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Archive for mongolia

Manly Sports in Mongolia

By Linda Tancs

Naadam Festival might be best described as an Olympic-style event in Mongolia. It features three competitions—archery, wrestling and horse racing, referred to as the three manly sports. Far from arbitrary, the three events figure largely in the history and culture of the country, particularly in ancient warfare. One of the best-loved festivals in the nation, its placement in July heralds an official three-day celebration of Mongolia’s quest for independence in 1911. The main celebrations are held between July 11 and July 13 in Ulaanbaatar, the capital, although other locales across the country host their own festivals of varying lengths and in different months. In addition to sports, the event features an opening ceremony, costume festival and traditional dancing.


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Larger Than Life in Mongolia

By Linda Tancs

Genghis Khan, Mongolia’s national hero, united the country’s nomadic tribes and reigned over one of the largest contiguous empires in history, creating a powerful political and cultural force in the process. No wonder, then, that his image (atop a horse) should rise prominently over the plains of Mongolia about 35 miles east of the capital. That’s where you’ll find the Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue, reportedly the largest equestrian statue in the world. The 131-foot-tall memorial of Genghis Khan and his horse is rendered in stainless steel (250 tons of it) and sits atop the Mongolian steppe (grasslands). An elevator to the horse’s head rewards visitors with panoramic views.

The High Country in Central Asia

By Linda Tancs

Mongolia is on a high—literally. One of the world’s highest countries, it boasts an average elevation of at least 5,100 feet. That includes the alpine serenity of one of the country’s most popular national parks, Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. At 5,200 feet, it’s prized for its rock climbing and hiking opportunities. Watch out for two popular rock formations, Turtle Rock and Old Man Reading a Book.  The park benefits from (or suffers from, depending on your point of view) an array of tourist camps, including the ever-popular yurt.


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