Traveling to this region of Asia might seem mysterious to many Westerners.
If you're planning to pay Mongolia a visit, keep reading. Whether you want to see it all or focus on a specific region, this easy tutorial can help. All you'll need is an adventurous spirit along with a few simple items we'll discuss in the next section.
What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial
When you decide you want to vacation in Mongolia, you'll probably want to start getting your itinerary ready. Before you begin planning your trip, though, keep a few things in mind. As your outing begins to take shape, we think the following things will help you stay on track.
- Maps - There are many different environments to appreciate during a vacation in Mongolia. You might not be able to see them all, but check out informative maps to reveal where you'll want to visit.
- Recommendations - Know someone who's already made the trek? They probably have really great insights. If not, there are tons of places online to get great reviews and suggestions for your getaway.
- Internet - Beyond checking out some of the great excursions, the internet will help in many other ways. Book your stay, reserve your travel arrangements and do much more with helpful website services.
How to Have a Great Vacation in Mongolia
1. Forget the Strict Schedule
If you're used to keeping a tight timeline, a vacation in Mongolia might require a temporary transition. But if you fancy a laid back attitude toward time, you'll fit right in.
As it turns out, locals are keen to work on their own schedule. And sometimes that might mean frustration for those who expect things at a certain time. Even in some of the larger urban areas, you could have a hard time pinning down an exact coordination. Agreeing on a time could just be a ballpark. And you might find yourself waiting quite a while if you arrive at the agreed upon time.
But by embracing that ahead of time, you'll be prepared to truly understand the joy. Don't get tied to a clock and instead enjoy what's happening all around you. So if you're with a guide who tells you you're almost there, take it with a grain of salt. It could still be a long trek -- but you can really enjoy the journey. Without any unrealistic expectations, the waiting can be as much fun as the ultimate event.
2. Embrace the 'Natural Look'
Along with eschewing a strict schedule, you might find an aversion to our ideas of hygiene. Now, this won't be everywhere you travel. But in some of the more remote areas, necessity dictates some more rustic approaches. So don't get grossed out by the dearth of showers.
Instead, make the most of your adventure and keep plowing forward. After all, you'll have a chance to clean up soon enough. If you plan to go on a camping trip during your stay, carry some personal cleansing wipes. Maybe throw some dry shampoo in your luggage, too.
Much of the fun will take place away from the lights of the big cities. And that might require more "roughing it" than you're used to. But it pays off and can enhance your entire vacation in Mongolia. Follow your guide's lead and have a great time.
This is one of the places where it's easy to fall in love with local customs and people. But this is especially true when you let your guard down and embrace it. That might mean using an outhouse or other facilities that are, let's say, not quite modern. So just prepare for it ahead of time. And don't worry, there's a place for your toothbrush and other hygienic necessities.
3. Interact With the Locals
If you're going to embrace the culture, you'll also want to get to know the local residents. And during a vacation in Mongolia, you'll have plenty of opportunities. From your guide to the folks you'll meet along the way, this is a place with friendly folks. They'll share their way of life and you'll come out of the trip with some incredible experiences. Starting with the children, often rosy cheeked and sporting wide smiles, you'll be welcomed.
Then there the opportunities to visit some of the traveling communities. These are nomads who often welcome visitors to their camps. You might even get some incredible pictures and other mementos of your time. These are generally hospitable folks who might just offer you a traditional tea.
We recommend taking them up on it and otherwise being a good guest during your stay. And if you leave a small gift with your host family, they will probably receive it well. Customs remain very important throughout much of the region. So the more you can embrace them during your vacation in Mongolia, the better your getaway will be.
4. Find Fellow World Travelers
While you'll want to fill much of your vacation in Mongolia with locals, look for fellow tourists, too. At most times, you'll find plenty of other folks from around the world. This region is becoming increasingly popular among adventurous travelers. And we think there's good reason for its consistent international draw.
Plus, the types of travelers you'll find will probably be as diverse as the individuals themselves. Some from across Europe might be backpacking through their time in the country. You could find folks with Mongolian heritage visiting their ancestral land. Whatever their reason and story, it might pay off to get to know these fellow world travelers. In addition to gaining some new perspectives, you could just end up with a unique friendship.
5. Rely on Your Guide
The best thing about your vacation in Mongolia might be that you won't have to do it alone. It can be quite a culture shock, so we recommend finding a local guide to help you navigate. This is one of the areas of the world where many of the most common travel tips don't necessarily translate. Much of this country is crisscrossed with unmarked roads, confusing those unfamiliar with the terrain.
But your guide will know exactly where you're going and can get you there the best way possible. Of course, that could consist of a very bumpy ride in a very old vehicle. These people have done it before, though, and your best option is trusting your guide.
You'll arrive safe at your intended destination. So concentrate on the beautiful landscape outside as you head down the road. Bring your own tunes to listen to along the way, because you could be in for a lengthy ride. And your guide is going to be happy to oblige on the road or off. This person could be your key to an unforgettable outing.
6. Bring Back Memories
We think the experience itself will be enough to always remember your vacation in Mongolia. But you'll have plenty of chances to bring back tangible reminders of your time. For starters, we recommend finding a great digital camera to capture the scenery in high detail. Sure, you can get by with your cellphone. But there is something special about getting home and looking at all your memories at once.
You can also find souvenirs unlike anything else you've seen before. Whether it's a gift from a friendly local or a knickknack from a market, you'll always remember. And long after your adventure is over, you'll look back fondly at your time in this great destination. Oh, and if you love luxury fashion material, it's also a great place to get incredible cashmere. Make sure you leave sufficient room in your luggage!
A vacation in Mongolia can be an opportunity for adventure, relaxation -- or both.
We hope our guide has helped you make your decisions with a bit more confidence. If so, share this article with the world travelers in your life. And leave us a comment below if you have any final thoughts or questions.
Related Article: Three Reasons to Travel Like a Local on Your Next Vacation