In the previous blog we talked about Mongolia in general and now we`ll take a closer look at the first stop we took along the journey across Mongolia – the beautiful Terelj. This National Park is not far from Ulaanbaatar and you can reach it by bus, taxi or both (like we did).
In Mongolia you can camp basically everywhere. Just sometimes, be careful, if you set your camp on an inconvenient place, like dry river basin, the locals will come and help you to relocate.
On the way to the National park we met two other travelers, with whom we spent the evening together. It was not only pleasant but also interesting because they were just finishing their journey around Mongolia, therefore they shared a lot of useful tips and their experience with us.
The next day we moved next to a river in order to have a source of water and to take a ¨shower¨. We had been walking and suddenly it started to rain. We had to build the tent near a village. It did not appear to the best idea as in the afternoon many families and campers started surrounding us because they were curious who we are and what we were after. But in the end it turned out to be O.K.
I spent rest of the afternoon swimming in that cold river, observing people trying to cross it with their city cars and helping them pushing them back to the shore. It was hilarious; they were trying to cross it even though they saw that the exact same type of car had failed two minutes ago.
In the evening we were invited to eat with a family from the village. We played volleyball, cards and tried to communicate somehow. Only one of them knew a little bit of English. But we became friends and we were invited to visit them in UB when we get back.
The next two days we followed the river a bit deeper into the park but we couldn’t walk a lot with our luggage. We found a perfect spot. Or so we thought. The same scenario followed: In the afternoon cars came and surrounded us, in the evening we were invited to eat with them. I enjoyed the Mongolian hospitality and I am very glad for this experience.
The last two nights we spent near the Turtle rock. It is a bit touristic place but we managed to find a quiet spot up in the hills where they couldn’t come by their cars. In the night we had some unexpected visitors. But we dealt with them the next day. See video bellow!
In general Terelj is a very beautiful area though a bit crowded, as it is so near to UB. In the end it was good not to be alone; the only issue was the garbage and litters everywhere. They in general don’t care much for the environment (using shampoos in the river, breaking trees for firewood).
The conditions for camping are excellent. The ground is flat, you can find water, and there are some shops in the village. The only trouble can be the weather as it was raining a little bit almost every day and it was also very windy. Anyway it is a very beautiful place and it would be worth it to explore it on a bike or horseback.