The one minute summary on Mongolia

This is it: one minute to the best info on Mongolia. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Mongolia, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.

The Mongols gained fame in the 13th century when under Chinggis KHAN they established a huge Eurasian empire through conquest. After his death the empire was divided into several powerful Mongol states, but these broke apart in the 14th century. The Mongols eventually retired to their original steppe homelands and in the late 17th century came under Chinese rule.

Mongolia won its independence in 1921 with Soviet backing and a communist regime was installed in 1924. The modern country of Mongolia, however, represents only part of the Mongols’ historical homeland; more ethnic Mongolians live in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China than in Mongolia. Following a peaceful democratic revolution, the ex-communist Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) won elections in 1990 and 1992, but was defeated by the Democratic Union Coalition (DUC) in the 1996 parliamentary election. The MPRP won an overwhelming majority in the 2000 parliamentary election, but the party lost seats in the 2004 election and shared power with democratic coalition parties from 2004-08.

The MPRP regained a solid majority in the 2008 parliamentary elections but nevertheless formed a coalition government with the Democratic Party that lasted until January 2012. In 2009, current President ELBEGDORJ of the Democratic Party was elected to office and was re-elected for his second term in June 2013. In 2010, the MPRP voted to retake the name of the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), a name it used in the early 1920s. Shortly thereafter, a new party was formed by former president ENKHBAYAR, which adopted the MPRP name. In the 2012 Parliamentary elections, a coalition of four political parties led by the Democratic Party, gained control of the Parliament.

That was it. I promised one minute.

For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.

  1. Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in  Mongolia
  2. Does my current phone work in  Mongolia ? Tips to cell phone usage in  Mongolia
  3. Local food you should try in  Mongolia and No miss drinks in  Mongolia

Now, cheers to the most Mongolia aware person at the cocktail party.

What are the key history moments for Mongolia?

The recorded history of ancient Mongolia dates back to third century BC when the Xiongnu came to power among many other nomadic tribes. Due to illiteracy and nomadic lifestyle, little was recorded by Huns of themselves. They first appear in recorded Chinese history as “Barbarians” against whom the walls were built. Those walls later became known as the Great Wall of China.

Mongolia  photo

Photo by tiarescott

There have been several Empires in Mongolia after the Hun Nu. For example, the A Tureg Empire around 650AD, with its capital approximately 110km north of Har Horin (Kharkhorum). There was also the Uighur Empire, with its capital Har Bulgas (Khar Bulgas or Xar Bulgas) near Har Horin. The Khitans who controlled North China around 1000AD as the Liao Dynasty had an administrative center (Har Bukh) 120km to the northeast. The Government of Turkey has been promoting some Turkish Empire monuments and there is a museum full of artifacts at the Bilge Khaan site. The struggle for mere existence and power over other tribes kept going until the time of Genghis Khan. Chinggis Khan, as he is known in Mongolia, came to power and united the warring tribes under the Great Mongol Empire in 1206. He was proclaimed Genghis Khan (Chingis Haan), meaning ruler of all Mongol tribes.

The Mongolian Empire was extended all the way to eastern Europe under Genghis Khan. His grandson, Kublai Khan, subsequently conquered much of China, to establish the Yuan Dynasty. The Mongols were, however, driven back to the steppes by the Chinese Ming Dynasty under Emperor Hongwu. They were later conquered by the Manchurian-Chinese Emperors Kangxi and Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. An independent Mongol nation would only emerge again in 1924 but was not recognised by China until 1945, as the Chinese were forced to grant independence to Outer Mongolia by the Soviet Union, in exchange for Soviet assistance in fighting the Japanese invasion.

Thus, the historic region of Mongolia was split into two, with Outer Mongolia becoming the independent nation of Mongolia, while Inner Mongolia remained a province of China. Since that time, Mongolia has had a close relationship with the Soviet Union (and Russia after the breakup of the Soviet Union). Mongolia even replaced its traditional script with the cyrillic alphabet. (The traditional script, however, continues to be used by ethnic Mongols in China). As Inner Mongolia was the more populated area before the partition, to this day the number of ethnic Mongols living in China outnumbers the population of Mongolia.

The Secret History of the Mongols is one of the great recordings of Mongolian history. Every Mongolian reads the book in the modern Mongolian language. This is one of the the oldest books in the Mongolian language. There are vivid similarities with the Bible in literary style, wording and story telling. It is speculated that the author could have been a Christian or at least was very knowledgeable about the Bible. According to Hugh Kemp, Qadag (pp 85-90, Steppe by Step) is the most likely candidate for authorship of Secret History of the Mongols. He writes about the history of ancient Mongolia and connects the modern reality with the ancient world.

Even though the book is about the history of Christianity in Mongolia, it paints a view of ancient Mongolia from the height of 21st century. The “History of Mongolia” by B. Baabar is a good source for the Modern History of Mongolia. On the trail of Marco Polo covers some travel through the Mongol Empire in the time of Genghis’ grandson, Kublai Khan.

The one minute summary for Mongolia geography

Best places to see in Mongolia

Mongolia is a big country with bad transportation means, so trying to see too many provinces you would spend your holidays inside vehicles. Hôvsgôl (or “Hövsgöl”) lake, in Hövsgöl province, is very beautiful. There is not much architecture in Mongolia, but Amarbaysgalant monastery, Selenge province, in the middle of nowhere, is worth seeing. Interested by the economical aspect? See Erdenet’s open copper mine, the biggest copper mine in Asia, in Orhon province.