a VirtualTourist member
What are the top five considerations for first time travelers to Mongolia? I plan to visit with my daughter in July and we will be spending time in UB, the Gobi and Gun-Galnut Nature Reserve and Flaming Cliffs. Your advice please?
Especially during Naadam, there will be lots of beggars, particularly kids. Remember, giving them money does NOT actually help. Fight the urge.
Pickpocket, though not terribly common, are looking for an easy mark. Don't be easy.
When bringing gifts for hosts, don't bring sweets. The nomads don't have the best dental hygiene, and the sugar will seriously rot their teeth.
Do still lots of Mongolians live a nomadic life? As far as petty crimes are concerned, that is expected in a poverty ridden country.
"As far as petty crimes are concerned, that is expected in a poverty ridden country"
I'm afraid that's an entirely unfair and frankly inaccurate generalization.
As for a "nomadic" life, half of the country's 2.7 million depend on livestock production. It makes up 20% of the country's GDP. And while the traditional, fully nomadic pastoralism is changing, many herders still live in yurts/gers all year long, changing grazing grounds at least twice and up to 4 times a year.
This is surprising, considering the fact that Mongolia was communist for quite a few years. One thing I have noticed about communists, however cruel they are but they do give education and literacy lots of priority, so illiteracy was successful eradicated but nomadic life style continues to thrive
Kyrgyzstan, which also has a "high' literacy rate, has a high degree of semi-nomadism. Tunisia has a high literacy rate yet the Berbers remain semi-nomadic. The Sami people of Scandinavia still have thousands following the tradition of semi-nomadic reindeer herding. And Scandinavia has 'perfect' literacy. I have never had a permanent abode (the definition of a nomad) yet i am literate.
Conversely, Southern Yemen, which was once communist, has a low literacy rate, including the nomadic Bedouin. Ethiopia, with numerous nomadic tribes, also formerly communist, has a 43% literacy. Somalia, with nomadism, was communist, 39% literacy. Though Vietnam hasn't had nomadism, it is currently communist, yet has only 94% literacy. China is only has 92% literacy. Laos, also communist, has 73% literacy.
I fail to see the connection between communism, literacy and nomadism.
If you are going to the Gobi, you should see Khongor Sand dunes apart from Flaming Cliffs. If you have a week or more, you can visit KaraKorum and White Lake in central Mongolia as they are nice contrast to the Gobi. Bottled water from supermarkets are no problem.
Thanks for pointing out mistakes in my argument. It helps me to get a clearer perspective. But it was interesting to know about Sami tribe. Going to google to learn more about them.
it's difficult to give advice for mongolia as all is wonderful landscape and met nomadic. all area is surprising and it's a country to go different time! we went 5 times and will be there again on april!
so maybe by reading my webpage terramongolia.com you can find some advice, ideas, contacts and so prepare better your trip plus all advice people wrote you before me.
you cna travel there different way, maybe renting a jeep with an independent driver, we can give you an contact, but also by making an homestay to nomadic family, horse trek, camel trek... or a mix of all of that!
have nice trip