Day 5 (June26_05) We drive south towards Ongiyn Hiid (aprox 240K/5-6 hours) Upon arrival explore the ruins of this ancient temple. Built in the 17th Century, Ongiyn Hiid was one of the largest monasteries in Mongolia and is still known as the “Pearl of the Great Desert.” It was destroyed druing the Communist Purges in 1939. The ruins of this monastery are situated in a beautiful mountainous region. We overnight in Gers in the same valley with large rock formations surrounding the camp.
We experienced a very bumpy road and saw lots of camels, and sand. On the way we stopped for gas which had a very old pump by hand gas pump. We visited a temple in Ongiyn Hiid with young boys studying to be Llamas. They were excited to play their instruments for us. Again I was asked to take pictures of two of the boys with visiting mothers. We also visted a Museum housed in a Ger that had artifacts saved from the purge. The temple had a famous well with special waters for curing stomach ailments with many people claiming cures. The river that passed through the great temple was dried up due to a mining company damning the water for their mining operations upstream.