7 Reasons to travel to Mongolia

Being the buffer between Russia and China, Mongolia is surely an enchanting and magical place that you simply have to experience to believe it! The exotic wildlife, ruin sites and the myriad of landscapes alone are sights to behold.
7 Reasons to travel to Mongolia

Mongolians are truly fascinating people and their cultural heritage is one of the biggest reasons you would want to travel to Mongolia in the first place. If you ever plan to go, the best time to visit Mongolia would be during the Nomads Day Festival (September 17-18) held at the Gun-Galuut nature reserve. You’ll get to see lasso, wrestling and archery competitions, as well as enjoy Mongolian traditional folklore and sample traditional nomadic dishes. I leave you now with a few more reasons in the hope to "lure" you into a trip to Mongolia:

1. Magical and fascinating landscapes

The dramatic contrast and variety of landscapes is no doubt, one of the main reasons to travel to Mongolia in the first place.

Mongolia is roughly the size of Western Europe, yet the country is blessed with home to an unbelievable land diversity that includes deserts, forests, grassland plains, mountains, semi-desert and grass prairies, freshwater lakes, and sand dunes.

2. Climb the largest sand dune

As mentioned earlier, exploring Mongolia’s amazing landscape is one of the main reasons to visit the country, and you definitely can’t miss climbing the spectacular sandunes of the Gobi Desert.

There are few sand dune areas, though the Khongor sand dune is the daddy of them all because this dune reaches a height in some parts of nearly 2700 ft and spans over 90 miles in length! Climbing the dune isn't easy feat though it's certainly fun and rewarding when you reach  the top. At sunset or sunrise, you can catch and photograph spectacular views of the sand dune shadows and colors!

3. World’s oldest nature reserve

When it comes to underrated areas of outstanding natural beauty, the Bogd Khan Uul no doubt, ranks high! Bogd Khan Uul is relatively unheard of in much of the traveling community, yet it’s officially the oldest natural protected area in the world, and was established by the Mongolian government circa 1800’s.

Bogd Khan Uul is also one of the most popular tourist places to hike in Mongolia because of cool sights such as the ruins of Manzushir monastery, Buddha park, and Zaisan Hill, which offers amazing views of Ulaanbaatar (Ulan Bator).

4. Exotic wildlife

Mongolia’s exotic wildlife is also one of the reasons to travel to Mongolia, and the great thing is that you won’t have to venture to far from the capital to see them. You can go about viewing wildlife in Mongolia independently, though booking a tour operator (i.e. "Tour Mongolia", "Discover Mongolia", etc) is definitely the best thing to do if you have a jam-packed itinerary.

Wildlife you can expect to see in Mongolia includes the Asiatic wild ass, mountain sheep, Persian gazelle, steppe wolf, and the Gobi bear. One of the most popular places to book a wildlife safari tour in Mongolia is in the Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve, which is home to the majestic Argali (mountain) sheep.

5. Prehistoric Caverns (Aguis)

Mongolia boasts hundreds of stunning caves to explore such as the Dayan Deerkhiin cave, the Taliin cave in Dariganga and the Tsagaan cave in Bayanlig.

Having said this, Khoit Tsenkher Cave is the largest and, by far, the most exciting and easy to tour cave in Mongolia. The walls of Khoit Tsenkher Cave boast 20,000 year-old rock paintings of animals such as oxes, elephants, ibexes, and even lions. (truly amazing!)

6. The Great Gobi National Park

For many adventure trekkers, the Great Gobi National Park alone is one of the sole reasons to travel to Mongolia in the first place, and they couldn’t be more right! This national park is home to the world’s greatest deserts where snow does fall and bears can be found!

The Gobi Desert is immense (spans parts of northern China) and so diverse that you’ll need at least 6 days to explore the Gobi Desert tourist attractions. There are plenty of tour operators such as “Geographic Expeditions”, “REI Adventures”, and “Wilderness Travel” offering different types of Gobi Desert tours, though you can expect to do plenty of trekking, camel and horseback riding with all of them.

7. Experience the nomadic way of life

A visit to Mongolia wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the Mongolian nomadic culture and lifestyle. Naturally, the best way to soak Mongolian culture is by spending a few nights at a Mongolian ger camp with other nomads.

Be aware though that the nomadic way of life Mongolians is seriously harsh and nothing will prepare you for it until you're in the middle of it! A few things you should expect of a typical Mongolian ger camp include rock-like mattresses, cold water showers, cold weather, and lots of dust. To put it another way, staying in a Mongolian ger camp will be one experience you won't be forgetting in a hurry!

Author Bio: Noel Palacios loves to write about anything travel related and share his travel experiences online. If he is not writing, he is spending time with friends and family.  

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