I am currently back in Ulaanbaatar after sleeping some nights in a traditional ger tent at the Mongolian plains. After five days on the Trans-Siberian train, that freezing tent felt like pure luxury but right now I’m glad to be back in civilization (sort of) with an internet connection and a warm shower.
Staying in a traditional tent were an amazing experience though. They are circular with a contained fire in the middle. We used wood for the fire, but since there are very few trees around it seems they normally use coal and manure for fuel.
We had about zero degrees in the middle of the night, so it got quite cold after a while as the fire burned out, but I slept much better than on the train despite various animal sounds just outside the tent. During wintertime it can sneak below -40 degrees. Now that’s cold! How do the nomads cope with that?
Maybe they drink a lot of airag (fermented mare’s milk with 6 % alcohol) to keep warm. I tried some of it which tasted like sour-cream, so I would rather head for the fireplace.
The valley in itself is extremely beautiful, where the few but colorful autumn trees frame the gray imposing rock formations. Here and there are goats climbing the steep hills. A perfect getaway from the smoky and noisy capital.