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Mongolia Travel

A mention of this landlocked and far away, huge country in the East-Central Asia, sharing borders with China and Russia, for many still evokes images of Genghis Khan, vast steppes with wild horses galloping across them, yurts barely visible on the horizon and the Gobi Desert. The truth is; 30 % of the population still lives in the yurts. On the other hand, there are cyber-cafes, cocktail bars and many other things usual for a modern city lifestyle. Mongolia is still undiscovered and remains a mystery for many.

Located on the bank of the Tuul River and surrounded by four sacred mountains, described as sunny, peaceful and open, Ulaanbaatar , the capital, is a city where modern life comfortably blends with traditional lifestyle. Gandan Monastery is the most significant Buddhist monastery in Mongolia , which remained open even during the communism, and it is one of the most interesting sights in Ulaanbaatar. There are many museums, such as Natural History Museum, Museum of National History and The Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum, offering visitors to learn almost everything about Mongolia . Zaisan Hill, this tall landmark in front of the city offers beautiful views of Ulaanbaatar and nature surrounding it. Sukhbaatar Square, the main square in the city, named after famous patriot Sukhbaatar, is another great site to visit. It is surrounded by Parliament House, Stock Exchange, the Drama Theater and Cultural Palace.

Amarbayasgalant Khiid is another important monastery and it is definitely one of the most beautiful. The temples are normally closed, but there's a possibility to arrange opening them with head monk and to watch 30 resident monks conduct their ceremonies.

The Great Gobi National Park was established in 1975 and UNESCO designated it as t he fourth largest Biosphere Reserve in the world in 1991. Although imagined as lifeless, it is s home for camel breeders, snow leopards and mountain sheep. Dinosaur skeletons and petrified eggs have been preserved here to the present day.

There are many other places to visit such as Shiliin Bogd, the highest peak in Sükhbaatar region, Ulaan Cutgalan, huge waterfall on the Orhono River and Hövsgöl Nuur, a national park.

Most people fly to Ulaanbaatar , although they can enter and leave Mongolia on the Trans-Mongolian Railway, which links Beijing and Moscow . Internal airlines MIAT and AeroMongolia offer flights to most of the provincial capitals and major cities. There's possibility of sharing a jeep or a van for overland transport, as there are no public buses. There are no professional car rental agencies, but it's possible to privately hire a car. Traveling around in your own jeep is not advised.

Although known as the “Land of the Blue Sky” and boasts with many sunny days, temperatures have been known to range over 37°C (99°F) in one day. Mongolia has an extreme continental climate and the best time to visit is between May and October. Early July is also the time of celebration of Naadam Festival. However, this is the peak tourist season and accommodation and transport are stretched to the breaking point.


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