Episode 19 – Mongolia with Ariunaa

This week’s episode comes straight from the wide open grasslands of Mongolia, where Ariunaa takes us on a journey through her homeland. From experiencing the warmth of Mongolian hospitality to exploring the regional cuisine, you’ll be inspired to pack your bags for the land of endless green plains, nomadic herders, and two-humped camels. Please enjoy!

Ariunaa_Anderson Photo

Group photo

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Mongolia

Mongolia is the least populated country in the world. Known for its vast open grasslands and the Gobi desert, the country is home to 3 million people. Nearly half of the country’s population carry on a 3-thousand year old lifestyle as nomadic herders.

The capital city of Ulaanbaatar hustles and bustles, not unlike many other Asian cities in this part of the world. However, the desire to see Ulaanbaatar is hardly the real reason that brings seasoned travelers to Mongolia. The countryside and the nomadic culture are what attract adventure seekers to Mongolia.

Where to Visit

Central Mongolia (aka the Khangai Region) — Endless green plains, rolling hills, pristine forests, wildlife that is unique to only this part of the world, and Karakorum, ruins of the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire.

 

Northern Mongolia — The world’s second largest freshwater lake named Khuvsgul Lake and the surrounding natural beauty, the Tsaatan people (nomadic reindeer herders)

 

Southern Mongolia (aka the Gobi Region)– The gobi desert, vast steppes that go as far as your eyes can see, beautiful sand dunes, two-humped Mongolian camels

Image 5

Western Mongolia — The snow-capped peaks of Altai mountains, Kazakh eagle hunters

Image 6

Eat & Drink

Khorkhog – authentic Mongolian barbeque, prepared by pressure cooking meat and vegetables inside an airtight container using hot stones

Khuushuur – deep fried dumplings with meat filling

Aaruul – type of dairy product made from dried milk curd

Mongolian vodka – vodka distilled from yogurt

Airag – fermented horse milk

Experience

Stay in a ger

 

Go horseback riding

Horse riding

Go camel riding

Camel riding

Visit a nomadic herder family

Nomadic herders

Stay in nature

See the Naadam festival

Festival pic

Shop

Ethically made clothes, accessories and blankets from natural textiles obtained from nomadic animal husbandry:

Cashmere

Camel wool

Yak wool

Further reading (as mentioned in the podcast)

The Mongolia Obsession, Tim Wu

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