Nestled in between Russia and China lies the country of Mongolia a place where east truly meets west. If you are a travel photographer and truly want to take some unique pictures depicting not just the local landscape but the native culture as well then you really need to book your flight to Mongolia. The country has a rich history, after all it is the birthplace of Genghis Khan, stunning architecture and many of the people still live according to ancient nomadic traditions. If you want to capture the culture of Mongolia then here are some places and activities you want to check out.
The History of Mongolia
Since you can’t take your camera back in time the next best thing is to capture some pictures of the architecture and historical sites found around the country and there are plenty of them. You can find buildings and ruins that go all the way back to the Stone Age along with cave paintings and ancient stone sculptures. While you’re here you will want to grab some shots of the many circular buildings you find all over the country. Mongolian really does have its own architectural style that you can see here.
The predominant religion in the country is Tibetan Buddhism and there are some beautiful temples and monasteries throughout the country. It is in the construction of temples that you can see the shift in architecture from circular buildings to the more common rectangular shaped temples. Though the temples and monasteries are more modest than those you would find in Tibet, the Gandan Monastery at sunset needs to be on your photography bucket list. The light and composition makes for some fabulous pictures.
Capturing the People
Two of the things that help define a culture are there music and sport. In Mongolia you’re not going to find football (soccer) or many of the other sports you watch in the West, here horse racing and archery will predominate. Remember, this was how Genghis Khan built an empire! Mongolians today are still a nomadic culture and travel on horseback. Give Mongolian life a try yourself with a tour of the mountains on horseback you can grab some amazing photos of the landscape along the way.
If you want to capture the real people and places of Mongolia, then partake in the local events and festivals. Try out some of the tours that take you into the countryside where you can grab some shots of a more authentic Mongolian culture and day to day life.