Thursday, December 17, 2009

Go: Mongolia!

I’ve just returned from a very spontaneous trip to Mongolia where I was just stunned and overwhelmed by the beauty and wonder of the architecture, food and people but not really the weather or accommodations. Mongolia is literally days away virtually any way you chose to travel, but once you get there, you realize that the air is different. Cleaner, purer, more innocent. It is a place I will definitely spontaneously visit again because I’m not quite sure when anyone would actually plan in advance to go there given other available options. Through good friends I met three very lusciously charming young men who opened their yurt up to me and my entourage. They revealed parts of Mongolia that would otherwise have remained hidden. Here, we’ve put together a list of the most BEST places to GO!

You-Tang Yurght
Desolate Plain

I stayed at the newly renovated You-Tang Yurght, here pictured, located in the heart of the plain. The Svn Lassiter designed exterior blends seamlessly with the environment.

But, the outside is nothing compared with the inside. The beauty of the design is the way that it changes the weather around the actual tent by generating a field of harmony that lowers the temperature in the immediate area, like in a fairy tale. The Yurght (pronounced YURT) has several organic restaurants featuring cuisine from other desolate regions of world – a first in my experience. The food and drink at any of these venues would please the most difficult foodie and, believe me, I know some difficult foodies. Speaking of which, I could not resist a daily cashmere skin facial and buttocks massage. The uniqueness of the goat actually still being attached to its skin during the process is very special. Everyone should try it at least once in this very short life. Absurdly luxurious!!

Blue House
Moron, Mongolia

If You Tang is not quite your cup of tea, I recommend staying at the more contemporary Blue House. This restored palatial residence only welcomes guests who wear shades of blue, the color of eternal peace and inner sanctity. So hip it hurts, but not so much that it will kill you. Definitely a bargain if you have been on a spiritual quest and having no luck. The quick fix aesthetic is not just on the surface, but ends up being a fully immersive saturative experience. After a week of wearing blue, eating blue (yes! Only blue foods) and seeing blue you realize how overrated the rest of the spectrum is and how very little we all really need to be happy. Blue house is located in Moron (yes, a real place, really) and is a quick chartered camel ride from the capitol. You can also rent a Segway to get around the tent complex.

Mongolian Berry

This is not a place, but a gift. This small yellow berry is my new miracle food. It has the amazing quality of tasting like nothing. Which is different from having no taste, which we all know is a sad thing. I had never seen or eaten the Mongolian Berry before my Mongolian BFFs introduced me to it at breakfast on my first day there. We at it muddled into our water with a soupcon of honey. Divine. At lunch, I sprinkled the berries onto my salad and ended up just picking them out and only eating them (but I made sure that the remainder of my salad went to someone who really needed greens, which are sometimes very hard to find here). By dinner I was hooked. Dried Mongolian Berrys were powdered and used as the primary spice in our Hot Pot. If you can’t make it to Moron you can order them directly from Matt and Galinda, two New Zealand expats who’ve built a life around the berries that is enviable. At $20.00 a quarter pound (plus shipping, sorry) you can supply yourself well for a Berry-filled feast.

A GOOP Spoof

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