Browse these Mongolia pictures to discover the beauty and variety of Mongolia and its culture...
Mongolian people have a long history and rich culture. I met the above group in Sukhbaatar Square. Dressed in deels, - robe like costumes well suited to life on the steppe - they happily posed with my son and me.
As you can see in the photo, the deel comes in various styles - reflecting the clan, age or marital status of the wearer.
Mongolia's Government Palace sits in Sukhbaatar Square. Built during the Soviet era, in the Gothic style of the time, the palace has recently had a face lift. A lick of paint and a new frontage dedicated to Genghis Khan has given it a truly Mongolian flavor.
A soviet-style government wiped out Mongolian religion in the 1930s and forties - but now it's making a comeback. The photo above shows the ruins of Manzhir Monastery, standing next to its modern reincarnation.. Buddhist leaders claim to have a following amounting to forty percent of the population. Homegrown religions include shamanism.
Above you can see the famous Mongolian blue sky. In an average year, Mongolians enjoy more than 260 sunny days! In this photo, you can see an eagle taking an interest in my son's kite!
The sun doesn't always shine! I took the photo above after a July deluge dropped inches of rain in a few hours.
July and August see the most rain. In parts of the country floods can occur - including the capital, Ulaan Baatar. But other parts, the Gobi, for example) barely see rain.
Check out my Mongolian weather page to make sure you're in the right place at the right time.
In the foreground stands Zaisan hill, and a memorial to Mongolian and Russian war dead. Behind that you can see buildings under construction, close to the border of the National park. At the edge of the city, newly completed apartments gleam in the sun.
The center of the photo shows some Russian and Chinese buildings built in previous centuries. The hills are covered in gers which appear as grayish blobs on the photo!
Two-humped camels come from Mongolia! They are hardy creatures, able to live in areas of low rainfall - including the Gobi.
The above photo shows one of the world's last wild Bactrian camels. Wild Bactrian camels number in the low hundreds!
A Mongolian home is made of felt and held together with a wooden lattice. You will find a stove, which doubles as central heating, in the center of the ger.
In the above photo, you can see a two-humped camel standing outside the ger - essential for carrying the ger to new locations.
The best-informed tourists don't stay in hotels - they stay in gers.
Nomadic civilizations come and go with barely a stone upturned - but some ruins get left behind. In the photo above, you can see ancient Turkic monuments. Some research suggests they may mark ancient graves.
Mongolia built this stainless steel statue of Genghis Khan a few years ago. Since democracy took root in the 90s, Mongolians have built many statues of their hero.
I took the picture above close to Terelj. Genghis Khan sits atop the world's largest statue of a horse! If you're brave enough, an elevator can take you to the top of the horse's head!
The Great Wall never succeeded in keeping the Mongols out of China. In fact, it now attracts millions of tourists annually!
The Mongolian-Chinese border can be crossed by train. The top half of above photo shows a Mongolian and Chinese border guard. The bottom half shows the Gobi, which changes little as you cross from Outer Mongolia into Inner Mongolia.
Above you can see the Mongolian script. The Soviet Union forced Mongolia to change to the Cyrillic alphabet in the twentieth century. Now independent, Mongolia has seen attempts to revive the old script.
For now, the Mongolian script only remains in use in Inner Mongolia.
The Naadam Festival celebrates the three national sports: horse riding, archery and wrestling. In Ulan Bator, the celebrations take place on the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth of July. Parades and festive events make Naadam a primetime to visit.
Above you can see a photo of Khuvsgul Lake. Scientists say the lake contains two percent of the world's fresh water. A great place to vacation - activities include water skiing and fishing.
Contrast the photo ABOVE, with the image of the Gobi desert BELOW...
Keep your eyes open for dinosaur bones, and the Mongolian Death Worm!
Mongolia has several volcanoes. One called the Black Pot sprang back to life in 2002. The photo above shows the summit and crater of a volcano in central Mongolia. A local legend says that a dragon lives here.
To travel between Mongolian deserts, lakes and volcanoes you will need sturdy transportation. This photo shows just how sturdy! If you're considering traversing Mongolia by car or jeep then see my Mongolia road map page first!
But make sure you choose the right season...
Parts of Mongolia can reach below fifty degrees Celsius! Believe me that's COLD! Check out my Mongolia weather page before booking your trip!
But winter tourism continues to grow, and the low winter temperature suits some of the wildlife well...
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