Inner Mongolia–Where a Yurt Can Hurt Ya’

Riding in the back of a horse-drawn wagon with Tim and Leslee Pelton.


Our hosts greeted us with bright blue scarfs and some tea. They also sang a song for us.

We took advantage of a week off in October (National Week) to visit Inner Mongolia. We fell in love with these people. They are hard working and industrious. They can also somehow deal with the cold!

Our journey began in Hohhot where we boarded a bus to travel three hours out to the grasslands. This was the resort where we stayed.

We spent the night in our own little yurt. It was cozy and cold. The next morning, most of the men had small red bumps on their foreheads from hitting the tops of doorways in the dark. This was especially the case for us older men who have to get up in the middle of the night to use the facilities. We affectionately called these injuries, “Yurt Hurts.”


The yurt had a TV and a table with a nice big window. Roughing it?


We had a grassland ride in this carriage.


There were at least 200 yurts at this resort, categorized in three different classes. We were in the premium one that was supposed to include “24 hour hot water” but it was too cold for that. We decided that it meant “let it run for 24 hours and you might get hot water.”


We visited a yurt family village and participated in some activities there.


We first dressed up in traditional costume and had a family portrait. It wasn’t the most flattering attire but it was bright and pretty.


We went inside another yurt to have tea and traditional bread. We stood around and watched this lady work the dough for her bread.


She stir-fried the dough and then put them in little boxes for us to eat.


The yurts had a big opening in the top of them to let in the natural light.


We learned a bit of archery. An hour into this exercise, it occurred to me that no arrows were hitting the target. I apparently forgot to load my arrows. (ha ha)


We all had a chance to try it. Imagine riding horseback, shooting arrows as you attack your opponent.


Laraine tried her hand at wrestling. Barbara Openshaw, a fellow teacher, thought she was just going to do a bit of “photo op wrestling.” She was shocked when Laraine, who took it more seriously, started to throw her down.


This is the wrestling attire. Someone has clearly found her element.


Yes, I think Laraine won. She busted some great moves!


There was even a camel on the hillside.

These rock shrines are everywhere.