Quotes About Mongolia (That Will (Probably) Make You Want To Make You Visit)

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Quotes About Mongolia (That Will (Probably) Make You Want To Make You Visit)

It seems, for a majority of people, when they mention to their friends or family that they are planning on visiting  Mongolia the reaction tends to be ‘Mongolia? Where is that exactly? …’ or, ‘Mongolia? Why? Are you mad?’ … or, ‘Mongolia?’ Don’t they only eat mutton?’

 For those that have visited, the reasons are obvious – the vast weathered landscapes, the way Mongolian people make their lives amidst those landscapes, the way Mongolians embrace change and adaptation, the traditions that still run deep in the 21st century, the wildlife (snow leopards – not that you’ll see one but it’s exciting enough to be in the same region)… I could go on. But, for those who have not visited, here are a few quotes about Mongolia that have always managed to get under my skin or ones that express the way I feel about the country.  Most of these quotes about Mongolia are lines from books and provide insights that make me reflect on my time in Mongolia over the years … or inspire me to learn more and to get out there and keep on discovering.

Mongolian Humour

Jess:  When was the Gobi Desert an inland sea?
Turuu: Back when I was a fish.

Mongolian Weather

‘On arrival and learning that the temperature was minus 18 degrees I overheard a fellow traveller say ‘thank God. Looks like Mongolia’s experiencing a warm spell.’ Benedict Allen, Edge of Blue Heaven



‘Their resources were limited and their hospitality boundless.’ Stanley Stewart, In the Empire of Genghis Khan

A Mongolian ger in our blogpost about quotes about Mongolia

The home of herders Naraa and Bujee at Gorkhi Terelj National Park in Mongolia’s Tuv Aimag

Landscapes of Mongolia

‘The Gobi Desert seems like earth reduced to its most basic elements: rock, sky, glaring sunlight and little else. The apparent emptiness is both compelling and intimidating. But the Gobi is not empty, it is filled with space, sky, history and landscapes.’ Conservation Ink

‘The steppe has one other unchanging characteristic: day and night, summer and winter, in foul weather or fine weather, it speaks of freedom. If someone has lost his freedom, the steppe will remind him of it.’
Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman

‘From the air Mongolia looks like God’s preliminary sketch for earth, not so much a country as the ingredients out of which countries are made: grass, rock, water and wind.’ Stanley Stewart, In the Empire of Genghis Khan

‘Like a fairy city, it is ever changing. In the flat light of midday the strange forms shrink and lose their shape; but when the sun is low the Flaming Cliffs assume a deeper red, and a wild and mysterious beauty lies with the purple shadows in every canyon.’ Roy Chapman Andrews, The New Conquest Of Central Asia

Mongolia's Flaming Cliffs in our blogpost quotes about Mongolia

Bayanzag in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. In the western world we know the red sandstone rock formations as the Flaming Cliffs as this is what they were named by the 19th Century scientist-explorer Roy Chapman Andrews. However, the Mongolian name for the same region is Bayanzag which means ‘Rich in Saxauls’ and shows what is important for Mongolian people – the small desert shrub that is nurtured by the rare outwash from the surrounding gullies. Image by our guest Tammy McCorkle

Mongolian Culture / Way Of Life

The Australian adventurer Tim Cope was crossing Mongolia on horseback. Having had his horses stolen one night close to the start of his trip, the following day Cope spotted a herd of horses moving swiftly with a single horseman in charge. On approach, Cope recognised his two horses among the pack. ‘These two horses came to me this morning,’ the horseman said grinning. ‘You must have tied them badly.’ The horseman returned the horses without compensation, but insisted that Cope understand an important unwritten rule of the steppe: ‘A man on the steppe with no friends is as narrow as a finger,’ the horseman said. ‘A man with friends is as wide as the steppe.’

‘There are more animals than men, so they still have the world as god made it, and the men are noble synthesis of Genghis Khan, the warrior, and the Dalai Lama, the gentle religious leader.’ Zahava Hanan, Canadian writer and poet – Alberta, Mongolia and Siberia, the Arctic: The Big Silence

‘Their ancestors lived in the same way for a thousand years, feeling the change of the seasons like moods and moving with them. Their knowledge of this land is ancient, the wind is their breath, the earth is their bed and the dust of the steppe runs in their blood.’ Ian.D.Robinson, Gantsara.

‘In the Mongol perspective, challenges choose us, but we choose how to respond. Destiny brings the opportunity and the misfortunes, and the merit of our lives derives in those unplanned moments.’ Jack Weatherford, Mongol Queens

Why Visit Mongolia?

‘Each time I return I see constant changes alongside the things that never change. I love its paradoxes. its space and hospitality, its freedom and ancient customs. It’s a place of great roadless areas, all known and inhabited since prehistory. It is wild enough for great horned sheep, wolves, snow leopards and the last undomesticated camels; with the lowest human population density on the earth. It is the home of Buddhist hunters and Muslims who toast their guests with vodka. I can’t get enough of it, and probably never will.’ Eagle Dreams: Searching for Legends in Wild Mongolia, Stephen J Bodio

Kazakh eagle hunter in our blogpost about quotes about Mongolia

Mongol Kazakh Sailaukhan. He lives in far western Mongolia in the community of Sagsai – migrating with his herds throughout the seasons. In the winter months, he hunts with his golden eagle. Image by our guest Samantha Reinders

‘We rolled ourselves in our blankets and slept for the first time on Asiatic ground and under the clear sky of Asia…We stood on the threshold of the wide plateau at the entrance of the land of the nomads. We could not have  dreamed of a more captivating entrance to a new country, and when the sun sank upon that day, we felt as though born into a new life – a life which had the strength of the hills, the depth of the heavens and the beauty of the sunrise.’ Henning Haslund-Christensen

If you enjoyed our quotes about Mongolia and want to learn more about the country why not look at our series of virtual tours or look at experiences we offer? Alternatively, explore our blog post on books about Mongolia – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/books-about-mongolia/.

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