Why Mongolia ?
Mongolia. Ever heard of it ? If you haven't you probably should look it up before dismissing it entirely. If you have heard of it, let me tell you it's so much more than the Mongolian BBQ and Chinggis Khan Vodka you're thinking about right now. The only ones who really know what Mongolia is all about would be the ones living there and the ones who've been there. Because Mongolia isn't a country, it isn't a fancy adventure destination, it's the 'Best thing that will ever happen to you'.
True there maybe many places which would make you feel this way after you've just visited them but here are a few reason why Mongolia is extra special.
1. Space & Time
In Mongolia, you'll have both ... in abundance !! Ever had that feeling that people just get to you and it's hard to zone out and recalibrate your thoughts for a while. Well apart from the capital city Ulaanbataar, you can zone out pretty much anywhere in Mongolia. Though Mongolians are very efficient, everything runs at it's own pace giving you the feeling that it's always a good time to stop, take a break and take in the view.
Sunsets & Silhouettes
'Clear skies' more often than not and a 'Horizon as far as the eye can see', form the perfect combination for the ideal 'Silhouette at Sunset' Shot. Whether it's at the Central Steppe or the Desert in the South of the country, sunsets in Mongolia will rarely disappoint. The remoteness and isolation gives you a sense of calm and will prove to be one of the more humbling experiences of your journey.
Kids & Cheeks
Some of the happiest kids in the world may be found on the Mongolian Steppe. With little in the way of modern gadgets and a judgmental society, the children enjoy the joys of the outdoors and learn the practical lessons in life. Though education is now compulsory even among nomadic children, coming home to the family 'Ger' will always keep them grounded with their surroundings. Oh Yes, and the cheeks ! They're as red as ever more so in the Central on Northern areas of Mongolia due to the cold winds during the winter and is characteristic feature in Mongolian children.
Milk & Meat
With the number of sheep, goat, yak and camel herders, and a climate that demands some fatty food, it’s hard to imagine finding a vegetarian in Mongolia. The large percentage of animal fat in Mongolian diets helps the natives to withstand the cold and also work outdoors. The milk and cream derived from these animals is used to make diverse beverages, cheese and other such products. Everything the nomads eat is just at their doorstep and they make use of every last bit which in itself is admirable. The Mongolian Barbecue in picture known as ‘ Khorkhog’ is cooked on special occasions or when there are guests. Wash it down with some goat milk and you’re all set. Mongolian delicacies will not only tingle your taste buds but at the same time make you appreciate the joys of living of the land.
Be prepared for a feast fit for a Nomad !