Ruby Ramblings

Erdenet, Mongolia
October 8, 2010, 11:49 am
Filed under: Mongolia, Travel

Erdenet is the second largest city in Mongolia.  Six hours by car, or eleven hours by overnight train.  It’s a Russian copper mining town built in the 1970s and now up to about 80,000 folks.  Soviet style apartments, not much to look at, and probably even less to do.

On the train, there was an extremely drunk convict handcuffed to a bar in between train cars.  He was yelling all night, although it wasn’t clear if it was for booze or to be let out.  Bonding over this strange occurrence, we met a European couple and ended up being invited to a fantastic ger camp owned by a guy from New York and his Mongolian wife.  Mongolia is a place for strange waylays, interesting people, and the chance to say yes when an unusual offer comes around

This is a tourist ger camp, anyone interested in more info or to book a ger can leave a comment and I’ll connect you to Mark the owner.

After the dust, dirt, and uniform buildings of Mongolian cities, this was a great retreat into the mountains. There were a hundred people from a local university having a company party. We danced, played games, drank many shots of vodka throughout the day, watched a lady pole dance with a tree, and, possibly the highlight, an airag drinking contest. Airag is a local drink made from fermented horse milk. Several young men got down three or four classes, but the milk content lead to spewing soon after the gulping. Highly entertaining, if quite disgusting.

5 Comments so far
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Sounds like a great time! Would you be able to send me the contact info for Mark and his ger camp? I’m an American traveling around Mongolia and a friend was supposed to connect me with an English-speaking local, but I’m here in Erdenet and that hasn’t happened yet, so I’m looking for plan B. I’m at a hotel for the night but would prefer to move to a ger camp if possible.


Comment by sloozeronymous

Sure! I didn’t see an e-mail on here, so I guess I’ll just post in the comments. Marc is a great guy, and I hope you get to connect to him.

marcwatkins @ gmail . com

Comment by therubycanary

They just made a facebook page too.

Comment by therubycanary

Sorry I forgot to respond! I got ahold of Marc via your email, and had a great few days up at Davaat Lodge. The staff there are incredibly friendly, and Marc was an excellent host.

If you ever go back, he showed me a pizza joint in the town of Erdenet itself called Marco’s Pizza. It was opened just a few months ago by a couple — an Italian husband and Mongolian wife — as they recently moved back to her hometown. The pizza there is phenomenal (better than anything I had in UB).

Thanks again!

Comment by sloozeronymous

I’m so glad it worked out! They are really wonderful people, and it’s such a gorgeous place to spend time. Did you climb up the little mountain in front of the buildings?

Comment by therubycanary

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