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Tourism in Mongolia
Distinctive and original culture, the old-time hospitality of Mongols, a remarkable variety of scenery, and the rich animal and plant kingdoms of Mongolia exert a fascination for tourists. Since Mongolia's transfer to the market economy in 1990, the tourism sector has evolved into a critical part of the country's development. It has been a major factor in Mongolia's union with the world trend of globalization. Prior to 1990 there were arrivals mainly from the Russian Federation and Eastern and Central Europe. After 1990 the number of leisure tourist arrivals has grown due to the increase of tourists predominantly from Japan, France, UK, Germany and USA. Their number is steadily increasing over the years. 2003 was declared "Visit Mongolia" year by the Government. Notwithstanding SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) disease in Asia, the number of tourists increased 2.8 times compared to 1999 reaching 200,000.

Around US$ 150 million are collected each year from travel and tourism, equal to 10% of the country's GDR The construction of more hotels, tourist camps, restaurants and reliable transportation networks which are up to international standards will draw more tourists to Mongolia and increase the profits of companies operating in the tourism sector. At the same time, Mongolia's transition to the market economy has resulted in the emergence of private sectors that have started to operate in the tourism industry. The number of private tourist companies has mushroomed nationwide, there are 495 tourism companies, 140 tourist camps and over 200 hotels. In accordance with the declaration of 2004 as the Discover Mongolia Year, the numbers of foreign tourists have been increasing. As of the first six months of 2004, a total of 107,977 tourists visited Mongolia. At the same time of last year, 74,365 tourists were welcomed to the country.

 

 

Government Policy and Development Plans for Tourism Sector
Mongolia is a unique and relatively unexplored travel destination that offers a great combination of scenic natural features, a wide variety of untouched landscapes including vast open spaces, pale ontologi-cal and historical heritage areas, and nomadic life style and culture. Accordingly, the Government of Mongolia has recognized tourism as a priority sector with great potential to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. One of these steps was the approval of the "Basic Guidelines for the Development of Tourism in Mongolia for the period of 1995-2005" and the "Implementation plan from 1995 to 1996" both adopted by Government Resolution No. 167 with the aim of developing the tourism sector based on state planning and regulation. The implementation of "Development of Tourism in Mongolia" Project during 1998-1999 within the framework of the EU supported TACIS program has resulted in initiation of restructuring efforts of the sector and the establishment of the Tourism Board as a government implementing agency. Moreover, it facilitated the formation of a legal framework for the development of tourism industry in Mongolia. Additionally, the development vision and strategies of the tourism sector up to the year 2015 were formulated, and the specific priority programs and projects were identified based on the "Master Plan on National Tourism Development in Mongolia", which was developed with assistance of Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). As MPRP, a ruling political party in Mongolia, has declared the tourism sector a priority sector of the economy, the Government initiates a broader range of measures and promises to provide a sufficient support to promote the tourism industry in Mongolia. Therefore, the Government Action Plan for 2000-2004 and Basic Guidelines for Socio-economic Development have included a specific set of measures to promote tourism and to implement the Tourism Law.

Tourism Laws in Mongolia
The Tourism Law of Mongolia was enacted in May 5, 2000 for the first time, since Mongolia shifted to the market oriented economy. Its purpose is to regulate all relationships between state, private citizens and economic entities engaged in tourism business. The law outlines a definition for tourism, responsibilities and obligations of the state, tourism organizations, special permission requirements, structure, rights and responsibilities of state administrative and overseeing organizations for the tourism sector, arrangements for the development of tourism related infrastructure and penalties in case of violation of the law. The tourism Law was then amended in November 30, 2001 by enacting the classifications and grading of tour guides, operators and hotels as mandatory. The Government explains that these regulations are necessary to improve the quality of services provided by tourism and related entities. In connection with this law, several regulations were adopted including the following: "State Monitoring Regulation for Tourism" by the Government Resolution dated November 8, 2000. "Regulation of Classification and Grading of Tour Guides" by the Order No. 149 of Minister of Infrastructure dated on May 15, 2002. "Regulation of Classification and Grading of Hotels and Tourist Camps" by the Order No. 150 of Minister of Infrastructure dated May 15, 2002. "Temporary Regulation of Classification of Tour Operators" by the Order No.229 of Minister of Infrastructure dated July 31, 2002.

Major Tourism Attractions and Travel Destinations in Mongolia
The attractions and activities for tourists in Mongolia relate to the natural environment, historic features and cultural heritage. Mongolia has diverse and distinctive vegetation and fauna including some rare species such as the Argali Sheep, Przewalski Horse, Asiatic wild ass, wild Bactrian camels, snow leopard and ibex. The remains of dinosaurs have been found in the Gobi desert. The historic heritage of Mongolia is mainly related to Chinggis Khaan, the warrior-statesman, who in the 13th century, united the Mongolian people into a strong nation that controlled much of Asia. The traditional nomadic way of life, based on livestock raising and living in traditional gers, is of great interest to overseas visitors. The two major public holidays are Naadam, a traditional festival celebrated each summer and displays three types of traditional games: horse racing, wrestling and archery, and the Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian Lunar New Year, which marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. These two festivals are the most visited events by tourists.

 

 

Major hotels in Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar)

The Chinggis khaan hotel
The Chinggis khaan hotel offers 154 comfortable guest rooms, 40 spacious suites and 2 president suites. All rooms and suites are fitted with international direct dial telephone, TV with satellite programmes, mini bar and air conditioning.The hotels health club feature an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna and massage salon.East of Youth cultural Palace, just west of the Sansar district.

Ulaanbaatar Hotel
The four star elegant Ulaanbaatar hotel has been operating for more than 40 years in the hotel business and is located centrally in the capital, just to the east on the State Opera House and Sukhbaatar square. Ulaanbaatar hotel offers you a choice of 119 rooms, including deluxe, junior suite, double and single.

Continental Hotel
In the heart of Ulaanbaatar, the political, social and cultural capital of Mongolia, stands a monument to classical elegance. The Continental Hotel delivers service and style second to none in Ulaanbaatar. For the business traveler and the tourist, we offer any services that will make your stay more comfortable and productive.

Bayangol Hotel
Welcome to the Hotel Bayangol, a calm and peaceful place where you can totally relax as if in your own home. The hotel is just 30 minutes drive from the Airport 8 minutes drive from the Railway station and main cultural centers, state institution and district nearby.

Palace hotel
The Palace hotel offers its guests the best panorama of suburban Ulaanbaatar. Guests staying in the Bogd Khaan Mountain, Zaisan Hill, Bogd Khaan Palace Museum, willow forest along the banks of the Tuul River. The Palace Hotel has 68 comfortable guest rooms, and luulchin restaurant, conference room and moon night club.

About Mongolia

Climate
Hot summers and cold winters. Average summer temperature +20C, average winter temperature -23C, average rainfall 200-220 mm per annum, the sun shines for over 200 days a year. Winter lasts from November to late February, spring from March to May, and summer from June to September.

Weather & Climate
Mongolia is located in the Northern Hemisphere temperate zone. Situated at an average altitude of 1500 m above the sea level separated from the oceans, surrounded by high mountain chains that are blocking the wet winds, Mongolia has an extreme continental climate. The winter continues long with cold temperature but summer is hot and not so long. Winter lasts from November to late April, Spring May through June. Summer continued from July through to September. The average summer temperature is +20c (+65F). Winter is -20c (-13F). The wind is 1.5-4.5m/s. The average rainfall is 200-220 mm. In Mongolia there are 250 sunny days a year, often with clear cloudless skies. Therefore Mongolia is known to the world as a country of "Blue Sky".

Population & Language
Today the Mongolia has more than 2, 8 million population and over 1 million people live in rural areas and are mainly engaged in traditional livestock herding and some extent in crop production.
Population density one person per 1.6 square km. 68% of the total populations are young people under the age of 35. The average life expectancy is just over 65 year. The present urban population is above 1 million. In Ulaanbaatar having 800,000 inhabitants-one third of the total population of Mongolia.

Geography

  • Territory: 1.564.100 sq km, 19th and the most sparsely populated independent largest country in the world
  • Population: 2.754.314 people with density of 1.8 person/sq km
  • Geographic position: Mongolia lies in Central Asia and borders with Russia and China.
  • Average altitude: 1.580 m above sea level
  • Landscapes: Semi-desert and plains, mountains in the west and southwest, Gobi desert in the south and southeast, taiga forests and lakes in the north.

Ulaanbaatar city 
Like nearly one half of the Mongolian population, the capital city of Ulaanbaatar is herself a nomad. The city has changed locations more than twenty times over the past 350 years before taking root in her current location in a sweeping valley bounded by four sacred peaks, including Bogd Khan mountain to the south. Along with her location, the capital has changed names over the years, having been called Urguu from 1639to 1706, Ih Huree from 1706 to 1911, Niislel Huree from 1911–1923, and finally Ulaanbaatar since 1924). But despite her many transformations, Mongolia’s capital has remained constant as the political, economic, and cultural center of the nation, and as a city rich in both character and contrast. Indeed there aren’t many world capitals in which you can ride a horse, visit a nomadic family, and enjoy fine dining and luxurious spa treatments all in the same day.

Ulaanbaatar today is a vibrant city of more than one million residents. The city reflects a close and sometimes amusing juxtaposition of nomadic traditions and modern society, perhaps best summarized by her skyline dotted with both gers (felt tents) and towering skyscrapers. The city’s contrast can also be found among those who call it home, from traditional-clothing-clad herders, to Armani-suit-wearing business men and women, to a growing number of ex-patriots hailing from nearly every corner of the globe. Only in Ulaanbaatar might you find a horse cart bouncing down the central avenue alongside a Mercedes Benz, or a market selling both livestock and designer clothing. In short, there is something for everyone, and always a site to behold in Ulaanbaatar.

If cities have a heart, and they certainly do, then the heart of Ulaanbaatar is Sukhbaatar Square. This sprawling plaza situated in front of the capital building, is the place where residents and visitors gather for celebrations, exhibitions, and concerts, or just for a leisurely stroll with friends. Running along the southern edge of the square is Enkh Taivny Orgon Choloo (Peace Avenue), Ulaanbaatar’s main thoroughfare, which spans from East to West across the city. On Peace Avenue, you’ll find a myriad of shopping hotspots, selling everything from cashmere, to antiques and souvenirs, to high fashion couture. You’ll also find a surprising variety of restaurants, bars, and cafes, serving up Italian, French, Korean, Chinese, Turkish, American, and Mongolian cuisines, to name but a few.

Besides serving as the jumping off point for all travel throughout the country, Ulaanbaatar has much to offer visitors. The city’s eight museums are bursting at the seams with treasures such as 3,000 year old Hunnu artifacts, prehistoric dinosaur bones, and Chinggis Khaan-era armor and weapons. Dozens of cultural venues throughout the city present daily performances of dance, theatre, music, and contortionism. The city is also home to one of the world’s largest open air markets, Narantuul, with more than 2500 vendors selling everything under the sun.

 

 

Horse and Camel Riding
Horse treks in Mongolia range from easy day trips with guides, to multi-week solo adventures deep in the mountains. Mongolia is a unique area of unsurpassed geographical and human diversity, with forest, desert, steppe and Lake lands populated by over 15 distinct ethnic groups.

Horses are deeply embedded within Mongolia's culture; they are an indication of a man's wealth. The pace of life is governed by the speed of the horse and horses are woven into Mongolian song, verse and history. Infants are taught to ride before they walk, and a young man's prowess is measured by his skill as a horseman. Traveling on a horse is the perfect way to see a lot of the park, including many distinct area of Mongolia. To travel long distances, you will need to have experience, or a guide, and bring most of your own gear. Horses can be hired through any of the ger camps.

Walking and Hiking
Hiking vacations and trekking holidays in the most remote and beautiful parts of Mongolia. Mongolian hiking adventures offer you to experience the culture and untouched landscapes on foot.  As a country with few cars or paved roads, hiking opportunities abound. The biggest obstacle faced by hikers is finding transport to the mountains once they get far afield from Ulaanbaatar. However, in the regions around Bogdkhan Mountain and Terelj National Park or Hustai National Park which are not far from Ulaanbaatar. There are enough Mountains to hikers busy for few days.

Moreover, You will discover the beauty and isolation of Mongolia – particularly the Gobi Steppe and the Khan Khenti Strictly Prohibited Area, in western Mongolia, prime hiking areas including Altai Tavan Bogd National parks are the views of the a highlight of this unique and unforgettable experience.

Nomad lifestyle
Mongolia is one of the nomad countries in the world. Since the Hunnu Empire Mongolians raising their five domestic animals (it is including sheep, horse, cow, camel, and goat) in the broad region of forest, steppe and Gobi desert. Especially they respect their horses. Mongolians see their horse is their best friend. Mongolian nomadic people move into place to place 2-4 times a year as well as it is depending on livestock's pasture. Mongolian nomad people always following their livestock. Because livestock knows where is the best pasture? Herders live in Mongolian traditional dwelling (covered felt) Ger.

Mongolian five animals
Mongolia is the land of livestock. Now in Mongolia has over 30 million livestock, including 13, 8 million sheep, 10, 2 million goats, 3, 1 million cattle, 2, 6 million horses and 322, 3 thousand Bactrian camels.

On these give animals depends the prosperity of the country. All flocks of sheep include goats, only shepherds can really explain why. The sheep provides meat, wool and leather, nowadays its milk little taken. The goat provides milk and company for the sheep, its fresh is seldom eaten.

The cow is eaten and milked, and its hide provides leather often the yak is used instead of the cow, or else together with cattle. The she- yak's milk is fatter. The yak seems more active than the cow, and as one approaches a mixed herd, the yak's - hairy as terriers - are always the first to run off, lofting their- feathery tails like pennons. Also there is hainag, a yak cow hybrid. (The reverse hybrid, from a Mongolian bull with a female yak, is possible, but not used.)The male hainag is strong, stronger than either parent. It is burly beast with hair longer than its mother's and shorter than its father's. The female produces more milk than the female of either parental stock. But its calf, the ortom, is a weakling, and breeding is not taken other. The horse is kept as a mount and for milk. Mares must be in foal a great part of the year. Several times in journey you will come across twenty or thirty horses crowded, noses together close to Ger They are waiting their turn for milking. Mongols say they milk better if you let the foal start them.

The means of transport is the camel. His wool warm to the rider, is taken also. But he is not eaten, nor his female milked, save perhaps on the edge of the desert where no other livestock viable. Camels are formidable. The males, when their minds are on mating, foam at the mouth and fight. Camel herds are usually smaller than those of other animals. Camels and coats are shorn but once a year. Sheep sometimes twice. A Mongolian sheep gives three or four pounds of wool a year.

 

 

Festivals and Events

Naadam festival
The Mongolian national holiday Naadam is celebrated in Mongolia each year on 11 July. "Eriin gurvan naadam" the three manly games of wrestling, horse racing, and archery- make up the core activities of the National day festivals.

Wrestling
At the start of competition all the wrestlers with the higher title - holder in front , enter the hall in a line wearing gutuls (decorated Mongolian boots. ) and hats and their wrestling costumes called "zodog"(an open fronted , long sleeves vest of silk) and "shuudag"(tight short trunks ). There are many different titles for the wrestlers such as Titan (avarge), Lion (arslan). Zaan and Falcon. All the names signify strength. Titles are mostly confirmed during the national festival Naadam. A wrestler who wins five fights in succession during one competition has the right to have the title of Falcon, and if he wins seven fights in succession Elephant. When a wrestler wins all the fights in a competition during one of these festivals he will be a Lion. If he wins a subsequent year he merits the title of titan, the highest rank. There is a variety of throws used to defeat opponents. Some say there are hundreds of them. When the wrestling arena or step onto the carpet in the case of an indoor competition and the second take off the wrestler's hats.

When a wrestler touches the ground with any part of his body other than his feet and arms, he is considered to be defeat. The main difference between Mongolian national wrestling and international free style wrestling is that the weight category of wrestlers is not taken into consideration.

Horse racing
Mongolian people have loved horse racing since time immemorial. A whole system for conducting the contests has developed over the centuries. In the races held during national festivals, including Naadam, participants are six age groups and the distances range from 15-30kms. No special tracks are prepared, the horses covering the distance in the steppe and jumping over natural barriers. Before they start the riders sing an ancient war-like song -Giingoo. The competitors start at the finishing line and at the signal to start and back to the finish line. Thus the distance is actually doubled. The horse racing can be held on saddled or unsaddled horses. Horses of two years older take part. The winner is honored with a cup of airag which he drinks and sprinkles on the head and croup of his horse. After the races, praise-singer extols the best riders and their horses.

Archery
The third element of the national games is archery. Five lines engraved on an ancient Mongolian target immortalize the phenomenal record of Yesuhei- baatar, saying that his arrow hit the target at a distance of 536 meters. The bow is an ancient invention going back to the Mesolithic Period. Ancient Mongolians made their contribution to the design of the bow as a combat weapon.

Today Mongolian's use less complicated form archery than in ancient time; the target is 'wall' made of cork cylinders braided together with leader straps. It is four meters long and 50cm high. The target is placed on the ground at a distance of 75 meters for men and 60 meters for women. In the past Mongolians used three types of bows; "big hand" (165-170cm),"average hand" (160cm), "small hand' (150cm). Today Mongolian's mostly use the average hand bow which requires a force of 22 to 38kg to draw it.

Arrows are usually made from pine wood and had feather fins which help the arrow to reach distance of 900 meters. Naadam archery also attracts individual archers as well as Teams of 8-12 people. Every male archer has forty arrows to shot at each target. The judges dressed in national attire, stand by the targets with hands held up after the arrows have been shot. They praise the best shot in a drawing recitative voice. The contests are accompanied by colorful national rites. Before the competition starts you hear the recitative song "uukhai', calling on the archers to be good marksmen and hit the target.

Mongol New Year
Mongolia and a number of other Eastern and Central Asian countries have followed the lunar calendar with its 12 year animal cycle since ancient times. The New Year according to the Oriental calendar in Mongolia is called Tsagaan sar which translate white month. There are many options about the origin of this name. One is that Mongols believe white symbolizes happiness, purity and abundance of milk products. The date of Tsagaan sar, depending on the phases of the moon, falls anywhere between the end of January and early March. Tsagaan sar is a birthday for all Mongols. Mongol families start preparations for a holiday almost a month a head. First of all there is a tradition to prepare plenty of gifts and food, in other words to have one's hand's full. Also gers, sheds and pens should be cleaned out. Every Mongol family makes hundred of buuzs and bunshes. Mongols like to greet the New Year in everything new. So women sew new dels for the whole family. According to custom Mongols kill a sheep, the fattest in the flock. Then the lower back with the tail is boiled and served on the table for the entire holiday. Tsagaan sar symbolizes wealth and prosperity in the family. The New Year eve in Mongolia is called Bituun - the last dinner of the old year. Beginning at noon family begins to set up the table. There must be several dishes; a dish with the boiled sheep's back tail a dish with ul boov (traditional bread biscuit), a dish with the berees (rice cooked with butter , sugar and raisins) and dish with traditional milk products; aaruul. Byaslag (unsalted cheese), cream, etc. one must eat all the traditional dishes that evening; boiled lamb and beef, huge variety of milk products, buzes and dessert. Some families have the tradition of placing coins inside the banshes. Whoever bites into the bansh with them coins will have good luck. At the end of the evening everyone's stomach is fully satisfied. The following morning everyone rises bright and early according to tradition (about 6-7 o clock). On this morning there are many customs to follow. The first is to greet the sun; everyone watches the sun rise. Second in order to have good health and happiness in the New Year, each individual must take "their first steps of the year". Everyone takes some steps in a specific direction. The direction is dependent upon what lunar calendar year one was born in. for ex, a person who was born in the mouse year must take the first steps to the north at the first day of the monkey year. The following year the direction will be different. After the fist steps are take, all family members re-enter their home. At this point the traditional Tsagaan sar greetings begin. The oldest family member is greeted first. They are seated at the north side of the ger -the most respected side of the ger. The next oldest family member is the first to greet. This member carries the hadag- a beautiful piece of blue silk - across their arms. A cup filled with milk is placed in the right hand on the silk. This person greets the oldest family member by saying"Sar shinedee saihan shinelj bna uu?" and then gives the silk and milk to them. The younger member has her or his palms facing upward and grasps the older one's elbows. The older member has palms faced down, and the arms are above the younger. While this occurring, the two kiss one other on each cheek. (This kiss, not exactly kiss, is the touching of one's cheeks) On this day 'all family members show their respect and love through this greeting. After the second oldest member has finished the greeting, the one family member greets the oldest member. Then they continue to greet one another and give gifts. After the greetings, the food is placed on the table and the eating and drinking begins once again. The drinks consist of airag and vodka. The almost favorable drink during this holiday is Mongol milk tea. The woman who is head of the house continually cooks, and serves, cleans all day. Her children help her with all of the work.

At this point, guests begin to arrive and continue to all day long. The greetings continue as well as the gift- giving. The conversation greetings with the guests are a little different. Usually, question is asked about livestock's how they survived through the winter, if they are healthy, etc. During this period it is expect that all family members visit one another. The greetings should be finished within 15 days then Tsagaan Sar has ended.

 

 

Religion in Mongolia

 Yellow headed Buddhism began to enter into Mongolia from Tibet the second half of the 16th century. Since that time mostly Mongolians believe Buddhism. But Mongolian Buddhism is different from Tibetan Buddhism. Mongolian Buddhism connected with Mongolian traditional lifestyle. Before in 1930, 40% of male population was lamas (monks). Between the communist purges 1930-1940 Russian and Mongolian soldiers destroyed about 700 monasteries and temples. Until in 1990 any religion closed in Mongolia. After democratic movement in 1990 all religion reopened. In 2002, there are about 180 religious temples and churches operating in Mongolia and more than 110 Buddhist monasteries and temples and about 70 Christian churches in Mongolia.

Buddhism
Buddhism in the form of the yellow hat Buddhism or Lamaism making further inroads into Mongolia from the second half of the 16th century. According to the Mongolia Buddhist doctrine, it is said that the sky father blessed all of the world and that there is one who could say, I am a owner of the world' Buddhism teaches the 'nature of reason' and that if good deeds are done, they will have good results. Similarly if bad deeds are done, they will have bad results. Buddhism preaches about these as 'ten black deed sins' and 'ten white deeds'. Sins are divided into deeds which are made with the body with speech or with the mind through thoughts. Sins made with thoughts include thinking about bad things having evil thoughts, corruption, intentionally or purposely doing a crime, planning aggressive war, and so forth.

It is said that Buddhism believes that thought is thing prior to both body and speech. They consider evil thoughts the result of numerous sufferings and unavoidable accidents and misfortune. The term used for such negative feelings is Nirvanas (greed, anger, opposed, ideology). Buddhism argues that if we can systematically remove these strong desires or greed from the mind we can become wholly enlightened people. With enlightenment, thoughts will become pure and clean and reach to the height of bliss.

Buddhism also teaches that if the people show their mercy in letting an animal live, they will gain merit in their future lives.

Ger or Yourt

Ger, Mongolian traditional dwelling
Ideally suited to Mongolia's harsh terrain and lifestyle, the ger is called a yourt by many foreigners. But, Mongolians don't particularly like this Russian labeling of their national dwelling ...so call it a ger. A round felt tent covered in durable, waterproof, white canvas seems to be the most simple description of this portable home. White modern and expensive houses are being built in UB, many rural Mongolians have retained their traditional lifestyle, of which the ger is an integral part.

Ancient gers were not collapsible and had to be wheeled from one location to the next sometimes pulled by up to 22 yaks. But nomads need to move across the country in all four seasons. So gers that could be packed onto the back of their livestock were designed and are still used.

The Mongolian ger has to key components: the wooden frame work and the the felt cover, the wooden framework is known as khana, the central support columns as uni, the smoke hole is toono. Eighty - eight separate wooden poles each measuring around 1,5 meters are used for the ger frame, with just to central columns supporting the entire structure. Without its felt and canvas covering the naked frame looks something like an umbrella without its sheath.

Once the framework has been erected it is covered with felt and mounted onto a wooden floor sometimes the ger goes directly on the ground, and then overlaid with felt. The door is always on the southern side facing the sun, providing more light inside windowless home.

Your average ger is divided into three areas. There are male and female sections and khoimor area at the rear of the ger. The male area is on western or left side of the ger. Here are man keeps his bridles, airag and arkhi. Women traditionally have the eastern side of a ger, where they keep kichen utensils, their own and childrens belongings. It is customary for a man entering a ger to step the western side and a women to the east.

The khoimer, which is directly opposite the door, is where valuable objects are stored or displayed, as well as a small Buddhist shine. Most families also keep a collage of photographs of relatives and close friends at the back of the ger. This is the most important part of the ger and guests are often invited to sit at the khoimer. The two central columns are the only things propping up the whole structure and no matter how many people are in ger ( you would be amazed how many can fit in and even sleep in a ger), no one ever leans against either of the support columns. This is considered very bad form.

It's around shape keeps the Ger. resilient to Mongolia 's ferocious winds, while it felt is rapidly drying material for when it rains or snow melts. In UB and more recently, in towns across the country, people are setting into large, faceless apartment blocks. Ger districts usually occupy poor quality land on the outskirts of town. But in summer, urban Mongolians head to the outskirts where they spend as much time as possible in small wooden houses or gers where they can enjoy the beautiful Mongolian summers away from the uncomfortably hot urban apartments.

 

 

Mongolian traditional food and beverage

Dairy products called "tsagaan idee" it is differ greatly about in variety and taste and include milk, which is regarded as symbol of unselfishness, purity and kindness, urum (a thick layer of cream), Mongolian butter, aaruul (dried curd), and a soft of kefir yogurt .

Aaruul
specialist believe that aaruul is one of the factors responsible for the Mongol's strong and healthy teeth. Aaruul is curdled milk, dehydrated and thoroughly dried in the air and sun. The remarkable thing is that there is practically no limit to it's slowly life.

Airag
Airag is Mongolian traditional drink. Rural people making summer time in it. 1000-3000 times bit it in cow' skin bag. (leader bag) Mongolian people used to airag in Naadam festival, wedding, New year and others. Some people can drink 2-3 letre one sit. Airag has included 7-8% of alcohol. So you will drink a lot of airag maybe you hang over. Airag is Mongolian respect and safely drink so you never to spit and drop it outside. During the Naadam and New year festival who win the wrestling competition people present him one big bowl airag. Also horse racing competition whose horse win people drop the airag horse's croup. Mongolian famous and tasty airags originated from Bulgan. Arkhangai, Ovorkhangai provinces. Airag gives strength and cheerfulness and it destroys pathogenic microbes in the intestines and helps improve the living body metabolisms. If you visit Mongolian family or wedding people give you one big bowl airag. Maybe you can't drink it just try sip it. ( airag is soft lime).

Boodog
Commonly used in marmot and coat involves removing the bones( and bowels from the skinned carcass through the neck red hot stones are put inside the carcass closed and the neck opening. Then the carcass is barbecued. The meat roasted this way is tender tasty and fragrant. )innards of the animal, whilst leaving the meat bones and skin intact, then placing red hot stones inside the body of the animal to cook the meat sometimes inside the boodog may you make vegetables and some pepper and salt. If you bring hot stones it will be good for relax also health.

Khorhog
Is prepared by cutting up the meat of the sheep and coat and placing it in a container together with hot stones, while heating from the outside. Some people add and fixed many kinds of vegetables also pepper and salt. Khorkhog was a cooking method commonly used by soldiers on military compaign in earlier centuries as the meat of a large animal such as a deer or gazella could thus be cooked in it's own stomach thus eliminating the need for carrying heavy pots or special utensils. Usually man making Boodog and Khorhog.

Tea with milk
Usually used to tea cow, camel and sheep milk. May you visit Mongolian nomadic family first they served you tea with milk. The Mongolians drink tea with milk with a salt. Sometimes the tea is cooked with rise, dumplings and flour. It preparing is easy first water and add brick tea salt then milk and boiled it is ready. Some Mongolian ethnic groups drink tea without salt. Usually Mongolian old people drink tea about 1-3 l a day. Also Mongolian people follow the traditional medicine. For example if I grip or cold make a 7 dumplings tea with milk. After you will be ok.

Vodka White
Vodka shimiin arhi Mongols have made vodka for many centuries since the first Mongol people, hunnus. Making vodka is a complex process and requires a lot of skill and the right materials. The process of making vodka has been passed down through many generations, from farther to son, and mother to daughter. In the paragraphs below I will attempt to describe the process of making Vodka. First you need a few important materials; to bowls, (one large and one is slightly smaller bowl ), a cylinder or bottomless barrel (the cylinder should fit snugly around the large bowl), a bucked, and of course a good fire. Another critical material is cow's milk. Once cows have been milked, the milk must be churned. The milk is must be changed into butter milk or yogurt. Next a fire is made then the large bowl is placed over the fire and the yogurt is poured into the bowl immediately, the bottomless barrel is put over the large bowl and the smaller bowl is placed on top of the barrel. The smaller bowl is then filled with water. However the barrel is not empty. Inside the barrel is a bucket that hangs between the two bowls. This bucket is very important because it catches the newly made vodka. Now the prepare must wait; the yogurt is boiled. As the steam from the yogurt rises it hits the bowl of cold water. As this point the steam condenses back into liquid. The liquid slowly drips into the hanging bucket, as time passes the bowl of cold water will get warm, so the preparer must change the water but "be careful of the steam". Once the process is completed, the arkhi is poured out and thrown into the fire. This is considered an offering to the god fire. If the arkhi makes a flash (blue flame)than the arkhi is good. Arkhi just made in the countryside of Mongolia . But people who live in the city can enjoy the arkhi because their families in the countryside often send them some.

Borts dried meat
The Mongolian nomadic way of life and the countries climatic conditions has give rise to specific methods of preserving meat. The most widespread one is air -drying or bortsloh. Beef is cut into long strips which are hung in the shade. The meat dries very quickly, becoming so hard that you can not cut it with the knife. Before using the dried meat it is powdered and the put into boiling water. In a minute you have a nourishing broth.

Mongolian traditional clothes

Hats
One of the most colorful and original items of Mongolian national dress is the traditional head wear. The Mongolian head dresses differed in shape and purpose; there were hats for the young and old, summer and winter & men & women, holidays and ceremonies & fashionable and everyday hats. Their fashion and trimmings & colors were amazing varied depending on the sex of the person wearing it his or her social position or to who's tribe or nationality they belonged. There are 400 different styles. For ex; the cone shaped top of the hat (blue or red) had 32 stitching symbolizing the unification of 32 Mongolian tribes. The middle ages women & men wore summer hats made of plush wet velvet upturned brim &brocaded pointed tops. The hat was crowed with a fanciful knot. In ancient times it symbolized power capable of frightening enemies. In summer Mongols wore either the hat or flat topped "toortsog" hat consisting of six gores. The toortsog had an upper and a lower part. The upper part was not one piece but was sewn from six separate pieces. Married women were not permitted to wear this hat only girls & men. Women's holiday headwear was noted for it is original style and richness of adornment. It consisted of a holiday silk and velvet hat and a complete decorative set for the hair the lower part of the hat was made from velvet and the upper part from red silk. The hair holder was covered with coral, pearl, and mother pearl. The Shanaavch the temporal adornment with little silver bells was fixed to the hair holder. The tolgoin boolt was a headdress usually made of silver and studded with a precious stone and semiprecious stones. Women's hats were more fashionable than men's, and the ribbons on them were decorated with turquoise.

Del
The Del is loose calf-length tunic made of one piece of material. It has long sleeves, a high collar and buttons on the right shoulder. The Del buttons. If they are not commercially produced from decorative stones or silver, are narrow strips of cloth tied into intricate knots. Each ethnic group living in Mongolia has its own individual Del, distinguished by its cut, color and trimming. These distinctions go unnoticed by foreigners but are obvious to Mongolians. Before Revolution, all social strata in Mongolia had their own manner of dressing. Live stock breeders for instance, wore yellow dels with a cape thrown over it. There are basically three types of dels, each worn during a particular season. The "Dan Del" is made of light, thinks bright materials and is worn by women during the late spring and summer. The "terleg" is a slightly more padded version and both men and women. The winter Del is serious, padded tunic lined with sheep skin, or layers of row cotton. Dels have the same cut whether worn by men or women. Male dels are just wider and in more somber colors. The Del for everyday wear is gray, brown or some other dark color, white the holiday Del is a bright blue, green or claret silk with a silk sash of contrasting color several meters long. The sash is not simply adornment. It also serves as a soft corset facilitating long riders on horse back. A Del has wide, cup-shaped sleeves nicknamed "hooves". There is a legend that the Manchu's introduced this style to make the Mongols the same as their horses. But it is a highly useful feature of the Del protecting the hands from the cold and from injures while doing hard work. Also shape is same golden and silver ingots. The khantaaz is a shorter traditional jacket, often made of silk, which is also buttoned to the side, and usually worn over the Del.

Boots
The toes of boots are upturned, and several explanations have been offered for this unconventional style. If boots had upturned toes pre 1578 when Buddhism introduced to Mongolia , then this would be an example of religion using indigenous customs, beliefs etc. to support advance their own religion. Another explanation is that the upturned tip prevents a rider's feet from slipping out of the stirrups. However it's also true that boots are so thick and rigid that if they were flat, they would be almost impossible to walk in. these hefty boots are still worn in UB and are particularly popular in countryside. The boots are tall boots made from thick unbending leather "buligar" and the tops are decorated with leather appliqués. The right and left boots are the same shape. They do not have laces or zippers, making them easy and quick to slip on or off in a hurry. And they can be worn in all sessions with thick felt socks added in winter and removed in summer.

 

 

Traditional Music & Songs

Odes to nature, horses and the open steppe are popular themes of traditional Mongolian music. Long songs, as the name suggest have lasted a long time and are loved by Mongolians. The original long time and written about 800 years ago and there are special songs for weddings, festivals and religious ceremonies. Traditional Mongolian instruments include string and wind instruments, drums and gongs. Mongolians have made their music instruments through the ages using metal, stone, bamboo, leather and wood.

The most popular instruments is the "Morin khuur" -Morin Khuur ( horse headed fiddle ). It is a square fiddle with the long, straight handle curved at the tip and topped with the carving of a horse's head. It is said to represent the movement and sounds of a horse. Every Mongolian family strives to have a morin khuur in their ger even though they are hand-made and fairly expensive instruments. In the beginning it was simply a ladle for airag on which strings were strung. At that time the instruments was called "shanagan khuur" (shanaga is ladle or dipper). Later the sounds and board took the form of a trapeze and the master carvers who made these popular instruments began to decorate them with whimsical figures. Then the head of horse, an animal greatly loved by all Mongolians, appeared on the neck, and the name was changed to morin khuur. Twelve animals are carved on the neck in accordance with twelve years cycle of the lunar calendar. The morin khuur has two strings and bow made from the hair of horse's tail. At the top of the morin huur's neck is a horse's head, but here too, there are 5 other animals; horse, camel, cow, sheep and goat, Mongolian symbols of wealth and plenty. The morin huur is most suitable to accompany the traditional long and short songs and Mongolian classical dance bielgee. Last year our president declared 'Morin huur is our state instrument" so government founded Horse headed fiddle orchestra. In 13 th century Mongolia had those kinds of famous orchestra. Usually Mongolians use the horse headed fiddle; Naadam, white Month, wedding and other big ceremony.

Legend about Morin khuur, national instrument, It has ancient origins and is purely Mongolian musical instrument. Once upon time there was a poor man. He had a wonderful steed. The horse was a special one; it was faster than bird and could instantaneously cover great distances. But one day he found his horse dead near his ger. So his heartbroken, he began to make a fiddle from his horse's bones, tendons and hair. Then he fixed the horse's head to the handle and overcome with grief, lay his own head on it to unite himself spiritually to his dead friend. So he started to playing the Morin huur describing his beloved steed's steps, gallop, hurdle, trotting, and neighing. Thus goes the ancient legend of the illians about the origin of the morin huur.

Long song
This song is suitable to nomadic life and unlimited steppe. Long song is oldest form of melody. The singer who must vocalize as long as possible while modulating the vowels. This type of song, often melancholic, recalls the solitude of the nomad and the immensity of the steppe.

Short song
A more recent form, is quick and lively , often humorous in character. It is themes are love, the home country, horses, and women. Technically less trying than the long song, it is still very much part of everyday Mongol life.

Ode (Magtaal)
Is another form of song that continued to play an important role in Mongol life? It is a poetic praise, an epic-like hymn with its origins in shamastic poetry. Dedicated to the scared mountains to a powerful wrestler, or to a victories horse, it is performed at all the important events of nomadic life. No naadam worthy of it s name would be without a magtaal.

Epic songs
Their must remarkable epics are those of Geser and Jangar which are transmitted by bards in a sung versified form sometimes accompanied by a morin huur, tovshuur, and by khoomii throat song.

Diphonic song (over tone singing) Khoomii
Is the most spectacular and probably the oldest form. Known as khoomii in Mongolian, it's a vocal technique by which a single performer can produce two or even three separate lines simultaneously. the notes are continued and low made by forcing air through a constricted throat and a series of harmonies made by the tongue which, rolled under the palate, guages the breath, producing sounds remarkable similar to those of a flute. The vocal imitation of the flute and the Jew's harp was traditionally the exclusive province of men. Khoomii is linked to shamanism and is characterizes by the production of sounds imitating those of nature; the soft noise of the wind cascades and rivers and birds songs are just a few.

National dance
Our classical traditional dance is bielgee, is a particular to the people western Mongolia . It is performed to the music of Mongolian national musical instruments, such as the morin khuur (horse headed fiddle) and yochin. Is performed in a ger in circle of people, in other, in other words, in limited small space, before the hearth, so the dancers make partially no use of their rhythmic movements express various aspects of their identities, such as sex, tribe, and ethnic group. Plastic movements of the dancer's hands and horse express everything in the dance. Beilgee is a descriptive dance, actually a pantomime, with the dancer acting several scenes from everyday life of herders, such as milking the cow, cooking, hunting, etc. The first part of Bielgee dance, called the Elkhendeg, is ritually solemn, with the dancer slowly spreading his arms, gracefully waving his hands and moving his shoulders. In the second part called the joroo mori, character of the dance suddenly changes. The body rhythmically swaying, the dancer's movements become light and challenging, in imitation of the gait of a horse.

Mongolian toys and games
Mongolian traditional games can be divided into 2 general types on the basis of their general form; games which are played using simple and readily-available materials such s stones sticks, or animal bones and games which are played using objects created by the artistic means; namely with painted or carved pieces. The games of the one category are characterized by a close figurative connection with nature and the herding lifestyle, often having a ritual of symbolic element to their playing & by a relative simplicity of their rules of play. The games of the latter category- which include cards, chess dominoes and interlocking puzzles -are symbolically associated with social and artistic activities and are usually more sophisticated requiring greater intellectual skill in their playing. Of the games played with really and natural materials, the simplest is "ail ger" (family home). The game is played with stones, much in the same way as children in western countries play "house" with dolls a small circle of stone is set up to represent a ger; further stones are placed inside it to represent furniture and house hold objects and stones of different shapes and colors are collected outside the home to represent the families herds. The most unique Mongolian game is shagai or anklebones, which as the name suggests, is played using the cleaned and polished anklebones of sheep. Each of the four sides of the anklebone represents a different animal; horse, sheep, camel, goat, although there are many games which can be played with the bones. In earlier times, families which managed to collect more anklebones than they needed would select an auspicious day and go to play the game of "multicolored turtle" on the top of a mountain leaving the bones afterwards as an offering to the mountain or to the sky. This game is played with a number of bones corresponding to one of the auspicious number in the Buddhist faith- most often 81 or 108. the placement of the bones represents the five elements and colors in addition to the body of the turtle itself, which is viewed in traditional Mongolian iconography as the symbol of the cosmos players take bones from different parts of the turtle or surrounding five elements on each turn corresponding to the throw of a die. Once the players have collected all the parts of the turtle's body the game concludes with the player in possession of the most bones the winner. One of the common games played with shagai is the "horse race" for 2 or more players. Games played using carved or painted pieces include cards, chess, dominoes and khorol (a game similar to dominoes, using the 12 animals of the zodiac and Buddhist symbols). Of these games chess remains one of the most popular as well as one of the oldest traditional games some Mongolian scholars claim that chess sets characteristically depict nobles, horses, camels, oxcarts and other identifiable elements of Mongolian life. Mongolian chess is more similar to the European than the Chinese version of the game, but there are several important differences in the rules for example: only the pawn in front of the Queen is only permitted to move one space at a time when moving diagonal

 

 

Visual Arts of Mongolia

Cinema
Cinema, the miracle of the 20th century, came to Mongolia in 1910s. First movies were shown in the capital city, at the American Consulate and Russian Stock Exchange's hotel. In 1913 Mongolian prince Namnansuren is known to have brought some films from Russia to show at the residence of the Bogd Khan. After the revolution of 1921, equipment and movies have been purchased and students trained in Russia . Thus people have acquired access to cinema. At that time, cinema in Mongolia was called "Shadow show", and it was free of charge, until the first cinema theatre "Ard" was built in 1930s. In 1935, under the decision of the Council of Ministers, a movie production company "Mongol kino" was set up with Soviet assistance. The first production of the company was a documentary "74th Celebration of 1st May". In 1936, the first feature movie created with the technical assistance of the Soviet "Lenfilm". Mongolia 's first movie directors, cameramen, editors and other personnel were trained on the job by professionals from the Soviet Union . And in 1938 Mongolians were able to make independently "Norjmaa's way", and "Wolves" in 1939. Movies directed by the famous Mongolian film director D.Jigjid, such as "Tsogt taij" (1945), "People's messenger" (1959), "Flood", "Son-in-law" and others have became classics of Mongolian cinema. Film directors of younger generation, such as H.Damdin, Ts.Navaan, Ch.Gombo, B.Baljinnyam, B.Sumhuu and O.Urtnasan have made their unique contribution to further development of Mongolian cinema. The 1990s have became a turning point in the history of Mongolian cinema. Around 20 private film studios that have emerged between 1992 and 1997, produced more than 100 feature movies. Foreign relations with films companies have expanded as well. Joint productions of both documentary and feature films with French, Japanese, Chinese and Mongolian film producers have successfully participated in various international film festivals.

Fine Art
Fine arts of Mongolia are famous for its incredible paintings. Cave paintings aged 3-8 thousand years and found in the Khoid Tsenkher cave, Munkhan somon of Khovd aimag, are considered the first works of art discovered in the territory of Mongolia . The history of art and architecture of the Mongolian Empire begins in the 12th century and at later times was influenced by other nations. The capital city of the Mongol Dynasty, Khar Khorum, was a magnificent proof of the glory and majesty of the Mongolian Empire. With the development of religious arts and architecture, in 16 to early 20th century, design of buildings acquired features of Buddhist temples. Many monasteries were built during this time. Works, that represents today's classical painting techniques, are U.Yadamsuren's "The Old Horse-fiddler", A.Senghetsokhio's "The Mongol Lady", B.Avarzed's "Uurgach" and Ts.Minjuur's "Caravan Guide".

Modern Art
A new social system which was founded upon the victory of Revolution in 1921 was focused on art works. Therefore art works of that time were dedicated to publicity of he new system. Since then Mongolian artists became acquainted with European paintings and began using both Mongolian and European drawing methods. In order to develop Mongolian art systematically specialised artists were prepared and there were established specialised agencies in Mongolia . In 1950s many genres of fine art, carpet and porcelain production were introduced and developed. During this period many artists and architects became very famous for their single thematic works, namely, painter O. Tsevegjav-animals, U.Yadamsuren-workers, N.Tsultem and G.Odon-history and everyday life, L.Gavaa-nature and an architect S.Choimbol-monuments etc. In 1960s there was a great change in the tradition of art-refusing to use linear perspectives, harmonisation of colours and colour endowments in every respect and began to use other techniques of painting as well as themes and contents of art were expanded. Famous art works which represent today's painting techniques are: U.Yadamsuren "The Old Horse-fiddler" , A.Senghetsokhio "The Mongol Lady", B.Avarzed "Uurgach" , Ts.Minjuur "Caravan guide" Famous artists of 1970-1980 are D.Amgalan who mastered xylography, M.Butemj, Ya.Urjnee, G.Soosoi, M.Chuvaamid who mastered monumental arts, S.Dondog, B.Chogsom, M.Tsembeldorj and D.Munkhuu etc. On beginning democracy in Mongolia since 1990 there has been a change in the social life and in the sector of arts and culture. As Mongolia expands its foreign relations, artists and architects of Mongolia are provided with possibilities of studying and creating abstract and impressionist arts which were unfamiliar to Mongols.

Painting

Mongolian painting began to develop more than two thousand years ago from simple rock drawings. Uighur paintings of the 8th century prove that this art was flourishing in Mongolia and Asia long ago. Buddhism was the main theme of the painting. And it developed into a fine art form. B. Sharav is the painter who linked the old with the new in his art. The Mongolian way of life was depicted in his famous work "One Day in Mongolia " and various portraits. The traditional painting was influenced by European art. The Mongolian painters L. Gavaa, O. Tsevegjav and Ts. Dorjpalam are famous not only at home, but also abroad. They made a great contribution to the creation of new art based in tradition and trained several generations of painters. At present, new and different artistic trends are emerging, and creative young artists are developing the national art.

Sculpture

Deer carvings in rock constitute the historical monuments of ancient times. Thousands of these rocks are evidence of the development and wealth of sculpture in ancient Mongolia. Undur Gegeen Zanabazar, a prominent religious figure and famous sculptor of the 17th century, created 21 tare (consorts of Buddha), which show the beauty of Mongolian woman. Zanabazar laid the foundation for the depiction and praise of the human form in Mongolian sculpture. Now there are many famous sculptors such as S. Choimbol, A. Davaatssren, N. Jambai and L. Dashdeleg. The monument to D. Sukhbaatar by S. Choimbol is a symbol of Mongolia and it gives an idea of our country to foreign visitors. It is a unique example of a Mongolian horse-rider represented through the medium of sculpture. It is hoped that creative young artists will further contribute to sculpture in Mongolia

Destinations out of Ulaanbaatar

Terelj National Park
Terelj National Park is the most popular destination and the third biggest protected area in Mongolia. Visitors can take leisurely strolls on meadows carpeted with edelweiss and a dazzling variety of other wild flowers, view fascinating rock formations against a backdrop of pine covered mountains and wander along the wooded banks of a mountain stream. The park is located 80 km away from Ulaanbaatar and is one of the most beautiful places in Mongolia. There are also a huge number of adventure activities such as rafting, riding, hiking, skiing, camping and mountain biking.

Chinggis Khaan and 13th Century
Chinggis khan statue complex is located 54 km from Ulaanbaatar among beautiful natural scenery on the bank of river Tuul, in the place called "Tsonjin Boldog", memorial place connected with historic events.
The statue in total is 40m high from surface erected at about 10 m high foundation and surrounded by columns. Far sighted Chinggis Khaan holds a golden whip in his right hand. There are restaurants and souvenir shops, the exhibition hall.

"13th Century National Park" is located in Erdene soum, Yol Mountain 96km from Ulaanbaatar. The goal of "13th century" national park is build and establish real-time micro kingdom to make the lively feeling for its guests during their stay by genuinely providing true environment of the way of living and working of the 13th century. Visitors can enjoy annual celebrations, customs such as making felt cover for Gers, sling wool, sacred ceremony to praise flag, heaven by sacrificing, wedding, weeping camel, mare milking, sealing folks and organizing three games of men. Here the guests can dine with Khans and Queens visit the residents of lords and learn to write in Mongolian scripts and play in horse-headed fiddle /Morin khuur/.

 

 

Places and Attractions to visit Central Mongolia

Waterfall Ulaan Tsutgalan (Orkhon)
It is a waterfall on the Ulaan River cascades from an impressive height of 20 meters, and it extends for 100 meters from the Orkhon River. The Orkhon River flows through basalt rocks from the Gyatruu range to Karakorum soum. The waterfall is a great spot for bird watching and fishing. You can also visit a local horsemen family. There we have an opportunity to experience their way of life, their culture and

Karakorum and Erdene zuu monastery
The sites of this ancient capital of Mongolia Karakorum (spelled also Kharkhorin) and the Erdenezuu monastery with their 108 stupas are undoubtedly at great interest to travelers. Located 370 km away from Ulaanbaatar Elevation is 1600 meters above sea level. Genghis Khan's fabled city was founded in 1220 in the Orkhon valley, at the crossroads of the Silk Road. Building was completed by his son, Ogedei Khan, after Genghis' death, but Karakorum served as the capital for only 40 years before Kublai Khan moved it to what is now Beijing. Following the move, and the subsequent collapse of the Mongolian empire, Karakorum was abandoned and then later destroyed by hordes of Manchurian soldiers. The symbolic ruins of Karakorum monumental walls (400 m of length) with 108 stupas, surround the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia Erdenezuu Monastery, built in 1586. In 1792, it housed 62 temples and 10,000 lamas; which itself was badly destroyed during the Stalinist purges in 1930s. After democratic movement in 1990, it has become an active monastery again. Turtles carved from the stone marked the boundaries of the complex. Today it retains much of its former glory. Enclosed in an immense walled compound, the 3 temples within are dedicated to the 3 stages of Buddha's life: as a child, adolescent and adult. The main, central temple is called the Zuu of Buddha and has statues of Buddha as a child. Outside the monastery walls are 2 'turtle rocks'. Four of these once marked the boundaries of ancient Karakorum.traditions

Tuvkhun Monastery
On the peak of the Undur shireet with 2312 meters high, this locates in boundary of Arkhangai and Uvurkhangai aimags. It was erected by Zanabazar (1 st Bogd Gegen in Mongolia) in 1654 on the smooth grand of the south slope of steep rock with 20 meters high has 14 small temples. He created his famous script "Soyombo" there in 1680. This creation of the temple has enjoyed state protection since 1998 and was registered by UNESCO in the world heritage by grading "The most wonderful valuable object" in 1996.

Ugii Lake
Ugii Lake is 1.337 meters above the sea level in Ugii soum in Arkhangai aimag. It covered 25 square kilometers, and is known for its reach bird and fish diversity. The fish population is represented by pike, catfish, barscharten, which are the most common types providing enough fish for industrial fishing. Fifty to eighty tons are caught annually. Among the birds, it is not rare to spot at Swan Goose, White Spoonbill and Dalmatian Pelican.

Khugnu Khan Mountain National Park
Just in the border area of Bulgan, Ovorkhangai and Tuv provinces is the Khugnu Khan Mountains. This is a picturesque area with mountains, forests, steppes, Gobi-type desert and mineral water sources all in one location. (called also Elsen tasarkhai)

Khugnu Tarny Monastery has two parts, an upper and a lower part. What is of interest is that the monastery belongs to three different times of Buddhism in Mongolia-ancient, middle and late. Prince Bishrelt of the former Tusheet Khan Aimag founded the monastery at the beginning of the 17th century. Next time Zanabazar dedicated to this Monastery to one of his teachers, Erdenetsorj. It was built in 1670-1680 It was destroyed during the war of Galdan Boshigt, a fighter opposed to Manchurian domination of Mongolia. Last time after democratic movement in 1990 restoration the temples led by the Granddaughter of the monks who was living at the monastery when it was destroyed

Khorgo Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park
Khorgo extinct volcano (spelled also Horgo) It was established to project the spectacular mountain scenery and endangered species of flora & fauna. It's surrounded by the Khangai Mountains, which reach as 3000 meters above the sea level. Over comparatively small area here there are a dozen or so extinct volcanoes. In the craters some of them are very tiny crystal- clears lakes. The Khorgo crater, situated at an altitude of 2.210 meters with a diameter of 20 meters and depth of 70 to 80 meters, is the most interesting at all. There is no lake in this crater, but clouds of steam jet out it is crevices forming ice moulds in winter , which from a distance look like large flocks of sheep scattered on the mountain. Near the crater there are dozens of small caverns with stalactites hanging from their ceiling and walls. Some time in past volcanic lava flooded the valleys nearby which are covered today with small woods and a great variety of berries and flowers. In the woods there are lots of deer, wild goat and other animals, as well as various kinds of birds. Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake. An immense mass of white-hot lava once blocked the bed of the River Terkh and it is water formed Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan, which is 16 kilometers in length, 20 meters in depth, and 61 square kilometers in this area. It is situated at an altitude of 2.060 meters. River Suman, cascading from the lake in stormy torrents, pierced through the rocks to form a canyon and several small lakes. The waters of the river are so turbulent that they do not freeze in the severest winter frosts. In the middle of the lake there is volcanic Island is covered with nests made of the fragrant grass Sam khan. Here all day long you hear the hum and cries of birds and the quacking of ruddy shell duck and many types of ducks sand geese &. Red deer, Siberian deer, wild bear, Great Cormorant is common in summer, nesting around the lake.

Visit a nomad family
Mongolia is one of the few nomad countries in the world. Since the Hunnu Empire Mongolians raising their five domestic animals (it is including sheep, horse, cow, camel, and goat) in the broad region of forest, steppe and Gobi desert. Especially they respect their horses. Mongolians see their horse is their best friend. Mongolian nomadic people move into place to place 2-4 times a year as well as it is depending on livestock's pasture. Mongolian nomad people always following their livestock. Because livestock knows where is the best pasture? Herders live in Mongolian traditional dwelling (covered felt) Ger.

 

 

Northern Mongolia

Huvsgul aimag (province)
Huvsgul aimag has at its jewel the vast lake of Huvsgul, one of the World's largest lakes, big enough to the regarded as an inland sea- yet of pure fresh water. The western and eastern parts of the aimag are mountainous, and the aimag is mostly covered with forests there is a huge phosphate deposit, the largest in Asia, but with severe environmental constraints on development. There are large lakes such as Huvsgul, Sangiin Dalai and Dood also large rivers such as Selenge and Delger. The aimag is rich in rare animal & plants.

Lake Huvsgul "The Dark Blue Pearl "
Huvsgul Lake is known as Dark Blue Pearl among beautiful mountains. This is the perfect place to have vacation, kayaking, canoeing, hiking and trekking. Lake Huvsgul is Mongolia's largest and deepest lake. Located in the northernmost province, it is the largest tributary stream of Lake Baikal in Russia. 96 rivers and streams flow out of Huvsgul, among them the Egiin River, which then joins the Selenge along its eventual path to Lake Baikal Lake Huvsgul is 136 km long, water beneath 100 meters & 36 km wide, 262 meters deep and is located at an altitude of 1645 m above sea level. Taiga Fauna and Flora, Tsaatan, practicing reindeer breeding are the main attractions for tourist. Fishing and sport fishing are becoming popular in the lake area. Lake Huvsgul is on the important migration route for birds from Siberia, thus facilitating marvelous opportunities for bird watching.

Tsaatan nomad family
The reindeer people live in the North West regions of Huvsgul, which is pretty much like a taiga. Mountains are 3000 meters above the sea level; region has rocks thick grown forests. Herding places are rare and summer is short. However deer and yaks are suitable in the part of the land. Mongolian people called the Reindeer people -Tsaatan people. They are lived in Western and Eastern taiga. Nowadays 14 families are living in the western taiga and 18 families are living in the eastern taiga. The reindeer people move about 6-8 times a year. They use about 5-6 reindeer for transportation and the distance is 150-250km. Also there are shaman mostly tourists want to see them but they not like to see shaman. Because one chosen day they wear their religious customs, clothes like all kinds of metal objects were attached. Often they added so much weight to the custom that someone had to help the shaman to dress. Despite this, the shamans took great leaps and defied laws of gravity whilst under the trance. There are 2 kinds of shamans male (Zairan ) and female (Udgan). Female shaman is more powerful than male shaman.

Extinct Volcano of Uran Uul
This extinct volcano lies near the road, and stretches from Bulgan town to Moron, administrative city of Huvsgul province for 80 kilometers northwest of Bulgan town through the territory of Kutag- Undur Soum. The reserve occupies a territory of 8 square kilometers with an elevation of 1,686 meters above sea level. It has been protected since 1965, and today enjoys the statue of "Natural Monument ". On the top of the extinct volcano is crater, 500 to 600 meters wide and 50 meters deep, filled with a small "crater lake" about 20 meters in diameter. There are green woods in the center of the Crater Lake. It is a really fascinating mountain. Red deer, Argali, Wild boar, Siberian Ibex, ruddy Shelduck, and duck are found in this area.

Amarbayasgalant Monastery
The Amarbayasgalant Monastery is located 360 km north of Ulaanbaatar is one of the favorite destinations for visitors. It can be reached by jeep or by a combination of local train and motor vehicle ride. Built in 1727-1736, the Monastery was the second most important in Mongolia after Erdene Zuu Monastery in Karakorum. The Monastery established in 1727-1736 dedicated for Mongolian Religious First Bogd Gegeen. There were 27 kinds of big and small temples. According to the Mongolian History in 17th -19th century Amarbayasgalant was a Mongolian greatest pilgrimage Buddhist Center. There were about one thousand lamas living chanted, studied in this Monastery. According to the history Amarbayasgalant was sacked during the repressions of in1930-1940. In 1996 it was nominated by UNESCO as a Heritage Site. After 65 years monks organized "Tsam" Religious dance first time in Amarbayasgalant Monastery in 2002.

Mongolian South Gobi

Mongolian South Gobi
The Mongolian government established the Great Gobi National Park in 1975 and the UNESCO designated as the Great Gobi as the fourth largest Biosphere Reserve in the world in 1991. Mongolians consider that there are 33 different Gobi, where sandy desert occupies only 3 percent of the total territory. The area is often imagined as a lifeless desert like in many other parts of the world. Gobi Desert is a land of dinosaurs and it is the home for camel breeders rich with wildlife and vegetation. Dinosaur skeletons and their petrified eggs have been preserved here to the present day. Wild asses, camels, snow leopards, mountain sheep and gazelles flourish here, as do different types of flora.

Eagle valley ( Yol Am )
Gurvansaikhan Mountains are three rocky hills, the highest of which is 2815meter above the sea level. The eagle valley a protected site in 1965, is 62 kilometers north-west of Dalanzadgad, in the centre of South Gobi aimag very wide entrance, it narrows gradually into a remarkable gorge. A spring two or three kilometers long winds its way through the defile and in July, freezing into a thick corridor of ice that stretches along a considerable distance. Following the canyon to the high rock walls has breathtaking dramatic scenery, and no doubt is one of the most beautiful places in the country.

Khongor Sand Dune (Khongoryn Els)
This is a Mongolian largest sand dune reaching a height of 800 meter in some highest areas. The sand dunes in Sevrei sum, South Gobi aimag, are called Khongoryn Els. These dunes are 20 km wide and 100 km long. The Khongoryn River flows along the sand dunes and gives birth to oases. The sand dune change the color with each hour of one day, from yellow to silver to rise colored at dawn / sundown. This dune is considered one of the biggest dunes with it is length of 180 km and width of 3-5 km. The dunes make sound like plane engine in a windy day so it has been named as "Singing Dunes".

Bayanzag & Rich Saxaul
One of the famous places is Bayanzag, bottom of Ancient Sea which excited 60-70 million years ago where a lot of Palentological findings have been discovered. The place is known as Flaming Cliffs so named by Roy Andrew Chapman American explorer, who had visited Mongolia in 1920. During the 2 years he searched through the Mongolian Gobi Desert & he found dinosaur fossils from Bayanzag, Nemekht. He brought his palentological findings on 70 camels. Chapman presented Mongolia one large skeleton on show in the Ulaanbaatar Natural History Museum. He found 10 kinds of dinosaurs 8 were found from Mongolia.

Also South Gobi has an oasis and most beautiful mountains Nemegt, Altan mountains and wide steppes and valleys with exotic wild animals like Asian wild ass, black tailed gazelle, and steppe wolf. The Gobi bears which very rare animal can be seen in this area. This is one most beautiful place among the 33 Gobies of Mongolia where travelers can see pre-historical rock paintings, caves where monks have made meditations and ruins of ancient temples and villages.

Baga Gazariin Chuluu
The 1751-meter high granite stone mountains in the territory of Adaatsag soum, Dundgobi aimag /Middle Gobi province/, is another place with unique scenery that many tourists compare with lunar scenes. The mountain contains remains of old temples. They are not only rich in minerals, crystals but also eyes spring, old stone temple ruins related with 17 th century.

Ongi temple
It is a ruin of big monastery of BariYonzon Khamba on the bank of the Ongiin River. This monastery has 28 temples and other buildings on the south slope of the Rocky Mountain like Balsa country and stupas haven't broken. This monastery had about 1000 lamas. Which itself was badly destroyed during the Stalinist purges in 1930s. All the temples were destroyed by Stalin's thugs. Since 1994 people rebuilt one Temple. Now there are 10 lamas studying.

Mongolia camel
Mongolia has 2 humped Bactrian camels it is a domesticated animal of herders. Its wool coat, which is shed in the summer, acts as an insulator in the winter. There are more than 250,000 camels in Mongolia. Usually South Gobi, Middle Gobi, Gobi-Altai, Bayankhongor provinces. South Gobi province has a first place in Mongolian for the number of camels. Camel is almost an exclusive means of transportation across the Gobi desert and vast steppe. An adult male camel can give up to 18 kg of wool per year. Unlike other livestock, a camel can continuously travel for 30 days without drinking a drop of water.

 

 

Eastern Mongolia

Khan Khentii Mountain National Park
This is the native land of Genghis Khan and contains many important historical and cultural sites. The park is landscape of transition from Siberian taiga forest to grass steppe. Khan Khentii Mountain National Park is one of the Mongolian natural and historical treasures, declared by UNESCO as world heritage site. Khan Khentii is covered with forests, taiga, and mountain forest steppe. It is the land described in The Secret History of Mongols, a literary monument of the nation, and is a protected area located northeast of the capital city.

Oglogchiin Kherem (Oglogch Wall)
Oglogch Wall is located at the base of Daichin Mountain, 45km southwest of Batshireet soum. The wall, 3km in length, is made entirely of stones without the use of mortar. When Russian archeologist S.Kondratiev explored the site in 1926, the wall was 2.5-4.5 meters in height. Today it stands 3.1 meters tall at its highest point. Last summer, Mongolian-American joint expedition team "Genghis Khan" discovered approximately 60 tombs near the wall. The archeologists believe that Oglochiin Kherem may be a burial place of great Mongolian figures, such as Genghis or Kublai Khan

Kherlen River
The Kherlen is one of the three famous rivers which rise in the Khentii mountain Range, and it flows for 1.264 kilometers to drain into Lake of Dalai Nuur in China. There are many kinds of fishes and birds such as geese, duck, Amur Catfish, Umber, Taimen, Lenok, Amur Chub, Mirror Carp, Golden Carp, & Amur Ide. etc. An honorary monument at Khodoo Aral near the Kherlen River was dedicated to Genghis Khan. Historians write that the khan came to power at Khodoo Aral, an area from which he later emerged to unite the nomadic tribes of Mongolia. Ogoodei Khan and Munkh Khan were later enthroned at Khodoo Aral.

Deluun boldog, Birthplace of Genghis khan
For his 800th birthday, a statue of Genghis Khan was erected in 1962 at Deluun Boldog; a place believed to be the great khan's birthplace, close to what is today Dadal soum, an attractive wooded area in North-west Khentii region. The area contains trails and lakes for visitors as well as monuments where you can learn why this fierce warrior and great leader is still revered today. Dadal Sum once housed one of three great lamaist temples consecrated to Genghis Khan, but which was razed in the 1930s. Now there are stone monuments to him erected in the surrounding beauty of the Mongolian countryside.

Bereeven Monastery
 The remains of Bereeven Monastery are located in the depression of the Bereeven Mountains. The monastery was made of granite stone in 1777. The God of "Manzushir" with 3 meters high and 2 meters wide was crafted on the steep and reddish, granite stone is to the south east of the monastery. The main worship hall was built in 1813. It had 32 columns and 3 stairs, which called "Utai gumben" but it has broken beside the wall. Last a few years American builder rebuilt it. The monastery at one time was home to 8,000 lamas. It was the religious center of the eastern Khalkh Mongols. The buildings were mainly constructed of stone and wood because of its location near the forests. No detailed studies on Bereeven Monastery exist.

Khukh Lake
It was mentioned that Temuujin (Genghis khan's childhood name) moved to in the Khukh Lake (Blue Lake) of Kar Zurkh (Black heart) of Sengur which exists Khurelkh. Khar Zurkh is a point topped mountain with forest in its shady side and no trees in its front slope. The stone of Ger. ruin with diameter of 15 meters is on the south side of this lake. It would be ruin of the Palace where Genghis Khan was entitled as a Khan of Mongols in 1189. The land around the lake is a region as a taiga forest zone and vast depression surrounding mountain ranges.

Dornod Mongolia steppe
Thankfully, authorities have been convinced that the area's fragile environment and endangered fauna and flora need to be conserved. Dornod is currently the base of a multi-million dollar environmental protection project, which is researching everything from fires to field mice in an attempt to protect one of the world's last undisturbed grasslands. Three large Strictly Protected Areas (SPA) were established in the aimag in 1992: Dornod Mongol (570,374 hectares). Holds one of the last great plain ecosystems on earth, protecting seas of feather grass steppe and 70% of Mongolia's white-tailed gazelle, which roam in herds of up to 20,000. Nomrog (311,205 hectares). An unpopulated area, which contains rare species of moose, cranes, otter and bears. Ecologically distinct from the rest of Mongolia, the area takes in the transition zone from the Eastern Mongolian steppe to the mountains and forest of Manchuria. It is proposed that the park expand eastwards. Mongol Daguur (103,016 hectares). The reserve is divided into two parts; the northern half is hill steppe and wetland bordering on Russia's Tarij Nuur and Daurski Reserve, protecting endemic species like the Daurian hedgehog; the southern area along the Uuiz Gol protects white-naped crane (tsen togoruu) and other endangered birds. The area is part of a one-million hectare international reserve, linking the Siberian taiga with the Inner Asian steppe

 

 

Western Mongolia

Uvs Lake
Uvs Lake is largest lake in Mongolia. It is 743 meters above the sea level, 80kilometers wide and 80 kilometers long, covering 3.350 square kilometers with clear but brackish water -a land- locked Inland Sea. The Nariin, Sagil, Borshoo and Khundlen rivers enter, but none drains out. It is magnet for birds; over 220 species are recorded, including Osprey, white tailed Eagle, and Black Stork. Over 100 pairs of Spoonbill nest in the vicinity, also Great White Hero.

Khyargas Lake
It is a one of the Mongolian largest lakes, covering 1.406 square kilometers. It is 75 kilometers long, 31 kilometers wide and 80 meters deep. The lake surface is at 1.028 meters above the sea level. The water is brackish. And has rare fish such as Mongolian Grayling.

Bayan-Ulgii aimag
Bayan Ulgii aimag was established in 1940. Bayan-Ulgii is Mongolia's "Roof of the World", a remote land of high mountains, even glaciers, steep slopes and rushing torrents. It is the western most aimag in Mongolia. It is very different than the rest of the country however. Unlike the rest of Mongolia the main population in this aimag is Kazakh. Thus the speech, religion, and customs of the people are very different. Bayan Ulgii covers an area of 45,700 square kilometers, and has a population of 91,068 (as of 2000). The highest mountain in Mongolia Huiten Uul (4374 m) is located in this aimag, in the north, on the border with China.

Lake Khar Us ( Black Water Lake)
Khar us is a lake in Umnugobi soum, 1.597 meters above the sea level. The water is a brackish, and replenished by water from the Orlogo River which rises from the eternal snows of the mountain of Kharkhiraa.

Altai Tavan Bogd National park
Mongol Altai Mountain range is one of the three main mountain ranges in Mongolia and the highest peaks in Mongolia are all situated in this range. Range continued more than 900 kilometers. Altai Tavan Bogd and Tsambagarav Mountains are the highest peaks of the West Altai mountain chain. Huiten peak in Altai Tavan Bogd is the highest point of Mongolia. Mount Altai Tavan Bogd is located near the northwestern border of Mongolia. Glacier and ice are permanent in the high altitude areas of Tavan Bogd the peak of Mountain Munh Khairhan is 4326 meter above the sea level. Altai Tavan Bogd protected site in 1996.

Eagle Hunting Festivals
One of the oldest, most revered and amazing holiday for kazakh people, passed down from generation to generation, is hunting with trained eagles. It exhibits the real boast of the Kazakhs. They annually hold an exceptional feast called the Eagle Hunting Festival in the extreme area of the majestic Altai Mountains, among the river glaciers and picturesque landscape in Bayan-Ulgii province. (October)

Wildlife and Bird Watching
Some people are drawn to Mongolia for its history, some for its rich cul­tural traditions. But for many, it is the country’s abundant biodiversity that makes Mongolia truly unique among world destinations. Home to a huge variety of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and plants, the country lays claim to some impressive facts about its flora and fauna. Growing up to three meters in length the taimen, the largest fresh­water fish makes its home in Mongolia’s pristine rivers and lakes. The country’s vast eastern grasslands are the habitat of one of the largest gazelle populations in the world, with herds stretching as far as the eye can see. Thirty-five rare and endangered mammals live throughout the country including the Gobi bear, snow leopard, ibex, etc. Birders from around the world are drawn to Mongolia to spot exotic species such as white-naped cranes, more than thirty species of raptor, and the world’s largest grouse. Hundreds of edible and medicinal plants flourish in Mongolia including wild blueberries, seebuckthorn, blackber­ries, etc. With facts like these, it is no surprise that Mongolia has become a dream destination for naturalists, anglers, hunters, and hikers alike.

To date, more than 434 species of birds have been recorded in Mongolia. Of them, more than 250 species are migratory, traveling to and from Mongolia for its excellent breeding and feeding grounds from as far afield as India, Africa, Japan, Australia, and the Mediterranean. Among both migratory and non-migratory birds found in the country, dozens are classified as rare or exotic. In short, Mongolia is a birders paradise.

Species endemic to Mongolia and the wider Central Asian region include the Altai Snowcock (Tetraogallus altaica) and Kozlov’s Accentor (Prunella kozlovi), and a number of world and regionally endangered species such as White-naped Crane (Grus vipio), Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus), Hooded Crane (Grus monacha), Pied Harrier (Circus melanoleucos), Great Bustard (Otus tarda), Eurasian Black or Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus), Dalmation Pelican (Pelicanus crispus), Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni), Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia),Relict Gull (Larus relictus), Swan Goose (Cygnopsis cygnoides), and Bearded Vulture or Lammergeyer (Gypaetus barbatus).

To protect its rich avian diversity, Mongolia has prioritized the protection of bird habitats, particularly wetland and riparian zones. Gun Galuut Nature Reserve outside Ulaanbaatar is home to nine species listed in IUCN’s “World Red List” of rare and endangered birds and one of the easiest places to see the rare White-naped Crane of which there are only 5000 left in the world. The largest raptor in Mongolia, the Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus), whose wing-span can reach up to 3 meters, is also found here, as are two out of four of Mongolia’s endangeredeagle species, the Steppe Eagle (Aguila nipalensis) and the Golden Eagle (Aguila chrysaetos). But visitors need not travel to specially-designated areas to spot birds of all sizes and colors. Any trip to the open steppes will reveal Mongolia’s wealth of winged wildlife, which is easily observed in the vast, open landscapes.

 

 

Sport and Adventuring

About Mongolian Adventure Sport Tourism
Mongolia is one of the upcoming places to visit for adventure sports tourism. The attractions and adventure activities for tourists in Mongolia closely relate to the unique natural environment, historic features and its cultural heritage.

Nature and wildlife adventure travel trips are growing in popularity. Example: Whitewater rafting and game fishing, hiking and trekking in the mountains, horse riding and camel trekking, mountain biking, on the long Rivers you can Canoe and Kayak, jeep trip, snow sport and photography. Mongolia can offer a wide variety of exciting natural and wildlife adventures.

Canoeing, Kayaking and Whitewater Rafting in Mongolia
The Kherlen River in eastern Mongolia is one of the biggest rivers; it is suitable for paddlers of any ability. Over in the western Altai region, the steep mountain escarpments and valleys are home to many white water rivers that are suitable for adventure trips by Canoe, Kayak and Raft. The rivers flow through lush pine and larch forests while tumbling over rocks and through eddies. Mention rafting in this area and there is plenty of opportunity to set the hearts of experienced paddlers racing.

Climbing Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain
Most mountaineers who visit Mongolia go to the western region. The Mongol Altai range is the highest mountain range with many glacier topped peaks between 3000m and 4300m. The Altai region has beautiful clean mountain rivers along with amazing wildlife, such as; Blue Sheep - Argali, Ibex, Snow leopard, Golden Eagles and many other birds. The name Altai Tavan Bogd (Five Holy Peaks of Altai) is given to a cluster of five dramatic glaciated peaks. The highest Mountain in Mongolia is Khuiten peak at 4374m.

Horse Trekking and Hiking the mountains
The Mongolian North is home to Lake Khovsgol – The Blue Pearl of Mongolia. Horse trekking through the colourful valleys towards the most beautiful lake of Khovsgol is a special journey. Trekking in this way, you can visit local families of many different minority groups allowing you to experience and explore their lifestyle and customs as well as the possibility of exchanging conversations with a Tsaatan family.

Fishing in Mongolia
Fishing in Mongolia is one of the more famous adventure sports Mongolia has to offer. Many of our larger rivers are home to the Taimen (Hucho Taimen) the world’s largest Salmonidae. Taimen can reach up to 100 kg and reach over 2m long. The fly fisherman's real treasure lies in the unbelievable clear, easy wading waters with incredible, nearly untouched wilderness with amazing mountains and vast valleys.

Mountain Bike in Mongolia
The amazing variety of landscapes and roads in Mongolia are a Mountain Bikers paradise. Although, because of the real nature of the Mongolian wilderness, mountain bikers should have some technical experience. You can travel with or without you own bikes. There are challenging routes all over Mongolia, but especially in the northern Bulgan province or the Khan Khentii National Park, which lies northeast of Ulaanbaatar.

Shopping

Ulaanbaatar offers wide variety of shopping opportunities; best buys including paintings, cashmere, camel wool products, leathers, traditional clothing, national handicrafts, boots, carpets, jewelry, souvenirs, and national costumes. Most of the shopping is possible to accept international credit cards such as VISA, Master Card, American Express and JCB.

Where to shop
The State Department store is the largest shopping mall in Mongolia, a leftover of the Soviet occupation.  You can find cashmere and leather here, in addition to whatever else you might find in a department store.  On the top floor there is a large souvenir shop with a massive variety of trinkets available.

Another unique product of Mongolia is Cashmere.  The fabric, made from the fur of the Cashmere goat, is only found in the central Asian areas of Mongolia, Pakistan, and India.  The Gobi, Goyo, and Buyan Cashmere Company is the premier cashmere producer and distributor in Mongolia, and their products are high quality, if not always up to date in fashion design.  If you find something you like, however, you will get away with deep discounts on a very high quality and popular fabric.

Souvenir House is available around downtown in capital Ulaanbaatar. On the top of the floor you will get variety of hand made souvenir products. Also east south of the state department store there is a souvenir house is available for your shopping.

Sky Shopping Center
If you are based on the east side of town, the Sky Shopping Centre may be more convenient than the State Department Store and offers similar goods and services. It's behind the Chinggis Khaan Hotel.

Merkuri Market is sort of a flea market for food where you can bargain with individual vendors for all manner of imported goods, meat, cheese and vegetables, as well as luxuries such as caviar and crab sticks.

Narantuul Black Market
Naran Tuul Market, east of the center, is also known as the Black Market (Khar Zakh), but it's not the sort of place where you go to change money illegally and smuggle goods - though this certainly happens.

The market is huge, one of the biggest in Asia and in summer up to 60,000 people a day squeeze inside. There's an around Tug50 entrance fee. You can buy cheap gear for a camping trip, among other things, but the real reason to visit is to marvel at this enormous emporium. Inside the market you will see long white building with blue roof, in here where you can buy food

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Dining

Traditional Mongolian staple is simple yet filling with hearty soups, cooked or broiled meat (beef, mutton), pasta and plenty of dairy products. Traditionally Mon­golians are accustomed to eating non-spicy mild foods largely due to the extreme conti­nental climate that lim­its the growth of spices.

During summer it is customary to eat more of dairy products (yogurt, dried curds, cheese, and cream), pas­tries, and drink tea and airag. Herders tend to eat less meat in order to cleanse their body after long winter months. For meat intake herders use the dried meat or borts that still contain the necessary nutrients. Mongolian tea is made of crushed tea leaves, salt, and milk and is a good thirst quencher especially in hot sum­mer months. Airag, a fermented mare’s milk, is thoroughly enjoyed during summer. It contains more than 12 essential vitamins and, depending on the region where it is produced, the alcoholic content can reach 6-12%.

When you travel to Mongolia try to experience the taste of Mon­golian cuisine such as khorhog (various kinds of meat cooked through heating stones), boodog (meat cooked in the own skin of the animal, usually mutton), buuz (steamed dumplings), huushuur (fried dumpings), lapsha (noodle soup), and tsuivan (stir-fried noo­dles), etc.

Nowadays, Mongolians diet has come very close to interna­tional ones with plenty of veg­etables and salads. A variety of international dishes and cuisines can be enjoyed in Mongolia but mostly in Ulaanbaatar and other major settlements. The interna­tional cuisine r spans from Thai, Japanese, Brazilian, Russian, French, Indian, and Italian to Ger­man just to name a few.

Sightseeing

Gandan Monastery
Gandan Monastery, the only functioning Buddhist monastery that stood test of time and was allowed to carry out services on a daily basis during the Communist years symbolizing the spiritual past of the Mongols. One of the temples hosts the tallest standing Buddha statue in Central and East Asia – the Megjid Janraisag, the Buddha of Future. The intricate rooftops of the monasteries depict the artistic techniques polished by the ages and that have been passed through generations. The cobblestones of Gandantegchilen, Dashchoilin Khiid, and Choijing Lama monasteries, the latter turned into a museum, whisper the stories of the early settlers that takes you back as early as the 17th century.

National Museum of Mongolia
Until the beginning of the 20th century nomadic Mongolia did not have any museums as such. All the beauty of the country was open for both Mongols and foreigners. In 1924, the National Museum of Mongolian History was founded. It contains some of the oldest collections in the country. There are more than 40,000 archaeological, historical and ethnographic objects. Its ten galleries explain Mongolian history and culture from the dawn of humanity to present days. The rare esteemed items on display include the remains from the Hun period (the first Mongolian state) of 3rd century B.C to 1 st A.D. There are also intriguing signs of human remnants from the early Stone and Bronze Ages.

Natural History Museum of Mongolia
The Museum of Natural History was founded in 1966. It houses large collections of Mongolia's natural history, culture and minerals exhibits. The museum covers five areas: geology, zoology, botany, anthropology and palaeontology. The last section contains the skeletons, fossils and eggs of giant dinosaurs that roamed the present territory of Mongolia some 70 million years ago, and is very informative for the visitor. The largest dinosaur skeleton on show is 5 meters tall and 12 meters long. The museum is undergoing expansion and plans to cover the natural history of the whole world. The fine art museum in Ulaanbaatar is named in honour of the first Mongolian Buddhist leader Zanabazar. It was opened in 1966 and shows Mongolian art work from the Palaeolithic Age to the early 20th century. Three types of prehistoric rock carvings and paintings can be seen: The Palaeolithic (40,GOO-120,000 years ago), Neolithic (8,000-4,000 years ago) and Bronze Age (4000-1000 B.C.)

Bogd Khaan Palace Museum
The exhibits proceed right into the 13th century and exhibit the portraits of the Great Mongolian Khaans: Chinggis, Uguudei and Khubilai. Zanabazar's masterpiece: the White Tara (Sita) and Green Tara (Syama) depicting the spirit of God expressed in the beauty of women. Thanka, a portable icon painting, is made from colours obtained from minerals and precious stones and is a graphic art piece. Silk paintings are yet another popular attraction to art lovers. The Bogd Khaan Museum, originally the winter palace of the last ruler of pre-revolutionary Mongolia, Bogd Javzandamba Agvaanluvsan 8th , was built in the area of the Temple of Mercy, between 1893-1903. Bogd Khaan was born in 1869 in the family of a Dalai Lama's vice-dignitary in a palace called "shodda".

Bogd Khaan was only five years old when he was proclaimed as a supreme religious leader of Mongolia. He died in 1924. The museum consists of two areas: the temple and monasteries and the winter palace. Inside the palace, there is the Khaan's ornate ger covered with snow leopard skins. The main gate was made without a single nail. The Centre of Mongolian Buddhism and largest functioning monastery, Gandantegchilen, was built from 1810 onwards, partly destroyed in the!930s and partly reconstructed in the 1990s. Here one of the largest standing Gods of Buddhism in Central and East Asia, a gilded image of Megjid Janraiseg (Buddha of Compassion and Mercy), is situated. This was initially built in 1911 as a sign of Independence of Mongolia by the decree of Bogd Khaan but the communists destroyed it in 1937. This image of Janraiseg was remade in 1996 and considered to be of better quality than the previous one.

Mongolian National Art Gallery
Founded in 1989, the Mongolian National Art gallery has an impressive collection of paintings representing modern art and traditional fine arts. There are more than 6,000 exhibits in the Gallery include paintings, sculptures, applique and embroidery made both in modern and classical Mongolian styles. In the 1980s, the Theatrical museum was founded as a devotion to the history of Mongolian theatre. There are rare photos of actors and actresses and a wonderful collection of puppets. At the end of the 20th century, the Museum of the people subjected to repression in 1930-1939 was opened.

The Fine Art Zanabazar
The Fine Arts G. Zanabazar Museum was founded in 1966. The museum is renowned for the works of G. Zanabazar (1635-1724), which include the statues of Sita Tara, the Five Dhayani Buddhas and the Bodhi Stupa. The Fine Arts Museum was named after Gombodorjiin Zanabazar in 1995. It has 12 exhibition galleries covering the arts from ancient civilizations up to the beginning of the 20th Century. Initially opened with over 300 exhibits, the Museum rapidly enriched the number of its objects, with the modern arts becoming a separate division in 1989 as an Arts Gallery. 

The Museum displays the artistic works of Mongolian masters of the 18-20th Centuries, coral masks, thangkas, as well as the famous paintings of B. Sharav entitled “A Day in Mongolia” and “Airag feast”. The Museum contains 13000 objects. The exhibition hall regularly hosts the works of contemporary artists. The G. Zanabazar Museum has been successfully cooperating with UNESCO for the improvement of the preservation of priceless exhibits and for training of the Museum staff.The tour of the museum begins at the 2nd floor, guiding through the following topics.

 

   

The best time to travel to Mongolia

Spring time
In spring when unpredictable weather creates snowstorms intermixed with spells of wind and sun, keep in mind that the wind-chill factor: a 10-knot wind can make 0°C feel like -5°C. The maximum rainfalls occur in the taiga areas beside the northern border, especially Khentii and Khovsgol. Only in summer does cloud-cover the sky. Humidity is generally zero and sunshine is intense.. Only in summer does cloud-cover the sky.

Summer time
Right time to travel is in mid-May. Early May can still see snowfall, especially in the north. June weather is good and usually dry throughout the central and southern regions. The mountains and northern areas can be cold. July is the time to see the Naadam Festival. This is also the peak tourist season. It's a decent time to look for travel partners and get out of the city. Gobi temperatures this month can rise up to excruciating 40°C.

Autumn
In the month of August there will be heavy rainfall in the northern and central areas. This weather fills up rivers and brings the lush green grass creating a picturesque view, but it can also swamp the roads with mud and attract mosquitoes. This is one of the best times to travel in Mongolia. September is another okay month. The cool weather brings respite to the Gobi and the varying colours in the forests in the north are beautiful. October is again cool and sees the occasional or rare snow bustle up north but is still fine for travel, especially in the Gobi desert. Weather patterns at this time are unpredictable. You never know one moment you're walking in a T-shirt, the next you need an overcoat and boots, and then you are back to T-shirts. The cold season is between November and February. Mongolians, especially nomads, contemplate March and April as the worst months. After the long winter, livestock will already be thin and a lack of rain brings about their death, causing financial and psychological adversity. If the spring is a harsh weather, staying with a nomad family at this time is not recommended.

 

 

Beautiful Mongolia welcomes you !

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