Experience nomadic life on Mongolia’s harsh steppes

Experience nomadic life on Mongolia’s harsh steppes

No-frills trip offers insight into culture
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A nomad living on the shore of Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur, also known as White Lake, in central Mongolia, leads a yak cart stocked with a supply of fresh water collected from a nearby stream. The pastoral lifestyle is still an integral part of Mongolian identity – as much as 30 percent of the nation’s 3.1 million people are considered nomadic.
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The sun sets behind a small cluster of nomadic tents, called gers, on the shore of Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur.
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A nomad stirs a large pot full of mutton, potatoes and carrots cooked with hot stones. The festive meal, called the khorkhog, is the highlight of nomadic cuisine, and its preparation is a group project.
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Tourists stop on the roadless desert steppes of southern Mongolia for a lunchtime picnic. Paved roads are found only around the capital city of Ulan Bator, so traveling through the countryside can mean hours of bumpy rides in old Russian vehicles.
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iF YOU GO

When to go: Mongolia’s peak tourist season is May to September, when the weather generally is mild and most tourist accommodations are open. By mid-September, many tour companies and ger camps start closing up for the long, harsh winter, though...

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