There are many tourist attractions in this beautiful country and we’re going to cover 9 Reasons to Visit Mongolia. You may be wondering why we’re talking about Mongolia. Isn’t that a little…off the beaten path? Yes, indeed, Mongolia is not the most visited destination, but that’s what makes it so special.
It’s one of the last places on Earth that feels truly untouched by modern civilization. If you’re looking for an adventure and want to experience something truly unique, then Mongolia is the place for you. In this article, we’ll share some of the reasons why I think Mongolia should be on your bucket list!
Mongolia is a landlocked nation, meaning it does not have direct access to the sea. It is nestled between two powerful neighbors, Russia to the north and China to the south. To the west and east, Mongolia shares its borders with Russia’s Siberia and the Chinese regions of Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang. This strategic location has played a significant role in shaping the country’s history and culture.
Ulaanbaatar: The capital and largest city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar is located in the north-central part of the country. It serves as the cultural, economic, and political hub of Mongolia, with a mix of modernity and tradition. Visitors often begin their Mongolian journey in Ulaanbaatar, exploring its museums, monasteries, and vibrant markets.
Darkhan: Situated in the northern part of Mongolia, Darkhan is the country’s second-largest city. It’s known for its industrial activities, including mining and manufacturing, and provides a glimpse into urban life beyond the capital.
Erdenet: Located in the Orkhon Valley of northern Mongolia, Erdenet is celebrated for its massive copper mining operations. Travelers can explore the city’s mining culture and nearby natural attractions.
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9 Reasons Why You Should Visit Mongolia
Serenity and landscapes
Imagine rolling landscapes dotted with traditional gers (yurts), horses grazing in the distance, and clear blue skies overhead. This is the picture-perfect image of Mongolia, a destination that’s gaining in popularity for its serenity and untouched landscapes. What’s not to love about Mongolia?
It’s one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, making it a haven for nature lovers and adventurers. And with a history dating back to the 13th century, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable travel experience, put Mongolia at the top of your list. You won’t regret it!
Wildlife In Mongolia
If you’re an animal lover, Mongolia is the place for you. This country is teeming with wildlife, from the elusive snow leopard to the majestic Tibetan antelope. And if that’s not enough to tempt you, there are also vast herds of gazelle, as well as deer, wolves, and bears. So, pack your binoculars and your sense of adventure—Mongolia is waiting for you!
Snow Leopards: Mongolia is one of the few places in the world where you can encounter the enigmatic snow leopard. Known for its elusive nature, this magnificent feline roams the remote mountains and rocky outcrops of the Altai and Sayan Mountains. Conservation efforts are underway to protect these elusive big cats and their fragile habitats.
Birds of Prey: Mongolia boasts a rich avian diversity, with numerous species of birds of prey soaring through its skies. The country’s nomadic culture is intertwined with falconry, an ancient tradition where eagles are trained to hunt.
Oh, Mongolia, the land of hospitality and nomadic wonder! Let’s talk about the enchantment of the Mongolian people and their oh-so-warm and open hearts. Seriously, these folks roll out the red carpet (okay, maybe not literally, but you get the point) for visitors, offering a tantalizing peek into their vibrant cultural tapestry.
Traditional Ger Camps
Now, if you really want to dive headfirst into the heart of Mongolian hospitality, you’ve got to stay in one of those traditional ger camps. These bad boys aren’t your run-of-the-mill accommodations; they’re a freaking gateway to the nomadic way of life. Picture this: cozy felt-covered dwellings amidst the vast Mongolian landscapes. It’s like living in a real-life Instagram post, complete with comfort and authenticity that’ll have you feeling like family.
Warmth and Generosity
And speaking of family, these nomadic folks take immense pride in sharing their homes and traditions with guests. We’re not talking about your average “thanks for the place to crash” situation. Oh no, my fearless wanderers, this is an all-out extravaganza of warmth, generosity, camaraderie, and friendship. It’s like joining an extended nomadic family, where you’ll be showered with kindness and open arms.
Learning Traditional Crafts
Nomadic life in Mongolia is a treasure trove of traditional crafts that have been passed down through the generations. This is your chance to unleash your inner artist and learn from skilled artisans within the community. Get your hands dirty and dive into the art of crafting traditional clothing or creating intricate felt designs. It’s a hands-on experience that’ll make you appreciate Mongolian craftsmanship like never before.
Plan Your Nomadic Stay
Now that we’ve dabbled in the hospitality, the cozy gers, and the rich world of Mongolian craftsmanship, it’s time to make a plan, my brave adventurers. If you’re seeking a truly immersive cultural encounter, a stay in a traditional ger camp is an absolute must. It’s not just about witnessing the rhythms of nomadic life, it’s about actively participating and forging connections that’ll last a lifetime.
Unique Mongolian Cuisine
The food in Mongolia is something special. It’s a unique blend of Chinese, Russian, and Turkish flavors, and it’s the perfect way to experience the local culture. Some of the traditional dishes you’ll find in Mongolia include buuz (steamed dumplings), khorkhog (a type of stew made with mutton and vegetables), and baijig (fried dough pieces served with honey). Yum! So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable culinary experience, be sure to add Mongolia to your list of places to visit. You won’t regret it!
The Gobi Desert
If you’re looking for an adventure, you need to put Mongolia on your list. This is a destination that’s full of surprises, and one of the most amazing things about it is the Gobi Desert. The Gobi is one of the most remote places on Earth, and it’s not what you expect. It’s a vast and stunning landscape that’s full of dunes, canyons, and wildlife. Sure, the Gobi is challenging to get to, but that’s all part of the fun. Once you’re there, you’ll feel like you’re in a whole other world. If you’re looking for an unforgettable travel experience, Mongolia is worth considering.
The hospitality showcased by Mongolians is unmatched. The nomads would host a visitor in the main ger – a tent made from wood and felt – while they stay in the spare ger. They are extremely proud yet very welcoming and warm, they always want to entertain and show off their culture.
No Other Tourists
With half of the Mongolian population located in Ulaanbaatar – with a total population of under 3 million people – coming across other travelers in this region is quite unlikely. Still, Mongolia is steadily becoming a preferred destination to a lot of travelers owing to the increased number of direct flights from countries in the West. The sooner you visit Mongolia, the sooner you get to experience the untouched landscapes all to yourself.
The world perceives Chinggis Khan, or Genghis Khan as one of the most ruthless emperors in history who founded his territory stretching to Eastern Europe from Asia. However, Mongolians view him as the father and founder of nations. There is a silver statue with a height of 40m close to the capital of him riding his horse. Tourists and other travelers are allowed to climb on the horse’s back and give themselves a view across Khan’s land.
Locally known as the Berkutchi, the Kazakh people of the Western region of Mongolia are known for training Golden Eagles – selecting nested chicks – to hunt prey as huge as wolves. There is also a Kazakh Eagle Festival in the western Altai mountains every September and October.
Naadam Festival is reason enough to visit Mongolia. The festival is a tradition and essential that celebrates the ‘manly’ aspects of Mongolia. The Festival is held in the month of July and is celebrated countrywide, with the largest gathering and climax happening at the capital of Mongolia. During the festival, Men compete in archery, wrestling, and horse riding.
First on the agenda is traditional Mongolian wrestling, where these competitors flex their muscles and show off their strength, technique, and agility. Picture this: skilled wrestlers, decked out in their traditional costumes, going head-to-head in matches that’ll have you on the edge of your seat. It’s like watching a centuries-old tradition come to life, with each bone-crushing throw and gravity-defying move showcasing their badassery and dedication.
We can’t forget about the thundering hooves of the racing horses that add an electrifying energy to the whole shebang. These horse races ain’t your run-of-the-mill derby at the local track. Oh no, these races span long distances across the vast open steppes, reflecting the nomadic lifestyle where horses are valued like gold. It’s not just a race; it’s a celebration of the deep bond between the nomads and their trusty four-legged companions.
This ain’t no Robin Hood wannabe shooting arrows into a target. Nope, we’re talking precision, skill, and a dash of vibrant attire. Picture participants, dressed to the nines, demonstrating their marksmanship with traditional bows and arrows. The archery competition adds a layer of grace and artistry to the festival, completing the trio of what they like to call the “Three Manly Games.” It’s a feast for the eyes and a showcase of the ancient Mongolian art of hitting the bullseye like a boss.
Beyond the Games
But hold on to your hats, my fierce travel mavens, because Naadam is about more than just sports. It’s a time for traditional music, dance, and vibrant festivities. The air is filled with mouthwatering aromas of traditional Mongolian cuisine as locals come together to celebrate their identity with pride and joy. It’s a whirlwind of colors, sounds, and tastes that’ll leave you feeling a part of something bigger than yourself.
You may have never heard of Mongolia, but it’s time to add it to your list of must-see destinations. This beautiful and exotic country is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, from the Gobi Desert to the snow-capped mountains of the north. No matter where you choose, though, always remember to Travel Till You Drop!