Mongolia has one of the most barren landscapes in the world. Despite being such a mysterious part of Asia, this large country is rich with history and just waiting to be discovered. Here are some fascinating facts about Mongolia to prepare yourself for an epic visit.
More than One-Quarter of Mongolians Are Nomads
Out of the 3 million people that live in Mongolia, approximately 25 to 40 per cent of them are nomadic herders. This means that they don’t tend to stick in one place and will travel across the country with their cattle.
2. Genghis Khan is Mongolia’s Founding Father
The legendary Genghis Khan gained power by uniting several nomadic tribes, eventually establishing one of the largest empires in world history. In just 25 years, Genghis Khan’s armies conquered areas larger than four centuries of Roman conquests.
3. Population Density is Extremely Low Here
Mongolia is one of the most sparsely populated countries on the planet. The country’s capital is Ulanbataar or Ulan-Bator, meaning ‘Red Hero.’ The city has the distinction of being one of the coldest and most isolated capital cities in the world.
4. The Last Eagle Hunters
Mongolia is the only place in the world where people hunt with Eagles. There are only a few remaining eagle hunters in Mongolia. The country pays tribute to this age-old Kazakh tradition at the Golden Eagle Festival where hunters and their eagles congregate every year.
5. Mongolians Love Ice Cream
The Mongolians have a soft spot for ice cream which is a favorite winter treat. Since Mongolia’s temperatures remain freezing cold (-30 degrees Celsius or – 22 degrees Fahrenheit), vendors don’t need an ice box and sell ice cream in paper boxes.
6. They Honor the Bactrian Camel
The annual Thousand Camel Festival celebrates the two-humped Bactrian camel that is indigenous to Mongolia. In a bid to protect the endangered Bactrian camel’s population, the festival aims to generate awareness on the animal and the lifestyle of Mongolia’s nomadic camel herders.