The 16th century Monastery is the jewel in the Central Mongolian steppe with 108 white stupas and a dozen temples that survived the 1930s Stalinist purge in Mongolia. Today Erdene Zuu is an active monastery with about 100 monks, daily chants, and religious activities, and is a famous place for pilgrims and visitors alike. Karakorum is about 6hr drive from Ulaanbaatar.
Immerse yourself in the nomadic way of life, explore the vast and diverse landscapes of the Gobi Desert and the Altai Mountains witness the ancient traditions of eagle hunting and horseback riding, and connect with the warm-hearted Mongolian people.
Get ready to be inspired by the rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and extraordinary experiences awaiting you in Mongolia.
Let the spirit of adventure and the allure of the unknown ignite your curiosity and fuel your wanderlust as you embark on a journey that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Let Mongolia inspire you to embrace the beauty and diversity of the world and discover the extraordinary within yourself.
Top 10 things to do in Mongolia
Just “showing up” is an adventure in Mongolia, and once you’ve headed out of Ulaanbaatar into the wide – open countryside, the adventure really begins – even if you’re just traveling by road.
1. Explore Mongolia by 4x4
Mongolia, the 19th largest country in the world, beckons adventurous souls with its vast and untamed landscapes. Traveling across this vast land offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience, but it requires time and dedication due to the considerable distances between attractions and sites.
To make the most of your Mongolian expedition, 4x4 vehicles prove to be the ultimate companion. These rugged vehicles provide the freedom to venture off the well-trodden paths, explore remote corners, and meet the welcoming locals who proudly preserve their ancient traditions. Driving across the endless steppe and through the majestic mountains allows you to witness ever-changing scenery, from rolling grasslands to vast deserts and picturesque valleys.
2. Stay in a Ger
The Mongolian Ger, also known as Yurt, is a cherished symbol of the country's nomadic heritage. Despite the modernization and urbanization of Mongolia, Gers remain an integral part of the cultural fabric, with many people embracing this traditional way of living both in cities and rural areas. The Ger is a marvel of design, offering spacious and comfortable accommodations for its occupants.
Constructed with a wooden lattice frame and insulated with layers of felt, Gers provide warmth and shelter in all seasons, making them ideal for the nomadic lifestyle. Staying in a Ger during your journey in Mongolia offers a genuine connection to the country's age-old traditions and a chance to experience the nomadic lifestyle firsthand.
3. Meeting nomadic people & culture experiencing
Is a must for everyone visiting Mongolia. Mongolian nomads can easily be the most hospitable people one will ever meet as they welcome guests to their homes and treat them to the famous salty milk tea. Airag, boortsog and dried curds. All of our tours include a nomadic family visit with a cooking class/lunch or dinner with the nomads. Nomads also be happy to share their stories; show how they train horses or make dairies.
4. Attending the Naadam festival
Naadam, the pinnacle of Mongolian festivals, holds a special place in our cultural heritage. Its significance is recognized worldwide, as evidenced by its inclusion in UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity list in 2010. The roots of Naadam trace back to the ancient Hun Empire around 209 BC, when this grand celebration was already embraced among tribes. This splendid festival centers around the Three Games of Men: archery, wrestling, and horse racing, although women actively participate in archery and horse racing as well. Naadam embodies the spirit of unity, competition, and tradition, passing down through generations for centuries. The State Naadam takes place in Ulaanbaatar on the 11th and 12th of July each year, while provincial centers and villages celebrate their Naadams before the grand State festival. The joyous festivities of Naadam bring people together, showcasing the cultural pride and athletic prowess of Mongolia to the world. It's a time of camaraderie, excitement, and the celebration of our vibrant heritage.
5. Experiences eagle hunting
Experiences eagle hunting with Kazakhs in Bayan-Ulgii province. The Kazakhs have a unique tradition of hunting with trained Golden Eagles. When spotting prey, a hunter takes a hood off the eagle and lets it fly. It's amazing to see how the golden eagle spreads its wings and flies freely as if it was never at a human's mercy. Its' natural instincts are revived, and it forges ahead. The Eagle Huntress, a teenage girl Aisholphan is a household name in Mongolia today.
6. Horseback riding
Mongolians are famous for their horses, and riding horses across the expansive, unoccupied Mongolian countryside is a real treat. Mongolian horses are small compared to other horses, but their strength is incredible! In fact, these little horses were the secret weapon of the Mongols during their 13th-century invasion of Asia and Europe. Most of our tours include 2-6hr guided horseback riding and we offer riding tours as well.
Home to diverse landscapes and a nomadic culture that pre-dates the times of Genghis Khan, Mongolia offers a stunning array of photographic opportunities. Travel through the vast steppe to capture images o Mongolian horses, traditional ger camps, and camel-herding families. Catch the singing dunes o the Gobi Desert at sunrise and the Flamming cliffs at sunset and enjoy making portraits of nomads & eagle hunters with us!
8. Visit the Mongol Nomadic Heritage center
Mongol Nomadic Heritage Center offers a daily 2 hr of show that demonstrates Mongolian nomadic culture and traditions based on "Five Treasures of the Mongols" (five types of livestock: horse, sheep, cow, goat, and camel) for visitors in the summer. Just 1hr from Ulaanbaatar, this daily event features various activities of nomadic lifestyle such as moving with ox carts, setting up a Ger. making dairies including Mongolian milk vodka, tea ceremony, horsemanship, and Mongolian music and lasts for 2 hrs.
9. Enjoy camel riding in the Gobi Desert
When you visit the Gobi desert, you will realize that there's nothing in the world that's quite like these vast expanses of no man's land. We recommend you try riding our two humped beautiful Bactrian camels, which are often called the "Ship of the Sand Sea' by the locals. Bactrian camels are slow but strong and reliable transport for the Gobi folks.
10. Meeting a shaman in Mongolia
is an opportunity not to be missed for those seeking spiritual treats. Banned for 70 years under communism, the ancient practices of shamanism has been protected by Mongolia's constitution since 1992. As all ancient spiritual practices are rooted in nature, shamanism is a method by which we can strengthen that natural connection. We include a visit to a shaman / shamaness upon request in our tours.
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