33 reasons why you should visit Mongolia


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September 25th 2012
Published: September 25th 2012
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Mongolia is not your standard high-class go-to-the-beach and take-it-easy holiday destination. If you like adventurous travel, love nature and are not afraid of some cultural experiences, Mongolia is definitely the place to go. Not convinced yet? These 33 reasons and images will convert you surely.


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1. You will find more free space than you could ever image to fill1. You will find more free space than you could ever image to fill
1. You will find more free space than you could ever image to fill

Mongolian countryside is practically unlimited. You can drive for hours and hours without seeing anyone or anything but grasslands and mountains.
2.	The beings that you will have to share your space with are more likely to be animals than people2.	The beings that you will have to share your space with are more likely to be animals than people
2. The beings that you will have to share your space with are more likely to be animals than people

Horses, yaks, sheep, camels, goats, cows, eagles and condors are living wild or semi-wild and are much more plentiful than people (45 million versus 3 million – or so we have been told)
3.	Sleeping is done in so-called gers – ultra-cozy mobile homes than have been used since day and age by nomadic Mongols3.	Sleeping is done in so-called gers – ultra-cozy mobile homes than have been used since day and age by nomadic Mongols
3. Sleeping is done in so-called gers – ultra-cozy mobile homes than have been used since day and age by nomadic Mongols

They are white on the outside and surprisingly colorful on the inside. Included are a stove and firewood, bed and blankets and, in our case, plenty of wodka. Already we have seen many that have their own solar cells – and motor bikes for that matter. In the future, they might all have a thin foil with solar cells to power their basic needs.
4.    In the 14th century, under the reign of Genghis Khan and his sons, the Mongolian empire formed the biggest empire ever.4.    In the 14th century, under the reign of Genghis Khan and his sons, the Mongolian empire formed the biggest empire ever.
4. In the 14th century, under the reign of Genghis Khan and his sons, the Mongolian empire formed the biggest empire ever.

This means also bigger than the Roman Empire. It might be hard to imagine that a country which nowadays is politically and economically so insignificant, used to cover a big part of Russia, whole Central Asia and a big chunk of Southeast Asia.
5.	Ulaanbaatar is the world’s capital that is furthest from the sea5.	Ulaanbaatar is the world’s capital that is furthest from the sea
5. Ulaanbaatar is the world’s capital that is furthest from the sea

Completely land-locked UB is thus not the best place to have your cravings for fresh fish satisfied. It does mean it’s a true hub for overland travelers, which gives it a wonderful adventurous vibe.
6.	Everyone can feel like a proper cowboy when horse-riding on the endless plains or the mountainous forests of Mongolia6.	Everyone can feel like a proper cowboy when horse-riding on the endless plains or the mountainous forests of Mongolia
6. Everyone can feel like a proper cowboy when horse-riding on the endless plains or the mountainous forests of Mongolia

Even when you’re ill-experienced, galloping after spending half a day on your horse will make you feel like you were born to do this. Never mind your back and ass telling you later that you’d actually be better off in an office chair
7.	Autumnal colors in Terelj National Park will make you weak inside7.	Autumnal colors in Terelj National Park will make you weak inside
7. Autumnal colors in Terelj National Park will make you weak inside

This park is home to Bert’s Eco Camp, started by this Dutchman and his Mongolian wife. It’s so remotely placed in the park that you need a pick-up by an ox-cart to get you through the rivers and tracks of the last stretch. A little paradise, where you will meet more Dutch than in an Albert Heijn and where the traditional Dutch food will make you remember your grandma.
8.	If traditional Mongolian food is more your cup of tea, then you will never forget all the mutton that you’ll eat8.	If traditional Mongolian food is more your cup of tea, then you will never forget all the mutton that you’ll eat
8. If traditional Mongolian food is more your cup of tea, then you will never forget all the mutton that you’ll eat

Mongolian food has varieties like mutton-soup, mutton-pasta and mutton-risotto. Old mutton, young mutton, smelly mutton, even smellier mutton and I-can’t-smell-or-taste any-more-mutton! Sometimes you’ll have some veggies as well.
9.	Salted cow’s milk tea will fit nicely with your mutton9.	Salted cow’s milk tea will fit nicely with your mutton
9. Salted cow’s milk tea will fit nicely with your mutton

It’s really not too bad – especially when you compare it with Airag, the fermented horse milk that is often drunk.
10.	You will find everything you could possibly need on the Black Market in UB10.	You will find everything you could possibly need on the Black Market in UB
10. You will find everything you could possibly need on the Black Market in UB

And with everything, I mean nearly everything. The biggest part is simply legal, but other parts are not quite.
11.	Wodka is available widely and cheaply11.	Wodka is available widely and cheaply
11. Wodka is available widely and cheaply

While not so good for the locals who like the spirit a bit too much, it makes good social lubricant when you are in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do.
12.	Lenin and Mao are hugging and Mongolia is in the middle12.	Lenin and Mao are hugging and Mongolia is in the middle
12. Lenin and Mao are hugging and Mongolia is in the middle

Being placed between the giants Russia and China, the fruits of both nations can be reaped here. This crossing becomes especially apparent when you’re travelling on the Trans-Mongolian railway. Read more on: http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/19181.html
13.	When going on a tour to explore the country, chances are that you’ll be taken in one of the ‘Russian tractors’13.	When going on a tour to explore the country, chances are that you’ll be taken in one of the ‘Russian tractors’
13. When going on a tour to explore the country, chances are that you’ll be taken in one of the ‘Russian tractors’

Like the one of ours that came with a driver called Mutsj. He would consequently refer to his van as his ‘second wife’. An intimate relationship they had: no secrets for each other and very well adapted to compensate for the other’s shortcomings. The cars look like bad-ass Volkswagen vans and have the suspension of a desert buggy. They lack any modern equipment – which makes it easier to repair when you’re stuck with the first village miles and miles away.
14.	In Mongolia it is said that in life you should ride your invisible horse of luck.14.	In Mongolia it is said that in life you should ride your invisible horse of luck.
14. In Mongolia it is said that in life you should ride your invisible horse of luck.

The invisible horse of luck signifies your personal power - and harnassing it will keep you safe. When arriving in the camp of our second night, it appeared that 3 out of 5 bolts of one of our wheels had come loose and were lost. The other 2 were only barely holding. Shock and awe among the locals, who ensured us that tipping over would have been very probable.
15.	People that can handle minus 40 degrees Celcius must have some strong roots15.	People that can handle minus 40 degrees Celcius must have some strong roots
15. People that can handle minus 40 degrees Celcius must have some strong roots

In winter, temperature in UB drops to minus 30-35. In some other parts of the country, minus 60 is normal. Our guide Mutsj spoke of rumors that this year temperatures would drop as far as minus 70. Choose your season wisely.
16.	You will probably never learn the language16.	You will probably never learn the language
16. You will probably never learn the language

Which is a good thing if you plan on working on your English or are not too keen on small talk with locals. Mongolian language is very difficult to master. It has the same (Cyrillic) alphabet as Russian. But where Russian pronunciation is really phonetic and therefore makes some sense, Mongolian is extremely difficult to copy and master yourself. Koehandel, however, is an universal thing.
17.	Religious pursuits in Mongolia can make you enter the way of Shamanism17.	Religious pursuits in Mongolia can make you enter the way of Shamanism
17. Religious pursuits in Mongolia can make you enter the way of Shamanism

With as much beliefs and imagery as most other religions, Shamanism deals mostly with angels, messengers and involves making offerings (small change, candy, wodka) to the gods at self-made altars. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamanism
18.	The strange things you will encounter18.	The strange things you will encounter
18. The strange things you will encounter

People jump-starting one car by connecting the battery with 2 thick iron wires to the battery of the other car. No protection whatsoever. And it worked! Another example: the tourist office in UB is located inside a bank, just as café can be found inside the bank’s premises – seemingly unconnected. People getting loans are overlooking the pizzas being served and eaten and vice versa. It’s just weird.
21.	Marvels of construction21.	Marvels of construction
21. Marvels of construction

Such as this wooden bridge. But again – we survived.


25th September 2012

Ruilen???
Net voor het slapen gaan even kijken of er nog nieuwe foto's zijn en jawel hoor!! Echt fantastisch om ze te zien. Af en toe willen we wel even met jullie ruilen. xxx

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