Friday, 11 January 2013

Step Back In Time and Capture History Thru the Lens




Since the fall of communism, Mongolia has done just about everything in its power to open itself up to the world. While the old traditions survive and the wild nature is still mostly intact, Mongolia has also reached out to the West for economic and cultural ties.

Mix up the vast landscapes of the Gobi, the snow capped mountains of Bayan-Ölgi and the dramatic gorges and sparkling lakes of
Khövsgöl. Sprinkle in the felt homes of the nomad and the cry of an eagle. Add Buddhist temples, mysterious ruins, abundant wildlife and legendary hospitality. Then top it all off with a conqueror who started with nothing and ended up changing history.

Most travellers come for Naadam, the two-day summer sports festival that brings Ulaanbaatar to a standstill.
Naadam (Mongolian: Наадам, lit. "games") is a traditional type of festival in Mongolia. The festival is also locally termed "eriin gurvan naadam" "the three games of men". The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery and are held throughout the country during the midsummer holidays. Women have started participating in the archery and girls in the horse-racing games, but not in Mongolian wrestling.

In 2010, Naadam was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO.

But Mongolia’s unique charm will always lie in the countryside where, in addition to being a spectator to the wrestling with special media passes and access to the athletes at ground level or capturing the raw power of the Golden Eagle, masterfully guided by their owners, you will also find yourself outside of the games bearing witness to some of the oldest monasteries known to man and in the surrounding villages. It’s easy to meet nomad families whose relentless sense of hospitality can at times be nothing short of overwhelming.

As a travel destination, Mongolia is a special place for people who enjoy the outdoors and adventure. Heading out on the vast plains, riding horses and camping with nomad families, it offers the chance to step back in time to a simpler age and way of life. It is an invigorating and exhilarating place to visit, and remains one of the last unspoiled travel destinations in Asia.
 
Join me in Mongolia for one of two trips...
 
Naadam Festival in July of 2013 (only two spots left for this trip to Mongolia)
 
Golden Eagle Festival with Jim Zuckerman in September of 2014 (only 3 spots left for this trip to Mongolia)