When we arrived back to Vietnam after 4 months of travelling through Hong Kong, Macau, China, Mongolia, South Korea and Japan; many people have been curious to know where exactly has been our favorite destination. Without hesitation, both of us, would hands down say Mongolia. Mongolia is a very unique country that will forever hold a special place in our hearts. So here, we have complied a list of 9 reasons why you should DEFINITELY add Mongolia to your bucket list.
It’s a Less Trodden Path
Many people have heard of Mongolia and the Mongol empire, but how many people do you know who have been? Probably not many, right? Mongolia is a country less travelled, but we think this is definitely going to change over the next few years, with the infrastructure rapidly improving and the country become more popular and modernized. We recommend you get there fast, before the culture and natural preservations are over shadowed by mass amounts of tourism and international influences. However, for now the country is still a relatively undiscovered and untouched corner of the Earth.
Incredible Landscape Throughout Mongolia
Half of Mongolia’s 3 million population live in the capital city, Ulaanbaatar. Therefore, the land outside of the City is untouched and ready to take your breath away. Mongolia has a vast amount of open land that constantly changes as you venture further away from the City. From the sand dunes in the Gobi Desert, the glaciated snowcapped mountains in the West, to the lush green forests in Central Mongolia; you will be sure to discover landscapes so different, yet so close by, like you have never seen before.
A sense of adventure is certainly out there, even for the most well organised travellers. Once you hop into your old Russian mini-van and leave the city, who knows where you will end up for the night, what you will eat or what you will see along the way. You could go days before you take a shower, eat a nice warm meal or even sleep in a comfy bed free of creepy crawlies. But what we can be sure of is the amazing wildlife and animals you will see, the kind-hearted families you will meet and the lifelong lessons you will learn along the way. The adventure is continuous with opportunities to climb to the top of the Gobi sand dunes to watch a beautiful sunset, riding on horseback through lush steppes and lakes, riding into the sunset on a camel in the desert, biking through ice an ice glacier in the summer heat to sleeping in the magical night stars.
Mongolian culture is unique and you will find no other culture like it. From the fascinating nomadic life style to the colourful and rich traditional dress sense; you will be intrigued to learn more about this captivating culture that has been persevered, despite living in a fast advancing world. Immerse yourself into the culture by sleeping in a traditional ger with a local nomadic family, eating freshly made goat cheese biscuits or slabs of mutton meat. You may even become a farmer for a day and help heard sheep on the farm.
Take a Break from Civilization
Mongolia is one of the least populated countries on Earth. Once you leave the city it is not hard to get lost and take a break from people. The mass open landscapes, no houses, no buildings and no people will truly make you feel like you are the only one in the world. Find fun in the simpler things in life; like skipping stones in the lakes and chasing goats and sheep off the road. Or even hanging your head outside of a fast-moving van to feel the wind in your hair.
The annual festival takes place around the middle of July and lasts for 3 days. We were very lucky to have had the chance to witness the festival, despite not having originally planned to be there during that time. The festival kicks off with a huge opening ceremony that plays out the history of Mongolia. Afterwards you will have the chance to watch traditional Mongolian wrestling, archery and horse riding. If you can, we highly recommend planning your trip to Mongolia around the Naadam Festival.Be sure to buy your tickets in advance, as you don’t want to miss out on the day’s events. You can see the opening ceremony, watch 115kg+ wrestlers take each other to the ground or watch young children as young as 5 gallop away on their horses.
People of Mongolia
The people of Mongolia are among the most kind-hearted people we have come across. They are just as much intrigued about you, as you are about them. Despite a language barrier, the people will go out of their way to help you, make you feel welcome, feed you and make sure you are comfortable for the night. We experienced nothing but kindness from our host families across the entire country. One family even went as far as moving out of their bedroom ger to make room for us for the night.
The Capital of Mongolia – Ulaanbaatar City
With half of the population in Mongolia living in the Capital, you would expect the city to be relatively big. Nope, it’s quite small and can be covered on foot. Surprisingly, despite the rest of the country living on a farm with little technologies, the city is built up. Ulaanbaatar has all the conveniences that you would find at home. The city has a very Russian feel to it and is worth taking a few days to explore. In the city, you will also find the Dinosour museum and the National museum.
If you are a history sponge then Mongolia is undoubtedly a country for you. The history of Mongolia spans way back to the 13th century when the Mongols rose to rule the world. Relive the past at the National museum or follow in the footsteps of Genghis Khan with a trip on horseback through Mongolian forests, steppes and lake. The possibilities to unfolded centuries worth of history are endless.
The original source from https://www.untoldwanderlust.com/reasons-add-mongolia-bucket-list/