Mongolia is rich in culture and traditions. The nomads have roamed the steppes for centuries developing intricate systems for survival in the harsh climate and barren landscape of Central Asia. Here is just a short overview of some of the different aspects of this fascinating and ancient culture.
When people think of Mongolia the first images that comes to mind are usually Chinggis Khaan, freezing winters, dry deserts and horses. All of these can be found in Mongolia but there is so much more. Why then should I go there, you might well ask? The majority of people go to Mongolia for the untouched nature but go away with having had an intimate and life changing experience with one of the worlds most unique nomadic cultures and peoples. It is true there is nothing quite like the feeling of standing in the great outdoors where there are no buildings, fences or signs of human habitation in sight. It gives you the feeling of freedom and space, not quite like anything else. However, it is the people of Mongolia that make us reassess our lives and think about what is really important. They provide us with a refreshing approach to life with their enthusiasm, their hospitality and their hope in the face of the most extreme circumstances.
Bayan-Olgii has been a crossroads throughout history for empires, conquerors, and trade routes. Just north of the fabled Silk Road; Turks, Scythians, Huns, Tuvans, Uighurs, Mongols, and Kazakhs have left their mark on this vast land. The region has been occupied for over 12,000 years. Descendents of Turkic tribes that currently occupy a territory stretching from Siberia to Turkey originated in the Altai Mountains around Bayan-Olgii around 2000 BC. Later Scythian nomadic warriors expanded out of the Altai Mountains after 700 BC eventually reaching the Black Sea and modern day Ukraine.
A few years ago the only way to Mongolia was through Beijing, with a couple of days stopping to stand in long queues to get a visa. Nowadays getting to Mongolia from different parts of the world is becoming easier and easier thanks to the Mongolian carrier MIAT. MIAT now flies to a variety of international destinations which are easy stop-overs points for any traveller coming from America, Europe and Australia. Below is a list of cities that MIAT flies to and the flight departure day and number. Please contact us for bookings and prices for international flights.
Hospitable country with a big heart and amazingly people. There are countless natural, historical and cultural attractions in Mongolia that you must see and enjoy! Mongolia is known as the “Land of the Eternal Blue Sky” or “Country of Blue Sky” because it has over 250 sunny days a year. Mongolia is also known as the “Land of the horse” and “Steppe Mongolia”, and Mongols have a reputation for being the best horsemen on Earth.
Mongolia[Monggol Ulus] in Mongolian script; Монгол Улс [Mongol Uls] in Mongolian Cyrillic) is a landlocked sovereign state in East Asia. It is bordered by China to the south and Russia to the north. While it does not share a border with Kazakhstan, Mongolia is separated from Kazakhstan by only 36.76 kilometres (22.84 mi). Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city, is home to about 45% of the country’s population.
The area of what is now Mongolia has been ruled by various nomadic empires, including the Xiongnu, the Xianbei, the Rouran, theTurkic Khaganate, and others. In 1206, Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire, and his grandson Kublai Khan conquered China to establish the Yuan dynasty. After the collapse of the Yuan, the Mongols retreated to Mongolia and resumed their earlier pattern of factional conflict, except during the era of Dayan Khan and Tumen Zasagt Khan. In the 16th century, Tibetan Buddhism began to spread in Mongolia, being further led by the Manchu-founded Qing dynasty, which absorbed the country in the 17th century. By the early 1900s, almost one-third of the adult male population were Buddhist monks.
During the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911, Mongols established the Temporary Government of Khalkha on November 30, 1911. This was before the abdication of the last Qing emperor and the establishment of the Republic of China. On December 29, 1911, Mongolia declared independence from the Qing dynasty; the National Revolution of 1911 ended over 200 years of Qing rule, though it was not until the Revolution of 1921 that de facto independence from the Republic of China was firmly established.
Shortly thereafter, the country came under the control of the Soviet Union, which had aided its independence from China. In 1924, the Mongolian People’s Republic was declared as a Soviet satellite state. After the anti-Communist revolutions of 1989, Mongolia conducted its own peaceful democratic revolution in early 1990. This led to a multi-party system, a new constitution of 1992, and transition to a market economy.
At 1,564,116 square kilometres (603,909 sq mi), Mongolia is the 19th largest and one of the most sparsely populated independent countries in the world, with a population of around 3 million people. It is also the world’s second-largest landlocked country. The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by grassy steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south.
Approximately 30% of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic; horse culture is still integral. The majority of its population are Buddhists. The non-religious population is the second largest group. Islam is the dominant religion among ethnic Kazakhs. The majority of the state’s citizens are of Mongol ethnicity, although Kazakhs, Tuvans, and other minorities also live in the country, especially in the west. Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997 and seeks to expand its participation in regional economic and trade groups.
POPULATION: 3.0 million
AREA: 1,566,000 sq km (610,740 sq mi)
LAND BOUNDARIES: 8,158 km, with Russia 3,485 km and with China 4,673 km
AVERAGE ALTITUDE: 1,580 m above sea-level
TERRAIN: Vast semi-desert and desert plains, mountains in west and southwest, Gobi Desert in southeast
PEOPLE: Khalkha Mongols (86%), Kazaks (6%), about a dozen other Mongolian ethnic groups
LANGUAGES: Mongolian, Kazakh, Russian, Chinese. English is widely spoken in the Ulaanbaatar.
RELIGIONS: Tibetan Buddhism, Muslim, Christian and Shamanism
LITERACY RATE: 82.9%
CLIMATE: Average summer temperature +20’C, average winter temperature -26’C, average rainfall 200-220 mm. Winter lasts from November to late April, Spring from May through June, Summer from July through September.
POLITICAL SYSTEM: Parliamentary republic. President elected for four years. Present President Elbegdorj Tsahia, elected in 2013. Prime Minister appointed by State Great Khural for four years. Present Prime Minister Mr. Saikhanbileg.Ch was appointed in 2014.
LEGISLATURE: State Great Khural (Parliament), unicameral with 76 members elected for four years. The last election was held in 2012.
JUDICIAL SYSTEM: Mongolian judicial system consists of Constitutional Court , Supreme Court, Aimag and capital city courts, soum and district courts.
STATE STRUCTURE: Mongolia is a unitary state and divided administratively into Aimags (21) and a capital city; Aimags are subdivided into soums; soums into bags; and a capital city into districts; districts into khoroos.
NATIONAL CURRENCY: Tugrik (MNT), about MNT 1986 = USD 1 (by Sep 2015)
FISCAL YEAR: January 1 – December 31
MAIN ENTRY POINTS: Chinggis Khaan (airport in Ulaanbaatar ), Sukhbaatar (railway station on Mongolian-Russian border) and Zamyn Uud (railway station on Mongolian-Chinese border)
SEA ACCESS: Tianjin/China (1,344 km) and Nakhodka/Russia (4,037 km)
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS: December 31- January 1 – New Year 3 days, in January/February – Mongolian New Year (Tsagaan Sar), June 1 – Mother and Child day, July 11-13 – National Holiday (Naadam)
TIME: Add 8 hours to Greenwich Mean Time
NORMAL WORKING HOURS: 09.00-13.00 and 14.00-18.00
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 220 volts/50 HZ
WEIGHT AND MEASURES: Metric System
VISA ARRANGEMENTS: Visa shall be issued by MongoliaEmbassies and Diplomatic Missions as well as Honorary consuls of Mongolia , or can be obtained at the airport at a cost of US$53 but must be accompanied by an invitation. learn more