If there is a best time of year to visit Mongolia, it is certainly July. The annual Naadam Festival is the highlight of the Mongolian summer. A trifecta of traditional Mongolian wrestling, archery, and long-distance horse racing, the Naadam Festival showcases some of the country’s most impressive traditions.
Driving out of Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian countryside unfolds like a blanket of fields and mountains. The impossibly big sky with its cumulus clouds and cool, fresh air lend the area an unparalleled vastness.
The first noticeable image on the road from Chinggis Khaan Airport to Ulaanbaatar is the billboards. Large, shiny, and all in English. Far from the land of Genghis Khan, this is the land of minerals and mining. The land of Western investors. But then we drive a bit further and start to notice something else: sheep. And goats. And horses, cows, and yaks. We see large white gers, or nomadic tents, and we feel like we’ve been fooled by these billboards of westernness. Start looking up from the herds and we’ll notice giant green hills, and above them a vast blue sky that climbs to infinity above the horizon. The air is clean. The landscape is bucolic. It might be pastoral paradise.