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Mongolia

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Activities in Mongolia

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HORSEBACK RIDING

One of the most time-honored things to do in Mongolia, horseback riding is and always has been central to life on the steppes.

Horses and stirrups enabled the Mongols to invade China around 200 BC, which caused the emperor Qin Shi Huangdi to unite the walls and create the Great Wall of China. Since the time of the Huns in 200 BC Mongolian life and horsemanship has not changed much, however life in China has. The Great Wall of China remains a monument to the incompatibility of two peoples, but the Mongols remain on horseback, using the same training techniques today that enabled their armies to invade Europe. This is a living cultural heritage, not an historical artifact or display of ancient ways for tourists.

It's nearly impossible to picture Mongolia without a horse and rider somewhere in the mental image, so defining is the horse to Mongolian culture. When in Rome, drink some wine; when in Mongolia, ride a horse. Horseback riding in Mongolia is an amazing adventure through which it's possible to join in this ancient and vibrant tradition of the steppes, as well as experience something of Mongolian daily life.

Experience the country's sweeping, starkly beautiful landscape with a half- or full-day horseback ride in Mongolia. Horseback excursions can easily be arranged from a number of locations, particularly the Arburd Sands area. Longer treks, from one overnight to a week or more, may be arranged. These are strictly camping excursions, and you may rest assured you'll find yourself far from the madding crowds.

The Arhangai, known as the "Switzerland" of Mongolia, is a beautiful ride. Your guide will know the most scenic trails through this lushly forested region. Stop for tea and a snack at a family's ger, then camp along the river at night. More experienced riders will savor the remote and challenging terrain in the northern Mongolian province of Khovsgol.

(Note: Please consider that Mongolian horses are very demanding mounts and may not be suitable for the inexperienced.)