Get Ready to Yurt It Up in the Land of the Eternal Blue Sky
Mongolia, a landlocked country in Central Asia, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and adventurous experiences–known for its vast deserts, towering mountains, and traditional nomadic lifestyle, Mongolia offers visitors a chance to explore an ancient and modern world.
From the bustling capital city of Ulaanbaatar to the stunning Gobi Desert and the Altai Mountains, there is no shortage of amazing things to see and do in this fascinating country.
Whether you want to witness traditional festivals, hike in pristine wilderness areas, or immerse yourself in nomadic culture, Mongolia boasts something for every traveler.
Here are some fantastic things to see and do in Mongolia:
- Visit the Gobi Desert: Explore the vast and stunningly beautiful Gobi Desert, home to unique wildlife, towering sand dunes, and ancient dinosaur fossils.
- Horseback riding: Horseback riding is a popular way to explore the Mongolian landscape, with opportunities to ride across open plains, through mountain ranges, and along rivers.
- Witness the Naadam Festival: This traditional festival takes place each year in July and features wrestling, archery, and horse racing competitions, as well as cultural performances and parades.
- Visit the capital city: Ulaanbaatar is a vibrant city with an amazing history and many attractions, including museums, temples, and bustling markets.
- Hike in the Altai Mountains: The Altai Mountains offer some of Mongolia’s most stunning hiking trails, with breathtaking views of towering peaks and lush valleys.
- Visit the ancient city of Karakorum: Once the capital of the Mongol Empire, Karakorum is home to a range of historic ruins and landmarks, including the Erdene Zuu Monastery.
- Experience nomadic life: Many Mongolians still live a traditional nomadic lifestyle, and visitors can stay with nomadic families to experience their customs, cuisine, and way of life.
- Explore the Khustain Nuruu National Park: This protected area is home to the endangered Przewalski’s horse, as well as a range of other wildlife, including wolves, lynx, and marmots.
- See the Flaming Cliffs: The Flaming Cliffs, or Bayanzag, are a striking geological feature in the Gobi Desert. They are famous for their red sandstone formations and rich deposits of dinosaur fossils.
- Attend a traditional Mongolian throat singing performance: This unique form of singing involves producing multiple tones simultaneously and is a beloved part of Mongolian culture.
Did you know?
Mongolia is that it is the world’s second-largest cashmere producer after China. Cashmere, a luxury fiber known for its softness and warmth, is made from the wool of cashmere goats bred in large numbers in Mongolia.
The country’s harsh climate and rugged terrain provide ideal conditions for these goats to thrive, and many nomadic herders rely on cashmere production as a significant source of income.
A little history:
Mongolia has a complex history dating back thousands of years. The region that is now Mongolia was home to various nomadic tribes, including the Xiongnu and the Turkic-speaking Göktürks.
In the 1200s, the Mongol Empire emerged under the leadership of Genghis Khan, who united the various Mongol tribes and launched a series of military campaigns that resulted in the largest contiguous empire in world history.
Under the Mongol Empire, it became an important economic and cultural center, with trade routes stretching across Asia and Europe. The empire’s capital, Karakorum, was a hub of commerce and religious tolerance, hosting scholars and merchants worldwide.
After the collapse of the Mongol Empire, it experienced centuries of political instability and external domination, with periods of rule by the Manchu Qing Dynasty, the Chinese Nationalists, and the Soviet Union.
In 1921, Mongolia declared independence from China with the help of the Soviet Red Army and became the world’s second communist country after the Soviet Union.
During the Soviet era, it underwent significant political, economic, and social changes, focusing on modernization and industrialization–this period also saw the suppression of cultural and religious traditions and widespread environmental degradation.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the country has undergone a period of rapid political and economic transformation, with a move towards democracy and market-based reforms.
Mongolia is a democratic republic with a growing economy and cultural heritage, known for its nomadic traditions, stunning natural landscapes, and unique cultural attractions.