Mongolia cannot bring you the vibrancy and excitement of big cities or beaches as it is an isolated and land-locked country. However, the homeland of Genghis Khan made it up with a well-preserved culture filled with festivals and of course the endless horizon line featuring spectacular steppe. Here’re some of the must-have experiences on your future trip to Mongolia.
1. Nadaam Festival
Meaning “games” in Mongolian, Nadaam first held in the era of Genghis Khan. According to ancient documents, the origins of the festival came from big parade or hunting games played by knights. Today, Nadaam festival is held in the middle of summer in most steppes, but the biggest of which is in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. It is a vivid festival, attracts many people not just in Mongolia but travelers also. In 2010, Nadaam was inscribed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
2. Visit the statue of Genghis Khan
A 50 kilometer drive from Ulaanbaatar will lead you to the gigantic statue of Genghis Khan riding his horse. With the height reaches 40 meters, it is one of the most famous tourist attractions in all Mongolia. But the complex does not just include the statue itself, an art exhibition, a convention area, a restaurant and a variety of souvenir shops. Visitors can actually climb inside the statue and get a spectacular panoramic view on the altitude of 30 kilometers.
3. Gazing at the mighty scenery of Altay Mountains
Altay is one of the most beautiful ranges of mountains in Mongolia. The range cut across the country, from Northwestern to Southern Mongolia. There are some peaks reach the altitude of 4.000 meters above sea level. Besides, Altay also features 20 perennial snow-capped peaks, adorned to the already magnificent landscape.
4. A camel ride in Gobi Desert
It’s fair to say that Gobi is the “heart” of Mongolia and a fantastic tourist attraction for those who want to experience authentic Mongolia holiday. Unlike the usual thoughts suggesting that the desert is boring, Gobi in fact possesses rich delta area, intermingled with mountain ranges and sand dunes that stretch beyond the horizon. In some places, the mountain ranges is added with the white color of snow, creating a wonderful opportunities for photographers. And on the second largest desert on earth, there’s no better way to travel than sitting on a camel’s back.
5. Excursion to Khuvsgul Lake
In Mongolia, it seems that everything is a little bit bigger, if not way bigger. In terms of lake, you shouldn’t miss the 136 kilometers long Khuvskul Lake, spanning until the southernmost point of Russian’s Siberia. The whole body of water in Khuvskul accounts for 65% of reserved freshwater in Mongolia and 1% of the world. In winter, with water freezes, vehicles can even travel on the surface of the lake. But to most travelers, Khuvsgul is an ideal place to join some sporting activities, bird-watching as well as discovering the local’s lives through healing rituals and many other traditional customs here.
6. Staying overnight in yurts
Yurts are an icon of Mongolia. In the past, the nomadic Mongolians usually spent the night inside these yurts. Today, when they mostly settled in houses, yurts become a favorite place to stay for travelers instead of hotels.
7. Exploring Hustai National Park
Located about 95 kilometers southwest of Ulaanbaatar, the national park of Hustai boasts a distinctive landscape of Mongolian steppe, but more diversifying than the desert of Gobi.Moreover, travelers will be fascinated by the countless number of historic traces left here. The most famous of which are ruins of a mysterious ancient monastery.