We have been planning this photoshoot since May this year. The truth is there are many beautiful places in Mongolia but we chose Khestuu Khad which is located at the eastern shore of Kyargas Lake in Uvs Povince for this specific shoot as many of our designs have been much inspired by this place. Fourteen of us got on the road on a rainy Saturday including our models, location managers, coordinators, stylists, make-up & hair artists and a driver. There was an awkward silence at first since everyone except our team members did not know each other and music was put on its highest volume for a few hours until arriving at Urihan which is a 24 hour restaurant located in Lun sum in Tuv Province. Dined and refreshed, got on the road immediately. Most of us have gone to sleep but a few of us stared at the vast areas of steppes, rugged mountains, nomads, animals including wild horses, goats, sheep and gers (Traditional felt yurt) for the next hours. Many Mongolians including our team, do not frequently travel to the far end of the country much these days unless it is raw cashmere collection during the spring molting season and it feels pretty much like a trip than a work. When you experience this type of scenery, you always feel certain sense of relief that you left the hectic life of city even for a couple of days and much excitement for the road ahead. You never know what is going to happen when you are in this country (in a good way). Possibilities are limitless and exceptions are crashed & rebuilt all the time. You can camp anywhere. You can meet any one or ultimately no one.


Our driver Gana who has been quiet the whole day suddenly suggested to stop at Erdene Zuu Monastery and all of us agreed with no hesitation. The monastery itself was built in the 16th century on the ruins of the ancient capital of the Mongol empire and is considered the most important monastery in the country. It features 108 stupas, three compound temples, many artefacts such as statues, wall paintings, tsam masks, thangkas etc. You can also witness the prayers performed by the monks inside the temples. This spot has simply become the must-stop for travelers who are headed to the western and northern regions. Outside the main wall, it is a quite a different matter as there is generally a herd of travelers mostly tourists who are seen either riding horses, camels, holding golden eagles or in busy food tents, souvenir shops and traditional custom rentals. But not this time. The country has been in quarantine for the last nine months due to Covid-19 without in or out flights and it seems only us this time.

We reached a camp near Khorgo which is a volcanic field in the Tariat sum of Arkhangai Province after 10+ hours on the road. The staff was very welcoming and provided us with warm gers, food and communal bathrooms. The latter is quite scarce and is considered a luxury, in fact, one should be prepared for no bathroom and no showers when it comes to travelling to the remote parts of Mongolia. The next morning, we woke up and were surrounded by the most beautiful misty mountains. Local herders’ gers and their yaks can be seen in distance. Breakfast was rather comforting and full of surprises with its locally grown organic ingredients in the land where meat (especially mutton) dominates the cuisine, stars being the rhubarb jam, apple pie and all sorts of homemade pastries along with yak milk.