Stars, blue skies, ice-cold lakes, green valleys, horses, goats, sheep, camels and yaks. Mongolia is simply the nature itself. She is also the country with the smallest population density in the world. With an average of 1.92 persons per km.2, it is no joke that you are more likely to be attacked by a pack of wolves than to be robbed by a thug when you are traveling across this countryside.
If you are tired of living in a city and fed up with modern civilization, forget visiting the capital of Ulaanbaatar despite its interesting mixture of Stalinist architecture and traditional gers (tents). Go out to the countryside and be surrounded by the same nature that the great Genghis Khan traveled through some 800 years ago. The land is almost untouched and remains the same then as it is now.
The breathtakingly beautiful night sky, the reason Mongolia is home to many world-class observatories, is certainly one of a kind and will make you fall in love with someone next to you, simply by looking at the stars together. Thanks to almost non-existent artificial light in the countryside and an average elevation of 1,580 meters, you do not need to count dates for the next meteor shower. Just point your camera to the sky and set an exposure time of 30 seconds. With some luck, you should be able to get three to four meteor tracks in a single frame.
My first encounter with Mongolia was in 1997 when I visited there as part of a volunteer team. Upon landing at the airport, I became obsessed by its beauty and knew that I would return. However, upon my return to Korea, three years of military service followed by ten-plus years of a government job with crazy working hours kept me from pursuing my dream. So it was not until August 2015 that I finally managed to get back to the country, this time fully prepared for a week-long camping trip with my son. The weather was perfect, and the trip was fun.