The hot springs in Tsenkher were so so welcome when we arrived.
Having spent the night before camping and waking up feeling the effects of the homemade vodka, the drive to the springs had been a little challenging, for us and for the drivers!
One of the things I had noticed while driving through Mongolia was the lack of trees, and as we got closer to the springs I was disproportionately excited at the sight of all the these beautiful trees – the scenery actually reminded me of the alps. The road into the springs was a tricky one and involved crossing lots and lots of streams. As ever with Mongolia, it was extremely beautiful.
We took a track that weaved through the trees, before stopping at a beautiful vista looking down the beautiful valley. It was very different to previous scenery we had seen in Mongolia, and breathing in the cool air felt like medicine.
The temperature was getting colder and colder and the local wildlife soon became scattered with yaks, who looked so cosy with their shaggy coats.
At this point in the trip, the stoves appeared in the gers and I couldn’t be happier. It was definitely needed, as our one full day there was extremely rainy and involved a lot of drying off in the cosy warmth.
We spent the morning hiking around the nearby hills (mountains) and see the sources of the hot springs. Despite the cloudy day, it was a lovely and slightly challenging walk. I did bale before the last peak and headed back down..
Our ger camp, Shiveer Mankhan, also had pools filled from the natural hot springs. Exactly what was needed as a lovely treat to relax and soak in after the hike.
While we were staying in Tsenkher we got the chance to ride the local horses. I used to ride a long time ago, and really miss it, so I was really excited to have a chance to do this. The Mongolian horses are described as semi wild, but they were easy to ride and very responsive. It was also a fantastic way to get out and about and spend more time in the mountains. On the way back the horses sensed they were heading home and picked up the pace. I decided to let them be and enjoyed the canter back.
It was a bit of a tourist trap, but soaking the ‘restorative’ hot springs, and having a chance to explore the surrounding mountains does make for a lovely couple of days.
Plus the drive in and out means you get to see some of the most enchanting and stunning scenery. Just look!