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Country Mongolia – Country of Seven Winds

A landlocked country in the East and Central Asia, Mongolia borders Russia to the north and China to all other directions. Ulan Bator is the capital city. Mongolia is a parliamentary Republic. 19th largest country in the world by area, it is heavily influence by Buddhism. High windy environment with frequent sandstorms across the land has resulted in the nickname of “country of seven winds”.

Deluxe, semi-deluxe, first class, and budget hotels are available at Ulaanbaatar, the only communication hub in Mongolia. Apart from these there are camps with bed, food, shower, and restroom facilities. Youth hostel Dormitories and guest houses, bed and breakfast accommodations are also available. Specially constructed ger camps provide accommodation in round felt houses with separate restaurant facilities.

Multiple nomadic empires such as the Xiongnu, Xianbei, Rouran, Gokturks and others have ruled Mongolia from time to time till the establishment of Mongol Empire by Genghis Khan in 1206. Tibetan Buddhism influenced Mongolia greatly during the 16th and 17th centuries. From the last part of the 17th Century till 1911, the Qing Dynasty ruled Mongolia. Gaining de facto independence from Republic of China in 1921, the country gained international recognition in 1945. Democratic revolution in 1990 culminated in a new constitution as well as transition to market economy in 1992.

Places of Interest
•    Ulaanbaatar, the capital city and main social and economic centre of Mongolia.
•    Otgon Tenger Uul, the sacred mountain and one of the best locations for mountain trekking and panoramic views.
•    Khovsgol Nuur fishing park known as the “Blue Pearl of Mongolia”. Wildlife in form of black storks, ibex, sable, wolverines, argali sheep, bear and moose are found in the park.
•    Terelj National Park, a venue for cross-country skiers.
•    Darkhad depression in the northern borders. Tsaatan tribe known as the “Reindeer Riders” reside here.
•    Karakorum, “City of Black Sand” that contains the ruins of ancient capital city of Mongolian Empire, impressive monasteries, and ancient tombs.
•    Amarbayasgalant Khiid, the monastery that has nine temples and is famous for teaching Buddhist form of meditation.

Getting Around – A Guide for Travellers
Main medium of transportation in Mongolia is the Trans-Mongolian Railway that connects both Russia and China. Chinggis Khaan International Airport near Ulaanbaatar is the only international airport in the country but a number of domestic airports are there. Roads are mostly gravel roads or cross-country tracks.

Language(s) Spoken
Khalkha Mongolian is the official language spoken by 90% of the people though dialects vary with geographical locations. While Russian is most widely used foreign language, interest in Chinese and Japanese and European languages is growing.

Places of Entertainment
National museum, art galleries and several excellent restaurants provide avenues of entertainment to visitors. Facilities for mountain trekking, safari in the forests, and skiing are available in the northern part of the country.

Official currency of Mongolia is the Mongolian Tugrug or Tugrik. Notes carry the face of Chinggis Khan or Sukhbaatar on them. Exchange rates with other currencies can be found in the economic news or on the Internet.

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