For years travellers overlooked Mongolia, thanks to its more famous neighbours—Russia and China. But, in the recent years, it has witnessed a tourist renaissance. The sparsely populated nation provides the perfect antidote to travellers weary of big cities and concrete jungles. People are more than eager to experience something new and Mongolia has arrived on the scene at the most opportune time.
With no worries of tourist herds and a foreign exchange bowing in your favour, visiting Mongolia in 2017 makes perfect sense.
The Rugged Geography:
If mentions of Mongolia conjure up images of vast stretches of empty lands with mountains on the edges and men on horses riding against fierce and chilly winds, you are quite on the mark.
Move along towards the north and you will find a jagged mountain range called the Altai Mountains accompanying you all the way to the north and into Russia.
On the east are the famous steeps and hills that go on and on without the faintest interruption of humankind.
The allure of the Mongols can be traced to their rich history. One where their bravest warrior Genghis Khan stretched his empire from Eastern China to Persia. The second is Communism’s entry into the land and its subsequent horrors.
The National Museum of Mongolia is the place to get an in depth view of Mongolia’s history. However, when it comes to recent history,
visit this little-known Victims of Political Persecution Memorial Museum that paints haunting images of the horrors during the Communist era. You can find both these museums in the Mongol capital city, Ulaanbaatar.
Mongolia is one of the few remaining States where you will come across Nomadic families. Moving frequently and staying in their ‘gher’, they are always pleased to meet a visitor. It's customary to offer a little nibble or a cup of tea, accept it for saying no is considered rude.
The gher is an artificial portable dwelling place made out of bamboo and wood. When you meet a nomadic family, do not miss a chance to interact with the kids.
Mongol children are famous for their rosy cheeks and are friendly with tourists. Give them small gifts or toys which they might not have. In Mongolia, gift giving is an important tradition.
While food might not be the first thing on your mind here, it’s worth a try. To understand a society and country, let their food do the talk and Mongolia’s foods sing like a canary.