Mongolia is a wonderful country to explore and experience the steppes and the features in the traditional culture of the nomadic community. If you are intending to travel to Mongolia, there are 10 things you definitely can not miss.
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1. Visit the Ulaanbaatar Capital
Ulaanbaatar is a great place to start your journey in Mongolia. When coming here, you can visit the large number of museums, monasteries and other interesting places. To get acquainted with the culture and life of the Mongolian people before exploring the suburb of the city, you should choose a reliable hotel or motel to stay in Ulaanbaatar for at least two nights.
The Mongolian tourism industry is still in the development stage, so you may have some troubles in finding tour guides, purchasing train ticket or other transportation. Although there are some companies that help travelers make these arrangements, but the service charges are relatively high. However, the quality hotels in Ulaanbaatar often help travelers find tour guides and give advice on sightseeing places.
2. Learn about history
Mongolian history is associated with horses, nomadic customs, Genghis Khan and the Ulaanbaatar capital. Travelers should start Mongol journey from the National Museum in the center of Ulaanbaatar. This is the largest museum in Mongolia and it will help you to experience the history of this country from the ancient time until now.
3. Stay in the Mongolian tents
This is the traditional style of nomadic people in Mongolia and maintains until now. Staying in traditional tents is definitely something you should do if you come to Mongolia.
On the suburb of the Ulaanbaatar capital, you will also find this kind of tent if you want to experience traditional life while enjoying the comforts of urban life also.
In the suburbs, there are many families willing to welcome visitors to stay in their homes. However, if you do not like to stay in a homestead, you can stay at tents camps that are reserved for travelers with the outside like a traditional tent, but it is very comfortable as a hotel.
4. Ride the camel in the Gobi desert
If you want to go to the countryside of Mongolia, you must cross the Gobi desert. In the journey across the Gobi desert, visitors can take a night or a full day. However, this is an exciting journey that anyone who goes to Mongolia should experience. In the Dalanzadgad town, you have the opportunity to explore the features of this desert, including the Bayanzag Cliffs and the spectacular sand dunes of Khongriin Els.
Even in the winter, the Gobi desert also brings an interesting experience. Although the temperature does not drop as other areas of Mongolia, you can still feel the cold bones or see camels with thick fur in the snow.
5. Overnight at the monastery
Although much Mongolian has atheism, Buddhism is still the main religion in this country. In Ulaanbaatar or other big cities, you can see a lot of monks on the street. For the enjoyable experiences, guests can visit and spend the night at monasteries such as Manjusri Monastery located in Bogd Khan National Park south of Ulaanbaatar city.
Visitors often have some difficulty in finding information about an overnight at monasteries in Mongolia. However, you can ask the help of the guides, they will help you to book accommodations or directly ask the manager of the monasteríe you visit, they often rarely refuse.
6. Horse Riding
When you came to Mongolia once time, any visitor want to try horse riding along the vast steppes of the country. If you ride the horse for sightseeing, you should hire a tour guide. Typically, when traveling to Mongolia, visitors usually buy horses for use and then resell them after finish the journey. This option is cheaper than hiring a horse.
Tour guides can also help you find overnight accommodation, in hotels or in tents of indigenous families. In addition, visitors can also set their own tents to enjoy private space.
7. Drink horse milky wine
Horse milky wine is a cuisine of Mongolia. It has the taste of the usual wine and the characteristic odor of horses, which has a high alcohol dosage. One thing to keep in mind is that if you go into a local home, you will be considered rude if you refuse to drink horse milk when you are invited.
Besides horse milk, you should try some other drinks like Borgio and Altai Gobi or black beers Khar Khorum. Another drink is stronger than beer and lighter than horse milky wine is vodka, which is extremely cheap and easy to buy at local stores.
8. Explore Khovsgol Lake
Although Ulaanbaatar is the coldest city in the world in the winter, however, in the summer, Mongolia is relatively warm. At this time, local people often go to the suburb on the weekend to view the Khovsgol Lake. Here, you can take a cool bath in Khovsgol Lake, fishing, boating or walk.
You can get to Khovsgol Lake by airplane or bus from the Ulaanbaatar capital to Mörön, one of the main cities along the lake. You should travel by bus for having the chance to see the Mongolian countryside through the car window.
9. Experience festivals
Attending the festival is the fastest way if you want to experience the culture of Mongolia. One of the biggest and most famous festivals in this country is the Naadam festival that takes place from July 11 to 13. This festival is also considered the second oldest Olympics in the world.
Here, local people are proud to watch their favorite athletes in competing. The three main subjects of the festival are archery, horse riding, and wrestling. There are also many other activities such as traditional dance and enjoy the food.
Another popular festival in Mongolia is the Bayan-Ölgii Eagle, held in late September. At this festival, you can see a lot of hawks, although they have an origin in neighboring Kazakhstan, but they have lived in Mongolia for decades and have adapted to the climate here.
10. Skiing on Altai Mountain
In Mongolia, you can ski near the Ulaanbaatar capital with its original slides, completely natural and clean.
If you want to hire a local guide to help carry your luggage, you should invite a few other friends to save on service costs.
Read more Mongolia travel guide at here