The Nicest Town in Mongolia

Day 6
Catching an early bus from Ulaanbaator, I was glad to leave the city behind. Starting a week-long tour to central Mongolia, I was anxious to get out from the noisy and crowded capital and get a taste of the great Mongolian emptiness. After a few hours of driving, the asphalt road turned to a grassland trope. It took us 9 hours to reach Tsetserleg, just 240km away from Ulaanbaator. But sleeping most of the time, that didn’t seem long.

The first taste (smell?) of the country-side was this toilet shack
Main road from Ulaanbaator to Tsetserleg
Mongolian kids are natural and confident. They will take your sweets without giving you a second look

Tsetserleg, the regional capital of Arkhangai province, is located southwest to the White Lake, and it’s a perfect place to break up the trip. Once we arrived, a local guide met us and escorted to our guesthouse. Fairfield cafe & guesthouse is mentioned as “an attraction in its own right” by Lonely Planet, and rightfully so. In the unsophisticated atmosphere of  a rural town , it offers comfort rooms with rags on the floors, four shower cabins (a luxury!), traditional English breakfast and an English-speaking stuff. From a booklet I learned that it is run by a socially-conscious British couple, whose purpose is to provide employment opportunities to local youth, training and teaching them how to run a business.

Fairfield guesthouse, a little corner of civilization in rural Mongolia

After settling in our spacious room and getting a delicious dinner in the cafe, we went out to explore the town.

The steps up the hill lead to the Galdan Zuu buddhist temple
An impressive 7m statue of Buddha is overlooking the town
The local video-games club is unpretentious
The statue commemorates a local wrestler, famous throught the country. The tradiotional “eagle dance” starts off the Mongolian wrestling match.

Back to our hostel, we enjoyed our last night in civilization.

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So you thought you might like to go to a lake

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