Mongolia is an amazing country in East Asia that’s not under travelers’ radar and in most bucket lists as much as it deserves. This country is a charming place where fewer people have heard about it. However, with more direct flights from Western countries to Mongolia, it’s definitely becoming more popular. If you like to get to know Mongolia, adding Mongolia to your bucket list, or planning to visit Mongolia soon, keep reading as in this post, we’ll talk about the top 12 reasons to visit Mongolia.
1- The Landscapes
Imagine being in the middle of nowhere with nothing around, but countless hills and a group of wild horses once in a while. Being the 18th-largest country by area in the world, Mongolian landscapes are so magically beautiful that no camera could capture its beauty except your own eyes.
2- Off-Road Trips In Mongolia
There’s not a lot of roads in Mongolia, and not all of the roads are paved. So, every traveler who’s visiting Mongolia should either buy an arranged tour in Mongolia or rent a driver to show them around the country. Even though as a foreigner you can’t recognize two hills from each other, Mongolian local drivers know the way just like the back of their hand. Then sit back and enjoy the view.
3- Modern Ulaanbaatar
Half of the 3.2 million Mongolians living in the country are residing in the capital. With a population of 1.5 million, Ulaanbaatar is just like any other big city. But what makes this city is special is that it managed to become modernized by transforming its skyline and keep its identity at the same time. You’ll find a lot of old neighborhoods, museums, and buildings showcasing Mongolian history.
4- Mongolian people
Mongolians, especially the nomadic people are masters of hospitality. If they have an extra Ger (The tent used by nomadic Mongolians), they would offer you their main Ger for the night and sleep in the other Ger, themselves. You’re also always welcome in their houses or Gers for a cup of warm Mares milk and snacks.
5- Mongolian Cuisine
Mongolian cuisine will be different from whatever you ate in your life. While it’s easy to find international dishes and fast food in Ulaanbaatar, and other major cities, as soon as you hit the road, your options are limited to the original Mongolian cuisine which is flavorful, but not necessarily tasty for a lot of Westerners. Mongolian cuisine is mostly based on mutton, dumplings, and potatoes.
6- Mongolian Animals
There are probably more animals in Mongolia than humans. As soon as getting out of Ulaanbaatar, you’ll be greeted by a lot of eagles, vultures, mountain goats, and wild camels, as well as domestic animals belonging to the Nomadic people. They mostly own horses, camels, and goats.
If you’re lucky, you may even spot a wild ass which is distinct in most places in the world, too.
7- Mongolian supermarkets
Mongolia is very affordable in general and visiting this country won’t burn a hole in your pocket. As a glimpse, a meal in an inexpensive restaurant would only cost $3, or renting a 1 bedroom apartment in Ulaanbaatar’s city center would just cost $368.20 a month.
You’ll find supermarkets in populated Mongolian cities, but surprisingly enough, you’d easily find a small supermarket in most villages too that come in handy since most of your Mongolian trip consists of road trips that would require you to fill up your snack bag regularly.
Mongolia is very proud of its historic leader, Genghis Khan who was once the ruler of the biggest kingdom at the time. Even though this historic figure is infamous in a lot of countries, Mongolians love him dearly. You can find his statue on each corner of the country, and his name is almost on anything you see, from the Ulaanbaatar international airport to the main streets in every city and town. There are even about 5% chances of each person on earth today to carry Genghis Khan’s genes.
You can discover interesting Mongolia’s history by visiting the museums and galleries in Ulaanbaatar.
9- Staying at Ger Camps
Ger camps are the luxurious version of the Nomadic Mongolians’ Gers (tents) that are set up for the tourists. You’d have a bed, a hot shower, and a restaurant in most Ger camps around Mongolia. It’s kind of a fun way to experience a different lifestyle.
10- Loneliness in the great emptiness
Although Mongolia is an amazing country to visit, not a lot of people know about this country yet which could be used to your advantage. Imagine visiting those landscapes and not seeing another soul, except yourself!
11- Eagle hunters
The Kazakh people of western Mongolia, known locally as Berkutchi have been practicing hunting foxes and other animals (as big as wolves) for centuries. Each October, Kazakh eagle hunting customs are displayed at the annual Golden Eagle Festival.
12- Naadam Festival
Each year from the 11th to the 15th of July, Mongolians mark the beginning of their short summer as with the traditional Naadam festival. In a colorful dress, men and women competitors tested their skill in Mongolia’s “three manly sports”, horseback riding, wrestling, and archery.