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Staying in a Mongolian Yurt — What It’s Like

Mongolian Yurt

ention Mongolia and the traditional yurt often comes to mind. The two are so intertwined that you can’t talk about Mongolia and not mention the yurt. In fact, everywhere you go in Mongolia, you see yurts or “gers” as they are known in Mongolia. The word ger literally translates from the Mongolian language to mean “house” or “home.” About half of Mongolia’s […]

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Canyons, Cliffs and Wildlife — Mongolia’s Gurvan Saikhan

Yolyn Am

Before my trip to Mongolia, I’d imagined vast swathes of deserts and empty steppes. It therefore came as quite a surprise when I found myself traipsing through varied landscapes that ranged from beautiful canyons to networks of caves and majestic mountain ranges. Here in the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, a surprise awaits at every […]

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Experiencing the Nomadic Life in Mongolia

Our guide Amaraa scooping up airag

olooo!” Cheers! We clink glasses, and gulp down yet another round of airag, local Mongolian firewater prepared by our host. It’s barely 10am and we’re downing alcohol strong enough to knock us out for the rest of the day. It’s rude to reject their kind offer though, so I glug down the feisty-tasting liquor and pray […]

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Photo Essay: Sand Dunes of the Gobi Desert

View from Khongoriin Els

s the wind blows, I hear faint music in the air. The whistling tune is a hypnotic and eerie one, and it seems to echo out of nowhere. I’m standing on the top of the highest sand dune in the Gobi Sand. So where is the music coming from? “From the sand,” my local guide Amaraa says. “They call this […]

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A Glimpse into the Smoggy Mongolian Capital of Ulaanbaatar

Flowers at Sukhbaatar square

At first glance, Ulaanbaatar seems nothing more than a dusty concrete city with smoky industrial plants lining the fringe of the city. It’s dusty, gritty and enormous, resembling one of those developing cities in China. The air is polluted, new buildings are being erected next to old buildings, while Russian military vans rattle on the pot-holed boulevards. Needless to say, […]

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A Photo Essay from Mongolia — The Land of the Blue Sky

An outstanding sunset on the grasslands

Traditional gers dot the vast steppes while sand dunes rise from empty deserts and snowcapped mountains loom over lush green grasslands: Mongolia is packed with so much pristine natural beauty that few other countries can rival. Every turn on the road reveals a different landscape, be it a hill of colors after emerging from parched […]

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Up Next: Two Months in Central Asia Traveling the Silk Road!

Mongolia map

My next trip is something of a dream journey, something that I’ve been planning for years! As you’re reading this, I’m making my way down to Mongolia and starting an epic journey through Central Asia. For a long time I’ve been dreaming of exploring this region that just seems so enigmatic with its golden sand dunes, vast steppes, […]

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