Mongolia, renowned for its sprawling landscapes adorned with pristine yurts and the allure of nomadic culture, seldom conjures thoughts of polo. However, nestled within the depths of the Orkhon Valley lies an unexpected catalyst for change – the Chinggis Khaan Retreat.
For nearly three decades, the retreat has remained a cherished secret just 25 kilometers south of Kharkhorin, the ancient capital once ruled by Chinggis Khaan.
More than just a luxurious escape, it’s the retreat’s focus on sustainability and community empowerment that has helped solidify it as one of the best places to stay in Mongolia. Through their Young Riders of the World program, local herder families’ children receive education and polo training, supported entirely by guest contributions.
Days can be filled getting to know the 100 riding and polo horses the retreat has, inviting guests to partake in lessons or embark on exploratory rides across the valley. Afternoons are punctuated with stick-and-ball training and polo sessions, conducted by world-class players drawn to this ethereal setting, reminiscent of the sport’s historical resonance during Chinggis Khaan’s era.
The retreat’s pinnacle event, an annual international polo tournament held annually in August, merges local and international talent, drawing aspiring and seasoned players alike to vie for the esteemed camp cup. It’s a spectacle that encapsulates the essence of polo in the High Asian expanse.
In essence, the Chinggis Khaan Retreat and Polo Club epitomizes a harmonious synergy between an ancient sport’s revival and Mongolia’s rich cultural tapestry. It stands as a testament to preserving heritage while embracing sustainable luxury, heralding the return of polo to the steppes.