Year Visited: 2019 – July
Mongolia, known as a “land of the blue sky”, is a country in the East Asia, with gorgeous natural beauty and home to an incredible nomadic culture, one of the last few places on the planet where nomadic life is still a living tradition. Approximately 30% of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic.
With only 2 people per km², Mongolia has the lowest population density among all independent countries in the world. Mongolia holds more than 3 million horses, an equine population which outnumbers the country’s human population. It is traditionally said that “A Mongol without a horse is like a bird without the wings.”
Little history, the area of what is now Mongolia has been ruled by various nomadic empires since 3rd century BCE. In 1206, Genghis Khan (Chinggis Khan) was able to unite the Mongols and founded the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous land empire in the history. According to a genetic study published in 2003; One in every 200 men worldwide is a direct descendants of Genghis Khan, it can be traced in Y chromosomes. That’s roughly 16 million descendants living today.
We entered into Mongolia by land-crossing from China. We started our 42+ hours journey by taking an overnight bus from Beijing to Erlian (Erenhot), a border town in Inner-Mongolia, China. From Erlian we took a bus to Zamin-Uud, a border town in Mongolia. We spent few hours in Zamin-Uud before taking an overnight train to UlaanBaatar, the capital city.
Highly recommended: Must visit Mongolia during the Naadam festival, a national festival celebrated every year from 11 to 13 July across Mongolia that focuses on three traditional games: horse racing, wrestling and archery.
Below are some places I explored during my two weeks in Mongolia. Click on any cities below to view my travel photos and stories.