When travelers have their eyes set on traveling to Asia, this often-overlooked country probably doesn’t come to mind.
Off the beaten path, away from more popular Asian wonders, such as Tokyo, Bali, and Bangkok, lies a beautiful country waiting to be discovered by many.
With new attractions and infrastructure ready to take on an influx of travelers, Mongolia is a place that should be on the radar of those seeking adventure.
Here are 5 reasons to visit this remote destination:
Visa Waivers For 61 Passports
Recently, the government of Mongolia announced 34 additional countries where tourists will not need a visa to enter.
Many of those nations are in Europe, but the good news for Americans and Canadians is they will be allowed to stay in the country for at least 30 days.
USA passports – up to 90 days allowed
Canadian passports – up to 30 days allowed
Mongolia’s government locked down the country during the COVID-19 pandemic and now wants to increase tourism.
That’s why they have launched the “Visit Mongolia” year campaign, aimed at bringing in 1 million tourists per year until 2025.
“We aim to receive up to 1 million tourists a year in Mongolia. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has announced 2024 as Year of Tourism. Within this frame, an online platform named ‘mongoliatravel.guide’ to promote Mongolia abroad is being developed. Thus, the platform will be introduced to the diplomatic missions through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and greetings from Prime Minister will be delivered to every tourist who received an electronic visa,” – Minister of Environment and Tourism, Bat-Ulzii Bat-Erdene
More Accessible With New Airport
After many delays over the years, the new Chinggis Khaan International Airport has opened outside the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.
The other airport was much smaller and unable to handle as many tourists as the country is seeking to attract.
The new airport will be able to accommodate approximately 3 million passengers, including new ‘budget’ routes within Asia.
What may be even more exciting is there are ongoing negotiations to bring direct flights to the U.S.!
While Mongolia has never been a hotspot for tourism, perhaps the most well-known event is the annual Naadam Festival.
Naadam is considered a national holiday due to its deeply engrained roots dating back to the rule of Genghis Khan.
This festival takes spectators back in time to the days of wrestling, horse racing and various archery competitions that Genghis Khan used to train his soldiers.
The festival is held in Ulaanbaatar and will be a hot ticket this year since it will be the 100-year anniversary.
The highly anticipated event is held on July 11th and expected to be jam-packed.
New Museum In The Capital
While Mongolia has a chaotic history, they are proud to show off their journey to become who they are today.
The newly opened Chinggis Khaan Museum in the capital city offers a fresh take on the history of Mongolia.
An estimated 10,000 important artifacts are on display covering 2,000 years of history, which take visitors on a deep dive through the former Mongol Empire.
The museum is 8 stories high and offers 6 permanent exhibits. An additional pair of exhibits will be rotating.
English-speaking tours are offered every weekend and the best part of all is its absolutely free of charge!
Growing Music Festival Scene
Travelers most likely don’t have Mongolia on their list when it comes to the latest music festivals to attend.
A growing music scene is happening with international bands and DJ’s headlining events such as:
- Spirit of Gobi
- INTRO Electronic Music Festival
- Kharkhorum 360 Visual Art & Music Experience
Of course, it’s not just international talent being brought in. Mongolia is proud of their own emerging music scene of local artists, ranging from folk singers to rappers.
Mongolian musicians are hitting the stage too, making Mongolia one of the most underrated places to experience up and coming artists.
Even though Mongolia has high hopes for tourism, that doesn’t mean they have to change. There are many authentic experiences for tourists to embrace.
One hands-on cultural experience is learning archery, which is one of the oldest sports in the country.
Those wanting to learn this intense skill can join an academy, where they will attend sessions from local experts.
Another way to immerse yourself into Mongolian culture is to learn about the increasingly popular ancient tradition of Mongol bichig.
This is the understanding of original Mongol writing, which is structured top to bottom and read from left to right.
Expert calligraphers teach visitors at the Erdenesiin Khuree Mongolian Calligraphy Center in the town of Karakorum to learn about Mongolia’s pastime through its unique script.
Many enjoy seeing the traditional yurts full of art displays of local calligraphers and artists.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com