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Mongolia

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Mongolia Travel advice

Mongolia tourist attractions

More information about Mongolia

Mongolia is a unique travel destination, one which many know very little about, except for it’s mighty Mongol Empire, whose notoriety graces the pages of history books in libraries around the world. An East Asian country, situated between Russia and China, and entirely landlocked, Mongolia is one of the most sparsely populated nations in the world, with landscapes ranging from the barren Gobi Desert in the south to snow-capped mountains in the north and large urban sprawls such as Ulan Bator, the capital city. 45% percent of the population call Ulan Bator their home, despite it being the world’s coldest capital city, with an average annual temperature of below zero. A large proportion of the remaining population continues to live a nomadic lifestyle, a tradition that both characterizes the country and informs the popular image of Mongolia. Only on a trip to Mongolia can you meet true, traditional nomads, stay in a yurt and experience authentic culture, dress, and ceremonies, seemingly untouched by modernity. It is truly an adventure travel destination, full of pristine landscapes and plenty of opportunities to delve into the local culture. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Mongolia has opened its doors to travelers and is becoming a popular holiday destination for lovers of the great outdoors due to the largely intact wilderness that covers most of the country. Traveling through the wilds of Mongolia you will be left wondering if you will ever see modern civilization again. Furthermore, the country is known for the warm hospitality of its people, who will almost always kindly welcome strangers into their homes and share their culture with travelers. The epitome of exotic travel, a tour of Mongolia deserves a place on your bucket list.

 

History of Mongolia

Many difference¬†nomadic tribes¬†have inhabited the lands and been part of the history of¬†Mongolia,¬†but the reign of the¬†Mongol Empire¬†is the most well-known and revered part of the country‚Äôs story and the reason many travelers are drawn to a¬†holiday to Mongolia. It played a huge role in shaping¬†Asia¬†and at its peak, stretched as far as¬†Poland¬†in the west and¬†South Korea¬†in the east. Founded in¬†1206¬†by¬†Genghis Khan, before long, and as the result of countless successful expansion campaigns, the¬†Mongol Empire¬†became the largest contiguous land empire in history, and still retains that title today.¬†Genghis Khan‚Äôs¬†grandson went on to conquer¬†China, establishing the powerful¬†Yuan dynasty.¬†¬†Tibetan Buddhism¬†swept across¬†Mongolia¬†in the¬†16th-century¬†around the time that the territory was unified under the¬†‚ÄėGenghisids‚Äô.¬†This short-lived unity was disturbed by the¬†Chinese Qing dynasty, who took command of the territory following a series of bloody conflicts, although¬†Outer Mongolia¬†retained some of its autonomy. The collapse of the¬†Qing¬†in¬†1911¬†resulted in the country‚Äôs independence although¬†Mongolia¬†soon became absorbed by the powerful¬†Soviet Union, renamed the¬†Mongolian People‚Äôs Republic¬†in¬†1924.¬†It was not until¬†1990¬†that the country would enjoy independence once again, finally adopting a market economy and a new constitution, although the initial transition proved difficult as¬†Mongolia¬†was in the grips of nationwide food shortages and inflation at this time. Many communities continue to live traditionally today and are reliant on the success of their crops and livestock farming, something which travelers might find eye-opening on a¬†trip to Mongolia.¬†Nowadays, the country is eager to play a more active role in global politics and emerge as another unique and fascinating¬†Asian¬†travel destination.

 

Nature in Mongolia

Nicknamed the¬†‚ÄėLand of the Eternal Blue Sky‚Äô¬†as it receives more than¬†250 days of sunshine¬†a year,¬†Mongolia¬†is a brilliant destination for¬†nature lovers¬†who can indulge their passion in the country's vast untouched landscapes. Grasslands, steppes, forests, glistening lakes, mountains, and desserts are just some of the features you can expect to see on a¬†tour of Mongolia.¬†The county is known for its severe weather, with hot summers and extremely cold and harsh winters. In fact,¬†Mongolia¬†is the only country in the world to experience the natural disaster of ‚Äėzud‚Äô, when a large proportion of the country‚Äôs livestock die due to the effects of such freezing winter temperatures. Despite the extreme weather, you cannot miss the numerous natural attractions on offer when you¬†travel to Mongolia.¬†The largest lake in the country is¬†Lake Uvs,¬†situated in the northwest of the country,¬†on the¬†Russian¬†border. This¬†salt-water lake¬†covers a staggering¬†3350 square kilometers¬†and is the remains of an ancient sea. Other natural attractions include the¬†Gorki-Terelj National Park,¬†home to¬†250 bird¬†species, bears, rivers, camping facilities and rock-faces for climbing, and the¬†Hustai National Park, known for its beautiful¬†wild horses,¬†the emblematic animal of¬†Mongolia. Other animal species to look out for during your¬†trip to Mongolia¬†include¬†snow leopards,¬†the two-humped¬†Bactrian camels,¬†bears,¬†and¬†ibex.¬†Perhaps the most famous of all of the natural attractions in¬†Mongolia¬†is the vast¬†Gobi Desert, home to canyons, mile-high sand dunes, and¬†dinosaur fossils.

 

Culture in Mongolia

Culture in¬†Mongolia¬†is heavily influenced by¬†nomadic¬†traditions which include moving with the seasons, living off of the land and rearing and herding livestock. A significant amount of the population continue to live in this way and make their homes inside¬†‚Äėgers‚Äô, a type of¬†Mongolian¬†yurt.¬†Buddhism¬†is another element of the national culture that visitors can enjoy on a¬†trip to Mongolia, especially in the temples and monasteries of¬†Ulan Bator. Buddhism¬†was rigorously oppressed during the years of¬†Soviet rule, although it has long been the prominent religious since it was introduced in the¬†16th-century.¬†Today, it is again the most popular religion, although western parts of the country are home to numerous¬†Islamic¬†communities and many¬†Mongolians¬†are simply non-religious. In some of the most rural parts of the country the ancient practice of¬†Mongolian Shamanism, known as¬†Tengrism,¬†is still practiced.¬†Mongolia¬†has a very old musical tradition and the unique¬†Mongolian Throat-Singing¬†is admired worldwide. One of the best-loved¬†Mongolian¬†celebrations is the annual festival of¬†Naadam, a sporting event which celebrates the national sports of¬†archery, wrestling,¬†and¬†horse-racing.¬†It is an unmissable event if you¬†travel to Mongolia¬†in the summer.

Traverse vast open spaces, get to know the nomadic way of life and fall in love with an array of unique and wonderful national traditions on a tour of Mongolia.

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