Mongolia is a country, where traditions still play a major role, essentially in the countryside. Some are related to religion, others are inherent to nomadic culture and can take the form of superstitions.
As for cities like Ulaanbaatar, these practices are obviously less present and we see more and more people who do not respect the most of them. Nevertheless, we found it useful to share them with you so you can fully immerse yourself in the Mongolian life during your trip!
Remain standing in the doorway when entering the yurt or house
Refuse drinks or food in the yurt or in the house. It is customary for Mongolians to offer tea and food to welcome guests
Whistle inside the yurt
Lean on the beams of the yurt
Touch somebody’s hat, or even worse, patting their head
Throw water or trash into the fire, which is considered sacred!
Step on the urgaa, kind of lasso to catch the horses
Point at someone
Pee in all natural waters such as lakes, rivers, streams ... The water is also sacred!
Pour milk or milk products into rivers or lakes
Talk or joke about bad things that could happen
Ask for the name of a mountain while it is still in sight
Ask the remaining travel time
Say to often thank you, even for the little things that do not require it
Greet people when entering in the yurt
Give and receive gifts with both hands
Try to speak Mongolian even if your vocabulary is limited: Hello (sain bain uu), Thanks (Bayarla!), Goodbye (bayartai!) ... See our Facebook page for more lessons!
Enter or leave the yurt by the left side
Accept food or drink with your right hand (or both hands)
Bring a few small gifts, such as toys for children
Mount your horse by the left side
Touch the hand, arm, elbow or forearm of a person if you step accidentally on their foot
With all these good pieces of advice, no doubt that your trip in Mongolia will go very smoothly, making your integration more possible! You will then get lasting memories with the nomads!
Horseback Mongolia is a Franco-Mongol travel agency based in Ulaanbaatar since 2006. Between discovery of the country from every angle (landscapes, culture, lifestyle, activities, ..), comfort and authenticity, we strive to complete your journey to the heart of our homeland. Security, quality support and comfort are our main concerns.