Mongolia

The capital of Mongolia is Ulaanbaatar and the official language is Mongolian. About 3.5 million people live here. Mongolia used to be more heavily dominated by folk religions such as Shamanism, but today, most of the population follows Tibetan Buddhism. The time zone is 11 hours ahead of EST in a western chunk of Mongolia and 12 hours ahead of EST in the rest of the country.

Interestingly, Mongolia is one of the least densely populated country in the world for its size, and about a quarter of its population is nomadic. Mongolia is one of the last remaining countries with a culturally nomadic population. Because of this, travelers should be prepared for a diet consisting meat, fat, and some grains. The harsh winter and lack of many crops means that Mongolians traditionally eat a lot of dairy and meat, so much in fact that it is advised to consume more meat and dairy than usual prior to visiting to prepare the body for digesting these foods in high quantities.

While in Mongolia, don’t miss the Genghis Khan Statue, about 35 miles outside of Ulaanbaatar. Loved visiting here in ’19! The statue is about 140 feet high and sits atop a museum. Around there you can check out some yurt villages and have lunch with a local.

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