Opinion: Mongolia

GREATNESS. Mongolia is a big country, and not only in size. It has History you can feel when you’re there (and I’m not talking only about “old” story; the Russian-Japanese-Chinese wars are still very present, but obviously, everybody thinks of Gengis Khan when they think about Mongolia). Also, it has some spectacular orography that reminds us how the Earth was some (lots) years ago. The combination of both give you a feeling of being somewhere special, almost unique.
LONELINESS. Expect to feel lonely here. Truth, there’s people everywhere and some very often when you want to be on your own, you can’t. But most of the time there’s nothing but a neverending field in front (and under) you, skies that go on forever. It’s a very important part of the trip that you need to appreciate in order to enjoy this country.
TOWNS AND ROADS. Don’t expect many towns, and expect  the ones you find to be small and simple… because they are. Even places like Kharkhorin are nothing but a bunch of houses on both sides of a road. Tsetserleg and specially Zum are bigger places maybe, but even these ones are very small acording to Western (and not only Western) standars. I really felt like some very unusual temptations I usually don’t appreciate, such as a burguer or finding a telephone line along the road to feel I’m going in the right direction. Roads are almost non-existant, and you’re not going to enjoy this country until you realize of that and appreciate it. Every direction is a good direction, not only the ones roads impose us.
SOCIETY. Is there really a society here? Every place seems so far away from the world (only sporadic banks or a petrol station remind you in which planet you are), that is hard to think of a society like the one we know. Politics don’t make sense here. It’s just life. Primitive and very basic often, normal and forward-going at some other times, but life. Good place to remember you’re alive. Also, hard to tell my impressions on people. There are few places where I’ve felt more than here that interfering with locals is not right. Sure, they want to make some money out of you but… Dunno, something seems wrong. I can’t tell neither if unemployment rate is very high (nobody has a “real job”) or increadibly low (everybody has something to do and a way to make a living). People drink too much on the countryside (be careful, you’ll find them drunk very often), arguiably “because they are bored”. They’re not dangerous but there’s nobody to tell them to behave neither. They probably don’t realoze they’re taking care of their culture but they do anyway; can we blame them because they want more confort? In its simplicity, it’s a complicated country. I’m sure you’ll find some mixed feelings if you go there!
TOURISTIC. Is Mongolia touristic? I don’t know. I wouldn’t say so. There aren’t many places where you want to stop and take a picture and think “this is the place”. Nothing is very simbolic. I don’t really know what “usual” tourists visit (I knwo they do some horse-trips and trekkings and…). There isn’t even many tourists. I don’t think it’s a touristic place, but I do think it’s a place to go and visit. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this place nor this trip.


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