Mongolia Religion, Transport, Geography, Politics and Population

Religion in Mongolia

94% of the believing population profess Tibetan Buddhism – Lamaism, about 6% (mostly Kazakhs) – Sunni Islam. Until now, in Mongolia, a magical teaching – shamanism – is widespread. In addition, there are adherents of Zen Buddhism and Christianity in the country.

Transport in Mongolia

You can fly to Mongolia by plane. Also, a train departs from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar twice a week (travel time is about 4.5 days), and a train runs daily from Irkutsk to the capital of Mongolia (travel time is 1.5 days). In addition, buses run regularly from the regions of Russia bordering Mongolia.

The best way to travel across the country for long distances is by plane. Domestic flights are operated by AeroMongolia. The cost of flights for foreigners is higher than for local residents. Cheaper way to travel in Mongolia are jeeps, Russian UAZs or minivans that are used as public transport. For example, a day trip from Ulaanbaatar to the provincial capital of Ara-Khangai – Tsertserlag – will cost you about $30. Most often, drivers pick up several passengers. Horses, yaks and camels are used to travel through the rugged regions of the country.

Inside the cities, it is best to travel by taxi and rented cars. In Mongolia, you can only rent a car with a driver.

Plant and Animal World in Mongolia

In the north of Mongolia, the slopes of the mountains are covered with taiga forests with a predominance of coniferous species: larch, spruce, pine, cedar and fir. In total, forests in Mongolia account for 10% of the territory. Forests successively replace forest-steppes, steppes, semi-deserts and deserts. The most extensive zone of semi-deserts and steppes, where herbs and cereals grow. In the south of Mongolia, the Gobi Desert stretches, which occupies about a third of the country’s territory. It is the northernmost desert in the world. The Gobi differs from the “classical” deserts: basically, it is composed of clay and stony soils, and sands account for only 3% of its territory. The Gobi Desert is heterogeneous in relief and natural world, unlike other deserts, there are mountains, steppes, and semi-deserts here. Desert areas “come to life” in the spring – at this time, some types of grasses and shrubs appear.

Of the animals in Mongolia, yaks are ubiquitous, which were domesticated in these parts about 7000 years ago. The forests are inhabited by brown bear, lynx, deer, elk, wild deer, roe deer, musk deer, wolverine, boar, squirrel and sable. In the mountains you can see argali, mountain goats and snow leopards. Red wolves, foxes, hares, wild boars, gazelle antelopes, saigas and numerous rodents live in the steppes and semi-deserts. In the Gobi desert there are wild havtgai camels, desert bears mazalai, wild donkeys kulans and gazelle antelopes. In recent years, the population of once extinct Przewalski’s wild horses has been restored in the steppes and deserts of Mongolia. About 450 species of birds live in the country, among which there are various large birds of prey such as golden eagles, vultures and vultures. 75 species of fish live in the rivers and lakes of Mongolia:

Minerals in Mongolia

Mongolia has deposits of brown and hard coal, oil, iron, tungsten, copper-molybdenum ore, zinc, fluorspar, phosphorites, gold, silver, uranium, asbestos, granite and marble.

Banks in Mongolia

Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 17:00 with a lunch break from 12:30 to 14:00.

Money in Mongolia

The official currency of Mongolia is the Tugrik. In circulation there are banknotes of 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 3 and 1 tugrik, as well as coins of 200, 100, 50 and 20 tugrik.

You can exchange foreign currency in banks, exchange offices and hotels in large cities; outside large cities, foreign currency exchange is difficult. It is easiest to exchange US dollars, however, denominations issued before 1990 are most often not accepted for exchange. US dollars are universally accepted for payment, and in some stores and markets you can pay in Russian rubles. Non-cash payment for services is developed only in the capital of the country. In order to avoid the additional cost of exchanging traveler’s checks, it is best to take traveler’s checks in US dollars with you on your trip.

Course: 1 Mongolian Tugrik (MNT) = 37.91 USD

Political State in Mongolia

According to politicsezine, Mongolia is a democratic parliamentary republic. The head of state is the president. The president is elected for a 4-year term by popular vote. Executive power is concentrated in the hands of the government (Cabinet of Ministers), headed by the Prime Minister. The State Great Khural is the supreme body of state power and the legislative body of Mongolia. The State Great Khural nominates candidates for the presidency and appoints members of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Administratively, the country is divided into 21 aimags (provinces) and 1 municipal district – Ulaanbaatar.

Population in Mongolia

90% of the country’s population are Mongols, among which are the northern Khalkha Mongols and the western Mongols Oirats. The northern Mongols are the most numerous, accounting for about 86% of the population. The second largest ethnic group in Mongolia are Kazakhs (6%). Also in the country live Buryats, Barguts, Dariganga, Khotons, Darkhats, Uriankhians, Tsaatans, Tungus – Khamnigans, Kirghiz, Russians and Chinese.

The official language of Mongolia is Mongolian (Khalkha-Mongolian). Kazakh, Russian and Chinese languages are also widely spoken in the country.

Cuisine in Mongolia

The main components of Mongolian dishes are meat (more often lamb, less often beef or horse meat, as well as yak meat), dairy products, rice, vegetables such as potatoes, cabbage, turnips, legumes and spices: black and Japanese pepper, cinnamon, bay leaf, star anise.

Of the meat dishes, one can single out “khorkhog” (meat poorly cooked without salt and spices), “boodog” (meat brisket fried from the inside with red-hot stones), baked goat “bakhan” directly in the skin, “bolkhoyryuk” (meat boiled in boilers), cooked steamed dumplings “buuz”, dried meat “borts”, meat noodles, fried in boiling fat or steamed pies stuffed with raw meat and fried pies with horsemeat “khashur”.

There are always dairy products on the table: koumiss, ryazhenka “tarag”, dried cottage cheese “arul”, cheese “byaslag”, soft cheeses “neugen-pyshtak” and “kyskan-pyshtak” and a mushy mass of saran roots boiled in milk with sugar and honey “mychota tibgen”.

From drinks, the Mongols drink sour milk “airan”, a drink made from mare’s milk – koumiss, as well as traditional Mongolian tea “sutei tsai” with the addition of milk, salt and butter. Local alcoholic drinks are prepared from mare’s milk. These are “arkhi”, “airag” and “shimin arkhi”.

Cuisine in Mongolia

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