I have arrived in a land that is considered “remote and isolated, but a special part of the world”. It is the northernmost region of Mongolia, bordering Russia. To reach the Tsaatan tribe I had to travel through many coaches and horses to cross through the snow-covered taiga forests….
The Tsaatan tribe is the last Mongolian reindeer tribe. A lot of warnings that this tribe is about to disappear. That’s why I spent the remaining 10 days in Mongolia, accepting an unprecedented arduous journey to get here, implementing the idea of making films and reporting on them. A movie of my own.
If you ask me, “Which is the most memorable and the most terrifying?” I will say, “It’s a journey to find the Tsaatan tribe. It was a journey full of obsession, arduous, tired and unprecedented experience “…..
And feel a lot of emotion when they say this is the first time they meet Vietnamese people. And it is also the first time Vietnamese people have come to their tribe, living with them like this.
You’ve probably met old huts, reindeer by the Khovsgol Lake (Khuvsgul Lake) in Moroon, but that’s not where Tsaantan lives. The Tsaatan do not and never have traditionally lived near Lake Khovsgol. In recent years, a very small number of Tsaatan families have chosen to move to the lake to exploit tourism revenue. But in fact this lake area is not a good place for reindeer. The food is low and the climate is too warm with the reindeer. They even pretended to be Shaman (sorcerer) ritual to make money.
The true Tsaatan, meanwhile, are determined to stay in the Taiga – where their reindeer are completely healthy. And I – also determined that I would just choose to explore the reindeer tribe in that place.
I don’t know if I was the first Vietnamese to go there and live with them, but with the journey I went through. For the first time, I feel proud of my endurance. I spent 4 days with them. And that will be an unforgettable time.
1, The most memorable memory on the journey to the tribe:
Setting up a tent to spend the night in the snow in a taiga: It was one of the most horrible and memorable experiences I had to go through.
From Tsagaan Nuur to the tribe I had to travel by horse and guide to go through taiga forests and 3 snow-capped mountains with unprecedented haunting scenery (see photos of the path at the end of the album).
That day We started riding from 12pm. That day the snow was very thick, the rain and the snow made both humans and horses shiver. We all feel exhausted. I remember feeling like at that time, at 9:30 pm, everything was blurred, surrounded by a white curtain of snow, pine trees with black and yellow leaves covered with white snow made the space extremely cold. end. I started to worry because it was dark and we still couldn’t get out of the forest. Odaa also signaled that there were wolves around. And around for a while Odaa made body language with a few discrete English words “no Tsaatan today. Please sleep over here. ” Saying so, Odaa led me and Nevar back out of the forest to find an abandoned stable and said I’d sleep here.
Too tired to ask anything else, Nevar and I quickly set up the tent and mobilized all the underclothes under insulated mats to slip into our sleeping bags. Nevar and I decided that we would sleep in a tent tonight to keep the heat, we shared two thermal patches each of them. Nevar pasted on chest and back. And I stick it on the soles of my feet because I think if my feet are cold, my whole body will be cold. By midnight I saw the Nevar were cold and trembling momentarily. Feeling nervous, I quickly removed 2 thermal patches from my feet to attach to my friend’s legs. Later I no longer see her trembling. But I was so cold that I couldn’t sleep, it was terribly cold. The cold of the taiga is so haunting. It can penetrate through all layers of fabric to soak into people.
2 Most memorable memories at the tribe:
Still sleepy stories. Sleep in one of the coldest places in the world is an obsession. The first night in my tent I still could not sleep after the firewood was extinguished. Dear God, could you just wake up and sleep and put firewood in the kitchen? I lay awake for several hours until 3 am when I was determined to crawl out of the blankets to get to the kitchen. I have matches and … 1 diary. Crying is not loud. Although I loved the diary very much, I had to tear it up for survival as a kindling fire. Mom, I tore through most of the diary and blew out a fire that just started to flare and catch on firewood. My limbs, face, and nose were gone, and I went back to sleep.
The second night at the tribe I set a timer, every 1 hour I got up to light the wood once to keep the fire going all night. And on the 3rd day, I officially …. rolling out sick. Because 3 consecutive nights insomnia. Cold also insomnia and want neither cold nor sleep. Crying hiccup!