Common Misconceptions About Mongolia and Its Culture
Mongolia is a land of mystery, of that there’s no doubt, with a unique nomadic people who have survived for thousands of years in some of the most remote and unforgiving terrain possible. Like most places, there are a few misconceptions about Mongolia, and with that in mind, here they are.
✘ All Mongolian People Live in Houses – The Ger, the traditional tent that the people have always lived in is still widely used today, with the exception of Ulaanbaatar, and approximately half of the population still use the Ger, which they can move with ease, while the other half live in houses and apartments.
✘ All Mongolians are Expert Horsemen – While there are some amazing riders who live on the harsh steppes, most people use buses, bicycles, motorcycles and the odd car, and of course, trucks. The Mongolian people believe the horse is a very spiritual creature, and they are held in high esteem, and often used in country racing events, and as transport in some parts of the plains.
✘ Mongolia is a Dangerous Place to Visit – Nothing could be further from the truth, as this enchanting country is a lot safer than some countries, and providing you don’t do anything to offend the local people, you will be fine. Do watch out for pickpockets in very busy areas, as you would in any country, but otherwise you will be warmly welcomed wherever you go.
✘ Mongolia is Part of China – Mongolia is a Sovereign state and has its own currency, national anthem, culture, language, government and President. Both China and Russia are its neighbours, and Mongolia has good relations with both these countries. You will need to apply for a visa to visit Mongolia, which can be applied for online.
✘ Children Cannot Travel Through Mongolia – Many families spend their holidays on the Trans-Siberian Railway, and by booking on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian express, you can enjoy family orientated accommodation with en-suite facilities. The Golden Eagle train runs on a closed section along the shores of Lake Baikal, and there are many on-board activities for children, so bring the family to Mongolia and enjoy the holiday of a lifetime.
✘ Summer is the Only Time you Can Travel – In fact, you can experience the Trans-Siberian Railway at any time of the year, and while summer (May to August) is high season, many travellers prefer March and April, which is springtime, or alternatively, in September and October, which is cool, but not yet cold. If you are hardened winter traveller, the idea of a winter trip might appeal, but only if you can handle –50°C temperatures, while couples often choose winter to take this journey, as it is very romantic.
Every person who visits Mongolia comes away with a lasting impression, and with an online tour operator helping you, planning is very easy. Remember that the Trans-Siberian Railway is a very popular holiday choice, so you are advised to book a few months in advance, if not longer.
Once you land on the tour operator’s website, you can begin to learn more about this magical experience, and when you’re ready, you can make an online booking for what will surely be the holiday of a lifetime!