This image was taken by our guest Egon Filter. It’s of the Khongoryn Els sand dunes in the southern Gobi. In Mongolian they are known as Duut Mankhan – the singing sands – from the sound they make when the sand is moved by the wind or as it collapses in small avalanches.
Climbing to the top of the dunes provides an outstanding view – best at sunrise or sunset. It’s not easy though and will require at least an hour’s challenging physical exertion! Even though every step forward is followed by a significant backslide, the exertion is worth it. To sit amongst such wide-open spaces and stretching horizons really does awaken a sense of possibility in you and make you feel free (that’s why I keep repeating it!). This is what our 2012 Untamed Mongolia small group adventure guest Graham Allen had to say:
‘For me, the constantly changing landscapes gave the most memories. The place I felt most moved by was Khongoryn Els. I think the evening of song (and vodka!) on the warm sands in the moonlight (full moon rising) with the gigantic sweep of the steppe in the background and the trillions of stars above was one of the most wonderful, atmospheric/romantic evenings I’ve ever had. Lake Khovsgol and the great day we spent climbing the mountain beside it and looking over the vast sweep of water into Siberia was another. But there were really so many places. What variety! What experiences!’