view of the gobi.
    Going back down wasn’t much fun as the rocks waiting to be landed on were razor pointed in their jaggedness.
    All down in one piece it was an hour back to Gobi Nomad lodge and back to our luxury gers for lunch and a free afternoon as it was now 2pm.
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  • Day90

    The Flaming Cliffs & a flaming dinosaur!

    September 29 in Mongolia ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    After breakfast at 9 am we departed for the Flaming Cliffs an hours drive away.
    After dodging the souvenir stall we spent an hour or so climbing over the sandy, wind sculpted red cliffs with a vast view of the desert plains below us. This included a belt of rare Gobi trees which have the plain a shade of green. These r now protected and are not allowed to be cut for buildings or firewood.
    Getting down from the cliffs was a mission as Unru wasn’t sure of the way.... luckily K and Neil worked out the safest was down and we arrived safely at the bottom after some anxiety.
    Next it was off to a close up of the Gobi trees where K spotted a type of mouse- gone before most of us could see it.! She got a photo on her camera as proof!
    Neil was interested in the history of dinosaur fossils found in the area so off we went “ fossicking”.
    This turned into the weirdest experience ever.... our driver got out of the car, walked over to a little culvert, started digging at the soft sand with his hands and hey presto..... a real life dinosaur skeleton -WTF!!!! One of the drivers confirmed that if u lick a piece of bone and its dinosaur it will stick to ur tongue/ finger ( this was done with a chip in the sand)!!! By now we were all mesmerised but really uncomfortable. Unru informed us the palaeontologists knew the area had so many fossils they no longer feel the need to protect the site- however we felt it really should be protected .... especially as 12 dirt bike tourists roared past!!
    Our driver recovered the fossil once more and left it in peace and we got back into our vehicles slightly bewildered by the whole experience!!
    After another 4 course lunch it was a trip to the onsite museum and now an hours test before a visit to a herder family.... hopefully an experience not a terrible village visit.
    Photos to follow
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  • Day35

    Tour durch die Mongolei - Tag 7

    October 5 in Mongolia ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    An diesem Tag ging die Fahrt weiter gen Süden. Die weiten Landschaften in der Mongolei sind wirklich beeindruckend. Auch die große Anzahl an Tieren ist bemerkenswert, da ja die Landschaft doch so feindlich erscheint. Wir sahen kleine Nagetiere (vermutlich Millionen), Pferde, Rinder, Ziegen, Schafe, Adler, Geier, Bussarde und andere Vögel sowie Kamele.
    Nach der Ankunft im nächsten Camp und dem nächsten leckeren Mittagessen, brachen wir zur Wanderung zu den Flaming Cliffs. Dort verbrachten wir den ganzen Nachmittag und warteten auf den schönen Sonnenuntergang.
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  • Day87

    UB to Gobi desert

    September 26 in Mongolia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Breakfasted at Ramada and then at 11am got a pick up in the school bus to the airport.
    We flew from UB to the Gobi desert airport before being transferred to the Gobi Nomad Camp- gers/ yurts in the desert...,, at a luxury level it was ridiculous- we had an en-suite shower!!
    To make things worse we sat down to a 4 course gourmet lunch before heading to the Yal Valley.
    Sadly this was a bit frustrating because by the time we got there we were losing light so we not able to walk the full 3 kms into the most stunning gorge. This was made worse by being taken into the museum of stuffed animals which took up even more time.... come on let’s see the beautiful and raw desert!!
    We drove back in the dark and were greeted with a 3 course dinner - 4 hours after our lunch!! I never thought I would complain about too much food but there was too much food and not enough time sightseeing!!
    Ps v limited internet so this may be retrospectively written and delayed!!
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  • Day38

    Tour durch die Mongolei - Tag 10

    October 8 in Mongolia ⋅ ☀️ 8 °C

    Nach dem Frühstück fuhren wir nun weiter Richtung Osten. Das Mittagessen genossen wir diesmal auf dem Feld, was immer ziemlich schön war. 😊 Es gab Schweinefleisch mit Kimchi (koreanisches Nationalgericht) - sehr lecker! 😋
    Tagsüber sind die Temperaturen auch immer ziemlich angenehm, nur nachts wird es ziemlich kalt...
    Der nächste Stopp war der sogenannte „Ice Canyon“, da in diesem Canyon an der schmalsten Stelle das Eis erst im August geschmolzen ist... Sogar bei uns gab es kleine Flecken Eis ❄️ zu entdecken. Außer Eis konnten wir auch sehr viele Pikas (Pfeifhasen) sowie Steinböcke sehen. Nach der Wanderung durch den Canyon fuhren wir in ein Seitental um dort unser Lager für die Nacht aufzuschlagen. Wir übernachteten diesmal in Zelten und mit zwei Schlafsäcken und vielen Schichten Klamotten (und Vodka 😉) ging es auch mit den eisigen Temperaturen.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Ömnögovi Province, OEmnoegovi Province, Ömnögovĭ, Yuzhno-Gobiyskiy Aymak

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