The Flaming Cliffs of Bayanzag

Just Outside of Bayanzag

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A trip to Bayanzag cannot be completed without a walk around the neighboring area. From atop the cliffs, it may not seem like much, but the valley is in fact filled with wild chives, edible roots, and dinosaur bones. You just need to know where to look.

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Bayanzag

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Bayanzag itself, is beautiful and surprisingly filled with life. Tume led the way along some questionably dangerous and unseen paths, and a supposed 30 minute hike (according to a guide from UB) turned into 3 hours. In complete solitude and silence we combed over the area. On occasion Tume would crouch to the ground, motion for me to follow, and we would scoot on our stomachs to the edge of a 20 foot drop to peer upon a nest or sunbathing lizard.

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Bayanzag Camp

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Despite the time of year, this camp already hosted three groups. One of which had no respect for the greatness of the desert and soiled the atmosphere with their I’m on vacation attitudes as they blasted obnoxious pop music from their van. Tume lifted his pinky finger while motioning to them and led me away from the campsite. Without knowing, I understood his opinion of them. They’re idiots.

In late April, I could already get a taste of the tourist tout the Gobi Desert would turn into in summer. A teenager on a motorcycle hiked up to our perch where we would watch the sunset with the handmade souvenirs his mother had crafted. When night came and the music extinguished, I looked up at the sky and felt thankful to be here while I could look upon the stars uninterrupted.

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Hachiko – the ticks in Mongolia

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