Travellers keen to experience a truly authentic Naadam Festival shouldn’t be discouraged. They just need to know where to look.
Whether it’s a Mongolian Nana or a Peruvian Mama, homestay cooking, hospitality (and life wisdom) are simply the best.
There aren’t many things left in the world that can be called a genuine Adventure, but this is one of them.
The beaming and curious smiles of the locals watch on as we load our bags into the back locker of our overland truck. The dirt road snakes its way onwards through gentle hills, punctuated by traditional thatched straw homes. Smoke from early morning cooking dots the horizon and mixes with the cool mist in the early morning sun. Another epic day on the road awaits.
Travelling along the Trans-Mongolian railway was never a dream of mine. But then I stopped and thought about the enormity of it all for a minute.
Who needs sun and sand? We’ve got the perfect alternative.
It’s easy to feel the world is a shrinking place. Journeys that used to take months now happen in the time it takes us to watch Godzilla and eat a microwaved meal, and we have more information in our pocket at any time than the sum total of human knowledge for the last three thousand years. In such a world it’s easy to think there’s very little mystery left, very little tradition or magic or authenticity.
Think of places where it’s easy for vegetarians to travel and Mongolia probably won’t be high on the list.
Growing vegetables is tough in the harsh climate and tending to the garden is not really part of the traditional nomadic lifestyle. People joke that in Mongolia you eat meat, more meat, with a side order of meat on top of that. But believe it or not, at least in Ulaanbaatar it’s possible to dine meat-free without too much trouble.
In the city there are at least three purely vegetarian restaurants:
Hands up if you ever expect to win any of the competitions you enter? Well for Cassie Silva it was no different, except that this time she got the surprise of her life when she really did win…
“As one of the winners of Intrepid’s ’30 Trips in 30 Days’ giveaway, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for one of the most fantastic tours of my life. I have travelled with several other of the big name group tour companies in the past years, but Intrepid surpassed them all.