Mongolia is one of the interesting, but yet least well-known unique travel destinations in the world. Below are some reasons for telling travelers about this well-kept secret.
Mongolia is a country made for nature lovers: Mongolia is the 17th largest country in the world. Nevertheless, it is sparsely populated with just 3.2 million people residing in its 1.566,500 square km area. Almost all of the Mongolian land is uninhabited space with its natural beauty of northern-forested mountains to the southern semi-desert; the western snowcapped mountains to the eastern grassy steppes. Mongolia is commonly associated with views of beautiful landscapes of different natural zones bordered with blue sky, fenceless grazing animals, and the occasional "ger" a nomadic dwelling. And of course, there is the striking silence of nature.
Mongolian nomads make a living by herding their five kinds of animals and moving their portable dwelling or "ger" from a place to a place in search of water and pasture for their animals. The five animals are horses, cattle (including yaks), camels, sheep, and goats. The nomads are friendly, open-hearted, generous and welcoming people. Their distinctive way of life living communally in a ger and the demands of herding so many animals in such a vast area during the four distinct seasons lead them to be hospitable as they can.
There are 24 different ethnic groups in Mongolia. When you visit nomad families in the different parts of Mongolia, you will find that they have different customs and traditions - even the shape of the ger, how the ger is decorated, etc. varies. The most interesting ethnics among them are the Kazakh people who live in Western snow-capped Altai Mountains. They are known as the "Eagle Hunting People".
Next, are the Reindeer people who live up in the North in the forested mountains. They live in the "tepee" and their livelihood is completely dependent on nature and their few reindeer.
The beautiful countryside of Mongolia has a lot to offer for all kinds of travelers starting from cultural and natural discovery tours to active adventure and special interest tours, which you can experience in any part of Mongolia.
The traces of the first human settlements dating back to 800 000 years ago, were found in the Mongolian territory. Some historians even say that the land was inhabited by humans as early as 2 million years ago. The best-known period of Mongolian history is related to Chinggis Khaan and his descendants who conquered half of the world in the 13th century. As the country is home to nomadic civilizations and because there was a highly competitive race to conquer its territories, almost no constructed evidence remains. However, some charming monasteries and ruins of ancient cities are still visible today. Travelers more interested in ancient history can visit deer stones, balbal stones, rock drawings, burial mounds and noblemen-related monuments that are spread throughout Mongolia.
Mongolia keeps fossils of ancient animals such as mammoths and dinosaurs. The dinosaur fossils are common in remote uninhabited areas.
There are many endemic wild species in Mongolia such as the Gobi/Semi desert bear and the two-humped wild camel. Besides animals, there are also rare plants. The Gobi, which is classified as a semi-desert is only in Mongolia. It is a spacious, empty, life-supporting, but surprisingly beautiful area. In reality, it's impossible to compare the Gobi with the semi-desert, so you would better come and see this for yourself!.
One of the easiest opportunities to discover traditional aspects of Mongolian culture in one setting is to visit during the national holidays. There are two important national holidays: the Naadam Festival held in July and the Tsagaan Sar/Lunar New Year festival held in winter depending on the lunar calendar. The events and celebrations are not limited to these two holidays.
There are more than 260 sunny days a year in Mongolia. Besides what you see and do in Mongolia, the weather will help to make your holiday even more enjoyable.
No crimes against tourists have been registered besides some pickpocketing and an occasional robbery in Ulaanbaatar at night. In the countryside, you will meet people who are welcoming and proud to give tourists an insight into their way of life. Furthermore, the air is fresh and the water is clear.
When you travel in the Mongolian countryside, you will be refreshed and replenished by the views of natural scenery and the calmness. Perhaps you will even forget which day of the week it is in this timeless environment so far from the world's modern, noisy and stressful cities.
Even though Mongolia is a country able to attract any traveler, it is not yet a well-known destination. As Mongolia is the least densely populated country on earth, and though modern development is slowly creeping in, the country remains largely off the mass-tourism trail, giving visitors plenty of opportunities to learn first-hand about the traditional Mongolian way of life before it is threatened by change. It is now an emerging destination. You can imagine how attractive Mongolia is when you hear that most of the travelers who traveled to Mongolia want to come back.
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