2013 Inner Mongolia

Whenever I would think of Inner Mongolia, I would visualise vast grasslands, horses running wild, yurts, sheep, blue skies and white fluffy clouds.

I guess thats the perfect picture for summer. When a chance came up to visit it in winter, I decided I wouldn’t pass the opportunity.

It all started with Comet ISON and my travel buddy Jack, one of the best astrophotographer I’ve ever come across in life, who is an avid comet chaser as well.

Jack and I have been on a few eclipse and volcano chasing trips, and when he told me about Comet ISON, I left the planning and organizing to him.

We chose Inner Mongolia to escape from any crowds that would spoil our pre-dawn comet photography, and also if by chance ISON fizzled (aka died/vapoourized/disintegrated/whatever on its close encounter with the sun), we would at least have a go at snowscapes.

ISON fizzled (you canread all about ISON¬†here) and even though we prepared for snowy conditions, we didn’t get much snow. Temperatures dipped to -20 degrees Centigrade in most places, the lowest I have experienced in life.

We did experience the warm hospitality of the North Eastern Chinese/Mongolian/Russian mixed blood people, the food and drink, the wide expanse of the grasslands (albeit dried up), clear blue skies on most days, a bit of snow, starry skies on most nights, and the pre-dawn and post-dusk glow of the sun. None of these that money could buy.

I do hope that some day I will get to visit Inner Mongolia in summer and capture those memories as well…