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Top 10 Amazing Facts, Entertainment, and Exotic Cuisines in Mongolia

HomeInsightsTop 10 Amazing Facts, Entertainment, and Exotic Cuisines in Mongolia

Mongolia is a fascinating country with a rich history, unique culture, and stunning landscapes. Here are ten amazing facts about Mongolia that can captivate the imagination of families and kids:

  1. Nomadic Culture: Mongolia has a strong nomadic tradition, and nearly one-third of the population continues to live a nomadic lifestyle, herding livestock across the vast steppes.
  2. Gobi Desert: The Gobi Desert, spanning across southern Mongolia, is one of the world’s largest deserts. It features dramatic landscapes, sand dunes, and unique wildlife, including wild camels and snow leopards.
  3. Naadam Festival: Naadam is a traditional festival held every July, featuring the “Three Manly Games” of wrestling, horse racing, and archery. It’s a vibrant celebration of Mongolian culture and athleticism.
  4. Yurts (Ger): The traditional dwellings of Mongolian nomads are called yurts or gers. Families can experience staying in a ger and learn about the nomadic way of life.
  5. The Largest Landlocked Country: Mongolia is the largest landlocked country in the world, bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south.
  6. Chinggis Khaan (Genghis Khan): Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire, was born in Mongolia. His legacy is an integral part of Mongolian history, and families can visit historical sites associated with him.
  7. Horse Culture: Horses are highly valued in Mongolian culture. Families can witness skilled horsemanship during the Naadam Festival or experience horseback riding in scenic landscapes.
  8. Eagle Hunting: In western Mongolia, the ancient tradition of eagle hunting is still practiced. Families can witness the skilled hunters, known as eagle hunters, and their majestic golden eagles.
  9. Przewalski’s Horse: The world’s last truly wild horse, Przewalski’s horse, was reintroduced to the wild in Mongolia. Families can visit the Hustai National Park to see these horses in their natural habitat.
  10. Fossil Discoveries: Mongolia is known for its rich fossil beds, including the discovery of dinosaur fossils. The Flaming Cliffs (Bayanzag) are famous for dinosaur remains and fossils.

These facts provide a glimpse into Mongolia’s unique culture, history, and natural wonders. Exploring Mongolia can be an educational and adventurous experience for families and an opportunity to appreciate a way of life that has remained largely unchanged for centuries.

Mongolia train

Top 10 Festivals in Mongolia

Mongolia celebrates a variety of festivals that offer families and kids a chance to experience the country’s rich cultural traditions. Here are ten festivals in Mongolia that families may find interesting and enjoyable:

  1. Naadam Festival: Naadam is the biggest and most widely celebrated festival in Mongolia. Known as the “Three Manly Games,” it includes wrestling, horse racing, and archery competitions. Families can witness the festivities, which often feature traditional music, dance, and parades.
  2. Tsagaan Sar (Lunar New Year): Tsagaan Sar marks the Mongolian Lunar New Year and is one of the most important celebrations. Families come together to visit relatives, exchange gifts, and partake in traditional foods.
  3. Ice Festival: Held on the frozen surface of Lake Khuvsgul in northern Mongolia, the Ice Festival features various winter activities like ice skating, ice sumo wrestling, and traditional Mongolian games. It’s a unique winter experience for families.
  4. Golden Eagle Festival: Taking place in the Bayan-Ölgii province, this festival showcases the ancient tradition of eagle hunting. Families can witness impressive displays of skill as eagle hunters demonstrate their bond with their majestic golden eagles.
  5. Shine Jil (New Year’s Eve): Shine Jil is the night before Tsagaan Sar and is celebrated with various events, including fireworks displays. Families often gather for festive meals and cultural performances.
  6. Thousand Camel Festival: Held in the South Gobi Desert, this festival celebrates the role of camels in Mongolian culture. Families can enjoy camel races, traditional performances, and cultural exhibits.
  7. Horse Festival: This festival celebrates the importance of horses in Mongolian culture. Families can witness horse races, traditional horse games, and demonstrations of horsemanship skills.
  8. Mongolian Lunar New Year of the Horse: In addition to Tsagaan Sar, the New Year of the Horse is celebrated with various events, including horse racing and cultural performances.
  9. Children’s Day: Celebrated on June 1st, Children’s Day is dedicated to Mongolia’s young population. Families can participate in various events and activities organized for children, promoting a day of fun and laughter.
  10. Genghis Khan’s Birthday Celebration: April 13th is celebrated as the birthday of Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire. Families can attend events and ceremonies held at historical sites associated with Genghis Khan.

These festivals offer families a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Mongolian culture, witness traditional performances, and participate in the joyous celebrations that define the country’s rich heritage.

Mongolia national park

Top 10 Entertainment in Mongolia

Mongolia offers a range of entertainment options suitable for families and kids, blending cultural experiences with outdoor activities. Here are ten enjoyable entertainment options in Mongolia:

  1. Naadam Festival: Experience the excitement of the Naadam Festival, especially in Ulaanbaatar, where families can witness traditional sports such as wrestling, horse racing, and archery.
  2. Visit Gandan Monastery: Explore Gandan Monastery in Ulaanbaatar, where families can witness religious ceremonies, admire the architecture, and learn about Buddhism in Mongolia.
  3. Gorkhi-Terelj National Park: Head to Terelj National Park for outdoor adventures. Families can enjoy horseback riding, hiking, and exploring the unique rock formations, including the famous Turtle Rock.
  4. Chinggis Square (Sükhbaatar Square): Spend time in Ulaanbaatar’s central square, where you can enjoy open-air concerts, festivals, and cultural events. The square is surrounded by important landmarks, including the Government Palace.
  5. Horseback Riding in the Steppes: Take a horseback riding excursion in the vast Mongolian steppes. It’s a great way for families to experience nomadic culture and beautiful landscapes.
  6. Mongolian Traditional Music and Dance Performances: Attend traditional music and dance performances in Ulaanbaatar or during cultural festivals. It’s a captivating way for families to appreciate Mongolia’s artistic heritage.
  7. Dinosaur Fossil Excavation: Mongolia is known for its rich dinosaur fossil discoveries. Some areas, such as the Flaming Cliffs (Bayanzag), offer opportunities for families to participate in mock dinosaur excavations.
  8. Gobi Desert Tours: Explore the Gobi Desert on a family-friendly tour. Visit the Khongor Sand Dunes, the Yol Valley, and the iconic Bayanzag. Families can experience camel riding and enjoy the unique desert landscapes.
  9. Ulaanbaatar Zoo: Spend a day at the Ulaanbaatar Zoo, where kids can see a variety of animals, including native species. It’s a family-friendly attraction with educational opportunities.
  10. Mongolian Circus: Enjoy a performance at the Mongolian State Circus in Ulaanbaatar. The circus features acrobatics, traditional Mongolian acts, and entertainment suitable for families.

These entertainment options offer families a diverse range of experiences, from cultural immersion to outdoor adventures. Mongolia’s unique landscapes and rich cultural heritage provide an ideal backdrop for memorable family experiences.

Mongolia Yak

Top 10 Exotic Cuisines Mongolia

Mongolian cuisine is unique and reflects the country’s nomadic culture, featuring hearty and flavorful dishes. While some may find it exotic, Mongolian cuisine is generally well-suited for families. Here are ten dishes that families and kids might enjoy:

  1. Buuz (Mongolian Dumplings): Buuz is steamed dumplings filled with minced meat (usually beef or mutton), onions, and various seasonings. They are a traditional and popular dish, often enjoyed during festive occasions.
  2. Khorkhog: Khorkhog is a festive dish where meat, usually lamb or goat, is cooked with vegetables and hot stones in a tightly sealed container. It results in tender, flavorful meat with a smoky essence.
  3. Khuushuur: Khuushuur are deep-fried meat pastries, typically filled with minced meat, onions, and various spices. They are a popular street food and can be a hit with kids.
  4. Bantan: Bantan is a hearty soup made with meat (often mutton), vegetables, and flour dumplings. It’s a warming and substantial dish, perfect for colder weather.
  5. Tsuiwan (Mongolian Hot Pot): Similar to hot pot in other Asian cuisines, Mongolian hot pot involves cooking thinly sliced meat, vegetables, and noodles in a communal pot of hot broth. It’s interactive and can be customized to individual tastes.
  6. Aaruul: Aaruul are dried curds made from fermented milk. They are a traditional snack and dessert, providing a unique taste that might be enjoyed by kids.
  7. Byaslag (Mongolian Cheese): Byaslag is a traditional Mongolian cheese made from yak or cow’s milk. It can be eaten on its own or used in various dishes.
  8. Airag (Fermented Mare’s Milk): Airag is a traditional Mongolian beverage made from fermented mare’s milk. While it might be an acquired taste, it’s an interesting cultural experience for families.
  9. Boortsog: Boortsog are deep-fried dough pastries, often shaped into intricate patterns. They are a sweet treat enjoyed during celebrations and festivals.
  10. Suutei Tsai (Mongolian Milk Tea): Suutei Tsai is a salty milk tea made with tea leaves, milk, water, and salt. It’s a staple in Mongolian households and is often served with biscuits or bread.

While some dishes may have unique flavors, Mongolian cuisine includes a variety of options that can appeal to families and kids. Exploring local markets and trying different dishes can be a fun and educational culinary adventure.

Mongolia garden

Top 10 Things to be Aware of in Mongolia

When traveling to Mongolia with family and kids, it’s essential to be aware of certain aspects to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are ten things to keep in mind:

  1. Nomadic Lifestyle: Mongolia has a significant nomadic population. Be respectful of the nomadic way of life, and teach children about the importance of conserving nature and respecting local customs.
  2. Altitude and Weather: Mongolia has varying altitudes, and weather conditions can be extreme. Be prepared for changes in temperature and ensure your family is acclimatized, especially if you’re traveling to higher elevations.
  3. Road Conditions: In rural areas, roads may be unpaved, and travel can be challenging. Plan your itinerary accordingly, and be prepared for bumpy rides if you venture into more remote regions.
  4. Horse Riding Safety: Horseback riding is a popular activity in Mongolia. If your family plans to ride horses, ensure that the equipment is in good condition, and the activity is supervised, especially for children.
  5. Wildlife Awareness: Mongolia is home to various wildlife, including wolves and other predators. Familiarize yourself with local wildlife, and follow safety guidelines, especially if camping or hiking in natural areas.
  6. Local Cuisine: Traditional Mongolian cuisine may be different from what your family is used to. Be open to trying new foods, and also be aware that vegetarian options can be limited in some areas.
  7. Water Safety: If you plan to camp near rivers or lakes, be cautious about water safety. Keep a close eye on children, and avoid swimming in unfamiliar or fast-flowing waters.
  8. Medical Facilities: Medical facilities may be limited in remote areas. Ensure you have a basic first aid kit and any necessary medications. Familiarize yourself with the locations of local hospitals or clinics.
  9. Cultural Respect: Mongolia has a rich cultural heritage. Teach your children to be respectful of local customs, especially when visiting monasteries or participating in traditional events.
  10. Communication Challenges: English may not be widely spoken, especially in rural areas. Learn a few basic phrases in Mongolian, and consider using translation apps to facilitate communication.

Mongolia offers a unique and adventurous experience for families, and being aware of these aspects can contribute to a positive and enriching journey. Embrace the nomadic culture, explore the stunning landscapes, and enjoy the warm hospitality of the Mongolian people.

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