Discover the Hidden Gem of Asia: Mongolia’s Vast Steppe and Rich Culture

Mongolia, the land of vast steppe, stunning landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage, has long been a destination overlooked by many travelers. Its remoteness and short summer season have deterred all but the most adventurous of explorers. 

2023 could be the ideal time to visit Mongolia due to the government’s relaxation of entry requirements for overseas tourists and improvements made to its infrastructure.

Here are ten reasons why travelers should start planning their long-dreamed-of Mongolia visit now.

Mongolia’s government has designated 2023 to 2025 as the “Years to Visit Mongolia,” and has added 34 more countries to the list of visa-free entry until the end of 2025. This brings the total number of countries and territories on the visa-exempt list to 61.

One of the main attractions is the new $650 million Chinggis Khaan International Airport, which can handle about 3 million passengers a year, double that of the old airport. Budget flights to Hong Kong have already been relaunched, and talks to resume direct flights to the United States are underway.

Mongolia’s history is showcased at the recently opened Chinggis Khaan Museum, which has more than 10,000 artifacts spanning over 2,000 years. The museum showcases its collection of artifacts across eight levels, consisting of six permanent and two temporary exhibition areas. Visitors can take guided tours in English without any fee every Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Festivals such as Playtime, INTRO Electronic Music Festival, Spirit of Gobi, and the Kharkhorum 360 Visual Art & Music Experience are putting Mongolia on the map for festival lovers. The annual Naadam event, held in Ulaanbaatar at the National Sports Stadium, celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2023.

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Adventure and Lodging

For those seeking adventure, Mongolia offers mounted archery, dogsledding tours, and motorbike expeditions. Visitors can learn about Mongolian calligraphy from a master at the Erdenesiin Khuree Mongolian Calligraphy Center in Karakorum.

Mongolia’s natural beauty is breathtaking, and one of the best ways to experience it is with a visit to Lake Khuvsgul during the winter. Professional musher Joel Rauzy leads dogsledding tours across the frozen lake. 

Exploring Mongolia during the winter season provides a distinctive and memorable experience, as it offers the opportunity to witness one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes frozen and lesser crowds, along with affordable hotel rates. 

Scandinavian design meets Mongolia at Yeruu Lodge, located in the heart of Selenge province on the Yeruu River. The minimal Scandinavian-style lodge is a unique and stylish option for travelers seeking luxury accommodations.

With so much to offer, Mongolia is an increasingly popular destination for tourists seeking adventure, culture, and natural beauty.

Unique Cultural Experience

Mongolia is a country with a rich cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years. Visitors can experience a unique way of life by staying with nomadic families in traditional gers, attending a Naadam festival, and witnessing the daily lives of people who have retained their traditions despite the impact of modernity.

Vast Open Spaces

Mongolia is a vast country, with endless landscapes of rolling hills, grassy steppe, and sweeping deserts. Visitors can explore this vast open space on horseback, camelback, or on foot, and enjoy the freedom of traveling through untouched wilderness.

Wildlife Watching

Mongolia is home to some unique and endangered species, including the wild Bactrian camel, the Gobi bear, and the snow leopard. Visitors can also see wild horses, gazelles, and many species of birds.

Ancient History

Mongolia has a long and fascinating history, with evidence of human habitation dating back over 800,000 years. Visitors can explore ancient cities, burial mounds, and rock art sites to gain a glimpse into Mongolia’s rich and varied past.

Adventure Activities

For those seeking adventure, Mongolia offers a range of activities, including trekking, mountain biking, kayaking, and rock climbing. Visitors can also experience the thrill of hunting with trained golden eagles, a tradition that dates back over 1,000 years.

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Beautiful Landscapes

Mongolia’s landscapes are breathtaking, with vast open spaces, rugged mountains, and crystal-clear lakes. Visitors can explore the Gobi desert, the Altai Mountains, and the Khangai Mountains, each with its unique beauty.

Delicious Food

Mongolian cuisine is delicious and hearty, with meat, dairy products, and grain forming the basis of most dishes. Visitors can enjoy traditional meals such as buuz, a type of steamed dumpling filled with meat, and khuushuur, a type of fried meat pastry.

Friendly People

Mongolians are known for their hospitality and friendliness. Visitors can experience the warmth and generosity of the people by staying with nomadic families or interacting with locals in markets and shops.

Developing Tourism Infrastructure

The Mongolian government has recognized the potential of tourism for the country’s economy and is investing in developing the necessary infrastructure. Visitors can expect to find a growing number of hotels, restaurants, and tour operators, making travel to Mongolia more accessible and enjoyable.

In conclusion, Mongolia is a destination that should be on every traveler’s list. With a unique cultural experience, vast open spaces, adventure activities, ancient history, breathtaking landscapes, delicious food, and friendly people, visitors to Mongolia are sure to have an unforgettable trip.