WildChina > WildChina > On the Road in Inner Mongolia: Day 3 (con’t)

As night fell on the grasslands after our afternoon of yurt building, Shirley, my fellow local guides, our guides and I left our nomadic accommodations for nighttime revelry, Inner Mongolia-style.

Inner Mongolia
The sun sets over the Xilamuren Grasslands before nighttime festivities begin.

In the communal area bordered by yurts, we gathered around a bonfire to watch traditional Mongolian dance and throat singing. In Mongolian tradition, throat singing, or “khoomii,” is characterized by replacing all musical instruments with vocals, so that the voice emulates the sound of such instruments. Ranging from very low notes to higher octaves, throat singing is incredibly relaxing (in my opinion). On the quiet grasslands, our small huddle of eager listeners around the singers was an intimate and unique way to listen to this seldom-heard style of music.

Once the bonfire had died out and the singers retired for the night, we retreated to a large, communal yurt for an hour of storytelling. Seated on the floor, our guests listened to grand tales of Genghis Khan, the great Mongol leader, and his adventures and conquests. While Genghis Khan has his fair share of misdoings, his tales also promote universally-applicable morality and life lessons. They were greatly enjoyed by our guests.

Stories told, we gathered our belongings and returned to our respective yurts. Shirley and I discussed the following days’ plans with our local Inner Mongolian guides and chatted for a bit. Our Inner Mongolian guides were easygoing and interesting to talk to – after enjoying their company for the past few days and learning more about their lives in this northern province, I didn’t want to go to sleep! But, after half an hour, Shirley and I left their yurt, ready to prepare ourselves with numerous blankets for a cold night in the grasslands. Thursday, we knew, would be warmer.


Want to go on your own desert adventure? Send us an email: info@wildchina.com

Leave a Reply

We are using cookies to give you the best experience. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in privacy settings.
AcceptPrivacy Settings

  • We use cookies to make your experience of our website better.

We use cookies to make your experience of our website better.

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer’s hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyze web traffic or let you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyze data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. However, this may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

Detailed information about the use of cookies on this website is available by clicking on more information.