SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Mongolia: Land of the Nomads

It is said that we are only six people away of knowing everyone in the world. This senior says five, unless you include the Gobi Desert. That’s Mongolia. It has always seemed to be in a far far away place where Genghis Khan ruled and where folks ride small and very fast horses and drink fermented mares milk.

The country has grown to be a place to visit for adventure-seeking tourists. The country is a landlocked country located between China and Russia. This video called Mongolia: The Melody of Nature, will enthrall you.

Mongolia is more than twice as big as Texas and even bigger than Alaska. Its area is 618,000 square miles and forty percent of the population continue to live the traditional nomadic lifestyle tending more than 28 million head of livestock. Animal husbandry remains a backbone of the national economy, providing 20 percent of the world’s cashmere production.

Mongolia is a vast emptiness that links land and sky, and is one of the last few places on the planet where nomadic life is still a living tradition, and this what attracts senior tourists. Ulan Batar, the capital and largest city, is home to about 38% of the population.

With the exception of the westernmost province where Kazakh is spoken, everyone speaks Mongolian. Mongolia is home to the “three manly sports”: wrestling, horse racing, and archery. The ideal Mongolia travel season starts in May and hits its highest peak in July, during the Naadam holiday, and in August when the weather is most favorable for traveling.

 Seniors Discover a Large Country With Few People

Mongolia is the nineteenth largest, and the most sparsely populated independent country in the world with a population of just over 3 million. The country has very little arable land with much of its area covered by arid and unproductive steppes.

The Great Gobi Desert is a treasure chest full of astonishing surprises that draw in the most avid senior travelers, explorers and scientists. This land of Ghengis Khan has more than 4,000 lakes. Archaeologists have found remnants of a 500,000 year old culture, which in many ways parallels the nomadic tribes and lifestyles that still exist today in some of the outer reaches of the country.

Because of the eternal blue dome hanging over endless steppes, from the ancient times Mongols refer to their motherland as “Blue Mongolia.” Even nowadays, old women will splash into air at the morning dawn a bit of freshly brewed tea with milk as an offering to the Blue Sky and the Mother Nature. The national drink is called Airag made from fermented mare’s milk and is an acquired taste.

Mongolia is a perfect destination for horse trekking, long-distance cycling or hiking, or more leisurely activities such as fly-fishing, yak carting or camping out under a sprawling mass of stars.

Ulaanbaatar, the main entry point, presents a number of quality museums, Buddhist temples and the famed Gandan Monastery – the most important monastery in the country. Seniors, enjoy your coffee and say “Good Morning” to Mongolia. jeb

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