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frenchfrog Terelj - A travel report by Isabelle
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Terelj,  Mongolia - flag Mongolia -  Hentiy Aymag
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frenchfrog's travel reports

Terelj National Park.

  20 votes
This report will complete the one of Ulaan Baatar, the park is situated at 80Km. from the Mongolian capital. It host some of the loveliest scenery of the country. It is in the Khentii mountains where Genghis Khan was born.


Nomads in the park.
Nomads in the park.
The Park is situated at 80Km. north east of Ulaan Baatar, and is a very popular area both with the locals on a week end and with foreign tourists. It took us nearly two hours to drive from the capital as the roads were pretty bad. The park lies at 1600 metres high and offers great opportunities for hiking, horse-riding, rafting and rock climbing. The parks is over 1.2 million acres large. The landscape is looking a little bit like the alps. It is a national park which started to developed in the 1960's and officially was classified as a National Park in 1994. It is almost uninhabited by humans, only by a few nomads and farmers. Inside the park, there are ranges of protected animals such as birds (250 species), moose, and bears. As it become developed for tourism, some of the Ger camps have concrete car parks and electricity. Camps are not at the same place depending of the season, there are summer camps, and winter camps which are open mostly all year long.

Favourite spots:
The Turtle Rock
The Turtle Rock
The Turtle Rock, or called Melkhi Khad by the locals, is an interesting rock formation looking like a turtle. The Turtle rock is set in a valley, it was about 20 minutes drive from my gear camp.
If you are fit and slim, you can climb behind the rock and access the head of the turtle, here you can find a very small hole where you squeeze through. When if you managed that, once here there is a superb view point over the valley. Coming back in is more difficult as there is nowhere to put your feet, usually someone has to pull you from the other side.

What's really great:
Local farmer's camp.
Local farmer's camp.
The hospitality of the Mongolians is great! I have decided to rent up a horse for a few hours, prices are ranging from 2 to 5$ per hour depending the season and how busy they are. I took 3 hours, a little boy that was about 10 years old took me for my ride, about half way through he stopped at his Ger and invited me. I was spoiled! The mother offered me home made yoghurt, biscuits and vodka. The least but not all, I had the chance to drink fermented horse milk, called Daraig. I don't usually drink milk, but in order not to offend my host, I drank it, well .... no comments...! It was annoying as I had only my phrase book with me, but I wanted to ask them a thousand questions about their lifestyle, but communication was limited. It was really amazing, a totally different lifestyle. The next day, from the same farmer I also took advantage of a camel ride 1$ for 15 minutes and also was able to ride on a Yack.

Sights:
The temple.
The temple.
From the Turtle rock, I trek along (2 hours walk) to a temple on the top of a hill (then another hour to climb to the temple), along the way I saw wild flowers such as Edelweiss, I was surprised to found them here, I as thought you can only find them in Switzerland.
Once I arrived on the top of the temple, the view was superb, well worth the effort!

Accommodations:
A GER tent.
A GER tent.
I have spend two nights in a GER camp, there was a building about 50 metres away with some toilets, but no electricity.
It was the typical Mongolian GER tent. It will take about 30 minutes to put the tent up for a nomad.
The GER tent is spacious and could accommodate a minimum of 4 persons per tent. Inside there is a wooden stow to heat the tent up. In the morning a carer entered the tent while I was still sleeping to put more wood inside. It is great so as I woke up it was really warm! The temperature during the night was of -02C. During the day it was about 25C.
Food was provided it was mainly soups and lamd dishes, if you are a vegetarian, you will sufer in Mongolia!

Nightlife:
Inside the GER tent.
Inside the GER tent.
It is a national park, there are no clubs, but we provided our own entertainment. I taught the bus driver called Turo how to play Ludo.
Then other people joinned in, and became very noisy!

Hangouts:
Park and Ride
Park and Ride
The nearest pub was about 2 hours drive away, so we had to find something else to distract us.
Before dinner, I rented a horse again to go to next village about 40 minutes ride away. I bought a bottle of Vodka for the rest of my party (5 of us), and we drank it indide the tent later. Another group joined in, with even more Vodka..!

Other recommendations:
Cute Mongolian camel.
Cute Mongolian camel.
Mongolia is great if you love horse- riding and have some previous experience as with experience you can go much further away, you can even go shopping like I did! The National Park is famous for its rock formations, so if you are a keen climber you should find happiness here!
Also I have not seen it, but there is a glacial lake and some hot springs.

Restaurants:
Mongolian Edelweiss
Mongolian Edelweiss
The food was already included in our excursion, in the building being renovated next to the camp site, there was a small room where we could sit down and have dinner, no electricity no heating. (well ? what do you expect? The Ritz?!!!)

Published on Tuesday January 24th, 2006


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Wed, Feb 21 2007 - 07:23 PM rating by travler

I enjoyed reading this report and looking at the pictures. I loved "what do you expect...the Ritz!!!"

Wed, Jan 24 2007 - 03:54 PM rating by hieronyma

Isabelle,
after readung your report I am quite decisive to go there this year, if there only would be someone else to go there. I want to see the desert, and to go horsdeback riding and ... and ...
Hierinyma

Fri, Jan 27 2006 - 11:53 PM rating by magsalex

Enjoyed reading this report.

Wed, Jan 25 2006 - 08:33 AM rating by delfster

hi isabelle, this is marvelous report. very informative. if i'll ever go there, this shall be one of my reference. thanks for sharing one great adventure... and also the turtle.

Wed, Jan 25 2006 - 04:05 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

very nice and wonderful report

Wed, Jan 25 2006 - 12:01 AM rating by rangutan

A very unusual and adventurous place. Great report, Bravo!

Tue, Jan 24 2006 - 10:56 PM rating by gloriajames

Bravo Isabelle!
I loved this report and esp the turtle rock pic looks real!!!
How was it like sleeping in the GER tent?? Looks pretty exciting tho'!
Btw have u uploaded your pics into your photo gallery??
Job well done,
Gloria

Tue, Jan 24 2006 - 07:50 PM rating by mortimer

Hey Frenchfrog some great information and superb pictures some of them worthy to be uploaded in the gallery too, IMHO (camel, temple, nomads) Thanks for sharing putting mongolia even higher on my to visit list :-))

Tue, Jan 24 2006 - 07:21 PM rating by davidx

Very informative, interesting and the pics are great. Thanks and well done.

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