Discovering the Land of Blue Skies: A Journey through Mongolia’s Cultural and Natural Wonders

By Rinshi Ansari, April 1, 2023

Are you ready for an adventure like no other? Discovering the land of the blue sky is your ultimate guide to the awe-inspiring landscapes and vibrant culture of Mongolia. This vast and mystical country is filled with ancient traditions, breathtaking natural wonders, and a deep sense of history that will leave you in awe.

From the rugged mountains of the Altai to the lush grasslands of the steppes, Mongolia is a land of extreme contrasts and unparalleled beauty. This guide takes you on a journey through the country’s most stunning landscapes, introducing you to the people, history, and culture that make Mongolia such a unique and unforgettable destination.

Whether you’re trekking through the Gobi Desert, exploring the bustling capital of Ulaanbaatar, or getting up close and personal with nomadic herders, this guide has everything you need to make the most of your Mongolian adventure. With insider tips, detailed maps, and fascinating insights into the country’s rich heritage, you’ll be ready to experience Mongolia like a true adventurer.

So come along and join us on a journey through the land of the blue sky, where every turn offers new wonders to discover and memories to cherish. Are you ready to explore this mystical land? Let’s go!

About Mongolia

Mongolia is a landlocked country located in Central Asia, bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east, and west. The country spans an area of over 1.5 million square kilometres, making it one of the largest countries in the world in terms of area. Still, it is sparsely populated, with a population of around 3 million people.

Mongolia has a rich and complex history, dating back to the ancient Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries, which was one of the largest empires in world history, spanning from Asia to Europe. The Mongols were known for their military prowess, and the empire was led by the legendary Genghis Khan.

Today, Mongolia is a democracy with a rapidly developing economy, but it’s nomadic traditions and unique cultural heritage are still very much a part of everyday life. Mongolian culture is deeply rooted in nature and spirituality, with a strong connection to the land and the country’s shamanistic traditions.

One of the most striking features of Mongolia is its vast, rugged landscape, which includes the Gobi Desert in the south, the Altai Mountains in the west, and the rolling grasslands of the central steppes. These landscapes are home to a wide range of wildlife, including wild horses, camels, and the elusive snow leopard.

The capital city of Mongolia is Ulaanbaatar, a bustling metropolis that blends traditional Mongolian culture with modern urban development. It is home to many of the country’s most important cultural institutions, including the National Museum of Mongolia and the Gandan Monastery, one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in the country.

Mongolia is a country of breathtaking natural beauty, fascinating history, and unique cultural heritage that is still very much alive today. Whether you’re interested in exploring the rugged wilderness, immersing yourself in nomadic traditions, or discovering the country’s rich history and cultural treasures, Mongolia offers something for everyone. That is why it is called the land of the blue sky.

Weather Conditions

Mongolia has an extreme continental climate, with long, cold winters and short, hot summers. The country is known for its harsh weather conditions, which can make travel and outdoor activities challenging at times.

Winter in Mongolia typically lasts from November to March, with temperatures dropping as low as -40°C in some areas. Snow is common during this time, and many parts of the country become inaccessible due to heavy snowfall and icy conditions.

Spring and autumn are short transitional seasons, with temperatures ranging from -5°C to 20°C. These seasons can be unpredictable, with sudden changes in weather and an occasional snowfall.

Summer in Mongolia is short but intense, lasting from June to August. Temperatures can reach as high as 35°C in some areas, and the weather is generally dry and sunny. However, thunderstorms and occasional dust storms are not uncommon during this time.

Due to its continental climate, Mongolia experiences a wide range of temperature fluctuations between day and night, with temperature differences of up to 20°C in some areas. It’s important to be prepared for all weather conditions when travelling in Mongolia, as temperatures can change rapidly and unexpectedly.

Visitors who are well-prepared and dressed appropriately can still enjoy all that the land of the blue sky has to offer, regardless of the season.

The People

The people of Mongolia are known for their strong connection to their nomadic heritage and their unique cultural traditions. While the country has become more urbanised in recent years, many Mongolians still live a nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle, herding animals and living in traditional gers (yurts) on the steppe.

Mongolians place a great emphasis on hospitality and are known for their warm and welcoming nature. Guests are often greeted with tea and food, and it is considered impolite to refuse these offerings. Family is also highly valued in Mongolian culture, and many families live together in multi-generational households.

The traditional diet in Mongolia consists mainly of meat and dairy products, as these were historically the most readily available sources of food. Some popular dishes include buuz (steamed dumplings filled with meat and vegetables), khuushuur (fried meat pastries), and airag (fermented mare’s milk).

Mongolian culture is deeply rooted in shamanism and Buddhism, and many Mongolians practice a blend of these two religions. Buddhist monasteries and temples can be found throughout the country. The annual Naadam Festival, which features traditional sports such as horse racing, wrestling, and archery, is an important cultural event.

In terms of language, Mongolian is the official language of the country, and it is a member of the Mongolic language family. Russian and English are also widely spoken in urban areas and among younger generations.

Travellers to the land of the blue sky can expect to experience a warm welcome, fascinating traditions, and a way of life that has been shaped by centuries of history and tradition.

Dressing Style

Traditional Mongolian clothing is both practical and beautiful, and it reflects the country’s nomadic heritage and harsh weather conditions. The most iconic item of clothing in Mongolia is the deel, a long, loose-fitting robe that is worn by both men and women.

Deels are typically made from thick wool or cotton and are designed to keep the wearer warm in cold weather. They often feature intricate embroidery or colourful patterns, and they can be worn with a variety of accessories, including boots, hats, and belts.

Mongolian men often wear a hat called a khudag, which is made from fur or felt and has flaps that can be tied under the chin to protect the wearer from the wind and cold. Women often wear a headscarf called a khalkhak, which is also designed to protect the head and neck from the elements.

In urban areas, many Mongolians now wear Western-style clothing, particularly younger generations. However, traditional dress is still worn on special occasions and during cultural events, and it remains an integral part of Mongolian cultural identity.

Visitors to the land of the blue sky may want to consider purchasing a traditional deel or other clothing items as a souvenir of their trip.

Top Places to Visit in Mongolia

Mongolia is a vast and diverse country with a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural scenery. Here are some of the top places to visit in Mongolia:


Ulaanbaatar, also known as UB, is the capital city of Mongolia. It is located in the north-central part of the country and is the country’s largest city, with a population of over 1.4 million people.

Ulaanbaatar is a vibrant and bustling city that offers a fascinating blend of traditional Mongolian culture and modern urban life. Visitors can explore historic temples and monasteries, modern museums and galleries, and bustling markets and shopping districts.

Some of the top attractions in Ulaanbaatar include the Gandan Monastery, which is one of the most important Buddhist sites in the country, and the National Museum of Mongolia, which offers an in-depth look at the country’s history and culture—the Zaisan Memorial, which offers stunning views of the city from its hilltop location.

In addition to its cultural attractions, Ulaanbaatar also offers a range of dining and nightlife options, including traditional Mongolian cuisine, international restaurants, and trendy bars and clubs.

While Ulaanbaatar can be a bit overwhelming for some visitors, it is also a gateway to the rest of Mongolia. It offers easy access to some of the country’s most stunning natural attractions, such as the Gobi Desert, Lake Khuvsgul, and the Orkhon Valley.

The Gobi Desert

The Gobi Desert is a vast and ancient desert region located in southern Mongolia and northern China. It is one of the largest deserts in the world, covering an area of over 500,000 square miles.

Despite its reputation as a barren and inhospitable landscape, the Gobi Desert is actually home to a diverse range of plant and animal life, including rare species such as the Bactrian camel, the Gobi bear, and the snow leopard.

The Gobi is also rich in history and culture, with many important archaeological and cultural sites located within its boundaries. Visitors can explore ancient ruins, such as the ruins of the city of Karakorum, which was once the capital of the Mongol Empire, as well as traditional Mongolian nomadic communities that have lived in the desert for centuries.

One of the most popular activities for visitors to the Gobi is camel trekking, which offers a unique and immersive way to explore the desert landscape. Other popular activities include hiking, camping, and visiting traditional Mongolian yurt camps.

Some of the top attractions in the Gobi Desert include the Flaming Cliffs, a stunning rock formation that glows red in the setting sun, and the Yolyn Am canyon, which features a river and an ice field that remains frozen even during the hot summer months.

Lake Khuvsgul

Lake Khuvsgul, also known as Khuvsgul Nuur, is one of Mongolia’s most spectacular natural wonders. Located in the northern part of the country, near the Russian border, it is the largest and deepest freshwater lake in Mongolia, covering an area of over 2,700 square kilometres and reaching depths of up to 262 meters.

Stunning mountain ranges surround the lake, and is home to a wide range of plant and animal life, including rare and endangered species such as the Siberian ibex, the argali sheep, and the reindeer.

Visitors to Lake Khuvsgul can enjoy a range of activities, including hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and kayaking. The area is also home to several traditional Mongolian nomadic communities, which offer visitors a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage.

One of the most popular activities at Lake Khuvsgul is trekking along the lake’s shoreline, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests. The lake is also a popular destination for fishing, with several species of fish, including the Siberian grayling, found in its waters.

In addition to its natural beauty, Lake Khuvsgul is also steeped in history and mythology, with many local legends and stories associated with the lake and its surrounding area. Visitors can learn about these stories and traditions through visits to local museums and cultural centres.

Orkhon Valley

The Orkhon Valley is a beautiful and historically significant region located in central Mongolia. It is named after the Orkhon River, which flows through the valley and is home to many important archaeological and cultural sites.

The valley is rich in natural beauty, with lush green forests, rolling hills, and stunning waterfalls. Visitors can explore the valley on foot, by horseback, or on a jeep tour, with many opportunities for hiking and camping along the way.

One of the most significant historical sites in the Orkhon Valley is the ancient city of Karakorum, which was once the capital of the Mongol Empire. Today, visitors can explore the ruins of the city, which include the Erdene Zuu Monastery, one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Mongolia.

Other important cultural sites in the Orkhon Valley include the Tuvkhun Monastery, a stunning mountain monastery that dates back to the 17th century, and the Ulaan Tsutgalan Waterfall, which is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Mongolia.

The Orkhon Valley is also home to several traditional Mongolian nomadic communities, which offer visitors a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage. Visitors can learn about traditional Mongolian customs and lifestyles, sample local cuisine, and even stay in a traditional Mongolian yurt known as a “ger.”

Khustai National Park

Khustai National Park is a stunning nature reserve located in central Mongolia, about 100 kilometres west of Ulaanbaatar. The park covers an area of 50,600 hectares and is home to a wide range of plant and animal species, including the world-famous Przewalski’s horse.

Visitors to Khustai National Park can explore the park’s stunning landscapes, which include rolling hills, forests, and grasslands. The park is also home to several freshwater springs and rivers, making it an important source of water for the region’s wildlife.

One of the main attractions of Khustai National Park is the opportunity to see the endangered Przewalski’s horse in its natural habitat. These wild horses were once extinct in the wild, but thanks to successful breeding and conservation efforts, they have been reintroduced to the park and are thriving in their natural environment.

In addition to the horses, visitors to Khustai National Park can also spot other wildlife, such as red deer, marmots, and various bird species. The park is also home to several ancient burial mounds and stone monuments dating back to the Bronze and Turkic eras.

Visitors to Khustai National Park can enjoy a range of activities, including hiking, birdwatching, and horseback riding. The park also offers camping facilities for those who wish to spend more time in the wilderness.

The Flaming Cliffs

The Flaming Cliffs, also known as Bayanzag, is a stunning geological formation located in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. The cliffs get their name from the striking red and orange colours that appear to glow in the sunlight, creating an almost otherworldly atmosphere.

The Flaming Cliffs are not only a geological wonder but also an important site for palaeontologists. In the 1920s, American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews discovered dinosaur fossils in the area, including the first known nest of dinosaur eggs. Today, visitors to the Flaming Cliffs can see replicas of these dinosaur eggs and other fossils at the nearby museum.

In addition to the dinosaur fossils, the Flaming Cliffs are home to a variety of unique plant and animal species that are well adapted to the harsh desert environment. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the cliffs and learn about the geological and paleontological history of the area.

One of the most popular activities at the Flaming Cliffs is hiking, with trails leading through the rugged terrain and offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can also enjoy camel rides or horseback rides to explore the area.

The Flaming Cliffs are best visited during the early morning or late afternoon, when the sun’s rays cast long shadows across the cliffs, highlighting the vibrant colours. This also provides the best opportunity for spotting wildlife such as eagles, falcons, and desert foxes.

Altai Mountains

The Altai Mountains are a majestic range located in western Mongolia, bordering Russia, China, and Kazakhstan. The range is known for its stunning natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and unique culture of the indigenous Kazakh people who live in the region.

The Altai Mountains are home to a variety of unique plant and animal species, including endangered snow leopards, Argali sheep, and Altai ibex. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the area and spot these rare and beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

The Altai Mountains are also a popular destination for hiking and trekking, with trails leading through scenic valleys, rugged mountain passes, and alpine meadows. One of the most popular routes is the Altai Tavan Bogd Trek, which takes hikers to the summit of Mongolia’s highest peak, Mount Khuiten, and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

The Altai Mountains are also rich in cultural heritage, with many ancient rock carvings, petroglyphs, and burial mounds scattered throughout the region. Visitors can learn about the history and traditions of the indigenous Kazakh people by visiting local museums and cultural centres or by attending traditional festivals and events.

Other popular activities in the Altai Mountains include horseback riding, fishing, and camping. The region is also known for its natural hot springs, which offer a relaxing and rejuvenating experience after a long day of hiking or trekking.

Erdene Zuu Monastery

Erdene Zuu Monastery is a historic Buddhist monastery located in Kharkhorin, a town in central Mongolia. It was built in the 16th century and is one of the oldest surviving monasteries in Mongolia, as well as being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Erdene Zuu Monastery was built on the site of the ancient Mongol capital of Karakorum, which was destroyed by invading Chinese forces in the 14th century. The monastery was constructed using the remaining stones from the ruined city and was surrounded by a fortified wall with 108 stupas, or Buddhist shrines, each containing a statue of Buddha.

The monastery was a centre of Buddhist learning and culture, with several temples and prayer halls dedicated to different aspects of Buddhist practice. Visitors can explore the various buildings, including the main prayer hall with its impressive collection of thangka paintings and the stunning temple of Zuu Geggen, which houses a rare collection of Buddhist scriptures and artefacts.

Erdene Zuu Monastery also played an important role in the political history of Mongolia. Several Mongol khans patronised it, and the complex served as a meeting place for Mongol leaders during the 16th century. Visitors can see the remains of the khan’s palace and the imposing Ovoo Taisan hill, which was used for shamanic rituals by the khans.

Today, Erdene Zuu Monastery remains an important centre of Buddhist practice and culture in Mongolia, with a resident community of monks and nuns. Visitors can attend religious ceremonies and witness traditional Buddhist rituals, as well as explore the historic buildings and learn about the rich history of the monastery and its place in Mongolian culture.

Amarbayasgalant Monastery

Amarbayasgalant Monastery is a stunningly beautiful Buddhist monastery located in the northern part of Mongolia, Selenge Province. It was built in the 18th century and is considered one of the most important cultural and religious sites in Mongolia.

The monastery was founded by Manchu Emperor Yongzheng in 1727 as part of his efforts to promote Buddhism in Mongolia. It was constructed in traditional Tibetan-style architecture, with ornate roofs and intricate carvings and paintings depicting scenes from Buddhist mythology and history.

Amarbayasgalant Monastery was a centre of Buddhist learning and culture, with several temples and prayer halls dedicated to different aspects of Buddhist practice. The main temple, known as the Zuu Temple, houses a statue of Buddha and several other important religious relics.

Visitors can explore the various buildings of the monastery and see the beautiful artwork and architecture, including the intricately painted walls and ceilings, colourful sculptures, and elaborate woodcarvings. The peaceful atmosphere and stunning natural surroundings of the monastery make it a popular destination for meditation and spiritual retreats.

Amarbayasgalant Monastery is also known for its connection to Mongolia’s history and culture. It was spared destruction during the communist era, when many other monasteries were destroyed or damaged, and it remains an important symbol of Mongolia’s religious and cultural heritage.


Kharkhorin, also known as Karakorum, is a historic city located in the central part of Mongolia. It was the capital of the Mongol Empire during the 13th century and was an important centre of trade and culture on the Silk Road.

Today, Kharkhorin is a popular destination for tourists interested in Mongolian history and culture. Visitors can explore the ruins of the ancient city and see the remnants of the once-mighty empire, including the impressive walls and gateways of the city and the remains of the palace and temple of the Mongol khans.

One of the most famous landmarks in Kharkhorin is the Erdene Zuu Monastery, which was built on the site of the ancient city and is one of the oldest surviving monasteries in Mongolia. Visitors can see the impressive collection of thangka paintings and rare Buddhist scriptures housed in the monastery, as well as witness traditional Buddhist rituals and ceremonies.

Kharkhorin is also surrounded by stunning natural beauty, including the Orkhon Valley, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features beautiful landscapes and several important historical and cultural sites. Visitors can see ancient petroglyphs, tombs, and monuments, as well as stunning waterfalls and beautiful countryside.

Terelj National Park

Terelj National Park is a beautiful natural area located in the Gorkhi-Terelj region of Mongolia, about 70 kilometres northeast of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. The park is known for its stunning natural beauty, including rugged mountains, sweeping valleys, and winding rivers.

One of the most famous landmarks in Terelj National Park is Turtle Rock, which is a large rock formation that resembles a turtle. Visitors can climb to the top of the rock and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area. Another popular attraction in the park is the Aryabal Meditation Temple, which is a Buddhist temple built in the shape of a lotus flower.

The park is also a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and camping. Visitors can explore the park’s beautiful trails and take in the stunning scenery, including the impressive Taiga forests and the towering cliffs that surround the park.

Terelj National Park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including elk, deer, and wild boar. Visitors can go on guided wildlife tours to see these majestic animals up close.

The park is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Mongolia’s natural beauty and outdoor activities. The stunning landscapes, unique rock formations, and impressive wildlife make it a truly unforgettable experience.

Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park

Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park is a protected area located in the Arkhangai Province of Mongolia. It was established in 1997 and covers an area of 55,200 hectares.

The park is known for its stunning landscapes, including the dormant volcano Khorgo and the alpine lake Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur (also known as White Lake), which is fed by numerous rivers and streams and is surrounded by mountains. The lake is a popular destination for fishing and boating and is also home to a variety of bird species.

In addition to its natural beauty, the park is also home to a number of archaeological and cultural sites, including ancient tombs, stone monuments, and petroglyphs.

Visitors to the park can engage in a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, horseback riding, and camping. The park is also a popular destination for birdwatching and wildlife viewing, with species such as the Siberian ibex, argali sheep, and grey wolf inhabiting the area.

Things to do while in the land of the blue sky

  1. Visit the Gobi Desert: The Gobi is one of the most famous deserts in the world and is a must-see destination in Mongolia. You can take a camel ride, explore the sand dunes, and visit the Flaming Cliffs, where dinosaur fossils have been found.
  1. Explore Ulaanbaatar: Mongolia’s capital city has a rich history and culture. Visit the Gandan Monastery, the National Museum of Mongolia, and the Zaisan Memorial for stunning views of the city.
  1. Experience the nomadic lifestyle: Mongolia is known for its nomadic culture, and visitors can stay in traditional felt tents, called gers or yurts, and participate in daily activities like herding livestock and making dairy products.
  1. Go horseback riding: Mongolia is home to some of the best horseback riding in the world. You can ride through the beautiful countryside, visit nomadic families, and experience Mongolia’s unique culture and traditions.
  1. Visit Lake Khovsgol: This pristine lake in northern Mongolia is one of the country’s most beautiful natural wonders. Visitors can kayak, hike, and fish while enjoying the stunning views.
  1. Attend a Naadam festival: Naadam is Mongolia’s national festival and features traditional sports such as horse racing, wrestling, and archery. It is a great way to experience Mongolia’s culture and traditions.
  1. Visit ancient ruins and historical sites: Mongolia has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. You can visit ancient ruins and historical sites such as the Erdene Zuu Monastery, Karakorum, and the Khamriin Khiid Monastery.
  1. Trek in the Altai Mountains: The Altai Mountains in western Mongolia offer some of the best trekking in the country. Visitors can hike through breathtaking valleys, cross high mountain passes, and meet nomadic families along the way.
  1. Visit the Khustain Nuruu National Park: This park, located just a few hours from Ulaanbaatar, is home to the wild Przewalski horse, also known as the Mongolian wild horse. Visitors can see these magnificent animals up close and learn about conservation efforts to protect them.
  1. Take a hot springs bath: Mongolia has a number of natural hot springs, which are a great way to relax after a long day of hiking or horseback riding. Some famous hot springs include Tsenkher Hot Springs and Chuluut River Hot Springs.
  1. Visit the Eagle Hunters: In western Mongolia, visitors can meet the Kazakh eagle hunters, who use trained eagles to hunt small game. It’s a unique and fascinating cultural experience that offers a glimpse into the traditional way of life in this region.
  1. Try traditional Mongolian food: Mongolian cuisine is hearty and filling, with lots of meat and dairy products. Some traditional dishes to try include khorkhog (a slow-cooked meat dish), buuz (steamed dumplings), and aaruul (dried curd).
  1. Shop for souvenirs: Mongolia has a rich handicraft tradition, and visitors can buy souvenirs such as traditional clothing, felt items, and handcrafted silver jewellery.
  1. Go skiing or snowboarding: Mongolia has several ski resorts, including the popular Sky Resort near Ulaanbaatar. Skiing or snowboarding in Mongolia offers a unique experience with stunning mountain views and fresh powder.
  1. Visit the Orkhon Valley: This valley, located in central Mongolia, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to a number of important historical and cultural landmarks. Visitors can see the ruins of the ancient city of Karakorum, visit the Erdene Zuu Monastery, and explore the beautiful countryside.
  1. Attend a Mongolian concert or performance: Mongolia has a rich tradition of music and dance, and visitors can attend performances by traditional throat singers, contortionists, and folk musicians. The State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Ulaanbaatar is a great place to catch a performance.
  1. Learn about Mongolian Buddhism: Buddhism has been an important part of Mongolian culture for centuries. Visitors can learn about the country’s Buddhist traditions by visiting monasteries and temples throughout the country.
  1. Explore the Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park: As mentioned earlier, this park is a popular destination for outdoor activities and offers stunning views of the Khorgo volcano and Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur lake. Visitors can hike, fish, and camp in the park.
  1. Visit the Genghis Khan Statue Complex: This giant statue of Genghis Khan on horseback is located about an hour outside of Ulaanbaatar and is one of Mongolia’s most famous landmarks. Visitors can climb to the top of the statue for a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.
  1. Attend a traditional Mongolian wedding: If you’re lucky, you may be invited to attend a traditional Mongolian wedding during your visit. Mongolian weddings are elaborate affairs that often last several days and include lots of food, music, and dancing.

Different foods to try in Mongolia

Mongolian cuisine is known for its hearty, meat-based dishes, as well as its use of dairy products and traditional cooking techniques. Here are some different foods to try while in Mongolia:

  1. Khorkhog: This is a traditional Mongolian dish made by cooking meat (usually lamb) with hot stones in a sealed container. The result is a tender, flavorful meat dish that is typically served with potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables.
  1. Buuz: These are steamed dumplings filled with ground meat (usually beef or lamb), onions, and garlic. They are a popular snack or meal in Mongolia and are often served with a side of pickles or hot sauce.
  1. Khuushuur: Similar to buuz, khuushuur are fried dumplings filled with meat and vegetables. They are a portion of popular street food in Mongolia and are often served with a side of sour cream or hot sauce.
  1. Aaruul: This is a traditional Mongolian snack made by drying curdled milk and then cutting it into small pieces. It is a bit like hard cheese and has a sour, slightly sweet taste.
  1. Airag: This is a fermented drink made from mare’s milk. It is a traditional Mongolian beverage and is known for its slightly sour taste and carbonation.
  1. Tsuivan: This is a noodle dish made with either wheat or rice noodles, vegetables, and meat (usually beef or lamb). It is a hearty and filling meal that is popular in Mongolia.
  1. Boortsog: These are fried dough cookies that are often served with tea or as a snack. They are a bit like a cross between a cookie and a cracker and have a slightly sweet taste.

Souvenirs to take back home from the land of the blue sky

Mongolia has a rich culture and a variety of unique handicrafts that make great souvenirs. Here are some popular items to consider taking back home from Mongolia:

  1. Cashmere products: Mongolia is known for its high-quality cashmere, and you can find a variety of cashmere products, such as scarves, sweaters, hats, and gloves, in local markets and shops.
  2. Mongolian traditional clothing: You can purchase traditional Mongolian clothing, such as deel (a long, loose-fitting robe) and hats made of sheepskin or fox fur.
  3. Artwork: Mongolian artwork includes traditional paintings, thangkas (religious paintings), sculptures, and other handmade crafts.
  4. Handicrafts: Mongolia has a variety of handmade crafts, including felt items such as slippers, hats, and bags, as well as embroidered items like wall hangings, clothing, and bags.
  5. Musical instruments: Mongolia has a rich musical tradition, and you can purchase traditional musical instruments such as morin khuur (horsehead fiddle), yatga (Mongolian zither), or a tovshuur (Mongolian guitar).
  6. Jewellery: Mongolian jewellery includes silver bracelets, necklaces, and earrings with traditional Mongolian designs.
  7. Mongolian vodka: Mongolian vodka is known for its smooth and pure taste and comes in a variety of flavours, including traditional Mongolian milk vodka.
  8. Gobi cashmere: This brand of cashmere is known for its high quality and can be found in stores throughout Mongolia.
  9. Mongolian tea: Mongolia has a variety of teas made from locally grown herbs and plants, such as thyme, sage, and nettle. You can find these teas in local markets and shops.
  10. Boots: Mongolian boots, called gutals, are made from leather or suede and are typically decorated with traditional Mongolian designs. They are durable and comfortable footwear options.
  11. Knives: Mongolian knives, called arslan, are handmade from high-quality steel and are often decorated with intricate designs. They make great souvenirs for those interested in cooking or outdoor activities.
  12. Hats: Mongolia has a variety of hats, including the traditional fox fur hat worn by nomads in the countryside, as well as embroidered hats with traditional designs.
  13. Spices: Mongolia has a variety of spices and seasonings used in traditional dishes, such as cumin, coriander, and chilli flakes. You can find these spices in local markets and shops.
  14. Horse gear: Mongolia is known for its horse culture, and you can purchase horse gear such as saddle pads, stirrups, and reins, as well as horsehair ropes and lassos.
  15. Fossils: Mongolia is rich in dinosaur fossils, and you can purchase replica fossils or even real fossils (with proper documentation) from local shops.
  16. Books: Mongolia has a rich literary tradition, and you can find books about Mongolian history, culture, and folklore in local bookstores.
  17. Traditional games: Mongolia has a variety of traditional games, such as shagai (anklebones), knucklebones, and chess sets, with traditional Mongolian designs.
  18. Rugs: Mongolia has a long history of rug making, and you can find beautiful woollen rugs with traditional designs in local markets and shops.
  19. Stamps: Mongolia is known for its beautiful and unique postage stamps featuring artwork, wildlife, and historical figures.
  20. Skin care products: Mongolia has a variety of natural skin care products made from locally sourced ingredients, such as goat milk, yak butter, and sea buckthorn oil.
  21. Vodka cups: Mongolian vodka cups, called piyala, are traditionally made from wood or bone and decorated with intricate designs.
  22. Language learning materials: If you’re interested in learning the Mongolian language, you can find language learning materials such as textbooks, dictionaries, and phrasebooks in local bookstores.

Things to consider for travellers while in Mongolia

If you are planning to travel to the land of the blue sky, here are some important things to consider:

  1. Weather: Mongolia has a harsh climate with long, cold winters and short, hot summers. Make sure to pack appropriate clothing for the season you are travelling in.
  2. Accommodation: Mongolia has a variety of accommodation options, from traditional nomadic tents (gers) to modern hotels. Make sure to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist season.
  3. Transportation: Mongolia is a vast country with few paved roads, so that transportation can be challenging. Consider hiring a driver or joining a guided tour to help you navigate the country.
  4. Language: Mongolian is the official language of Mongolia, and while many people speak English in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, English may not be widely spoken in more rural areas.
  5. Food and water: Mongolian cuisine is unique and often includes meat and dairy products. Make sure to drink only bottled or filtered water and be cautious when trying new foods.
  6. Culture and customs: Mongolia has a rich nomadic culture, and it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. For example, it’s considered impolite to step on the threshold of ger or to point with your feet.
  7. Health and safety: Mongolia is generally a safe country, but it’s always important to take precautions when travelling. Make sure to have travel insurance, follow local safety guidelines, and be aware of any health risks such as altitude sickness or foodborne illness.
  8. Money and currency: The official currency of Mongolia is the Mongolian Tugrik (MNT). It’s a good idea to bring cash in US dollars or Euros and exchange it at banks or official currency exchange offices.
  9. Technology and communication: Mongolia has a modern telecommunications network, but internet and cell phone coverage may be limited in more remote areas. Consider purchasing a local SIM card for your phone or bringing a satellite phone for emergencies.


As we come to the end of our journey through Mongolia’s cultural and natural wonders, it’s clear that this is a country that truly lives up to its nickname, “The Land of Blue Skies.” From the vast Gobi desert to the snow-capped peaks of the Altai Mountains, Mongolia’s stunning natural landscapes are a testament to the beauty and power of nature.

But it’s not just the landscapes that make Mongolia so special. It’s the people, the culture, and the history that make this country a must-visit destination for travellers from around the world. The nomadic culture of the Mongolian people is unlike anything you’ll find in other countries, and the warmth and hospitality of the locals are something that will stay with you long after you leave.

Whether you’re exploring ancient monasteries, trekking through the wilderness, or simply soaking up the unique atmosphere of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, or the land of the blue sky, this is a country that will capture your heart and soul. It’s a place where you can connect with nature, learn about a rich and fascinating history, and experience a way of life that has endured for centuries.

So if you’re looking for a destination that will take your breath away, challenge your assumptions, and leave you with memories to last a lifetime, then look no further than Mongolia. This is a land of blue skies, open spaces, and endless possibilities, and it’s waiting for you to discover its many wonders.

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