Discover a country hardly touched by the modern world
Plunge yourself into a beautiful wilderness and discover an ancient, nomadic way of life on a Mongolia vacation.
Cold, remote, and steeped in history, Mongolia’s vast wilderness has an atmosphere all of its own. Still inhabited by nomadic herders whose way of living remains virtually untouched by the modern world, rural Mongolia rewards determined travelers with a truly unique experience.
The capital, Ulaanbaatar, may be the chilliest in the world, but Mongolia is evocatively known as ‘Land of the Eternal Blue Sky’ thanks to its 250 days of sunshine each year. Beneath the azure skies, ancient ruins, pristine national parks and an entirely different way of life are waiting to be discovered on your Mongolia vacation.
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You'll have to wrap up warm to explore Mongolia's capital - it's the world's coldest. That said, the temperature doesn't impact on your enjoyment of this fascinating city, which is inhabited by 45% of the Mongolian population. In stark contrast to the simple existence of the country's nomads, life in the capital is somewhat more modern, with unexpectedly lively nightlife. Plenty of history and culture remains amidst the bars and clubs, though; the National Museum is the place to go to learn about the country's past, while the Gandantegchinlen Monastery offers a welcome retreat from the city bustle. Don't miss the chance to get a taste of Mongolian cuisine and catch a traditional theatre performance while you're in Ulaanbaatar.
Karakorum was established by the infamous Mongol warlord Genghis Khan in around 1220. These days, it's best known for Erdene Zuu, the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia, the name of which literally translates to "Hundred Treasures". Exploring the three surviving temples gives a fascinating perspective on its interesting history. From Karakorum, explore the ancient ruins of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape, which features archaeology from as early as the 6th century.
Stay in a traditional felted tent in a ger camp by tranquil Lake Khuvsgul and experience a glimpse into what it's like to be a nomad in Mongolia. This beautiful national park area, dominated by its serene lake and woody hills, is best explored on horseback. Keep an eye out for the park's numerous wildlife species, including bears, wolverines, moose, and 200 kinds of bird.
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Travel the Trans-Mongolian Railway
A train journey past the Great Wall of China and into the endless skies and vast grasslands of Mongolia is an epic experience.
Mongolia’s biggest festival, this annual celebration held mid-summer sees residents gathering around the country to participate in Mongolian Wrestling, horse racing and archery competitions. The most people gather in the capital, but joining the excitement in rural Mongolia gets you much closer to the action.
Meet nomadic families
The nomadic families of Mongolia still live in Gers, moving their families and small herds throughout the year for the best grazing and conditions. Learn more about this traditional lifestyle when you meet friendly nomadic families that welcome you warmly into their homes.
Stay in a ger camp
Sleep in nomadic-style felt tents with wooden frames in rural Mongolia for an authentic experience of local life.
Visit Ulaanbaatar a curious mix of the old and new where the population have embraced Western modernisation while keeping Mongolia’s culture and traditions alive.
Discover the wildlife around Lake Khuvsgul
Stretching into the Siberian Taiga, this huge lake and its surrounds form a popular national park, home to ibex, argali sheep, sable, bear, moose and wolverines.
Hike or ride a horse to Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur
This extinct volcanic crater is known as the great white lake, and is surrounded by volcanic rock and grassy slopes.
Visit the Erdene Zuu Monastery near Karakorum
Mongolia’s first Buddhist centre, Erdene Zuu has been constructed using the stones of the ruined capital of Karakorum nearby.
Ride a camel in Mongol Els
The sand dunes of Mongol Els provide the perfect location for a camel ride, surrounded by grasslands with mountains in the distance.
Spot wild horses in Khustai National Park
Khustai National Park is home to Takhi, the endangered Mongolian wild horse, where a local project is working to protect and reintroduce the Takhi to keep Mongolia’s ancient traditions alive.
From the blog
Asia's Great Festivals
Find out what happens at some of Asia’s most interesting festivals, from Bhutan’s Paro Festival to Naadam in Mongolia.
10 facts about Mongolia
Find out something you didn’t know about Mongolia, from its famous nomadic tribes to the dinosaur fossils of the Gobi Desert.
When is the best time to visit Mongolia?
Read our definitive guide to find out when is the best time to go to Mongolia.