Stereotypes about Mongolia VS Reality

Mongolia offers genuine nomadic experience. Its landscapes are un-damaged with any human made object. The Gobi desert is the desert of Asia and fifth largest in the whole world. There are dinosaurs’ corpses and other fossils hidden under the sand.

Genghis Khan ruled the area and expanded its territories to parts of China. There are big statues of Genghis Khan and museums mimic his life and war times. There are many other such facts about Mongolia but people know Mongolia for other reasons too.

There are hundreds of false stories and stereotypes which are popular among masses. Many travelers hesitate a little before booking a Mongolia trip. Here are a few popular stereotypes discussed in the light of reality.

1.Mongolians Eat Dogs or Their Gastronomy is Prepared with Dog Fat

No it’s not true at all. Mongolian cuisine consists of meat and dairy products mainly. They eat goat, camel, sheep, yak, cattle, horse and game birds. Horse is not consumed often, and it is a rare delicacy prepared in winter season. Traditional Mongolian cuisine has no space for dog meat.

Some Chinese and Koreans living in Mongolia sometimes eat dogs. But it is very rare and not liked much by the majority population of Mongolia. When you visit Mongolia, you can freely eat from any restaurant without fear of use of dog meat or dog fat in dishes. Dog meat is not sold commonly and restaurants serving dog meat will mention that in their menu. However, most restaurants do not serve dogs or cats at all. 

Sometimes people say Boo Dog is popular in Mongolia and is made from dogs. No, that’s not true!

Boodog is the name of a dish which is a form of BBQ goat or lamb. The word “dog” in the name of the dish is something like the dog word in “hot dogs.” No Mongolian dish is prepared with dog meat or fat.

2.Mongol Emperors Used to Entertain their Guests by Female Dancers, Who Were Killed After Performance and Served as a Dish?

It is very stupid to believe that there is any percentage of truth in this. It is laughable only!

Almost all the rulers in the world had a tradition of taking care of guests' entertainment. For which they hired traditional dancers for performances. Dated back in Mongolia this tradition was also followed but there was nothing like killing dancers for food.

Mongolians are not man eaters at all, they don’t eat their dancers. Mongolia tours are all about exploring true traditions. So when you visit Mongolia you will find their very generous hospitality is always at its peak and they love their traditional art a lot. Mongolian respects their locals and lives like a united tribe. They appreciate their local performers and take care of them as well.

3.Mongolians Travel to Other Countries on Horses or They Only Travel on Horses?

It is quite funny and impractical. Almost all the countries in the world have airports where international flights arrive. Why would Mongolians bare the hassle of travelling on a horse in the 21st century?

There are 19 airports in Mongolia. All the below-mentioned cities have a modern style airport with proper facilities. Some of these are for domestic flights only whereas at some airports international flights arrive too.

Airports for domestic flights arrival and departure:

  • Ulgii (Bayan Ulgii )
  • Khovd
  • Altai (Govi-Altai)
  • Murun (Khuvsgul)
  • Dalanzadgad (South Gobi)
  • Choibalsan (Dornod )
  • Ulaangom (Uvs)
  • Uliastai (Zavkhan)

Airports with international status:

  • Khovd
  • Ulaanbaatar ( Chinggis Khaan)
  • Murun/Moron
  • Ulaangom

In countryside areas due to insufficient roads and other transportation facilities people use horses for commuting. That doesn’t mean they don’t use cars, motorcycles or trucks.

Their city life is similar to any other city. Mongolia vacations offer both, nomadic life as well as luxurious life. While you are in Ulaanbaatar you can have the best hotel or guest house accommodation. There are restaurants, dance clubs, bars, spas, museums, art galleries, parks, etc. When you travel to mountainous areas or the countryside you can live in GER. They are tent houses but have all the facilities of a usual home.

Mongolia vacations are another name for exploring the world. Budget tours Mongolia are an amazing fit for the travel enthusiasts, foodies, nature lovers and explorers.

4.Mongolian Speaks Chinese or Korean Language?

Official language of Mongolia is Mongolian and 95% of the population speaks Oirat and Buryat (two dialects of Mongolian language). Other regional languages are Mongolic Khamnigan, Tuvan and  Kazakh but they are limited to specific geographical locations only.

Mongolians do not speak Mandarin or other Chinese languages. Only a few Chinese citizens speak Mandarin for communication within their community. But they are very few in number.

After Mongolian, Russian is the secondly most widely-spoken language in Mongolia. The last and new generation is however not much familiar with Russian language. You can say the trend has changed.

As tourism in Mongolia is growing rapidly and travelers coming from all around the world are familiar with English language. So the people related to hospitality or tourism businesses are now learning English as a second language. New generation is also taking interest in learning English.

Mongolians don’t know from where this myth of Korean language came from. Their culture, lifestyle and language have nothing to do with Korea at all. So, Korean is not spoken in Mongolia. New generation is now taking interest in Chinese, Korean and other popular languages.

They are learning these languages for educational or professional needs. But still the number of learners is not much. So majority of Mongolia only speaks Mongolian or Russian language.

Hopefully, this piece of writing will help you have a true picture of Mongolia and its traditions. Now you can plan your trip to Mongolia without thinking about all such myths.