Chinggis Square (a.k.a. Sükhbaatar Square) (Ulan Bator) – located in the center of the country’s capital, commemorates Damdin Sükhbaatar, who declared independence for Mongolia from China in 1921. The square continued to play a part in Mongolian history in 1990, when it was the site of several very large anti-communism protests. A statue of the Sükhbaatar, the “hero of the revolution,” stands in the center of the square, and at the north end, a huge marble construction houses a bronze statue of Genghis Khan.
In 2013, Sükhbaatar Square was renamed Chinggis Khan Square, but the descendants of Damdin Sükhbaatar went to court over the matter, and in 2016, the name of the square was changed back to the original.
Altai Nomads Festival (near Sagsai Village, Bayan- Olgii province) – held every July, this festival is held at Bayan-Olgii (home of the Kazakh ethnic group). Tour outfit Blue Wolf Travel lets participants witness the nomadic festivities that go back in time. Traditional nomadic games seen in these festivities are based on horsebacl like “Bush Kushi” (trying to take to goat skin from each other) “Kiss Women on Horseback”, and “Pick Up Coins from the ground on horseback”, along with horse races and other events. At night, travelers can enjoy a Kazakh concert with some traditional songs and music. For more info, go to: https://bluewolftravel.com
Naadam Center (Chinggis Avenue 6, Stadium Orgii G-201, Ulan Bator): este es un importante centro comercial en la capital, con docenas de minoristas internacionales y locales (como zapatos de la marca Ecco), un patio de comidas (incluido el coreano) ejecutar la cadena de café “Caffe Bene”) y opciones de entretenimiento para la familia. También hay un supermercado en el nivel principal del centro comercial
Garden Terrace (Mahatma Gandhi Road, Home Plaza, 3rd Floor, Ulan Bator) – this is an outdoor (3rd floor roof top) spot run by the management of “Mint Club”. This venue is for an after-work crowd, as well as those wanting to socialize during the daytime weekends. Along with drink options, patrons can also order hookah (shisha) pipe service, along with light food dishes.
Azzurro (15 Sukhbaatar Street, Khoroo 1, Ulan Bator) – this is an upscale Mediterranean restaurant located at the top of the Monnis Tower, a prime location offering stunning panoramic views of the Mongolian capital. Azzurro (which is ‘blue’ in Italian), has a stylish yet comfortable lounge area and is elegantly decorated in white marble with wooden walls and blue-tinted windows to reflect the restaurant’s name.
Italian-born executive chef Alberto Boccelli has crafted a menu of delicious specialties combining the traditional Mediterranean flavors of Italy, Spain and southern France. Diners can try the tantalizing agnello in crosta estiva (a lemon and parsley-crusted rack of lamb with a potato and mushroom cake and mustard jus), or the succulent polpo in insalata (a salad of octopus and prawns with a lemon dressing).
Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs (Sambugiin Örgön Chölöö, Freedom Sq., Ulan Bator) – Mongolia’s Gobi Desert concealed a number of prehistoric dinosaur skeletons of all shapes & sizes (first discovered by American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews in the 1920s). Now, tourists can see fully-assembled skeletons of these amazing creatures, along with dinosaur eggs and other prehistoric objects (the museum’s centerpiece being a UV-lit 4 meter-tall, 3-ton flesh-eating Tarbosaurus Bataar – a relative of the Tyranosaurus Rex, along with the smaller Saurolophus).
Admission: 5,000₮ (per person). Hours: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm (daily/Summer); 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (daily/Winter).
Mongolia’s prominence in the world stage goes back to 13th century, when Mongol warrior Genghis Khan united the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia (including the country now known as Mongolia) and formed the Mongol Empire. Lasting from 1206 to 1368, the often-brutal battles that Genghis Khan and his descendants (including Kublai Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan) waged resulted in the expansion of the Mongol Empire – as far east as the Korean peninsula and Siberia, as far south as China, extending westward into portions of modern-day Russia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Persia, and Turkey. In effect, Genghis Khan and his descendants formed the largest contiguous land empire in history.
After the Mongol-led China-based Yuan dynasty fell apart in 1368, what remained of the Mongol army retreated to their original lands in Mongolia. With the Mongol groups divided amongst themselves over the centuries, their country was invaded by the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty (China) in 1691. Such rule continued until 1911, when the Qing Dynasty collapsed. That year, Mongolia, led by the Bogd Khan (the spiritual leader of Mongolia’s Tibetan Buddhism), declared independence from China. Such independence was interrupted by China when its military invaded Mongolia in 1919. Chinese occupation of Mongolia would only last two years, when Mongolian rebel forces (with help from Soviet Union) drove the Chinese out of their country in 1921. With internal power struggles between various Mongolian factions lasting for a few years, complete with the death of Bogd Khan in 1924, the country’s pro-Soviet factions succeeded in declaring the country the Mongolian People’s Republic that year (under Soviet influence).
Mongolia was under Soviet-dominated Communist rule from the mid-1920s until 1990 (in the midst of the collapse of the Soviet Union itself). In March 1990, a democratic revolution that started with hunger strikes to overthrow Mongola’s Communist government led to the peaceful rejection of Communism. That led to a multi-party system, a new constitution and a transition to a market economy.
Few Westerners are familiar with Mongolia. It is the world’s second largest landlocked country and occupies a territory of 1.56 million sq. kilometers. Mongolia is located in Northeast Asia, bordered by Russia in the north and China in the south, east and west. Mongolia is the world’s least densely populated country, with a population of just over 3 million people living in a vast area of 1.56 million sq. kilometers. Ulan Bator is Mongolia’s capital, the country’s largest city and home to nearly 45% of the country’s population.
According to Mongolia’s National Statistics Office, 529,000 foreign travelers visited Mongolia in 2018 (9.7% increase compared to 2017). Of those who visited Mongolia, 85% were there for tourism purposes. The main nationalities of tourists visiting Mongolia are Chinese, Russian, South Korean, and American. In a survey on 3500 tourists, 60.7% revealed that nature (eco-tourism) was their reason for visiting Mongolia, while 42.4% were there to witness the nomadic lifestyle. Adventures such as horseback riding and trekking made up 12.1%, while 11.3% of the surveyed tourists said they were interested in Mongolia’s rich history, particularly Genghis Khan.