Embark on a captivating journey through the history of Mongolia, where the winds of time whisper tales of nomads, empires, and a quest for independence. Let’s unravel this chronicle in epochs, from the ancient past to the vibrant present.
Ancient Footprints: 500,000 years ago, the first humans stepped onto the Mongolian landscape, marking the beginning of a prehistoric adventure.
Nomadic Beginnings: Fast forward to 2000 BC, and nomadic life takes root, shaping the Bronze Age and ushering in the art of breeding.
Empires on the Horizon: In 209 BC, the Xiongnu Empire emerges, setting the stage for a series of dynasties and territorial shifts.
Genghis Khan’s Legacy: The 12th century witnesses the rise of Genghis Khan, who, born in 1162, goes on to unify Mongolian tribes and establish the mighty Mongol Empire.
Mongol Conquests: From the conquest of China in 1211 to the invasions of Korea and Russia, the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan and his successors reshapes the map of Asia.
Yuan Dynasty and Beyond: The 13th-century sees Khubilai Khan renaming his empire “Yuan” and founding the Yuan Dynasty. However, Mongolia’s quest for independence faces challenges, from Mongke’s reign to the failed invasions of Japan.
Ming Dynasty and Divide: The collapse of the Yuan Dynasty in 1368 ushers in the Ming Dynasty, while Mongolia faces internal strife and external conflicts.
Mongolia from 1691 to 1911 – Manchu domination: Mongolia’s tumultuous journey as it navigated centuries of internal conflict and external pressures, ultimately falling under the sway of the Manchu Qing dynasty. Conquered in 1636 and 1691, Inner and Outer Mongolia, respectively, endured two centuries of Qing rule until 1911.
Amidst this era of subjugation, a pivotal moment arose in 1911 when Mongolia, led by the esteemed spiritual leader Bogd Khan, bravely declared independence, marking a historic turning point in its struggle for sovereignty.
Independence and Shifting Borders: In 1911, Outer Mongolia gains independence, only to face occupation by Chinese troops. The 1920s mark the birth of the Mongolian People’s Party and the eventual drive of White Russians from Mongolian territory.
Socialist Era and Democracy: The mid-20th century witnesses Mongolia’s shift to socialism, with the Mongolian People’s Republic established in 1924. Amidst changes in leadership and external relations, Mongolia declares its independence from Japan in 1945.
Democratic Transition: In the 1990s, Mongolia embraces a new era, adopting a democratic constitution, winning and losing elections, and experiencing shifts in global alliances.
From ancient nomads to a thriving, independent nation, Mongolia’s journey weaves a rich tapestry of resilience, conquests, and the pursuit of freedom. As we reflect on these milestones, let’s celebrate the spirit of a nation that has gracefully evolved through the sands of time.
Frequently asked question
Is Mongolia a safe destination?
Absolutely! Mongolia boasts one of the world’s lowest crime rates, making it a remarkably safe destination comparable to the US and Europe. Embrace the warmth of Mongolian hospitality as locals welcome you with open arms.
How do I get to Mongolia?
Embark on your Mongolian adventure via air or train! MIAT Mongolian Airlines offers year-round flights to Europe and Asia, including Berlin, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo and Istanbul. Foreign carriers like Air China, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Air Busan, Aeroflot and Turkish airline.
What’s the weather like in Mongolia?
Contrary to popular belief, Mongolia isn’t the coldest corner of the world. Winter lasts from November to March, with the most frigid temperatures occurring only in mid-December to January. Summer brings cool winds, and the best time to visit is from mid-June to mid September for sunny days and lush landscapes.
When Is the best time to visit Mongolia?
Plan your visit during the Mongolian summer, from mid-June to the first week of September, for optimal weather. Experience sunny days and lush steppes, ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey.
What are the roads like?
Driving in Mongolia often means off-road adventures, especially outside Ulaanbaatar. While main travel destinations have paved roads, remote areas like the Altai Mountains, the far west, and the Gobi attractions may require off-road driving.
What’s Mongolia’s Currency?
Mongolia uses the tugrik. Exchange rates have been stable, ranging between 3420-3500 Mongolian tugriks against 1 USD. Exchange currencies at banks in Ulaanbaatar, as countryside options may be limited. Credit cards work in major city establishments, but having tugriks is advisable for smaller shops and rural areas.
What Kind of Plugs Are Used?
Mongolia uses a 220V standard, with most sockets accepting round twin forks. Bring an adaptor for devices with flat forks, available at most international airports.
What About Internet and Postal Services?
The central post office offers reliable postal services. Mobile services are widespread, especially in central towns, using GSM and CDMA networks. Mobile phone signal is quite good in Mongolia, although coverage may be patchy in remotest areas. The main carriers are Mobicom,Unitel, Skytel and G-Mobile. Mobicom and Unitel operate on GSM (Global System for Mobile communication). G-Mobile and Skytel are both on the CDMA network.
Can I Speak English?
While Mongolian is the official language, English is increasingly spoken, especially in urban areas. Learning basic Mongolian is appreciated, and a phrase book can be handy for communication.
Where Should I Stay?
Enjoy 3-4 star hotels and motels, guesthouses in Ulaanbaatar and unique accommodations in the countryside, from tourist camps to nomadic families. Immerse yourself in local culture by staying with nomadic families, providing a rich cultural experience.
Can I Follow a Special Diet?
Absolutely! Mongolia caters to various dietary needs. Notify your tour operator in advance, and vegan and vegetarian options are available, even in remote areas.
What Transportation Options Are Available?
Explore Mongolia in 4×4 vehicles, covering 100-430 km per day. Domestic flights are excluded in programs, and horses or camels may be used for trekking in inaccessible areas.
Are There Baggage Restrictions on Domestic Flights?
For domestic flights, the weight limit is 10 kilograms for checked baggage and 5 kilograms for hand luggage. Be mindful of overweight charges, approximately $2.5 per pound.
How Much Should I Tip?
While tipping is not mandatory, it’s recommended and fair to local partners. Tipping amounts vary based on trip factors.
What Should I Pack?
Pack light, using squashy, lockable, and waterproof bags or backpacks. A day pack for essentials and a smaller bag for trek storage are advisable.