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Mongolia

Travel ideas for Mongolia - unique sights, worth Guinness records

Tsaatans

From the series “Wildest Tribes Avoiding Civilization”
The Tsaatan nomads from Mongolia live like no one else. They inhabit Darkhad Valley, their number was 282 people in 2010. Over the past 50 years it has reduced by half. Even in 1965, the tribe consisted of 455 people. Tsaatan people are experienced reindeer herders. They live in their traditional tents named ‘yurts’. Contacts with tourists give them an opportunity to earn extra money from the sale of handicrafts.
The Tsaatan tribe is extremely friendly to foreigners. They are happy to dedicate people from other countries to their culture. Riding reindeers is a major attraction for many tourists. The Tsaatan nomads confess shamanism. They passed the sacred texts verbally on from generation to generation. In 1981 a real tragedy occured in the tribe, Shaman was arrested for the promotion of banned religious activities. After the release from prison he was unable to start his previous activities. Since 1981 there is no Shaman in the tribe. That’s what the Tsaatan consider the main reason of all their failures and rapid population decline.
Reindeer is the main breadwinner in the family. The community’s chores and activities are centred around the care and feeding of their deers. Deers provide them with milk which is used to make cheese and sour cream. Regular quail hunting and a wild-goose chase is helping them to provide their families with game. The Tsaatan have also a contextual alcoholic drink, it’s ‘arak’. This small population is on the verge of extinction nowadays. More and more young tribal people choose to go to cities, and older people spend last days of their life among the desert Mongolian steppes. ... Complete sights collection

Ulaanbaatar

From the series “Top 14 Most Polluted Cities of the Planet”
The list of the most polluted city-dwellers in the world contains the capital of Mongolia - the city with the proud name of Ulan-Bator, which can be literally translated as 'the Red Reckon'. The population of the large city is more than 1.2 million people. The town is located in the wonderfully beautiful mountainous region, in the valley of the Tuul river. The active development of the industry has totally destroyed the ecology of the picturesque city in less than 50 years. At present, almost half of the country's industrial complexes are located in the city center.
There is a large company that produces the car trailers, several large meat combs and meat processing plants, as well as several rolling mills and four huge thermal power plants, which supply almost the entire country with energy. The abundance of road transport makes the ecological situation in the city even more difficult.
The air temperature in the capital of Mongolia is often above 40 degrees, and in winter it is -30 degrees. According to the assessments of the World Health Organization, the air pollution level has reached 279 points in 2013. The smog over the city is sometimes so violent that the local airport can not receive the planes. Surprisingly, damage to urban ecology is attributable not only to the farms and the heating plant, but also to the local nomads who live in yurts. In winter, they heat their humble houses with firewood and coal. The emission of smoke into the atmosphere in densely populated yurt areas is simply colossal. ... Complete sights collection

Uvs Nuur Basin

From the series “Top 15 Unesco Sites in Russia”
On the border of Russia and Mongolia is the Ubsunur Hollow, the largest closed water basin in Central Asia. From north to south, the extent of the basin is 160 km, and from the west to the east is 600 km, respectively. Today, the amazing Ubsu-Nur basin is a part of the reserve of the same name, the main distinguishing feature of which is the most complex mixture of different ecosystems.
The reserve covers more than one million hectares. It is possible to see on its territory impassable taiga, lifeless deserts, glorious marshes and forest steppes, one of the main features of the reserve are sand dunes. Obviously, with such a variety of ecosystems in the reserve, there is no less diversity of representatives of flora and fauna. Officially, 359 species of birds were registered on its territory, as well as about 80 species of mammals. The rarest species of animals live in the mountainous areas of the reserve, here you can find a snow leopard, a maral, a wolverine and a lynx.
In addition to its natural splendour, the Ubsunur Hollow is also remarkable from the archaeological point of view. Since ancient times, tribes of Yurks, Huns, and earlier Scythians also settled near a huge lake. Researchers found signs of the presence of nomadic tribes in these places. During excursion tours, tourists will have an opportunity to see a huge number of ancient burial grounds and memorial stones. There are about 40000 mounds in the reserve that have not been excavated. ... Complete sights collection

Gobi Desert

From the series “Places Hiding Fossils of Dinosaurs”
Mongolian Gobi desert also hides in its sands many amazing ancient artifacts. Besides bones, first dinosaur eggs in the world were found there. Those were sized like an average potato. As scientists say, millions of years ago, new species of ancient dinosaurs were ready to be born from these eggs. Then Bain-Dzak area was studied, and almost entire dinosaur eggs were found there.
Previously, fragments of an eggshell of ancient lizards were also found in Kazakhstan. In 1968, the first sensational discovery was followed by another. Researchers found eggs of much larger dinosaurs close to Ulanqab. Medium items were about 1.7 liters in volume. In the largest of the detected clutches, 6 eggs were found. All of them had the shell damaged in the upper part. It is likely that the young dinosaurs had time to be born, and soon the ancient inhabitants of the planet became extinct for unknown reasons. Remains of shells were safely hidden under a layer of sand.
Age of finds is about 100 million years. In decades of research, scientists were able to prove that eggs could only belong to dinosaurs. What animals exactly they were, remains a mystery. None of the nests contained fragments of preserved embryos. Today, the graveyard of dinosaurs located in the Gobi Desert is a must-see destination of many excursions. Anyone who wants to do that, may visit this place. ... Complete sights collection

Genghis Khan Statue

From the series “The Most Grandiose Statues and Monuments”
In Tsonjin-Boldog region of Mongolia one can see the world's largest equestrian statue, the monument to Genghis Khan. Its height, excluding a pedestal, is 40 meters. The monument was opened in 2008. The sculpture is complemented with 36 columns that symbolize the Khans of the Mongol Empire, who ruled in the period from Genghis Khan to Ligden Borjigin Khan. It is important to note that the monument location was not chosen by chance. According to a legend, this is where Genghis Khan found the golden whip.
The two-storey pedestal attracts enormous interest. The monument is placed on the 10-meter high platform. The pedestal houses several important cultural and entertainment venues. There is a historical museum, an art gallery, as well as several restaurants and souvenir shops. In addition, all visitors have an opportunity to climb on a horse's head, which is set on an observation deck.
In the coming years, it is planned to convert the surrounding area into an amazing theme park. A tourist yurt, which will house the most appealing expositions, will be installed close to the monument. Passing from one tent to another, you can explore unusual collections of military accessories, handicrafts, shamanic attributes, and other antiquities that embody the culture of the once great Mongol Empire. In addition, it's planned to start an open-air theater in the park, as well as to create an artificial lake and a number of sports grounds. A lot of money has already been invested in the implementation of this ambitious project. ... Complete sights collection

Erdene Zuu Monastery

From the series “The Surviving Artifacts of Buddhist Civilization”
Survived ancient monasteries in Mongolia attract huge interest. The monastery of Erdene Zuu is considered special among them. In fact, Erdene Zuu Monastery is the temple complex consisting of three separate buildings that are excellent examples of Tibetan, Mongolian, and Chinese architecture. The monastery was founded in the late 16th century. Since then, it has been carrying one constant name. Originally, more than 10 000 lamas were living there.
At present, the monastery is inactive. The Laviran Temple is the only one operating shrine remained on its territory. A museum dedicated to the ancient culture is open in one of the old buildings. Pilgrims and tourists are attracted to the ancient monastery by Buddhist relics gathered within its walls. Those include the statue of Ikh-Tzu, in which relics of Shakyamuni Buddha are hidden. In 2004, the monastery was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pilgrims come from all over the world to bow down at unique relics.
Erdene Zuu Monastery is the witness of many important historical events. It has resisted the invasion of Jungar soldiers more than once. Because of the constant invasions, the monastery was fortifying all the time. It was reconstructed and supplemented with new defensive structures. In 1743, the new temple named in honor of the Buddha Shakyamuni was built there. This is where the legendary statue is kept today. Erdene Zuu Monastery remained active until the 30s of the last century, and, after, it was closed during Choibalsan repression and partly destroyed. Ten years later, the reconstruction of the monastery began. First, a museum was opened in it, and in 2004 a small Buddhist monastery school was started. ... Complete sights collection
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Photogallery of landmarks of Mongolia

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