內蒙古遊記

 

 

2015年6月在香港跟旅行團去了內蒙古,抵達呼和浩特機場後,即有專車送至希拉穆仁草原。

 

我們住在草原古烈延區的蒙古包,景區中的蒙古包十分現代化,以混礙土建成,蒙古包內仿如一間現代酒店,西式大床、空調、坐廁馬桶等齊備,但廁所衛生不佳,有臭味,熱水供應不穩,我們從城市忽然來到草原,未能適應,為求心安,以熱開水「消毒」廁所,偷懶無洗澡,就過了一晚。

 

蒙古包與餐廳僅五分鐘步程,我們在草原食足三餐,不過食物有點吃不慣,餐點以炒青菜、白饅頭、炒豆腐、白水粥為主,草原與世隔絕,物資不多,糧草不豐。

 

旅行團總有自費「加料」項目,或者當地地陪收入依賴「加料」佣金,隨團地陪「趙某」極力遊說自費加菜「烤全羊」,價錢高昂(人民幣$230)、味道奇特,羊燒得乾、脆,部分焦黑,內肉如炆肉,外肉如肉乾,需以雙手捧羊而食,有團友樂得丟下食具枷鎖,食得紅光滿面、興奮無比;有團友嫌羊羶乾硬,淺嚐三兩口即丟下封口,一桌人食飯,同羊不同味,口味果然各有所好呢。

 

我覺得最好食是「雪原牌 酸牛奶」,在草原索價人民幣$15,在市區景點則售人民幣$7,在市區超市只售人民幣$5……

 

 

草原地處偏遠,光害較少,是觀星好地點,但我們到草原那晚,卻偏偏是農曆十五,明月高照,月明星稀,銀河失蹤,不過細望黑夜,肉眼都能清楚看見北斗七星,真的仿如一個勺子啊!!

旨在觀星的朋友,宜避開農曆十五、選擇旱季來草原,應該能見漫天星斗。

 

六月的內蒙2100天黑,0530日出,日出時分的草原很冷,在等待日出時,看見牧民以電單車趕馬,牧民騎車而不是騎馬,草原見證着時代的變遷。

日出後氣温驟升,陽光照在厚大衣,感覺暖洋洋,金光襯藍天,馬奔揚沙土,好有塞外feel啊……

 

草原另一重點節目是騎馬,也是自費活動,一人一小時兩景點,人民幣$260;一人兩小時四景點,人民幣$400up;兩人兩小時四景點的馬車,人民幣$400up。我參加了一小時騎馬,另有一位團友與一位馬伕同行;兩小時組的則由一位馬伕帶五至六位團友。

 

牧民家是騎馬景點之一,可試食奶酪製品,牧民指自己是蒙古族,小學時已學漢語,與族中長者仍以蒙古語交談,該部落約有2000人,擁一作坊,專製奶酪產品,但不出售牛奶;其實在下塌處的蒙古包餐廳,亦有奶酪製品免費試食,不過味如嚼蠟,牧民指餐廳販售的奶酪製品乃由工廠所製,牧民自製的奶酪製品乳香濃郁,比餐廳販賣的奶酪製品多了份厚實的心意。

 

馬兒緩行好舒服,馬背不晃,人身不搖,白羊河邊喝水,老鷹藍天盤旋,差一把長劍,我就是一代大俠了……

不過馬兒緩行全程,大概趕不及跑兩個景點,途中馬伕不停呼喝馬兒急行,馬一急行,就得半蹲,最後馬伕一聲長嘯,喝令馬兒加送一個賽馬級的全速奔騰,馬上人身如小型過山車上落,馬伕在旁高興呼叫:「爽不爽呀!?」,在急風下我回答不了,雙手緊抓馬背環,用盡全身肌肉力量,結果第二天痛得走不到路,雙腿、雙手、背肩的肌肉都很酸痛,但上了馬的高度、騎着馬的風速,真令人着迷。

 

 

「福沙島度假村」位於庫布其大沙漠,是新開發的旅遊景點,園內有住宿區、餐廳、還有泳池!

泳池露天,池水冰冷,沙吹落池,漠中有池,池中有沙,太詭異了……

隔鄰還有沙雕區,員工用大量的水注入沙中,令沙易於塑形。

雖然開發了的渡假區僅佔沙漠一小部份,但渡假區消耗大量資源,就為了招呼旅客如我們,我有點愧疚,但也踏上了沙漠之旅。

 

大漠內所有設施都搭在矮台上,矮台以木條鋪成,當時露天舞台的表演告一段落,幾位年輕演員歸棚,正中一位手持長鞭,正高興地揮舞,在空中揮得啪啪作響,身旁的演員夥伴笑着和應,我則擔心被長鞭殃及,正想閃避,不幸地,我意外踏上爛木條,隨即失卻平衡,整個人180度旋轉,平身扑在木條地板上,好彩無被木條刺入,薄布褲子被扯開一小洞,擦傷了皮膚,手掌、膝蓋冒出一點點血花,加上騎馬後的肌肉酸痛,小傷遍全身,走路似跛子。

 

 

旅行社在大漠安排了「滑沙」行程,「滑沙」是在約廿層樓高的沙丘上,坐在木板滑下,雙手可調節滑行速度,速度可慢如緩步行,不過我有傷在身,因此放棄滑沙,另加上長者等十位團友,都放棄滑沙。

 

沙漠行程可能是旅行社的新開發項目,地陪與領隊都不太熟悉景區地形,地陪趙某表示,滑沙項目附近無接駁交通工具,如果不滑沙,就得步行至沙丘底。當時大部份團友已滑走,趙某急了,遂自行離開,去會合滑沙團友,留下不滑沙的我們面面相覷。長者團友白髮蒼蒼,要行落廿層樓高的沙丘,有點令人憂慮。

 

正當十位不滑沙團友議論紛紛之際,香港領隊Hook正與當地吉普車司機商量,以小型吉普車接載團友離開,一直都笑面迎人的Hook,面對吉普車司機的開天殺價、團友們的急切詢問,難得地浮燥起來,最後有點氣憤地向吉普車司機說:「行!三百就三百,快開車吧!」

 

誰知吉普車與地面跨度太高,長者團友有點卻步,後來眾位團友合力,半推半拉的將全部團友帶進車中,但吉普車太細,團友都是人叠人的塞入車中,而車程屢遇沙丘,吉普車仿如過山車般上落,搖搖晃晃下終於到達沙漠酒店,幸好安全扺步,眾人無礙。

 

 

沙漠酒店名為「福沙島度假村」,如蒙古包一樣,房間以混礙土建成,仿如一間現代酒店,西式大床、空調、坐廁馬桶等齊備,由於是新開張,所有設施都十分乾淨,房間與餐廳位於同一區域,步行五分鐘即達。

 

沙漠餐廳最令我印象深刻,我們在福沙島吃了早、晚兩餐,都是自助餐,最特別是餐廳儘量不留剩菜,每盤食物的份量都不會太多,受歡迎的水果或會refill,餐後的食盤可以見底,比市區大酒店不停refill食物,大概更少浪費,可能沙漠寸草不生,資源稀少,才養成漠民省儉美德吧。

 

餐廳的「大麥茶」是我們的至愛,點點白白小小的夥粒,泡在晶瑩剔透的咖啡壺中,輕炒後的香滲入心肺,十分滋味,餐廳經理指,這「大麥茶」在普通超市有售,約人民幣$30-40一盒,可惜整趟內蒙之旅都無再遇見「大麥茶」,有點可惜啊。

 

大漠無光害,理應群星燦爛,但入住當晚,竟逢甘露,沙漠下雨了!很遺憾草原、沙漠都不見星蹤。

 

 

成吉思汗陵地處一隅,最近的城市是鄂爾多斯市,與內蒙其他景點相距甚遠,加上內蒙高速公路限速約70公里(每小時),單程車程約四小時,整整一天僅成吉思汗陵一個景點,其餘時間都在車上。

 

蒙古族盛行密葬,成吉思汗陵墓的真正位置至今仍是謎團(抑或成吉思汗根本無陵墓),因此景點「成吉思汗陵」僅為大型現代建築群。

對堆砌而成的現代建築興趣乏乏的我,正左顧右盼之際,瞥見一個「策格 酸馬奶」的牌子,擱在一個現代蒙古包旁,我溜入蒙古包中,買了一杯(人民幣$25)來喝,馬奶色澤乳白,初飲味酸,嚥後乳香慢發,醒胃提神,不過團友嚐後,大多皺眉,禮貌回應:「一般般啦。」喝完馬奶後,還即時用清水漱口……

除了成吉思汗陵,內蒙行程再未遇馬奶,如果專為馬奶而來(馬奶供應視乎季節,非全年可享),不妨一探成吉思汗陵;若非馬奶迷,成吉思汗陵可以不去。

 

成吉思汗陵匆匆參觀完後,地陪趙某即把全團團友送至劇場,參觀另一自費劇場節目。

當時陣風強勁、微微細雨,但我們不看戲,不能待在旅遊車,唯有下車隨便參觀,其實蒙古小花園、蒙古包的白牆藍花紋、廚房後欄的層層黑炭、大藍天的朵朵白雪與絲絲綠柳都很美,不過待得最久的地方,就是室內劇場入口處的wifi熱點……

 

內蒙古與香港真的很不一樣,內蒙的藍天、草原、大漠都是一幅幅塞外絕景,與都市叢林的香港完全相反,內蒙的乳製品花樣繁多,配上鹹奶茶佐食,滋味獨特。

 

不過旅行團行程固定,不如自由行靈活,但專人專車點到點接送,確實適合偏離地區的長距離移動,跟團與自由行,各有優劣。跟團要玩得開心,只能祈求好運遇上好導遊與團友啦……

 

 

 

Travel in Inner Mongolia

 

 

We joined a tour to Inner Mongolia in June 2015 from Hong Kong. We went to Xilamuren grassland by a tour bus arranged by the tour once we arrived Hohhot Airport in Inner Mongolia, China.

 

We stayed one night in a modern yurt in area ‘gu lie yan’ in Xilamuren grassland. It was built with concrete and had modern bed, air-conditioning and toilet inside the yurt. But the toilet was stinking and the hot water supply was not stable. We just came from city to the grassland and couldn’t adjust so we use hot water to ‘sterilize’ the toilet and went to bed without a shower.

 

There was a restaurant from the yurt with a 5 minutes’ walk. We had all our meals in the restaurant when we were in Xilamuren grassland. The restaurant provided fried vegetables, white steamed bread, fried To Fu, watery gruel but I was not quite used to the food.

 

There were always extra foods or program which had to pay extra fees in the tour. Maybe the local guide ‘zhao’ had to depend on the commission from the extra fees so he persuaded us to order a ‘roast lamb’ with extra charges. The roast lamb was quite expensive (RMB$230). The lamb was roasted dry and crispy and even charred with tasteless poached meat inside and dry meat outside. Some of our tour friends already got rid of the chopstick and ate the lamb with bare hands excitingly but some didn’t like the taste of the lamb and stop eating after a few bites. Everyone had their own taste.

 

I like the ‘Snow Ground sour clotted milk’ best. It was sold for RMB$15 on the grassland, RMB$7 in the tourist area in the city and RMB$5 in a supermarket in down town…

 

Xilamuren grassland was far away from cities and it was a good place to see the stars. But there was a full moon when we were in the grassland and the brightest star is the moon. I still could manage to see the Big Dipper and it was really like a spoon!

It would be a good idea to visit the grassland on dry season without a full moon for stargazing.

 

The sun went down at 2100 and rise up at 0530 in June in Inner Mongolia. It was very cold before sun rise. The herdsmen were chasing horses with a motor bike instead of riding horses. Modern age came to the grassland too…

The temperature rises up immediately after sun rise. I felt so warm when I was under sun. The golden sun with a blue sky and the riding horses with flying dust; it was such an exotic picture from Mongolia!

 

I was expecting riding a horse on the grassland. It was an extra activity with 2 stops for 1 hour per person for RMB$260, 4 stops for 2 hours per person for RMB$400+, 4 stops for 2 hours for 2 people for RMB$400+. I joined the cheapest 1 hour horse riding and accompany with 1 friend from the tour and 1 couch. There was 1 couch with 6 riders in the 2 hours group.

 

The herdsmen’s home was a viewpoint. We can taste some home-made milk products. The lady herdsman said she was a Mongolian and started learning Chinese when she was in primary school but still spoke in Mongolian with the elderlies. There were around 2000 people in her tribe and they owned a workshop which hand-made milk products but not selling milk. I like the hand-made milk products and their stories here more than the factory-made milk products which were sold in the grassland restaurant.

 

It was very comfortable sitting on the horse back if it walked slowly. I saw the white sheep were drinking water by the river; the eagles were flying under the blue sky; I was nearly a knight if I had a sword…

There was not enough time to visit 2 viewpoints if the horses walk slowly. The couch gave an order and the horses ran immediately. I have to half-sit and it was like sitting on a roller coaster. The couch shouted excitingly, ‘Is it GREAT!?’ I couldn’t answer him under the strong wind and using all my muscles to keep balance and holding the horse. I couldn’t walk the other day with sour pain legs, arms and back. But it was so fascinate when I got to the height of a horse back and feel the wind when it runs.

 

We went to ‘Fu Sha Dao’ dessert hotel in Kubuqi Desert the other day. It was a newly developed tourist area. There were hotels, restaurants and even SWIMMING POOLS!

It was an open air swimming pool with ice cold water. The sand was blown into the pool and from a small dessert INSIDE the pool with the large real dessert OUTSIDE the pool. It was quite a scene.

And the sand sculpture area nearby consumed lots of water to solidify the sand.

I felt a bit guilty because the hotel area had consumed lots of resources for the accommodations and entertainments for tourists like us.

 

All the facilities in the desert were built on wooden low platform. The young actors were returning to their yurt after a show and one of them were whipping his bullwhip in the air with a crackled voice. I was distracted by the crackled noise and stepped on a rotten wood and lost my balance. I could see myself turn an 180 angle and fell on the ground. I walked like a mermaid with blood come out from my palm and knee and the sour pain from riding horse…

 

‘Sandboarding’ was arranged in the tour. We have to slide down 20+ floors of sand with a wooden board. It was a shame that I had to give up sandboarding because there were too many little hurts all over me so the elder friends in the tour who quit sandboarding too and me were waiting for the next move at the top of the 20+floors of sand.

 

The local tour guide Zhao and the guide from Hong Kong did not familiar with this newly developing resort. Zhao said we had to walk down 20+ floors to the bottom of the sand dune because there were no shuttle buses to the hotel from the sand dune. Zhao leave quickly because he has to accompany the other tour friends who slide down the sand dune already. There was a bit concern for the elderly tour friends to walk down 20+ floors of sand dune.

 

The tour guide from Hong Kong, Hook was bargaining with the jeep drivers nearby when we were discussing the situation. Hook was a nice person with smile on his face all the time but he was a bit impetuous by the urging questioning tour friends and the over-charging jeep drivers. He said to the jeep driver with a bit of anger, ‘OK! RMB$300 that’s it, just DRIVE!’

 

The spanning from the ground and the jeep was a bit too high for the elderly tour friends. We all push and pull and luckily got all of us squeeze into the small jeep. It was like a roller coaster when the jeep drove over a sand dune and we pass MANY sand dunes on the way to the hotel.

 

The ‘Fu Sha Dao’ dessert hotel was built by concrete and like a modern hotel with modern bed, air-conditioning and toilet. All the facilities were brand-new because it was just newly opened. The room and the hotel restaurant was just 5 minutes walking.

 

We ate breakfast and dinner buffet in the restaurant. The restaurant had made their best effort to leave as less leftover as they could. There was no food refill except fruits. We have to treasure food in desert.

 

I really love the barley tea in the restaurant. The little white grains soaked into a crystal jar after light fried and it was so delicious! The restaurant manager said this barley tea was sold in the local supermarket for RMB$30-40 but it was a shame that I hadn’t seen one throughout the whole trip in Inner Mongolia.

 

I was looking forward to stargazing in the dark dessert but the dessert was RAINING that night! Well, it just gave me a perfect excuse to come back to the dessert again;)

 

We visited Mausoleum of Genghis Khan the other day near Ordos City which was far away. We spend the whole day on the bus with a 4 hours’ drive to the site then another 4 hours’ drive back with a speed limit of 70 km/h on highway in Inner Mongolia.

 

The Mongolians was practicing secret burial. No one knew the exact location of Genghis Khan tomb. The ‘Mausoleum of Genghis Khan’ we visited was just a modern building built recently.

I didn’t have much interest in modern buildings target on tourists and I was attracted by a bill board written ‘Ce Ge Horse Milk’. I had never tried horse milk so I slipped into the yurt beside the bill board and bought a glass of horse milk with RMB$25. The horse milk was white and taste sour at first but sweet after swallow. I like it but most of my tour friends frowned and said, ‘it’s ok…’ after they tried the horse milk and drank water immediately…

Horse milk was a seasonal beverage and I had never seen horse milk was provided during my stay in Inner Mongolia except Mausoleum of Genghis Khan.

 

The local guide Zhao drove us to the theatre after Mausoleum of Genghis Khan. It was an extra show with extra charges. We couldn’t stay in the tour bus because we didn’t pay to see the show and was sent out from the bus under strong wind and drizzle. The Mongolia little garden, the blue flowery pattern on the white walls, the black charcoal behind the kitchens, the white cloud under the blue sky and the green tress were all amazingly beautiful but we stay in the wifi spot near the entrance of the theatre most of the time…

 

Hong Kong and Inner Mongolia was so different. The blue sky, green grass, the brown dessert in Inner Mongolia was a complete opposite with tall buildings in Hong Kong. It was really an impressive trip.

 

The schedule of a tour is fixed and not flexible as travel alone. It’s good to join a tour if travel in remote area with long distance drive. But just have to pray for a good tour guide and friendly people in the tour…

草原夕陽無限好

​Beautiful sunset in Mongolia

古烈延現代蒙古包外觀

Yurt in area ‘gu lie yan’

​草原團餐

Meals in the restaurant in grassland

價高味奇烤全羊

The rost lamb

雪原牌 酸牛奶,正! 

sour clotted milk, yummy!

牧民以電單車趕馬

The herdsmen were chasing horses with motor bike.

小牛在卡車中,牛媽媽在後狂追

The cow mum were running after the truck with the baby cow on it.

草原小草迎晨曦

Sunrise in Mongolia

藍天下的馬

Horses under blue sky

當地牧民陪同騎馬

​Local couch in horse riding

草原敖包用以指引方向;這景點式的敖包,則加上了功德箱與香爐。

Grassland obo can tell the direction.

This touristic obo was added a donation box and an incense burner.

馬繫樹,人暫離,真的跑入了武俠世界了……

Such an exotic lanscape with horses and blue sky

牧民的羊棚,羊兒都出外吃草了

The Sheep Shed was empty because all the sheeps were out for grazing

沙漠泳池,水深0.7米

A 0.7 meter deep swimming pool in desert.

這蒙古包招待遊客試食奶酪製品,兼作販售。

Tourists could taste and buy the home-made milk products in this yurt.

沙雕耗費大量清水

The sand sculpture consumed lots of water.

旅客多了,垃圾更多,影響着沙漠原居民(蟲子)

More tourist, more rubbist and the dessert bug was affected.

響沙灣正門入口

The front gate to the dessert

連鞋包裹的沙襪,防止飛沙入鞋

​The dessert shoes prevent sand got inside the shoes.

滑沙坡道

Sandboarding

福沙島度假村

The desert resort 

酸馬奶 

The horse milk

內蒙最美是藍天

The blue sky

無量寺

​Temple in Mongolia

慢走西天

Way to heaven