Mongolia is a country which might surprise you. If you’re planning to take a holiday there in the coming weeks or months, here are five things you’ll need to know about the Asian nation before you travel.
1. The Language
A lot of people wrongfully believe people in Mongolia speak Chinese as a first language – a myth perhaps perpetuated by a confusion which leads many to believe it’s a province of China and not a sovereign nation.
Things aren’t helped by the fact there actually is a province in China called “Inner Mongolia”. Easy to see why people were finding themselves in a fuddle.
The language itself is ironically closer to Arabic than Chinese, so you certainly won’t be able to get by even if you’re an expert at Mandarin.
2. Mongolians can make do with very little
We’ve become a touch spoiled as a global society, with it all too easy to forget just how far we’ve come in a relatively short space of time.
While you’re more than likely used to basic amenities which you take for granted, a trip to Mongolia will highlight just how fortunate you actually are.
A particular example of this comes in the form of the lack of roads you’ll find laid out across the country. Instead of tarmacked streets, you’ll instead find dirt roadways which make getting about something of a challenge.
3. The real excitement isn’t in the big cities
It’s oft the case when travelling to foreign shores that the most popular points of interest come located in some major city. In the case of Mongolia, the exact opposite is in fact true.
Ulaan Baator is the only habitation of any significance in the country, but it’s extremely unimpressive and smog-laden.
The actual treat for holidaymakers comes in the form of the natural scenery and picturesque views which you’ll find strewn across the rest of the nation.
Remember Genghis Khan? Well okay, you won’t “remember” him (he was long before any of our times), but you’ve probably heard of the tyrannical ruler who rampaged his way across Asia.
While most of the world cowered in fear at the might of the Mongol Empire, it’s perhaps unsurprising that in his native country the man is revered as something of a legendary figure.
His methods may have been barbaric and at times even inhumane, but as the founding father of an entire nation it’s not hard to see why he’s held in such high regard.
5. It’s blooming cold
Temperatures in Mongolia have been known to fall to as low as -40 degrees Celsius – yes, you read that correctly – so it’s sufficed to say you’ll need to be someone who has no issue with extreme conditions.
At times it’s quite literally too cold to even snow (which we didn’t even know was physically possible). Sufficed to say, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for your own “cold” conditions after a trip there.
Learnt something new and wondrous about Mongolia? We certainly hope so. Remember to bear these factors in mind when you take a trip there in the future.