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Flights to Mongolia
Situated in Central Asia, Mongolia - a landlocked country slotted between Russia and China - is known for its vast expanse of dramatic, unspoilt natural beauty. From green, wide-open pastures to tall mountains, massive steppes, imposing deserts, glassy blue lakes and much more, Mongolia offers travellers a rugged, intense natural gorgeousness seen in few other places in the world.
Besides its incredible endowment of scenic beauty, Mongolia is also renowned for being one of the last few places on earth where nomadic traditions are still practiced. The country has one of the lowest population densities in the world, and many members of this populace are constantly roving - either on foot or on horseback, they drive their herds from pasture to pasture and set up yurts (portable dwellings consisting of layers of felt propped up on wooden frames) to sleep in wherever they go.
For the bold, one of the best ways of touring Mongolia is by motorbike - the small vehicle gives you flexibility in manoeuvring tight spaces and poor road conditions, enabling greater freedom of movement and the ability to see more of the amazing countryside than you would have in a car. Do note that driving or riding alone is not recommended, though - it is probably best to hire a driver along with your vehicle, or join a self-drive tour.
If in the city, public transport is readily available in the form of buses. However, understanding the routes and destinations of each bus may be tough for non-Mongolian speakers. Therefore, getting a taxi may still be the easiest option –fares are relatively inexpensive in Mongolia anyway.
What to see and do
If in Mongolia, a visit tobustling capital city Ulaanbaatar - also the country’s largest city - is a must. A sunny and peaceful place, the city represents a mesh of old and new as resident Mongolians navigate between embodying modern virtues while withholding traditions of the past.
Have a look at the Gandan Monastery, one of the largest and most religiously significant monasteries in the country. Built in the 19th century, Gandan houses numerous temples within its sacred compound, including the Migjid Janraisig Temple –itself housing an impressive gilded and bejeweled statue. Constructed using donations from the Mongolian people, the iconic statue is a symbol of Buddhist revival and weighs about 20 tons, so don’t try lifting it. If you visit the Monastery from 10am onwards, you’d even get to witness the religious services still conducted in there up till today.
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