Mongolia – The Last Frontier
Recently I travelled to Mongolia on business. A fascinating country.
From Mongolia Genghis Khan (1162 – 1227) conquered most of Eurasia and China. He is referred to as Chinggis Khaan in Mongolia and is the national hero of Mongolia. As noted as you fly into the Chinggis Khaan International Airport.
Arriving in the capital, Ulaanbaatar I had a reservation at the brand new Shangri-La Hotel (which opened a year ago).
I was met by a Mongolian doorman in national dress. This hotel is simply magnificent. The facilities are world class. The quality of the service, fittings, restaurants and accommodation is vastly superior to any hotel which I have previously stayed in Mongolia. Congratulations to Shangri-La on a world class hotel.
Mongolia has often been described as the “wild west”. It is a typically developing country with a mining boom which busted just as rapidly with the introduction of the Long Name Law which protected rivers and forests and caused the cancellation of some 414 mining leases. Needless to say nearly all mining investors exited the country rapidly. As a result the economy is significantly depressed.
The people of Mongolia are extremely well educated and very friendly.
The Soviet Union occupied the country between 1921 and 1992 and the elite were educated by the Russians. One of my contacts was a former KGB chief of Mongolia.
Mongolia has been a democracy since 1991 and an election is to be held on 29 June 2016 between the Mongolian People’s Party (former Communist Party) and the Democratic Party.
Mongolia’s attractions are many and varied.
Ulaanbaatar (‘UB’) has a fine statue of Genghis Khan and great National History Museum. About 100 kms from UB is the Khustain Nuruu National Park were one can discover Przewalkis’s horses (Takhi) which are the direct descendants of pre historic horses and the last ones man failed to domesticate.
Another attraction is the legendary Gobi Desert in the south of the country with startling rock formations, sand dunes and of course many two hump Asian camels.
The cashmere of Mongolia is of superb quality and relatively cheap. I purchased a stylish cashmere cardigan for about $80.00 rather than the $350.00 one would pay in Australia. The Gobi Factory is the largest and has the best selection of cashmere at reasonable prices.
Mongolian vodka is famous. My favourite was Genghis Khan Platinum (a litre was A$20.00) which is quadruple distilled and filtered through a quintuple filter process.
In the countryside fishing and hunting are both widely available.
Keen anglers can try for the world’s largest fresh water fish, a Taiman, the ultimate mega trout. They live for over 50 years and can reach 1.5 metres, a real challenge for fly fishermen.
Hunting is also available for Ibex (wild goat) and Argali (indigenous wild sheep with large horns) and Maral (caspian red deer).
How to get there
Flights can be arranged through Beijing, Seoul or Hong Kong.
Anywhere Travel will be happy to assist with flights and tour arrangements.