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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Traveling to Mongolia

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Traveling to Mongolia

From etiquette suggestions to what to count on on the Naadam competition, Mariana from MIR Corp tells us what Mongolia is like and what to know earlier than you go to.

Wrestlers at the Naadam Festival, Outer Mongolia.
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Mongolia is a rustic with an enchanting historical past and tradition that’s effectively and actually alive at the moment. Even in the event you stick to the capital metropolis, Ulaanbaatar, you will notice transportable gers (spherical felt tents utilized by Mongolian nomads) arrange within the backyards of neat brick homes, the place younger newlyweds dwell till they’re prepared to discover their very own home.

Four-wheel drive excursions take you out to discover the infinite steppe the place massive herds of animals graze, or via the arid scrub of the Gobi Desert, the place dinosaur fossils have been discovered.

Wherever you select to journey in Mongolia, listed here are 5 issues to know earlier than you go.

    • The Naadam Festival
    • Four-wheel driving may make you movement sick
    • The Mongolian steppe is a windy place
    • Mongolians love horses
    • Important ger etiquette it is best to know
    • The many milk merchandise of Mongolia

1. The Naadam Festival shouldn’t be what you may count on

Many folks come to Mongolia to see the annual Naadam Festival, a mixture of pageantry, competitors, and nationwide celebration like no different. The opening celebration has a parade that’s harking back to a half-time present at an American soccer recreation, however from there on, Naadam is a world away from American festivals.

The competitions, referred to as the “three games of man”, function archery, horse racing and wrestling – however they’re carried out in a strictly Mongolian trend. Male and feminine archers shoot arrows from tall bows (which have not modified a lot since Genghis Khan’s warriors used them to conquer the identified world). School-age jockeys urge their horses alongside an overland route that may be 17mi (27km) lengthy. And highly effective wrestlers in skimpy costumes flap their arms gravely within the ritual Eagle Dance earlier than grappling with one another.

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Photo credit score: Getty Images

2. Four-wheel driving may make you movement sick

Much of the terrain in Mongolia is de facto rocky – so rocky you may even really feel sick whereas driving via it. One of the issues I want I’d packed was remedy for movement illness. There are only a few paved roads in Mongolia, and whereas driving off-road is enjoyable and thrilling, it is an terrible expertise in the event you get movement illness.

Just pop a movement illness pill an hour or so earlier than the 4×4 driving begins – whether or not it is a Gobi tour or a drive to the ruins of Genghis Khan‘s capital, Karakorum – and you will be ready to totally respect the Mongolian landscapes with out wanting on the backside of a bucket.

3. The Mongolian steppe is a windy place

The Mongolian steppe has few bushes – similar with the Gobi Desert. There isn’t any shade on the market, and nothing to decelerate the ever-present wind. Pack a shawl or bandanna, a windbreaker, a hat that covers your neck, sunscreen, and lip balm. These objects take up little or no area, and are price their weight in gold when the Mongolian winds are howling.

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Photo credit score: Getty Images

4. Mongolians love horses

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