Context of Mongolia

 

Mongolia ( (listen)) is a landlocked country in East Asia, bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south. It covers an area of 1,564,116 square kilometres (603,909 square miles), with a population of just 3.3 million, making it the world's most sparsely populated sovereign nation. Mongolia is the world's largest landlocked country that does not border a closed sea, and much of its area is covered by grassy steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city, is home to roughly half of the country's population.

The territory of modern-day Mongolia has been ruled by various nomadic empires, including the Xiongnu, the Xianbei, the Rouran, the First Turkic Khaganate, and others. In 1206, Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous land empire in history. His grandson Kublai Khan conqu...Read more

 

Mongolia ( (listen)) is a landlocked country in East Asia, bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south. It covers an area of 1,564,116 square kilometres (603,909 square miles), with a population of just 3.3 million, making it the world's most sparsely populated sovereign nation. Mongolia is the world's largest landlocked country that does not border a closed sea, and much of its area is covered by grassy steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city, is home to roughly half of the country's population.

The territory of modern-day Mongolia has been ruled by various nomadic empires, including the Xiongnu, the Xianbei, the Rouran, the First Turkic Khaganate, and others. In 1206, Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous land empire in history. His grandson Kublai Khan conquered China proper and established the Yuan dynasty. After the collapse of the Yuan, the Mongols retreated to Mongolia and resumed their earlier pattern of factional conflict, except during the era of Dayan Khan and Tumen Zasagt Khan. In the 16th century, Tibetan Buddhism spread to Mongolia, being further led by the Manchu-founded Qing dynasty, which absorbed the country in the 17th century. By the early 20th century, almost one-third of the adult male population were Buddhist monks. After the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911, Mongolia declared independence, and achieved actual independence from the Republic of China in 1921. Shortly thereafter, the country became a satellite state of the Soviet Union, which had aided its independence from China. In 1924, the Mongolian People's Republic was founded as a socialist state. After the anti-communist revolutions of 1989, Mongolia conducted its own peaceful democratic revolution in early 1990. This led to a multi-party system, a new constitution of 1992, and transition to a market economy.

Approximately 30% of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic; horse culture remains integral. Buddhism is the majority religion (51.7%), with the nonreligious being the second-largest group (40.6%). Islam is the third-largest religious identification (3.2%), concentrated among ethnic Kazakhs. The vast majority of citizens are ethnic Mongols, with roughly 5% of the population being Kazakhs, Tuvans, and other ethnic minorities, who are especially concentrated in the west. Mongolia is a member of the United Nations, Asia Cooperation Dialogue, G77, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Non-Aligned Movement and a NATO global partner. Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997 and seeks to expand its participation in regional economic and trade groups.

More about Mongolia

Basic information
  • Currency Mongolian tögrög
  • Calling code +976
  • Internet domain .mn
  • Mains voltage 220V/50Hz
  • Democracy index 6.48
Population, Area & Driving side
  • Population 3409939
  • Area 1566000
  • Driving side right
History
  •  
    Prehistory and antiquity

    The Khoit Tsenkher Cave[1] in Khovd Province shows lively pink, brown, and red ochre paintings (dated to 20,000 years ago) of mammoths, lynx, bactrian camels, and ostriches, earning it the nickname "the Lascaux of Mongolia". The Venus figurines of Mal'ta (21,000 years ago) testify to the level of Upper Paleolithic art in northern Mongolia; Mal'ta is now part of Russia. Neolithic agricultural settlements (c. 5500–3500 BC), such as those at Norovlin, Tamsagbulag, Bayanzag, and Rashaan Khad, predated the introduction of horse-riding nomadism, a pivotal event in the history of Mongolia which became the dominant culture. Horse-riding nomadism has been documented by archeological evidence in Mongolia during the Copper and Bronze Age Afanasevo culture (3500–2500 BC);[2] this Indo-European culture was active to the Khangai Mountains in Central Mongolia. The wheeled vehicles found in the burials of the Afanasevans have been dated to before 2200 BC.[3] Pastoral nomadism and metalworking became more developed with the later Okunev culture (2nd millennium BC), Andronovo culture (2300–1000 BC) and Karasuk culture (1500–300 BC), culminating with the Iron Age Xiongnu Empire in 209 BC. Monuments of the pre-Xiongnu Bronze Age include deer stones, keregsur kurgans, square slab tombs, and rock paintings.

    ...Read more
     
    Prehistory and antiquity

    The Khoit Tsenkher Cave[1] in Khovd Province shows lively pink, brown, and red ochre paintings (dated to 20,000 years ago) of mammoths, lynx, bactrian camels, and ostriches, earning it the nickname "the Lascaux of Mongolia". The Venus figurines of Mal'ta (21,000 years ago) testify to the level of Upper Paleolithic art in northern Mongolia; Mal'ta is now part of Russia. Neolithic agricultural settlements (c. 5500–3500 BC), such as those at Norovlin, Tamsagbulag, Bayanzag, and Rashaan Khad, predated the introduction of horse-riding nomadism, a pivotal event in the history of Mongolia which became the dominant culture. Horse-riding nomadism has been documented by archeological evidence in Mongolia during the Copper and Bronze Age Afanasevo culture (3500–2500 BC);[2] this Indo-European culture was active to the Khangai Mountains in Central Mongolia. The wheeled vehicles found in the burials of the Afanasevans have been dated to before 2200 BC.[3] Pastoral nomadism and metalworking became more developed with the later Okunev culture (2nd millennium BC), Andronovo culture (2300–1000 BC) and Karasuk culture (1500–300 BC), culminating with the Iron Age Xiongnu Empire in 209 BC. Monuments of the pre-Xiongnu Bronze Age include deer stones, keregsur kurgans, square slab tombs, and rock paintings.

    Although cultivation of crops has continued since the Neolithic, agriculture has always remained small in scale compared to pastoral nomadism. Agriculture may have first been introduced from the west or arose independently in the region. The population during the Copper Age has been described as mongoloid in the east of what is now Mongolia, and as europoid in the west.[1] Tocharians (Yuezhi) and Scythians inhabited western Mongolia during the Bronze Age. The mummy of a Scythian warrior, which is believed to be about 2,500 years old, was a 30- to 40-year-old man with blond hair; it was found in the Altai, Mongolia.[4] As equine nomadism was introduced into Mongolia, the political center of the Eurasian Steppe also shifted to Mongolia, where it remained until the 18th century CE. The intrusions of northern pastoralists (e.g. the Guifang, Shanrong, and Donghu) into China during the Shang dynasty (1600–1046 BC) and Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BC) presaged the age of nomadic empires.

     
     
    7th-century artifacts found 180 km (112 mi) from Ulaanbaatar.

    Since prehistoric times, Mongolia has been inhabited by nomads who, from time to time, formed great confederations that rose to power and prominence. Common institutions were the office of the Khan, the Kurultai (Supreme Council), left and right wings, imperial army (Keshig) and the decimal military system. The first of these empires, the Xiongnu of undetermined ethnicity, were brought together by Modu Shanyu to form a confederation in 209 BC. Soon they emerged as the greatest threat to the Qin Dynasty, forcing the latter to construct the Great Wall of China. It was guarded by up to almost 300,000 soldiers during Marshal Meng Tian's tenure, as a means of defense against the destructive Xiongnu raids. The vast Xiongnu empire (209 BC–93 AD) was followed by the Mongolic Xianbei empire (93–234 AD), which also ruled more than the entirety of present-day Mongolia. The Mongolic Rouran Khaganate (330–555), of Xianbei provenance was the first to use "Khagan" as an imperial title. It ruled a massive empire before being defeated by the Göktürks (555–745) whose empire was even bigger.

    The Göktürks laid siege to Panticapaeum, present-day Kerch, in 576. They were succeeded by the Uyghur Khaganate (745–840) who were defeated by the Kyrgyz. The Mongolic Khitans, descendants of the Xianbei, ruled Mongolia during the Liao Dynasty (907–1125), after which the Khamag Mongol (1125–1206) rose to prominence.

    Lines 3–5 of the memorial inscription of Bilge Khagan (684–737) in central Mongolia summarizes the time of the Khagans:

    In battles they subdued the nations of all four sides of the world and suppressed them. They made those who had heads bow their heads, and who had knees genuflect them. In the east up to the Kadyrkhan common people, in the west up to the Iron Gate they conquered... These Khagans were wise. These Khagans were great. Their servants were wise and great too. Officials were honest and direct with people. They ruled the nation this way. This way they held sway over them. When they died ambassadors from Bokuli Cholug (Baekje Korea), Tabgach (Tang China), Tibet (Tibetan Empire), Avar (Avar Khaganate), Rome (Byzantine Empire), Kirgiz, Uch-Kurykan, Otuz-Tatars, Khitans, Tatabis came to the funerals. So many people came to mourn over the great Khagans. They were famous Khagans.[5]

    Middle Ages to early 20th century
     
     
    Mongol Empire expansion (1206 till 1294)
     
     
    1236–1242 Mongol invasions of Europe
    Map of Asia 
     
    This map shows the boundary of the 13th-century Mongol Empire compared to today's Mongols. The red area shows where the majority of Mongolian speakers reside today.
     
     
    The Northern Yuan at its greatest extent.

    In the chaos of the late 12th century, a chieftain named Temüjin finally succeeded in uniting the Mongol tribes between Manchuria and the Altai Mountains. In 1206, he took the title Genghis Khan, and waged a series of military campaigns – renowned for their brutality and ferocity – sweeping through much of Asia, and forming the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous land empire in world history. Under his successors it stretched from present-day Poland in the west to Korea in the east, and from parts of Siberia in the north to the Gulf of Oman and Vietnam in the south, covering some 33,000,000 square kilometres (13,000,000 sq mi),[6] (22% of Earth's total land area) and had a population of over 100 million people (about a quarter of Earth's total population at the time). The emergence of Pax Mongolica also significantly eased trade and commerce across Asia during its height.[7][8]

    After Genghis Khan's death, the empire was subdivided into four kingdoms or Khanates. These eventually became quasi-independent after the Toluid Civil War (1260–1264), which broke out in a battle for power following Möngke Khan's death in 1259. One of the khanates, the "Great Khaanate", consisting of the Mongol homeland and most of modern-day China, became known as the Yuan dynasty under Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. He set up his capital in present-day Beijing. After more than a century of power, the Yuan dynasty was overthrown by the Ming dynasty in 1368, and the Yuan court fled to the north, thus becoming the Northern Yuan dynasty. As the Ming armies pursued the Mongols into their homeland, they successfully sacked and destroyed the Mongol capital Karakorum and other cities. Some of these attacks were repelled by the Mongols under Ayushridar and his general Köke Temür.[9]

    After the expulsion of the Yuan rulers from China proper, the Mongols continued to rule their homeland, known in historiography as the Northern Yuan dynasty. With the division of the Mongol tribes, it was subsequently also known as "The Forty and the Four" (Döčin dörben) among them.[10] The next centuries were marked by violent power struggles among various factions, notably the Genghisids and the non-Genghisid Oirats, as well as by several Ming invasions (such as the five expeditions led by the Yongle Emperor).

     
     
    Genghis Khan, the first Mongol Emperor

    In the early 16th century, Dayan Khan and his khatun Mandukhai reunited the entire Mongol nation under the Genghisids. In the mid-16th century, Altan Khan of the Tümed, a grandson of Dayan Khan – but not a hereditary or legitimate Khan – became powerful. He founded Hohhot in 1557. After he met with the Dalai Lama in 1578, he ordered the introduction of Tibetan Buddhism to Mongolia. (It was the second time this had occurred.) Abtai Khan of the Khalkha converted to Buddhism and founded the Erdene Zuu monastery in 1585. His grandson Zanabazar became the first Jebtsundamba Khutughtu in 1640. Following the leaders, the entire Mongolian population embraced Buddhism. Each family kept scriptures and Buddha statues on an altar at the north side of their ger (yurt). Mongolian nobles donated land, money and herders to the monasteries. As was typical in states with established religions, the top religious institutions, the monasteries, wielded significant temporal power in addition to spiritual power.[11]

    The last Khagan of Mongols was Ligden Khan in the early 17th century. He came into conflicts with the Manchus over the looting of Chinese cities, and also alienated most Mongol tribes. He died in 1634. By 1636 most Inner Mongolian tribes had submitted to the Manchus, who founded the Qing dynasty. The Khalkha eventually submitted to Qing rule in 1691, thus bringing all of today's Mongolia under Manchu rule. After several Dzungar–Qing Wars, the Dzungars (western Mongols or Oirats) were virtually annihilated during the Qing conquest of Dzungaria in 1757 and 1758.[12]

     
     
    Altan Khan (1507–1582) founded the city of Hohhot, helped introduce Buddhism and originated the title of Dalai Lama

    Some scholars estimate that about 80% of the 600,000 or more Dzungar were destroyed by a combination of disease and warfare.[13] Outer Mongolia was given relative autonomy, being administered by the hereditary Genghisid khanates of Tusheet Khan, Setsen Khan, Zasagt Khan and Sain Noyon Khan. The Jebtsundamba Khutuktu of Mongolia had immense de facto authority. The Manchu forbade mass Chinese immigration into the area, which allowed the Mongols to keep their culture. The Oirats who migrated to the Volga steppes in Russia became known as Kalmyks.

    The main trade route during this period was the Tea Road through Siberia; it had permanent stations located every 25 to 30 kilometres (16 to 19 mi), each of which was staffed by 5–30 chosen families.

    Until 1911, the Qing dynasty maintained control of Mongolia with a series of alliances and intermarriages, as well as military and economic measures. Ambans, Manchu "high officials", were installed in Khüree, Uliastai, and Khovd, and the country was divided into numerous feudal and ecclesiastical fiefdoms (which also placed people in power with loyalty to the Qing). Over the course of the 19th century, the feudal lords attached more importance to representation and less importance to the responsibilities towards their subjects. The behaviour of Mongolia's nobility, together with usurious practices by Chinese traders and the collection of imperial taxes in silver instead of animals, resulted in widespread poverty among the nomads. By 1911 there were 700 large and small monasteries in Outer Mongolia; their 115,000 monks made up 21% of the population. Apart from the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, there were 13 other reincarnating high lamas, called 'seal-holding saints' (tamgatai khutuktu), in Outer Mongolia.

    Modern history
     
     
    The eighth Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, Bogd Khaan
     
     
    Map of unified Mongolia in 1917

    With the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911, Mongolia under the Bogd Khaan declared its independence. But the newly established Republic of China considered Mongolia to be part of its own territory. Yuan Shikai, the President of the Republic of China, considered the new republic to be the successor of the Qing. Bogd Khaan said that both Mongolia and China had been administered by the Manchu during the Qing, and after the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911, the contract of Mongolian submission to the Manchu had become invalid.[14][a]

    The area controlled by the Bogd Khaan was approximately that of the former Outer Mongolia during the Qing period. In 1919, after the October Revolution in Russia, Chinese troops led by warlord Xu Shuzheng occupied Mongolia. Warfare erupted on the northern border. As a result of the Russian Civil War, the White Russian Lieutenant General Baron Ungern led his troops into Mongolia in October 1920, defeating the Chinese forces in Niislel Khüree (now Ulaanbaatar) in early February 1921 with Mongol support.

    To eliminate the threat posed by Ungern, Bolshevik Russia decided to support the establishment of a communist Mongolian government and army. This Mongolian army took the Mongolian part of Kyakhta from Chinese forces on 18 March 1921, and on 6 July, Russian and Mongolian troops arrived in Khüree. Mongolia declared its independence again on 11 July 1921.[15] As a result, Mongolia was closely aligned with the Soviet Union over the next seven decades.

    Mongolian People's Republic

    In 1924, after the Bogd Khaan died of laryngeal cancer[16] or, as some sources claim, at the hands of Russian spies,[17] the country's political system was changed. The Mongolian People's Republic was established. In 1928, Khorloogiin Choibalsan rose to power. The early leaders of the Mongolian People's Republic (1921–1952) included many with Pan-Mongolist ideals. However, changing global politics and increased Soviet pressure led to the decline of Pan-Mongol aspirations in the following period.

     
     
    Khorloogiin Choibalsan led Mongolia during the Stalinist era and presided over an environment of intense political persecution

    Khorloogiin Choibalsan instituted collectivization of livestock, began the destruction of the Buddhist monasteries, and carried out Stalinist purges, which resulted in the murders of numerous monks and other leaders. In Mongolia during the 1920s, approximately one-third of the male population were monks. By the beginning of the 20th century, about 750 monasteries were functioning in Mongolia.[18]

    In 1930, the Soviet Union stopped Buryat migration to the Mongolian People's Republic to prevent Mongolian reunification. All leaders of Mongolia who did not fulfill Stalin's demands to perform Red Terror against Mongolians were executed, including Peljidiin Genden and Anandyn Amar. The Stalinist purges in Mongolia, which began in 1937, killed more than 30,000 people. Choibalsan died suspiciously in the Soviet Union in 1952. Comintern leader Bohumír Šmeral said, "People of Mongolia are not important, the land is important. Mongolian land is larger than England, France and Germany".[19][page needed]

     
     
    Mongolian troops fight against the Japanese counterattack at Khalkhin Gol, 1939

    After the Japanese invasion of neighboring Manchuria in 1931, Mongolia was threatened on this front. During the Soviet-Japanese Border War of 1939, the Soviet Union successfully defended Mongolia against Japanese expansionism. Mongolia fought against Japan during the Battles of Khalkhin Gol in 1939 and during the Soviet–Japanese War in August 1945 to liberate Inner Mongolia from Japan and Mengjiang.[20]

    Cold War

    The February 1945 Yalta Conference provided for the Soviet Union's participation in the Pacific War. One of the Soviet conditions for its participation, put forward at Yalta, was that after the war Outer Mongolia would retain its independence. The referendum took place on 20 October 1945, with (according to official numbers) 100% of the electorate voting for independence.[21]

    After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, both countries confirmed their mutual recognition on 6 October 1949. However, the Republic of China used its Security Council veto in 1955, to stop the admission of the Mongolian People's Republic to the United Nations on the grounds it recognized all of Mongolia —including Outer Mongolia— as part of China. This was the only time the Republic of China ever used its veto. Hence, and because of the repeated threats to veto by the ROC, Mongolia did not join the UN until 1961 when the Soviet Union agreed to lift its veto on the admission of Mauritania (and any other newly independent African state), in return for the admission of Mongolia. Faced with pressure from nearly all the other African countries, the ROC relented under protest. Mongolia and Mauritania were both admitted to the UN on 27 October 1961.[22][23][24] (see China and the United Nations)

     
     
    Mongolian Premier Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal was the longest-serving leader in the Soviet Bloc, with over 44 years in office

    On 26 January 1952, Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal took power in Mongolia after the death of Choibalsan. Tsedenbal was the leading political figure in Mongolia for more than 30 years.[25] While Tsedenbal was visiting Moscow in August 1984, his severe illness prompted the parliament to announce his retirement and replace him with Jambyn Batmönkh.

    Post-Cold War

    The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 strongly influenced Mongolian politics and youth. Its people undertook the peaceful Democratic Revolution in January 1990 and the introduction of a multi-party system and a market economy. At the same time, the transformation of the former Marxist-Leninist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party to the current social democratic Mongolian People's Party reshaped the country's political landscape.

    A new constitution was introduced in 1992, and the term "People's Republic" was dropped from the country's name. The transition to a market economy was often rocky; during the early 1990s the country had to deal with high inflation and food shortages.[26] The first election victories for non-communist parties came in 1993 (presidential elections) and 1996 (parliamentary elections). China has supported Mongolia's application for membership in to the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and granting it observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.[27]

    ^ a b Eleanora Novgorodova, Archäologische Funde, Ausgrabungsstätten und Skulpturen, in Mongolen (catalogue), pp. 14–20 ^ Gibbons, Ann (10 June 2015). "Nomadic herders left a strong genetic mark on Europeans and Asians". Science. AAAS. ^ David Christian (16 December 1998). A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia. Wiley. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-631-20814-3. ^ "Archeological Sensation-Ancient Mummy Found in Mongolia". Spiegel Online. Spiegel.de. August 25, 2006. Archived from the original on May 22, 2010. Retrieved May 2, 2010. ^ "Memorial Complex of Bilge Khagan". bitig.org. Archived from the original on February 3, 2015. Retrieved January 1, 2015. ^ Bruce R. Gordon. "To Rule the Earth…". Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2013. ^ Guzman, Gregory G. (1988). "Were the barbarians a negative or positive factor in ancient and medieval history?". The Historian (50): 568–570. ^ Thomas T. Allsen (March 25, 2004). Culture and Conquest in Mongol Eurasia. Cambridge University Press. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-521-60270-9. Retrieved June 28, 2013. ^ 《扩廓帖木儿传》[biography of Köke Temür] (卷一四一,列传第二八 ed.). History of Yuan. ^ Junko, Miyawaki (1997). "The Birth of the Oyirad Khanship". Central Asiatic Journal. 41 (1): 38–75. JSTOR 41928088. ^ Alexander, Berzin. "History of Buddhism in Mongolia". Study Buddhism. ^ Edward Allworth. "Kazakhstan to c. 1700 ce". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2013. ^ Michael Edmund Clarke (2004). In the Eye of Power: China and Xinjiang from the Qing Conquest to the "New Great Game" for Central Asia, 1759 – 2004 (PDF) (PhD). Brisbane: Griffith University. p. 37. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 April 2008. ^ Bawden, Charles (1968): The Modern History of Mongolia. Weidenfeld & Nicolson: 194–195 ^ Thomas E. Ewing, "Russia, China, and the Origins of the Mongolian People's Republic, 1911–1921: A Reappraisal", in: The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 58, No. 3 (Jul. 1980), pp. 399, 414, 415, 417, 421 ^ Кузьмин, С.Л.; [Kuzmin, S.L.]; Оюунчимэг, Ж.; [Oyunchimeg, J.]. "Буддизм и революция в Монголии" [Buddhism and the revolution in Mongolia] (in Russian). Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. ^ Догсомын Бодоо 1/2 on YouTube (Mongolian) ^ "Mongolia: The Bhudda and the Khan". Orient Magazine. Archived from the original on 18 August 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2013. ^ History of Mongolia, 2003, Volume 5. Mongolian Institute of History ^ Боржигон Хүсэл (18 January 2015). "1945 ОНД БНМАУ-ААС ХЯТАД УЛСАД ҮЗҮҮЛСЭН ТУСЛАМЖ" [Mongolian People's Republic supported the Chinese Anti-Japan War in 1945]. Mongolia Journals Online. Retrieved 2 February 2019. ^ Nohlen, D, Grotz, F & Hartmann, C (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume II, p491 ISBN 0-19-924959-8 ^ 因常任理事国投反对票而未获通过的决议草案或修正案各段 (PDF) (in Chinese). 聯合國. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 23, 2014. ^ "The veto and how to use it". BBC News Online. Archived from the original on July 26, 2010. ^ "Changing Pattern in the Use of Veto in the Security Council". Global Policy Forum. Archived from the original on May 8, 2013. ^ "Tsedenbal's Mongolia and the Communist Aid Donors: A Reappraisal | Wilson Center". ^ Rossabi, Morris (2005). Modern Mongolia: From Khans to Commissars to Capitalists. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 57–58, 143–144. ISBN 978-0520244191. ^ ""Pan-Mongolism" and U.S.-China-Mongolia relations". Jamestown Foundation. June 29, 2005. Archived from the original on December 27, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2013.


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Stay safe
  •  
    Stay safe
     
     
    Sunset in Ulaanbaatar

    Apart from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is generally a safe place to travel. However, incidents of pickpocketing and bag slashing have occurred, so always keep your personal belongings in a safe place (money belts are highly recommended), especially in crowded areas or in places where your attention is diverted. Notorious places for theft are the Black Market (bazaar), the railway station and crowded bus stops.

    Unfortunately, xenophobia and violence towards foreigners is common. Alcoholism is a huge social problem and Mongolia has the highest rate of liver cancer in the world. Do not acknowledge or approach any Mongolian man under the influence of alcohol. Many foreigners who go to bars and clubs at night report assault and general aggression.

    Refrain from wearing anything associated with China, and refrain from talking about China. Mongolians are quite open people and they tend to be curious and ask many questions just to be friendly. Try to answer diplomatically, and vaguely, especially relating to any perceived negative aspect of Mongolia.

    Violent crime is also common outside the capital city, (Darkhan especially) so caution is required at night. In particular, dark or deserted alleys and streets should be avoided. Generally, if walking past 22:00, avoid people if at all possible. Mongolians can be very friendly, but their emotions and motives can change quite quickly. Someone who may genuinely just want to have a couple drinks with you, may suddenly become aggressive in general, regardless of your respect and polite actions.

    Corruption is a huge problem in Mongolia, and locals are convinced that the police are not to be trusted.

    ...Read more
     
    Stay safe
     
     
    Sunset in Ulaanbaatar

    Apart from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is generally a safe place to travel. However, incidents of pickpocketing and bag slashing have occurred, so always keep your personal belongings in a safe place (money belts are highly recommended), especially in crowded areas or in places where your attention is diverted. Notorious places for theft are the Black Market (bazaar), the railway station and crowded bus stops.

    Unfortunately, xenophobia and violence towards foreigners is common. Alcoholism is a huge social problem and Mongolia has the highest rate of liver cancer in the world. Do not acknowledge or approach any Mongolian man under the influence of alcohol. Many foreigners who go to bars and clubs at night report assault and general aggression.

    Refrain from wearing anything associated with China, and refrain from talking about China. Mongolians are quite open people and they tend to be curious and ask many questions just to be friendly. Try to answer diplomatically, and vaguely, especially relating to any perceived negative aspect of Mongolia.

    Violent crime is also common outside the capital city, (Darkhan especially) so caution is required at night. In particular, dark or deserted alleys and streets should be avoided. Generally, if walking past 22:00, avoid people if at all possible. Mongolians can be very friendly, but their emotions and motives can change quite quickly. Someone who may genuinely just want to have a couple drinks with you, may suddenly become aggressive in general, regardless of your respect and polite actions.

    Corruption is a huge problem in Mongolia, and locals are convinced that the police are not to be trusted.

    There are small bands of Mongolian ultra-nationalist thugs that style themselves as neo-Nazis and have assaulted foreigners including whites, blacks, and particularly, Chinese. They are especially provoked by foreigner interaction with Mongolian women. They are mostly found in the capital, especially in the cheaper bars and night clubs.

    Lone or female travelers obviously need to exercise a higher degree of awareness of their surroundings as getting groped in the chest or behind regions is not uncommon. Some actions like dancing close to a man will be seen as an open invitation as Mongolians generally don't dance this way.

    Dogs in Mongolia can be aggressive and may run in packs. It is a good idea to be wary of them since they are not likely to be as tame as domestic dogs elsewhere. Most fenced yards and gers have a guard dog that is usually all bark and no bite, though it is advised to make it aware of you as to not surprise it, and carry a rock in case it does charge you.

    Manhole covers — or more precisely, the lack of such covers — is a surprisingly common cause of injuries among foreigners and (especially drunk) tourists. In smaller cities and outlying areas of the capital, there are a large number of missing or poorly placed covers. It is a good idea to avoid stepping on any manhole and always pay attention to where you walk.

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