Mongolia is the 19th largest and the most sparsely populated independent country in the world. Bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west, Mongolia is the world’s second-largest landlocked country after Kazakhstan. The country is about three times the size of France. Mongolia contains very little arable land, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. With less than three million people, and nearly half of these living in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, there are over a million nomadic or semi-nomadic people who roam this vast area. Tibetan Buddhism is the major religion and Mongols are the primary ethnic group of the country. Mongolia’s political system has been a parliamentary republic since 1992.
Because of the nature of this vast area, the inhabitants of Mongolia have mainly been nomadic people since prehistoric times. In the late 12th century, a Mongolian named Temüjin (more widely known as Genghis Khan) succeeded in uniting the nomadic Mongol tribes and waged a series of military campaigns and forming the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous land empire in world history. The Mongol Empire extended to the west to present-day Ukraine, to Korea in the east, and to Siberia in the north to Vietnam in the south. The Mongol Empire covered more than 20 percent of the land on Earth.
After Genghis Khan’s death, the Mongol Empire was split into four kingdoms. One of these kingdoms, the “Great Khaanate”, which consisted of the Mongol homeland and China, became the Yuan Dynasty under Kublai Khan, Genghis Khan’s grandson. Kublai Khan set up his capital in what is now the city of Beijing and the Yuan Dynasty ruled over China until the middle of the 14th century.
Mongolia National Parks
Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
Hustai National Park (also known as Khustain Nuruu National Park)
Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park
Southern Altai Gobi National Park
Tavan Bogd National Park
Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area
Khorgo Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park
Tsambagarav Lul National Park
Lake Khovsgol National Park