Monday, May 18, 2009

A great day out

Saturday (23 May) Ishee, Konchog, Tom and I had a great day out in search of the beautiful white naped crane. Konchog provides an eloquent account of our trip on his entertaining blog Dreaming of Danzan Ravjaa. and Tom has written on Birding Mongolia website with species list and pics.

Here are a couple of pics of the gang in action and the great landscape - the cranes are the white dots behind the horses.

Mongolian birding at its best.

Back on track

After my unsuccessful trip to Dorngobi, trips to Umnogobi and Arkhangai have got my work back on track. The aim of each trip was the same: to work with regional government and tourism businesses to improve tourism quality and marketing.

The similarities and differences between local government in Mongolia and England are fascinating. Certaily in England two day workshops do not end with gifts of fermented camel's milk from the participants and a picnic of boiled sheeps head as a delicacy to be washed down with vodka in the countryside with lammergeiers flying overhead.

The similarities are just as obvious. The imposing aimag centres are reminiscent of the Victorian town halls of northeren england, and a similar statement of civic pride. Like in England there seens considerable vataiation in the competency of different regional governments. The staff in Umnogobi were committed to improvement, eager to learn and making progress. In Arkhangai local politics seemed more important with tensions between government and entrepreneurs and suggestions of corruption.