Ancient monasteries, the haunting natural beauty of the Gobi Desert, wild horses and intriguing cultures present extraordinary opportunities to see and experience the living history that is Mongolia.
In our own rapid-fire, ever-changing world, Mongolia is one of those increasingly rare places that seems to belong to another time; somewhere far off on the edges of what we know.
It calls up images of nomadic tribesmen on the wind-swept Mongolian steppes, the Silk Road stations in the Gobi Desert and herds of rugged wild horses. Beneath such simplistic images, however, are a legendary past and people that once dominated the world stage in the 13th and 14th centuries. At its peak, the Mongol Empire was the largest contiguous land empire in human history! It reached across central Asia to encompass lands from Eastern Europe to the Sea of Japan and south into India.
By the 17th century, Tibetan Buddhism became the dominant religion in Mongolia, replacing, for the most part, indigenous shaman practices.
In the Mongolia of today, modernity is beginning to remodel the country as high-rise buildings crop up next to 18th-century monasteries. By the same token, Mongolians respect their history, traditions and the deep roots put down by their ancestors. Around the country, reconstruction and preservation projects are underway to preserve that history. Priceless artifacts that were so long hidden away for safekeeping are now being returned to monasteries. And it is still possible to set out on a journey that encounters nomadic clans, exquisite landscapes and unique wildlife.
This is an exciting time to discover Mongolia, its captivating culture and some of the most wonderfully hospitable people you will ever meet.
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