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Open Spaces, Safety and Sunshine

  What more could you want, following a year of pandemic ? As per Bloomberg’s predictions, that’s what travellers will be wishing for in a vacation…and soon: Click to see Bloomberg article The Mongolian border is set to open on 1 st May, welcoming tourists who have evidence of their Covid vaccination. Riding a motorbike is the most enjoyable way to travel 2 meters apart from your friends. Space is in unlimited supply, as is fresh air and sunshine. In fact, Mongolia has an average of 250 sunny days per year and is known as the “Land of Blue Sky” . Safety ? Although motorcycling   may be classed by insurance companies as an “extreme sport”, at least your chances of getting Covid in a country with one of the best records is very low.   Click to see WHO statistics  
Recent posts

Adventure Off Road Motorcycle Journey To The Birthplace Of Genghis Khan

Summer 2015 highlights: a group of six guys from Australia and New Zealand came for a motorbike tour in the far north east of Mongolia, also known for being the birthplace of Genghis Khan. The riders were professional film directors, musicians and photographers, so they have created this marvellous 15-minute account of their adventure including stunning drone footage showing all of Mongolia's hidden secrets. Thanks to Simon Lister @ Nylon Studios for sharing this video.

Mongolia To Abolish Death Penalty

President of Mongolia, Mr Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, has led the way for the death penalty to be abolished in Mongolia from September 2016. He said that the threat of executions does not have a deterrent effect and the risk of a miscarriage of justice is inherent in any system of justice. Lawmakers on Thursday voted in favour of a new Criminal code that abolishes this type of penalty for all crimes, which is a clear victory for human rights. In 2010, the President Ts.Elbegdorj commuted all death sentences and announced a moratorium on all executions. In 2012, Mongolia ratified an international treaty committing the country to the abolition of the death penalty. Amnesty International declared that the countries that continue to execute have been shown a clear path to follow to end this cruel and inhumane punishment. There remain 37 countries worldwide which retain the death penalty, including the United States, China and Japan.

OTMT Presents: Must-see Mongol Movies

Mongolian entertainment is traditionally centered around the nomadic way of life, for example folk music, horse racing and the fortune telling "shagai" bones. However since the 1960’s there has been a steady increase in   Mongolian orientated and produced films. These, along with national televised comedy theatre productions, are a popular example of modernizing entertainment industry within Mongolia. Our top 3 recommendations to inspire your travels:     1.        The Cave of the Yellow Dog (2005) Directed by Byambasuren Davaa   A beautiful story of a young nomad girl who finds a stray dog inside a cave; however after taking him home finds that her parents won’t accept it. Only after the dog dramatically saves the family is it then allowed to start a new life with them on the move.  The film is set in Arkhangai province in Central Mongolia, not far from the volcanic area where the actual cave of the yellow dog is located near to Terk

Dogs Became Man's Best Friend in Mongolia

It is well known that dogs descended from wolves; that packs of wolves would follow communities of hunter/gathers and take food scraps from their camps in preference to hunting prey. Gradually the bravest wolves got closer and closer to the humans and so got most of the food, gradually leading to an evolutionary advantage as  each generation of wolves became tamer. It is believed that wolves befriended humans, becoming domesticated, about 15,000 years ago.  New research at Cornell University in New York shows that dogs were first domesticated in Central Asia in the region of Mongolia. Thousands of DNA samples taken from dogs around the world were compared with each other in order to build up a picture of their evolutionary origins. The results point to Mongolia being the place where dogs first transitioned from wolves.

Mongolia's wildest route to date

We're always trying to improve tours and find new routes that no one else does. This summer we did a reconnaissance trip  in the central provinces of Tuv, Middle Gobi and Ovorkhangai. It is a part of the country that tourists rarely travel and now that the Department of Transport has built several good new roads even locals don't use the old tracks much. There are some dramatic mountains on the way, especially at Ikh Gazriin Chuluu and Khairkhan mountain. We saw thousands of white-tailed gazelle, some small steppe foxes, marmots, eagles  and cute little jerboas that hop like kangaroos. As we went further south the steppe turned into desert and we passed through some areas of "zag" saxaul forest; these trees are only found in the Gobi and take hundreds of years to grow. For part of the route we literally had to go off the map - following faint old tracks that were not marked on any of our maps and sometimes became non-existent. This really is about as

Self-mummified Lama to be honorably returned

The Government of Mongolia has donated 164 million tugricks,  approximately USD 85,000, for the building of a suitable and permanent resting place for the body of the self-mummified Lama who was found earlier this year on a mountainside near Tsakhir village in Arkhangai province.  According to Buddhist belief, a person who is able to achieve self mummification has reached Nirvana, the highest level of afterlife, escaping from the cycle of life, death and rebirth.  During the building of the temple, the body is being cared for at Gandantegchinlen monastery in Ulaanbaatar where experts have worked to protect the body from further damage. In the meantime, the man who found the body and tried to sell it at the market in Ulaanbaatar, has been sentenced to 6 months in jail.