At home in Mongolia

Over Before It Starts

25 Apr 2010

Bayan Ulgii is Mongolia's western-most province, set in the Altai mountains where Mongolia, China, and Russia converge. It is also ... read more

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Slideshow: Kazakh Culture In Mongolia

A hunter and his eagle scan the horizon. Kazakhs use eagles, who can spot an animal from several kilometers away ... read more

26 Jul 2010
 

Insider Tips

Getting Around

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Not a one-week country: Take your time!

Mongolia is a large country, and a difficult one to travel in if you want to get off the beaten path. Unfortunately the real Mongolia, and the truly gratifying experiences ... read more

02 May 2010
Must Do

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Can't-miss Monastery

Amarbysgalant Khiid, one of Mongolia's three most important monasteries, is set in a secluded river valley in between Darkhan and Erdenet cities. More so than the other major monasteries ... read more

25 Jun 2010
Must Do

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Can't-miss Monastery

Amarbysgalant Khiid, one of Mongolia's three most important monasteries, is set in a secluded river valley in between Darkhan and Erdenet cities. More so than the other major monasteries ... read more

17 Jun 2010
Books

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For Post-Soviet Mongolian Politics, Turn To...

It's not a thrilling read, but Morris Rossabi's Modern Mongolia: From Khans to Commissars to Capitalists is the most complete description of post-Soviet Mongolian politics, economics, and development ... read more

25 Jun 2010
Festivals & Events

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Tsagaan Sar: Week of 1,000 Dumplings

Mongolia's traditional New Year's festival, usually held in February around the same time as Chinese New Year, is a marathon celebration of food, family, and friends. During the ... read more

25 Jun 2010
Culture Shock

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Meet me in the hours of the mouse

Before Mongolia was introduced to the clock, people told time by the movement of the sun, and broke the day into 12 roughly 2 hour chunks, which had names that ... read more

25 Jun 2010
Music

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Eternal Rock and Roll of the Mongolian Steppe

One of the most exciting bands in the contemporary Mongolian music scene is Altan Urag, who call themselves a folk-rock group, and mix traditional sounds and throat singing with rock ... read more

25 Jun 2010
Etiquette

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Tea time, any time

"Tsai okh," the hostess says. Drink tea. It is not really a question. "Ahhh... zugeer, egchee. Nadad tsai heregui," I reply, hoping to avoid the day's eighth cup of ... read more

25 Jun 2010
Film

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Genghis Khan controversy

A fun way to start a conversation with a Mongolian is to ask for a Genghis Khan film recommendation. This question should unleash a tirade railing against the handful of ... read more

25 Jun 2010
Sports

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Instant Friends

There's no better way to make friends in Mongolia than joining some students in an impromptu gave of basketball, volleyball, or soccer. It's almost always possible to join ... read more

25 Jun 2010
Food

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Stone Soup

Horhog, Mongolia's summer picnic delicacy of choice, is no fairy tale. Fire-heated rocks are placed in a metal barrel with the meat of a freshly killed sheep or goat ... read more

26 Jun 2010
Fashion

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Deell Me

Mongolians know how to fight the frigid winter weather better than anyone. Wearing a traditional deell, a long, sometimes wool-lined robe tied at the waste with a sash of silk ... read more

26 Jun 2010
Religion

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Revitalizing, Diversifying

When I stopped in for a meal at the sole restaurant in the small village where I used to live, the owner would often sit at my table to chat ... read more

28 Jun 2010
Packing

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Don't leave home without tp!

In the capital, many restaurants and even some guesthouses don't provide toilet paper. On long trips In the countryside, you may not even find an outhouse, never mind a ... read more

28 Jun 2010
Politics

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Stable with a chance of protests

For the most part, Mongolia is a safe and stable fledgling democracy. Now, in 2010, the Parliament is dominated by representatives from the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP)- the ... read more

28 Jun 2010
Nightlife

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Learn to Twirl

I have been to countless work parties and community dances in Mongolia, and one thing has always kept me from being the most popular man in the room: I can ... read more

28 Jun 2010
TV

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What will happen next to beautiful crying girl and black-eye guy?!

"I didn't have any students today," my girlfriend told me. "I asked my co-worker where they all were and she said, 'Maybe they are watching Korean soap operas.'" The ... read more

28 Jun 2010
Dating

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Sitting surprise

Expressing clear expectations is key when dating in Mongolia. People here are often very realistic about sex, but the dating-before-marriage period tends to be much briefer. It might seem nice ... read more

28 Jun 2010
Health

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A touch of plague with your marmot, sir?

Mongolia doesn't suffer from many of the endemic diseases of more tropical nations, and even HIV/AIDS is barely present. Be careful anyway, because other sexually transmitted diseases are ... read more

28 Jun 2010
Being an American

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Smile!

Mongolia is large, and much of it is remote. Foreigners are a rare sight in many places, and your mere presence will attract attention nearly anywhere you go. For the ... read more

28 Jun 2010
Slang

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Let's go!

There are two words that you'll hear in nearly every conversation you have in Mongolia: "Za" and "Zugeer". Za can be used in almost every situation that "ok" is ... read more

28 Jun 2010
Contest

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Ankle Bone Games

Mongolia's version of board games is "shagai"- sheep ankle bones. There are dozens of games that can be played with the bones, which have 4 distinct sides: sheep, goat ... read more

28 Jun 2010
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