Operating at a different pace of life, Mongolia really is the home of nomadic clans and Chinggis Khan (Genghis Khan); a destination for adventurous groups. Our trips to Mongolia are open to any group with a passion for volunteering together in the developing world; including those at school, in a community group, at university or working together.
A great variety of projects are on offer to groups volunteering in Mongolia. Volunteers will be based in Ulaanbaatar; where traditional tents sit alongside soviet-style high rise blocks, and traditional practices meet the modern world. Groups can join Care/Teaching, Community, Sports, Cultural – including the Nomad Project, Language, Medicine & Healthcare – including Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing and Physiotherapy, and Law & Human Rights Projects.
General info on Mongolia
Mongolia, famed for its vast, remote and natural landscapes, is truly a step back in time. Its history encompasses Chinese dynasties and Soviet Communism, as well as once being the home of Chinggis Khan (Genghis Khan) and his Mongol empire which stretched from Indonesia through to Austria, a total of 22% of the Earth’s land area!
The sparse population of the countryside live nomadic lifestyles living in canvas yurts and herding sheep and cattle. Notorious for being incredibly friendly and wanting to bond with travellers, these people are what make travelling through this remote country such a unique and unforgettable experience.
In a distinct contrast to the nomadic lifestyle is the life of those living in the urban areas, particularly the unhurried capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Here, you will find gers (traditional tents) sat alongside Soviet-style high-rise blocks. The capital is ever-changing with many of its inhabitants buying wholeheartedly into capitalism, consumerism and the global economy. Despite being surrounded by countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and China who challenge democracy, Mongolia is seen as a model emerging democratic state eager to be a part of the global community. From this, they understand that tourism will play a major part in its development and so are very open to any visitors.
Where we are based in Mongolia
The majority of our groups will stay in hotels in the centre of Ulaanbaatar, though host families can be arranged for smaller groups if preferred. The contrasts on Mongolia don’t just end between its countryside and its urban areas; Ulaanbaatar itself is full of contrasts. Businessmen in expensive suits walk alongside nomads, mud-covered 4x4 cars fresh off the mountains drive alongside modern, expensive saloons and brand new high-rise tower blocks overlook tent-filled suburbs.
Travel and Tourism in Mongolia
In the evenings and at the weekends, groups have free time which they can choose to spend as they please. Ulaanbaatar has a lot to offer even in the evenings, a multitude of restaurants serve international cuisine from all across Asia, theatres regularly put on traditional and contemporary plays and bars and clubs are regularly open very late so there is always something to do. You will also get some afternoons off which should definitely be spent hiking around the ‘four holy peaks’ that flank the capital.
At the weekends, groups can choose where they wish to take a trip and what they want to do. This is a great time to get out of Ulaanbaatar and experience the true beauty of this country, from its open grassland plains, its towering peaks of the remote Altai Mountains to its fossil-filled Gobi Desert! Travel opportunities might take you across the Steppe, where you could stay with a local nomadic tribe in a Ger. The unusual experiences you'll have will really make the trip worthwhile. You may find yourself gathering camel dung to put on the fire! You will certainly be riding horses, and drinking the traditional Mongolia drink airaag, fermented milk which can be either alcoholic or non-alcoholic.
Regardless how you choose to spend your time in this remote and beautiful country, you will always find something to do that you will never forget!