Experience Close Communion with Nature in Mongolia

by

1 _nomadic_children_mongolia_zellner

Mongolia is a unique country with its cold mountainous regions to the west and north and the Gobi Desert to the south. The desert is a vast barrenness that links land and sky. A large area of Mongolia consists of grassland plains where the nomads roam. In the incredibly scenic region of Khatgal Village, near Lake Khovsgol, you can meet the Tsataan, nomadic reindeer herders, living in yurts. River Tuul flows from the Khentii Mountain Range. The River Tuul Nomad’s Sacred Valley is one of the most important places to the nomads. The valley has been called sacred for many centuries by the nomads as they respect the nature and rivers.

Mongolia, a landlocked country between Russia and China, is divided into the regions of Central Mongolia, Eastern Mongolia, Gobi, Northern Mongolia and Western Mongolia. Ulaanbaatar is the capital of the country and most visitors arrive in Mongolia through the Chinggis Khaan International Airport eighteen kilometers south-west of the city. The only English speaking taxi service in the country is called Help Taxi and the contact number is +976 9965 2371. In order to travel to or from the airport, you can make use of Bus 11 and 22.

Explore Ulaanbaatar

2 Blue Sky Tower

You will find that there are many streets in the city without name signs. It is therefore highly advisable to obtain a proper map from the airport to help you find specific places. Many of the locals usually give directions by making use of the nearest landmarks. Keep in mind that most tourist sites charge an entrance fee as well as a separate camera fee.

The Choijin Lama Monastery in Chingeltrei District is a unique showcase of history and religious art. The museum is located left of the Central Library and an ensemble of Buddhist architecture with five arched gates. Choijin Lama Monastery houses more than 5,000 historical and religious items of which twelve are particularly valuable and unique.

Ensure to visit the Natural History Museum behind the Government house. The museum houses a large collection of natural history, Mongolian geography, ancient plants and animals and works of art. You can view the statue of the 1921 hero Sükhbaatar and the seated sculpture of Chinggis Khan at Sükhbaatar Square in the center of the city.

Sükhbaatar, Ulaanbaatar

Sükhbaatar, Ulaanbaatar

Another great museum to visit is the Bogd Kahn Museum on Chinggis Avenue, Khan-Uul district. The palace was built between 1893 and 1903 and dedicated to the head of lama religion, Yill Bogdo gegeen. Unique collections of objects related to the Mongolian artistic history and religion are on display here. Some of the exhibits include decorative arts, wood carving, stuffed animals and paintings. Gilded bronze sculptures, made by the famous Zanabazar, can be seen here.

The International Intellectual Museum is home to many Mongolian puzzles, hand crafted products and famous, precious and rare exhibits. The Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts in the Chingeltrei district displays interesting items from the Stone Age and Buddhist art.

If you happen to be in Mongolia during the month of July, ensure to attend the Naadam festival, famous for the three traditional Mongolian events such as archery, wrestling and horse racing. You can also enjoy an inexpensive massage at one of the many spas on Peace Avenue.

The Bodgkhan Uul Protected Area is located in the mountains south of the capital and offers terrific hiking opportunities. You can challenge the Sky Resort at contact number 976 11 320345 and enjoy snowboarding or downhill skiing.

Peace Avenue and the Circus are the main shopping areas and perfect if you would like to buy jewellery, traditional clothes, hats, boots, paintings or bow and arrows. For cheap clothes and toys, you can visit the Naran Tuul, also referred to as Zach. The market near the railway station offers fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, pasta and rice.

Sükhbaatar, Ulaanbaatar

Sükhbaatar, Ulaanbaatar

Throughout the city are many eateries selling cheap Mongolian food. You can try Papa Café on Peace Avenue for great chicken burgers and freshly baked bread. My Homemade Khushur, situated in the same street as Papa Café, sells delicious mutton fried in dough. For the best pies in Mongolia, you should visit the Russian Bistro Izbushka on the north-east corner of the square in front of the Fine Arts Museum. If you prefer vegan food, the Luna Blanca close to Sükhbaatar Square is the best place to go.

Nightlife in the city is vibrant and wild. The small clubs in Sansar district is best avoided. For Electronic, Trance, Techno or house music, great beers on tap and Mongolian acts, you can visit Ikh Mongol. The young affluent locals love going to the Metropolis behind the Chinggis Hotel.  At Mass in 3rd micro district, you can party until the early morning hours. For a good meal and a quiet drink, you can try the CSS Pub across the Ulaanbaatar Department Store.

Experience Close Communion with Nature in Mongolia

The Gurvansaikhan National Park, Gobi Desert in Mongolia is located on the northern edge of the desert and stretches about 380 kilometers from west to east. The Yolyn Am is a mountain valley with a large ice field. Rare animals and plants are found in the park, including the Gobi Camel, Argali sheep, Siberian ibex and the snow leopard. One of the main tourist attractions is the Khongoryn Els or Singing Sands.

The famous Flaming Cliffs, or Bayanzag, is located near Gulgan sum in the Gobi Desert. Remains of dinosaur were found here. Dinosaurs’ remains include skeletons and egss. Ensure to visit the Turtle café in the tourist camp Bayan Zag.

Boodog – Traditional Food in Mongolia

Boodog – Traditional Food in Mongolia

The main food in rural Mongolia is mutton. A dish not to be missed is the khorkhog cooked over an open fire. Hot stones, onions, carrots, potatoes, mutton and water is typically placed into a large kettle and simmered over the fire. Khorkhog is tender and juicy. Boodog is almost the same as khorkhog, but the ingredients are cooked inside the sheep’s skin. The holes are closed by tying it and with the hot stones inside, cooked for about half an hour on a fire. This is a great dish to enjoy with homemade vodka distilled with milk or yoghurt.

Tourist Visa Requirements

Visitors from any country planning to stay in Mongolia for more than 30 days must register with the Mongolia Immigration Agency in Ulaanbaatar within the first seven days of arrival. For a Tourist visa for 30 days it is required to submit a passport with a validity date of at least six months beyond the end of the applications intended period of stay in Mongolia, a completed visa Application Form for Tourists with one passport size photo and travel itinerary, hotel reservation and insurance are preferable.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: