Backpacking in Mongolia

Backpacking in Mongolia offers a unique and exhilarating experience for adventure seekers. With its vast, untouched natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage, it is no wonder that backpacking has become a popular way to explore this stunning country.

Mongolia’s history is deeply intertwined with nomadic traditions, as well as a strong connection to the land. For centuries, the country has been home to nomadic herders who move freely across wide expanses of steppes and mountains with their livestock. This nomadic lifestyle has shaped the way people in Mongolia interact with their environment and has influenced the traditions and values of the country.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in backpacking in Mongolia. Travelers from around the world are drawn to the vastness and beauty of the Mongolian landscape, as well as the opportunity to experience a way of life that is far removed from modernity. Backpacking allows visitors to truly immerse themselves in the culture and natural beauty of Mongolia, as they trek through remote areas, camp under the stars, and interact with local nomadic communities.

One engaging element of backpacking in Mongolia is the sense of self-sufficiency it offers. Backpackers are required to carry all their necessary supplies, including food, water, and camping equipment, as they venture into the wilderness. This reliance on oneself creates a deeper connection to the land and an appreciation for the simple necessities of life. Additionally, backpacking allows travelers to experience a slower pace of life, away from the rush and distractions of the modern world.

A compelling statistic associated with backpacking in Mongolia is the country’s impressive size. Mongolia is the 18th largest country in the world, spanning over 1.5 million square kilometers. This vastness means that backpackers have an abundance of unexplored terrain to discover, from the deserts of the Gobi to the towering peaks of the Altai Mountains. With such a vast and diverse landscape, backpackers can tailor their journey to their preferences, whether they prefer trekking through pristine wilderness, horseback riding across the steppes, or exploring ancient archaeological sites.

In conclusion, backpacking in Mongolia offers a remarkable opportunity to delve into a land of incomparable beauty and rich cultural heritage. With its nomadic traditions, diverse landscapes, and self-sufficiency, backpacking allows travelers to experience the true essence of Mongolia and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Backpacking in Mongolia
Backpacking in Mongolia

What are the advantages of backpacking in Mongolia?

Backpacking in Mongolia offers incredible opportunities to explore the vast and unspoiled landscapes of this beautiful country. With its diverse terrain, including soaring mountains, rolling grasslands, and vast deserts, Mongolia is a perfect destination for adventure seekers. From interacting with friendly nomadic communities to witnessing breathtaking sunsets over the Gobi Desert, backpackers can experience an authentic and off-the-beaten-path journey. In the next part, we will discuss in detail the various advantages and unique experiences that backpacking in Mongolia has to offer.

Backpacking in Mongolia

Backpacking in Mongolia is a dream come true for adventure enthusiasts. This vast and sparsely populated country offers an array of natural wonders, cultural experiences, and thrilling outdoor activities. From the expansive Gobi Desert to the rugged Mongolian Altai mountains, there is no shortage of breathtaking landscapes to explore.

Why Choose Mongolia for Backpacking?

With its untouched wilderness and nomadic heritage, Mongolia provides a unique and authentic backpacking experience. The pristine beauty of the remote landscapes, combined with the warm hospitality of the locals, creates an unforgettable journey for intrepid travelers.

Whether you are an experienced backpacker or a novice looking for a new challenge, Mongolia has something to offer. The country’s vastness and diverse terrain allow backpackers to embark on multi-day treks, horseback riding adventures, and even camel safaris.

Must-See Destinations in Mongolia

1. The Gobi Desert: One of the world’s largest deserts, the Gobi offers a surreal experience with its towering sand dunes, rocky canyons, and unique wildlife. Explore the impressive Flaming Cliffs, where dinosaur fossils were discovered, or spend a night under the starry sky in a traditional ger camp.

2. Khuvsgul Lake: Known as Mongolia’s “Blue Pearl,” Khuvsgul Lake is a pristine alpine lake located in the country’s northernmost province. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lush forests, it’s a haven for nature lovers. Take a boat trip on the crystal-clear waters or hike along the lake’s shoreline for breathtaking views.

3. Terelj National Park: Located just a short drive from the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, Terelj National Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Marvel at the stunning rock formations, visit the iconic Turtle Rock, or go hiking, horseback riding, or rock climbing in this picturesque park.

Experiencing Mongolian Culture

One of the highlights of backpacking in Mongolia is the opportunity to immerse yourself in the country’s rich nomadic culture. Stay with local families in traditional ger camps, where you can learn about their way of life, taste traditional Mongolian cuisine, and witness age-old traditions such as horse racing and wrestling.

Visiting the capital city of Ulaanbaatar is also a must to experience the modern side of Mongolia. Explore the city’s museums, temples, and bustling markets to get a glimpse of the country’s history and contemporary lifestyle.

Important Tips for Backpacking in Mongolia

1. Pack for the weather: Mongolia experiences extreme temperatures, ranging from scorching hot summers to bitterly cold winters. Pack appropriate clothing and gear for the season you plan to visit.

2. Carry essentials: As Mongolia is a vast country with limited infrastructure in some regions, it’s essential to carry basic necessities such as water, food, and camping equipment during your treks or remote expeditions.

3. Respect local customs: Mongolians have a deep respect for their traditions and customs. Show respect to the locals, their customs, and the environment. Avoid littering and follow guidelines set by local authorities.

Statistic: According to recent data, backpacking tourism in Mongolia has seen a steady increase of 17% over the past five years.

Backpacking in Mongolia FAQ

1. Can I hike and camp freely in Mongolia?

Yes, you are allowed to hike and camp freely in most areas of Mongolia. The country has vast landscapes and nomadic traditions that welcome backpackers to experience the untouched beauty of nature.

2. Do I need a visa to visit Mongolia?

Yes, most visitors need a visa to enter Mongolia. However, citizens of certain countries may be exempt from visa requirements or qualify for a visa-free entry policy. It is advisable to check with the Mongolian embassy or consulate in your country for accurate visa information.

3. What is the best time to go backpacking in Mongolia?

The best time to go backpacking in Mongolia is during the summer months, from June to August. The weather is warm, and the countryside is lush and green. However, be aware that Mongolia has extreme temperature variations, so come prepared for potential changes in weather.

4. Is it safe to backpack alone in Mongolia?

Mongolia is generally a safe country for backpackers, but it is always advisable to take precautions while traveling alone. Inform someone about your intended itinerary, carry essential supplies, and be cautious about your surroundings, especially in remote areas.

5. What is the best way to get around Mongolia?

The best way to get around Mongolia is by using public transportation, such as buses or shared taxis. Additionally, renting a car or hiring a local guide can provide more flexibility to explore remote areas. Domestic flights are also available for longer distances.

6. Are there any specific cultural etiquettes I should follow in Mongolia?

Respect the Mongolian culture by dressing modestly, especially when visiting monasteries or sacred sites. Also, it is customary to greet people with a handshake and present gifts with both hands. Do not step over a person, and avoid pointing at someone with your index finger.

7. What should I pack for backpacking in Mongolia?

  • Warm layers of clothing
  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Sunscreen and sun hat
  • Insect repellent
  • Sleeping bag and camping gear
  • First aid kit
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Basic toiletries
  • Camera and extra batteries

8. Can I drink tap water in Mongolia?

It is not recommended to drink tap water in Mongolia. Stick to bottled water or use a water purification system to ensure your safety.

9. Are there specific trekking routes or trails in Mongolia?

Mongolia offers numerous trekking routes and trails for backpackers. Some popular options include the Khovsgol Lake trail, the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park trail, and the Altai Tavan Bogd trek. It is advisable to research and plan your route beforehand.

10. How much money should I budget for backpacking in Mongolia?

The cost of backpacking in Mongolia depends on various factors, such as accommodation choices and activities. On average, budget travelers can expect to spend around $30-50 per day, including food, accommodations, transportation, and admissions fees.


In conclusion, backpacking in Mongolia offers an incredible adventure for outdoor enthusiasts seeking to explore a unique and untouched landscape. One key insight from this article is the vastness and diversity of Mongolia’s natural beauty, from the sprawling steppe to the towering mountains and serene lakes. Backpackers can immerse themselves in the nomadic way of life by staying with local families in yurts, gaining a rich cultural experience and a deeper understanding of the country’s traditions. Additionally, the region’s stunning wildlife, including the elusive snow leopard and the iconic Mongolian horse, provides ample opportunities for nature enthusiasts to engage in wildlife tourism and conservation efforts.

Another crucial point to note is that backpacking in Mongolia requires careful planning and preparation. With its remote locations and challenging terrains, it is essential for backpackers to have adequate supplies, including food, water, and camping gear. The article highlights the importance of proper navigation skills and understanding local customs and etiquette to ensure a safe and respectful journey. Despite the challenges, backpacking in Mongolia rewards travelers with breathtaking landscapes, encounters with unique wildlife, and a chance to disconnect from the modern world and embrace a simpler way of life.

To truly experience the wonders of Mongolia, backpackers should strive to respect and preserve the country’s pristine environment and diverse culture. By embracing sustainable travel practices and supporting local communities, backpackers can help ensure that future generations can continue to explore and appreciate the beauty of this enchanting country. So pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable adventure in Mongolia – a land where pristine nature and ancient traditions converge.

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