Nomads, hunters and shamans: the surreal world of five-star travel in remote Mongolia

Nomads, hunters and shamans: the surreal world of five-star travel in remote Mongolia

It may be one of the most remote areas in the world, but now you can enjoy luxury travel in Mongolia. Reindeer milk is optional. High up in a marquee in Mongolia’s Darkhad Valley, a place which is considered inaccessible even by hardy Mongolians, a waiter was offering me a choice of white wine with my lunch.

My fellow guests and I were enjoying a meal of salmon, chicken, beef, asparagus and fresh salad. It was a feast, by any standard, but up here, in this remote corner of a vast, rugged country, it also represented a mind-boggling feat of logistics. Beyond the marquee stood other, rather different tents.

They were the teepee-like dwellings of the Darkhad people, a tribe of nomads who have lived…