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How does Mongolia compare to Bhutan?

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Nov 6th, 2012, 04:06 PM
  #1
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How does Mongolia compare to Bhutan?

I have been to Bhutan and am interested in travelling to Mongolia. I think that the sights within the two countries will be similar. I would like to hear from travellers who have been to both countries - what are the primarly differences betweeen the two?

Any tour operator recommendations for Mongolia would also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Nov 8th, 2012, 10:35 AM
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I went to Mongolia a few years ago with Nomadic Expeditions

www.nomadicexpeditions.com

(Although I have not been to Bhutan)

I chose the company partially because it was owned by a Mongolian. We had an amazing trip and they gave us excellent customer service. I would recommend them to anyone, and we are always longing to go back.

We found Mongolia to be very geographically different in different regions. The Gobi desert in the South was radically different than the lake in the North near Siberia - and different than the vast plains in the middle of the country. We didn't even make it yet to the Mountains in the West. If you are looking for a varied experince from Bhutan, I believe you can find it in Mongolia.

By the way Nomadic Expeditions also offer trips to Bhutan, so I'm sure they could give you good advice.
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Nov 8th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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Thank you, SavTrav.
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Nov 10th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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Hoping you get someone who has been to both.

Only been to Mongolia. Would think Bhutan would have a more lush environment than steppes of Mongolia.

Tremendously warm people. Fascinating museums and culture in Ulaan Bataar, including UB Opera House with traditional throat singing.

If you have any interest in horseback riding, there are many opportunities in Mongolia. Options for novice riders too. Or if you have no interest in riding, Mongolia is still a great place to visit.

Homestays in gers with those living a nomadic lifestyle are an option.

Altai Mountains offer beautiful habitat and perhaps a visit with golden eagle hunters--use the eagles to hunt.

Gobi was mentioned above--short or long camel rides are possible.

Naadam takes place in Ulaan Bataar each July 11,12,13 (mostly 11 and 12) to celebrate the arts of horseback riding/racing, archery, wrestling. Other cities also have Naadams, sometimes differing dates.

What initially interested me in Mongolia was the Takhi horses (Przewalski horses) that live in Hustai Nuruu National Park, a couple hours from Ulaan Bataar.

From an archeological standpoint, in the west there are huge fields of ancient burial stones and markers, known to local people, through which herds of various livestock graze. Treasures in the meadows.

A link to I Miss Mongolia
http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...s-mongolia.cfm
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Nov 12th, 2012, 04:31 PM
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Thank you, atravelynn.

I am debating between Mongolia or Burma for next year. Would very much like to do some travelling in Asia in 2013.
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Nov 16th, 2012, 05:10 AM
  #6
 
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I've been to both Mongolia and Bhutan and would say they are so completely different. The main things they have in common are they are both off the beaten track Asia destinations and both very beautiful and unique.
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Nov 17th, 2012, 09:17 AM
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Now Burma is in the mix. Might you have gone there too, Mealea?
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Nov 19th, 2012, 11:33 AM
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I am with Mealea. It's hard to think of two more different destinations. Myanmar is different again. Have you actually looked at any guidebooks?
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Nov 20th, 2012, 07:53 PM
  #9
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I have checked for guidebooks for these destinations, the only guidebooks I am aware of are Lonely Planet guides for Mongolia and Burma. I steer clear of Lonely Planets guidebooks, I have been forced to use them on pervious trips to off the beaten track destinations like Syria and Central Asia and found them to be dated and less than reliable.

I am in the process of reading about both destinations online. Not surprisingly it is more difficult to gather information on the off the beaten track destinations.
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Nov 20th, 2012, 08:12 PM
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Where in Central Asia did you go? Have you been to Kazakhstan? I agree about Lonely Planet books, but for this region, they are often the only travel guide on offer.
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Nov 21st, 2012, 12:37 AM
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Really, even if the LP guides are dated (and they always are) you have no other recent options for Burma. Burma is changing so fast that even my report of a year ago is dated in some respects.

I've not been to Bhutan, but we opted for Sikkim rather than Bhutan. Sikkim has incredible Himalayan scenery and no real tourism machine like Bhutan. Read my report from 2010.
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Nov 21st, 2012, 02:53 AM
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Every guidebook is dated as soon as it is published. No guidebook is 100% reliable. I have found LP useful for logistics, although occasionally unreliable. It will certainly give you a reliable impression of the countries concerned.
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Nov 21st, 2012, 06:44 PM
  #13
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Thanks for the additional replies.

Kurosawa, I have been to the Stans in Central Asia.

Kathie and thursdaysd, both make good points about guidebooks. The reason I asked about Monglia is because I have read a fair amount of information on Burma and find that information on Mongolia is harder to find.

I appreciate the help and advise I have received on this thread.
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Nov 25th, 2012, 07:02 AM
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Mongolia is the last country preserved nomadism 100%, Chinggis Khan- history, horses. never been in Bhutan. Mongolian nomads very hospitable, easily can ride horse or camel depending in where you traveling.there are amazing Gobi desert with wonders or fresh lakes within high mountains in the North where nomads settled with many many livestock.both make to feel in the middle of nowhere. save country. i traveled there before. probably you can see on Facebook.
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Feb 14th, 2013, 10:34 AM
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I've just come across your posting. We have been to and love all three - They have similarities in that you will receive a very warm welcome, there is a strong identity and traditions, Buddhist culture and places where you can still have an authentic experience. Mongolia changed our lives, and we spent 5 years travelling until we found a place that could equal the magic...Bhutan. And Burma of course is breathtaking...
The Bradt guidebook is best for Mongolia - from a sense of history and a feel of the country, but not so good for practicalities.
Hope this helps, Karina, Panoramic Journeys
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