Have you ever desired to visit Mongolia? Are you wondering what this beautiful country can offer? Here are 20 reasons why a visit to Mongolia is the best choice for your next vacation.
Mongolia, a vast Asian country, is surrounded by China and Russia. It has the lowest population density in the world, and not many people are even aware it exists.
This country rapidly moved from a communist economy to a market economy in the 1990s. It opened up and allowed access to Western lifestyles through information networks and expatriation.
But have you ever thought of visiting this lesser-known, beautiful country? And is it worth your time and money?
Well, Mongolia is among the coolest countries you will ever visit. But, not many people know much about the place. As such, you must see it to believe it.
Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a wildlife seeker, or just a traveler looking for peace and calm in a new destination, you will find it all in Mongolia. The country welcomes everyone and promises to give you experiences that you’ll never forget.
Mongolia has a surviving nomadic culture, and a lot of people are fascinated by it. It has a rich history and intriguing festivals that draw tourists from across the globe.
Table of Contents
- Planning a Trip to Mongolia
- Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Mongolia
- 1. Nomadic Culture and People
- 2. Untouched by Modern Life
- 3. Enjoy the Feeling of Being Alone
- 4. Nature
- 5. The West
- 6. Animals
- 7. Wild Camping
- 8. Seasons
- 9. Ulaanbaatar
- 10. Nadaam Festival
- 11. Massive Sweeping Landscapes
- 12. Off-Roading Experience
- 13. Warm Up Using a Ger Stove
- 14. Challenge the Taste Buds
- 15. Climbing Sand Dunes
- 16. Shop at the Supermarkets
- 17. Disconnect
- 18. Learn About the Mongolian History
- 19. Gobi Desert
- 20. The Golden Eagle Festival
- Is a Tour to Mongolia Worth It?
Planning a Trip to Mongolia
If you are thinking about visiting Mongolia, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, the best time to visit is between May and September when the weather is warm and dry. You will also need to get your visa in advance, as they are unavailable at the border.
As for what to pack for this trip, don’t forget to include plenty of warm clothes. Mongolia can be quite cold, especially if you are staying in the capital.
Before you travel, you should also ensure that you have checked out useful health tips with relevant sites, such as MyTravelGov or the World Health Organization. This way, you know what to look out for and how to conduct yourself during the trip.
Additionally, since most of the region is remote, you should always carry an emergency medical equipment kit during your trip. Remember, if you get hurt while hiking the expansive landscape, it might take some time before you reach the next health center.
Travel insurance is also crucial when planning a trip or vacation. Besides covering for flight cancellations, delayed flights, or lost luggage, most policies will also offer emergency medical evacuation services. Look for a good travel insurance provider like World Nomads, and you’ll be good to go.
Finally, research the Mongolian local laws and the main restrictions that exist here. That way, you can avoid clashing with the local authorities during your trip. When you do all this, you can be sure of a safe and enjoyable stay in Mongolia.
Now, let’s get down to it and see what might make you want to visit Mongolia.
Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Mongolia
1. Nomadic Culture and People
Mongolia is among the friendliest countries, with the most welcoming and warmhearted people in the world. This is one of the top reasons why people love visiting Mongolia.
The people here will welcome you with open arms everywhere, and you’ll make friends fast. It does not matter whether they speak your language or not; they speak with wide smiles.
Mongolian culture, the world’s last surviving nomadic culture, is quite famous across the world. You can stay with these nomadic families in their Ger camps, which will certainly be an unforgettable adventure. Their hospitality is renowned around the world, and with good reason.
The language barrier is never an issue here. Due to the beautiful open culture, the people make the country feel easily accessible and very welcoming. They will make you feel completely at home.
Usually, a lot of travelers find themselves spending time in a nomadic family Ger, as the people here are always welcoming. The Ger camps are also known as yurts, something you’ve probably heard of before. They are ready to offer food, drinks, and, most importantly, stories that you carry back home.
But, to fully appreciate the nomadic culture and the lifestyle of the people here, booking a tour of the region would be an excellent choice. For instance, this 4 Days Tour of Central Mongolia will be great.
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2. Untouched by Modern Life
Apart from the capital city, Mongolia remains untouched by modern life and away from mass tourism. However, as the country gains popularity and expands its infrastructure, this might change as visitors begin to flock here. It is, therefore, a great place to visit now, when you can enjoy the undisturbed nature of the vast landscape.
A lot of countries have transformed due to severe commercialization, and you cannot experience their culture or explore the landscapes without encountering several tourists. However, Mongolia is currently different. It attracts tourists for the purity and peace it brings.
No matter the type of traveler personality you have, there is something in Mongolia that will touch you. It feels so beautiful, calm, and natural in this country. You are taken far away from the loud noises, people, and the mad rush of daily life.
If you want to enjoy pure and authentic experiences that are found nowhere else on Earth, you should head to Mongolia right away. And trust me, you will not be disappointed.
3. Enjoy the Feeling of Being Alone
Mongolia has a population of only three million, with an area size of 1.6 million square kilometers. This means that you’ll be exploring the least densely populated country in the world.
Mongolia will make you feel like you are the only person in the world. Whether you are hiking through the mountains or horseback riding across the Mongolian steppe, you will be able to truly appreciate the beauty of Mongolia’s landscapes.
You will be able to drive for hours, seeing nothing but open space and exploring the most incredible places without having any tourists around.
This way, you can make the most of every minute you spend at this beautiful destination.
Nature-lovers will be in heaven in Mongolia. The country is home to an array of stunning natural landscapes, from the Gobi Desert and the Mongolian steppe to the Altai Mountains.
You have plenty of opportunities to get out and explore the great outdoors. Hiking, horseback riding, and camel trekking are all popular outdoor activities that can be done in this beautiful country.
In essence, Mongolia has a unique landscape that will never bore you and will give you serene and peaceful moments. If you want to spend time by yourself and soak in the beautiful nature that surrounds you, there is no better place than Mongolia for your next holiday.
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5. The West
A lot of tourists move from the capital city to the Gobi desert in the south. Others choose to move from Lake Khuvsgul in the North and do not stop until they get to the best part of the country, which is the West. Once you travel to the West, there is no going back.
It is the best part of Mongolia, and the people are extremely friendly. People in the Kazakh area are also known for their outstanding hospitality and eagle hunting activities. If you want an unforgettable experience, visit the family of Eagle Huntress and know more about their life.
Mongolians, especially the Kazakh people, are known for their welcoming nature. A lot of tourists believe that the West is where beauty is found.
You do not need to travel all across Mongolia to see the natural landscapes. You will get everything in the West: the dunes, lakes, and mountains.
If you are in the countryside, you will not see a lot of traffic jams, but as you move to the interior of Mongolia, you will see a sight like no other! There are traffic jams created by camels, horses, herds of cows, goats, or sheep who are relaxing on the road.
Also, since the Mongolians lead a nomadic life, they are always on the move. If you are lucky to be here during the moving season, which is usually in spring when the nomadic herders move, you will see a unique tradition. Mongolians take their livestock and all essentials when they move.
There will be animals everywhere. The beauty of this is that nomadic people do not keep their animals in fences but instead let them out in the wild.
You will see so many real wild animals living across Mongolia. Some animals you may have never seen anywhere else, like snow leopards, gazelles, and yaks, are all roaming the Mongolian landscape.
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7. Wild Camping
Mongolia is known as the country of starry skies. Since there is minimal population, there are fewer vehicles and low light pollution. This makes the skies dark and clear, where the stars are easily visible.
A lot of Ger camps work on a generator, and it is turned off at night, leaving the views clear and uninterrupted. Camping in the wild is an adventurous activity, especially for nature enthusiasts.
While camping, at times, can be tough due to the weather conditions, the starry skies are worth it.
You will see a beautiful array of stars right above you as you enjoy the quiet, dark nights.
Mongolia has a clear, blue sky for more than 250 days a year. The summers here are hot, but the winters are very cold.
So, if you want to escape the cold winds and chilly nights for a while, head to Mongolia on your next holiday. If you are traveling in spring, the weather is everything you want, and you won’t regret your visit.
Each season puts up a beautiful show in Mongolia. For instance, the summer is all about blue skies and green mountains, while the winter makes this country a beautiful white wonderland.
The spring is an ideal time to travel when newborn animals are prancing around happily and freely.
But, if you want to enjoy the best landscapes of the country, plan on visiting Mongolia in winter. The views will undoubtedly be breathtaking.
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The coldest capital city in the world, Ulaanbaatar, is a lively place with a fast-growing population. The majority of Mongolia’s population lives here, which is why the rest of the land is empty. Also, it’s the arrival point when you travel by air and is the perfect place to start your trip.
If you are looking for places to visit in Mongolia, this is where you should start. When you walk into this city, you will be surprised to think that it is in Mongolia. It feels like the opposite of the rest of Mongolia and attracts young people from across the country, which makes it feel alive.
You’ll notice that the city has tall skyscrapers that are located next to old temples. And just like other major cities across the globe, there are five-star restaurants, hotels, traffic jams, and lots of people.
But, since a lot of people are moving to the capital city, the outskirts remain surrounded by Ger camps. When in Ulaanbataatar, make sure to visit the Genghis Khan square and watch the changing of guards. A Full-Day Sightseeing City Tour will allow you to see the city’s main attractions.
10. Nadaam Festival
An ideal time to travel to Mongolia is during the National Nadaam Festival, which is celebrated in July. It is the festival of the “Three Manly Sports,” which includes horse racing, wrestling, and archery.
The festival celebrates the importance and traditional aspects of being manly in the country. It has the largest gathering in the capital, and even children get involved. It takes place all over the country, so no matter which part of Mongolia you are in, you will be able to make the most of it.
This festival is organized in the most enjoyable month and during the pleasant season in the country. Hence, many people participate in it and see it as an opportunity to enjoy diverse schedules like traveling to the countryside or gathering in their closest herds.
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11. Massive Sweeping Landscapes
The expansive Mongolian landscapes are certainly a worthy reason for visiting the country. These untouched landscapes are beautiful and offer the best spots for various activities like camping, horse riding, and hiking. In fact, photos cannot do justice to how massive and beautiful the landscape is.
Think of being in the middle of nowhere, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and not seeing anything other than the rolling hills. Just nothing!
The landscape will continue to change as you drive through the country, and even if you travel for hours, you will not get tired of the views. The changing views ensure that you always have something fascinating to enjoy during your tour.
The best way to enjoy these expansive landscapes is to book a tour that allows you to traverse most of the region. This eight-day Gobi and Grassland Mongolia tour will work perfectly.
12. Off-Roading Experience
It is important to keep in mind that there are few roads in Mongolia, and even fewer of them are paved. Hence, visiting Mongolia can be an epic road trip like you’ve never seen.
The local drivers know the country pretty well and will take you across the best landscapes. Some routes may even seem totally impossible to visitors.
From crossing the deep-flowing rivers to climbing dunes and crossing deep ravines, the country has everything to admire. Also, given that a good road is a little more than a path, the place is made for a fun adventure.
This day trip to Terelj National Park offers you a glimpse of the off-road life in Mongolia. Your helpful driver and guide are experienced in driving off-road and will also provide lots of information on the history of Mongolia and its beautiful landscapes.
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13. Warm Up Using a Ger Stove
There is nothing cozier than warming up in a Ger with a stove that is blazing in the middle of the tent. When you visit Mongolia, you get an opportunity to warm up with such a stove, something you might never be able to do anywhere else.
It is one of the snuggliest moments you will ever have.
Many parts of Mongolia are extremely cold at night, and the temperature falls below freezing. But, with a stove lit right next to you, it will feel very toasty.
For an even more magical experience, check out this cooking class in a traditional Ger home. The class will be held in a yurt in the suburbs of Ulaanbaatar, so you don’t have to venture out too far from the city to get a unique experience.
14. Challenge the Taste Buds
Speaking of cooking, there is nothing like the food in Mongolia. The local food is an important part of Mongolia and something you must try.
Many local delicacies consist of mutton, potatoes, and dumplings. I recommend trying Huushuur, which is a traditional Mongolian meat pie. The pie is fried and usually consists of sheep and onions. A vegetable-filled version has also become popular in recent years.
One interesting thing to try is a yak, which you won’t find in a lot of other destinations. Another specialty of Mongolia is kumis, which is fermented mares milk, and camel curd, which tastes like cheese.
When visiting a new place, you can challenge your taste buds and try foods you have never heard about.
15. Climbing Sand Dunes
Reaching the top of sand dunes and enjoying the view is the best thing you can do in Mongolia. You will enjoy the views for miles, which will make it feel like a huge sense of achievement.
The most fun thing is to run down the dunes afterward. You will feel the sand between your toes, and the sheer size of the desert will mesmerize you.
As such, you need to set aside time to visit and climb the sand dunes in Mongolia. The varied landscapes make it the most stunning destination in the world.
16. Shop at the Supermarkets
As stated earlier, Mongolia is not all about the countryside. The city is also full of life and doing some shopping here can bring more fun and excitement to your tour.
While this might feel like one of the random reasons people love Mongolia, it is totally worth it.
A lot of the towns that you will drive through will have supermarkets, although some are larger than others. However, they all have delicious Mongolian snacks, including chocolates, which are something you should never miss out on.
The supermarkets across the different towns look like they are in the middle of nowhere and look nothing like the supermarkets you may have been to. They are nothing more than a hut but will have everything you need.
One thing to remember, though, is that you cannot purchase alcohol in Mongolia on a Wednesday in some provinces. It is a way to prevent rising alcohol consumption rates.
The best thing about visiting Mongolia is the lack of connectivity. Many places have no signal, WiFi, or 4G connection. As a result, you can only connect with nature and yourself. This gives you a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of life.
You will feel refreshed being away from your phone and not checking it all the time.
This is something you may not have done in a while, but it might give you peace and calmness as you’ve never known. An overnight Gobi desert tour will make the experience even better.
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18. Learn About the Mongolian History
Mongolia is known for its complex and rich history, and you cannot go anywhere without a reference to Genghis Khan. Everything here is named after him, right from the town square to vodka and even the airport. There are so many statues of him dotted everywhere, and while in Mongolia, you can learn why.
He ruled over the largest empire in the world at that point in time. To the rest of the world, he is a ruthless warmonger, but in Mongolia, he is worshipped like a God.
Head to the Karakoram Museum if you want to learn more about the history of Mongolia. Here, you will see many artifacts on display from different ages. I think the most interesting exhibit is the small-scale model of the town from the 1250s.
Do not miss out on the massive statue of Genghis Khan outside Ulaanbaatar, which is the world’s tallest horse statue. You have to see it to believe it. A day trip to the Genghis Khan Statue Complex is an excellent idea.
19. Gobi Desert
Another reason why you should plan a visit to Mongolia is to see the fourth largest desert in the world. This vast and empty desert is one of Mongolia’s most iconic landscapes and a must-see for anyone visiting the country.
In the Gobi desert, you’ll see the wild roaming camels and the stunning views at the top of the singing sand dunes of Khongoryn Els. Make sure you visit the Flaming Cliffs, where dinosaur fossils have been discovered.
The place is also known as Bayanzag, and it remains the only place besides North America where the fossils are still being discovered.
Gobi desert is one of the top travel destinations in Mongolia. It has captivated photographers, paleontologists, travelers, and explorers for many years. And if you are a wildlife enthusiast, you will love this place.
Besides the dinosaur fossils, the desert is also famous for its natural formations, camel herding nomads, and wildlife. The desert offers you wonderful activities that can make the trip worthwhile and unforgettable.
Like the deserts of the Middle East or North Africa, you can explore the Gobi desert through different means.
You can explore it on foot, camel, or in a jeep. After you get there, you must spend some time climbing on the top of the Khongor sand dunes to soak in the panoramic views of the vast desert.
At the top of the dunes, you will realize how tiny you are compared to the world around you. Book the 1 Day Semi-Gobi Tour and get the uncensored experience of this vast desert.
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20. The Golden Eagle Festival
An adventure and cultural attraction for local and foreign travelers, the Golden Eagle Festival is one of a kind. It is not just a festival but an ancient tradition and a part of the culture of Mongolia.
For those who are looking for a strong reason to travel to Mongolia, the Golden Eagle Festival is the answer. It is one of the must-see events in all of Asia.
Every year, there are Kazakh hunters who attend the festival for competitions that are based on the accuracy, agility, and speed of their hunting eagles. It is also a festival that celebrates the honored golden eagle and the traditional heritage of Mongolia.
Mongolia is a place to unwind and reconnect with yourself. You will be amazed at just how beautiful it is and how wonderful it is to live in a world without any distractions.
Travelers immediately fall in love with Mongolia, and it has become the favorite country of so many.
Is a Tour to Mongolia Worth It?
For starters, you will miss the yurt life once you are back from your holiday and running around with your daily tasks. This is enough to make you want to plan a trip to Mongolia right away.
If it is on your bucket list, wait no more! The trip will be one of the most amazing experiences you can ever have.
If you are the type who likes to travel a lot, there are so many beautiful places that you can explore yourself. It is fun to travel, do it now while you can.
Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. There is always a way to travel without hurting your pockets.
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