Kharkhorin - the former Mongol capital
by Philip Deaton
(Harrogate, England, UK)
Next stop was the 'mini Gobi', a small area of sand dunes for a quick 10 minute stop. Unbelievably we bumped into Brenton and Logan here, who we had met on Olkhon Island. We exchanged greetings before we had to move on, as the light faded into darkness.
We arrived in Kharkhorin, the former Mongol capital, and entered our felt ger around 20.00, as our host was just about to prepare dinner. Ed decided he would love to see traditional Mongolian cooking and went with her, to her ger. He came back 10 minutes later, with a big grin on his face and explained traditional Mongolian cooking was opening a bag and popping ready made dumplings into a pot of water! Oh well! Our ger had 6 beds circling the wall, with a log stove in the center to provide heat and a table and chairs from which to eat and socialize.
Not a bad set up in all honesty. Dumplings digested, airag (fermented mares milk) and Genghis Khan vodka opened, our next treat was a Mongolian throat singer. He played 4 different types of instrument and sang Mongolian songs about Genghis Khan, the country and people. He even cried during one performance. It was all very impressive and Julia and i decided we had not heard enough, after his 40 minute performance, so payed him a few extra dollars to do a private performance, in a separate ger. A few airags too many and he was playing love songs for us to dance to. Julia informed me in the morning it was very romantic, although the airag made my recollection of the evening mildly hazy!