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  • Visiting the Reindeer Herders in Mongolia
    they are hunter gatherers The reindeers are primarily milk providers We mainly saw the milk being drunk as tea or preserved as cheese and other curd products For meat the Tsaatan hunt roe and red deer rather than eat their own reindeer The reindeer graze on lichen which is only found in northern latitudes After two nights staying in the Tsaatan camp we split as a group and I was privileged to be one of only two guests to ride off on a four day trip north in to the wilderness of the taiga We were accompanied by two Tsaatan horse guides an English speaking Mongolian guide plus the hardest working person on our trip Dalai the chef It felt very special Three hours later we were sitting in glorious sunshine on a river bank eating lunch while our horses rested and grazed It was idyllic The horses taking a well earned rest Later in the afternoon I was able to fully test my waterproofs when riding through a thunder storm The terrain then became tougher for the horses as we rode across a marshy valley then up forested tracks that were running with water The horses were brilliant powering through occasional patches of hock deep mud stepping over fallen trees pushing their way through head high bushes picking their way round trees and walking over rocks On day five we woke to a heavy frost Overnight drops of ice had formed on the outside of my tent Inside I was cosy having perfected the number of layers required to keep my feet and therefore the rest of me warm After consuming a three course breakfast by the camp fire we set off past rough haystacks built as winter fodder and up a rugged river valley towards Russia Our destination was a sacred Tsaatan site less than half a day s ride from the Russian border still in Mongolia Thankfully our horse guides know their landscape very well and they navigated us through forest and bush land where few have visited to a fast flowing river with a backdrop of high mountains and white trunked ghost trees While we set up camp a cooked lunch was prepared by Dalai Afterwards we climbed on horseback the steep deeply forested hillside to reach the sacred site in a hanging valley Rosemary enjoys the view The view was stunning The rocks on the exposed riverbed were a geologist s dream The gentle sound of the stream gurgling below the rocks was almost melodic The peacefulness was wonderful as was the sensation that we could be the only people in the world This site is sacred to the Tsaatan because of the red perfectly smoothed small stones that seem completely out of place among a mismatch of rocks They believe these stones bring them luck and good fortune and that every time a stone is removed it is magically replaced by another We were encouraged find stones to take home and were each given

    Original URL path: http://www.panoramicjourneys.com/wp/index.php/reindeer-herders-in-mongolia/ (2016-02-11)
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  • MONGOLIA: The Ice Festival at Lake Khovsgol and The Gobi Thousand Camel Festival - Traveller's Tales
    while the ice itself is impervious to burning heat keeping its form beneath the temperature of fire it was a wonder to me Joan also enjoyed watching the games and remarked about the Mongolian wrestlers They were made of sturdy stuff with obviously wondrous circulation For as they wrestled on the ice one might pull the shirt off his opponent who continued to battle on in direct contact with the ice and did not appear in the least cold Wrestler podium Ice Festival Lake Khovsgol Northern Mongolia The Camel Festival Gloriously this event is officially billed as the Thousand Camel Festival and it certainly lives up to its name The Bactrian known as the ship of the Gobi is the undoubted star of the show here in the heart of the desert The camel herders with their woolly coated double humped steeds gather to compete in races and polo competitions Visitors are encouraged to join the colourful opening parade yup on a camel and it is a unique opportunity to interact with the herders and see their nomadic way of life up close and personal The best way to see and enjoy the Camel Festival in the Gobi Desert is wrapped up warm on a camel Our Kath from the UK office was lucky enough to attend the Thousand Camel Festival in 2008 Here s what she had to say about this flamboyant celebration Winter in the Gobi brings snow to the desert and the camels all have their fluffy winter coats on I remember that the latrines were frozen Everyone was on camels everyone from the elderly to the tiniest tots and many of the spectators too There were loads of colourful flags and so much noise people shouting camels braying We followed the races driving along behind in our vehicles to see the action as it happened and people were standing on their camels at the finish line to see into the distance There were competitions with teams who could load and unload a ger from a camel in the fastest time and we watched a young camel being broken in There was a bookie taking bets but it was easy to tell which camel would win his race as they all still wore their awards from previous years I just bet on the camel with the most medals There was also a competition for the best looking male and female camel Two white camels won they are quite rare and prized by the Mongolians The Winners of the 2008 Best Dressed Camel Award at the Camel Festival in the Gobi It was 10 degrees but having just come from the Ice Festival it felt positively balmy I had my first gallop on a camel they have a strange wobbly gait and I did feel a little seasick One of our guests Diana was asked to open proceedings by cutting the ribbon What an honour It was an amazing experience Kath during the Winter Festivals Journey in 2008

    Original URL path: http://www.panoramicjourneys.com/wp/index.php/mongolia-the-ice-festival-at-lake-khovsgol-and-the-gobi-thousand-camel-festival/ (2016-02-11)
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  • mongolian landscape Archives - Traveller's Tales
    FIXERS CATEGORIES BHUTAN 69 BURMA 88 FAMILY FUN 3 FESTIVALS 12 FOOD DRINK 3 GENERAL 100 INDIA 2 INSPIRATION 16 MONGOLIA 129 PJ 10th BIRTHDAY 7 PJ NEWS 76 REVIEWS 1 SHORT BREAKS 4 Slider 6 THAILAND 1 THINGS TO DO 2 TOP TIPS 6 TRAVELLER S TALES 4 Search Archives Archives Select Month November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015

    Original URL path: http://www.panoramicjourneys.com/wp/index.php/tag/mongolian-landscape/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Visiting a Naadam Festival - Traveller's Tales
    each person noisily encouraging their local wrestler to fling their opponent to the ground When a male child is born Mongols wish for him to become a wrestler It is easy to understand why there is so much national pride oozing from each and every festival attendee let alone the participants themselves it s just in their genes As the rounds continued I took a break to watch the final few hundred metres of the horse racing Don t be fooled into thinking this is anything like the horse racing you may have seen on TV this Naadam activity is a cross country event with races 15 30km long depending on the age class that is the age of the horse Children from 5 15 years old are chosen as jockeys trained in the preceding months and perhaps controversially do not wear helmets or even use saddles The dust cloud appears in the distance followed by the vibrations underfoot the horses come into view with their jockeys keen to make their families proud by being the first to cross the challenging terrain An arrow glints in the sun catching my eye Meandering past the competitive volleyball game which was in mid flow I reached the archers just in time to see the local policeman letting loose his round winning arrow This ancient art stems back to the thirteenth century when the successes of the Mongol army were primarily down to the keen skill and technology of the Mongol archers Bows were made using a special technique of horns and wood technology which is still used today for competing in the Naadam Festival Since the communist era women as well as men have been able to participate in this event and in fact Mongolia s first world champion was a female archer in 1971 Returning to the wrestling ring I was somewhat distracted by the beautiful array of what can only be described as Mongolian market tat but in the fondest way of course Snuff bottles to slippers handbags to hats these treasures are priceless to those who want to buy them as traditional keepsakes I just couldn t resist some fast food deep fried dumplings khushuur are order of the day and Mongolians eat them by the bagful These greasy little numbers give Dunkin Donuts a run for their money Narrowly missing a Union Jack clad dart hurtling towards balloons pinned to a board a favourite with Mongolian kids I made my way back round to the main ring just in time to hear the announcements Having closely followed the wrestling and my new friends throughout the two days of Naadam I was overjoyed to understand that Dalaibayar had defeated the champion to become elephant a rank held by winning 7 rounds of Khatgal Naadam What a way to end the most unique festival I have ever been to The smells tastes and colours of the two days left me wanting more an incredible country rich in strength and pride

    Original URL path: http://www.panoramicjourneys.com/wp/index.php/visiting-naadam-festival/ (2016-02-11)
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  • VISITING THE GOBI DESERT - Traveller's Tales
    Altai Mountains as the backdrop As the wind whistled along the sand an eerie sound grew louder these are not called the Singing Dunes for nothing Vibrations rose up through my body from the sand as I sat mesmerized by the peace and splendour of the nothingness surrounding me the terrific emptiness of it all I could smell my new mode of transport approaching and then it appeared from behind a smaller dune Humphrey my Bactrian camel was to be my trusty steed for the next couple of hours Camels are incredibly versatile they can last a week without water a month without food can carry up to 250kg provide wool milk and are a great source of somewhat gamey meat In surprising comfort I rode hair flicking wildly in the wind sun beating down I could truly have been featuring in my own Lawrence of Arabia scene I felt such peace and serenity there I didn t want it to end Entering the camel herder s ger the typically Mongolian aroma of fermenting dairy products hit me As my face began to give away the fact I wasn t particularly keen on such a whiff a mug of suutei tsai salty Mongolian milk tea was thrust into my hands and oh so generously aaruul dried curds was next on the menu Dried curds can be stored almost indefinitely Describing them as quite solid is an understatement In fact some say that chewing on these is the reason that nomadic Mongolians have very few problems with their teeth What is this Ice in the Gobi Well I never Smiling under the big blue sky and with a chill in the air I strode down the narrow gorge Being entertained by the playful pika s small round eared mammals dancing at my feet I was careful to keep my eyes peeled for the infamous lammergeyers bearded vultures giant argali wild sheep and rare Siberian Ibex Avoiding the Mongolian horses being ridden up and down the gorge I followed the little stream until I could go no further The remains of the last glacier in the Gobi Desert were in front of me at last glinting in the sun light and showing off the splendour of its blue underbelly Being midsummer the ice was a fraction of its winter self where it can reach an immense 10m high and continue down the gorge a further 10km One of the harshest places on earth even throughout the summer months this arid land has been made home by Mongolian nomadic people for many years I can t help but think as I do for most other places in Mongolia the Gobi surely would be an incredible place to visit in the winter months perhaps I shall put this on my wish list for another time If Melissa s story has inspired you to see the wonders of the Gobi Desert for yourself check out our Mongolia Trips on our website many of which will

    Original URL path: http://www.panoramicjourneys.com/wp/index.php/gobi-desert/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Mongolia | Traveller's Tales
    National Park is just under 100km 3 hours drive east of Ulaanbaatar and covers an area of around 3km square It Read More John Man and Genghis Khan Interview This week Panoramic Journeys was delighted to catch up with our old friend and Mongolian specialist the author John Man on his return from the 3rd International Open Central Asia Book Forum and Literary Festival in Almaty Kazakhstan We chatted about his career his new book and all things Genghis Khan Read More The Wild Camels of Mongolia In September we reported that Karina James and the boys had enjoyed the Wild Camel Protection Foundation Camel Race Day at Hole Park in Kent At Panoramic Journeys we have been delighted to support the WCPF in their work over the years sharing as we do a love for Read More Top 5 Places to Visit in Ulaanbaatar Ulaanbaatar the capital of Mongolia is currently commemorating 375 years since its foundation In 1639 it was first established at a Buddhist monastery and was known as Orgoo It then moved location more than 25 times until it finally settled at its present site in 1778 It was known by a variety Read More Newer Entries Older Entries PANORAMIC JOURNEYS Welcome Welcome to the Panoramic Journeys blog We hope it paints an intimate portrait of the countries we visit Mongolia Bhutan and Burma Here you will find stories and adventures useful information interesting facts and beautiful photographs And every month we bring you the travel news from our three destinations Take the Trip of a Lifetime Trips to BHUTAN Trips to BURMA Trips to MONGOLIA PANORAMIC FIXERS CATEGORIES BHUTAN 69 BURMA 88 FAMILY FUN 3 FESTIVALS 12 FOOD DRINK 3 GENERAL 100 INDIA 2 INSPIRATION 16 MONGOLIA 129 PJ 10th BIRTHDAY 7 PJ NEWS 76

    Original URL path: http://www.panoramicjourneys.com/wp/index.php/mongolia/page/4/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Panoramic Journeys - What Makes Us Different? - Traveller's Tales
    and work in the communities you visit we are able to give all our guests authentic experiences in Mongolia Bhutan and Burma As well as showing our guests the recognised highlights that each country offers we specialise in taking our guests off the beaten track away from the tourist trails and under the skin of these beautiful countries straight to the real heart of them Through The Lens Panoramic Journeys has developed an excellent relationship with the film and photographic industry providing logistical support for shoots in these three countries Their reputation for having a can do attitude is well deserved and Panoramic Fixers have worked on major productions for the BBC Channel 4 ITV as well as numerous international independents The two arms of the business complement and inform each other perfectly Every project and every trip is carefully crafted as a story with a beginning middle and end Panoramic Journey s approach is uniquely personal they gather as much information as they can about their clients expectations and preferences before they embark on a journey so that each guest has an experience which opens their eyes and broadens their horizons Tailormade Bespoke Holidays Over the last decade Panoramic Journeys has established a reputation for offering unique inspirational holidays to Mongolia Bhutan and Burma Our individually designed trips take visitors to the very heart of life in these destinations PJ s reputation for being able to cater for all tastes and preferences has made them first choice for clients looking for uniquely personal holidays Whatever your area of interest wildlife fishing botany photography ornithology religion palaeontology history culture or architecture we can tailor your journey to suit you The extraordinary range of journeys that PJ is able to design and execute is evident in the tailor made trips they have been asked to arrange It is no wonder that the company s informal tagline is anything is possible and that a growing number of clients are high profile figures in the public eye Secret Journeys Panoramic Journeys attention to detail and discretion has attracted guests who demand an extraordinary experience as well as high standards of care and complete privacy We call these our secret journeys We can t really say much more or we d have to shoot you Shhh Call us in the office on 01608 676821 for a confidential chat Responsible Tourism Panoramic Journeys is passionately committed to making a difference and is proud to lead the way in Responsible Travel in the areas it visits PJ endeavours to cater for the client s needs whilst acting responsibly for the local culture and customs of the countries it explores Our Sustainable Project Fund helps to support local initiatives Currently a new school is being built in the Burmese Delta that has been fully funded by PJ Our work with nomadic families in Mongolia goes from strength to strength with many nomads now setting up their own private enterprises after receiving training and support from PJ The

    Original URL path: http://www.panoramicjourneys.com/wp/index.php/panoramic-journeys-makes-us-different/ (2016-02-11)
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  • FRIDAY FOCUS: Weekly PJ Travel News - Traveller's Tales
    wax museum will find its own permanent premises eventually but from March until September the Theatre Museum is where you will find Chinggis Khan and other Mongolian characters from the 13th century Travel news from BHUTAN The spectacular Tiger s Nest Monastery Paro Bhutan There can be few more spectacular tourist destinations than Bhutan s Taktsang Palphug Monastery popularly known as the Tiger s Nest Perched precariously high on the cliffside in Paro Valley about 10 000 feet above sea level the temple complex was first built in 1692 around the site of a cave where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the 8th century BBC correspondent Anbarasan Ethirajan undertook the long arduous trek to the monastery and filed this report about his journey He concludes by saying many people told me that if you haven t visited Taktsang Monastery that means you have never been to Bhutan We d have to agree Travel news from the UK We have been thinking this week about our Mongolian family Our thoughts and hopes are with Boloroo PJ s Woman in the West who is recovering from a tragic accident Those of you who know her might like to get in touch and donate to a small fund we have started to help her and her family after the dreadful loss of two of their loved ones This week was the tenth anniversary of Karina s invitation to work on The Long Way Round tv series with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman We will soon be uploading some as yet unseen video footage that Karina took during the shoot so you ll get a unique behind the scenes look at this now legendary journey We ll let you know when it is ready but in the meantime why not follow us on instagram and check out some great PJ photos Karina with Ewan during the filming of The Long Way Round in 2004 We were very interested to meet Neil Palmer the Director of Vintage Roots at the Destinations Travel Show Sitting in our cosy ger we had quite a chat about his organic wines and his intention to import one which has its origins in the Gobi Desert A cabernet sauvignon called Red Camel he hopes it will retail in the UK for around the 10 mark Neil says it is very good so we d be delighted if he d like to send us a bottle or two to review We have already completed three film shoots this year This week the Australian filmmaker Tim Noonan arrived in the Altai to film what promises to be a gripping episode for his series The Vanishing for Seven Network We accepted the challenge to arrange a shoot for him in Guinea Bissau Despite not being able to pronounce the name of the country when asked he did manage to survive a six week shoot there so the Altai shouldn t pose any problem Thanks for all the photos which you have sent in for

    Original URL path: http://www.panoramicjourneys.com/wp/index.php/friday-focus-weekly-pj-travel-news-16/ (2016-02-11)
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