Onon River

The Onon River originates in the deep taiga of the Khan Khentii, flows into the Amur River, which empties into the Pacific Ocean at Primorskii province in the Russian Far East. The Amur/Onon is the longest free flowing river in Eurasia.  It is also here where Genghis Khan is said to have been born, either at Binder or at Dadal.  To reach the source of the Onon one need to go by pack horses for at least two days.  At Nomadic Journeys we have done expeditions to the upper parts, loading luggage, including foldable canoes, onto pack horses and then we have paddled our way out.

The Buryat Mongols who inhabit this part of Mongolia (northern Hentii and Dornod), plus the eastern side of Lake Baikal in Russia, traditionally live more in log houses and move around in the summers with a ger (yurt). They traditionally harvest hay in preparation for winter and lead a more settled lifestyle than other Mongols. During the purges of the 1930s, many Buryats moved into Mongolia, thus introducing hay-making, Today all Mongols harvest hay in September.  The communities at Batshireet, Binder, Dadal Bayan Uul, and Dashbalbar are mainly Buryat, whereas the community at Bayan Adraga are Khalkh Mongols.

Nomadic Journeys strongly supports WWF Mongolia for its conservation efforts in this area, as it is part of the larger Amur-Heilong Eco-region, shared with China and Russia. We have partnered with WWF and the riverside communities to provide jobs and to support its life-sustaining resources.

How to travel there:

The Onon River does not have regular flight schedules. It is a 9-10 hours drive from Ulaanbaatar.  It is possible to travel on parts of the journey and overnight at a ger camp by the Herlen River, 2 hours out of Ulaanbaatar.

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