Mongolia: travel books to read before you go


This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Mongolia guide provides a selection of travel literature to get you in the mood for your trip.

DatelineDateline Mongolia: An American Journalist in Nomads Land, by Michael Kohn, is a memoir and travelogue written by the author of this guidebook. It recounts his memorable three years working as a reporter for the Mongol Messenger.

The LostLost Country: Mongolia Revealed, by Jasper Becker, describes the author’s travels in Mongolia in the early 1990s and his attempts to uncover the secrets of the purge years that plagued Mongolia in the 1930s.

Wild EastWild East, by Jill Lawless, is a tightly written, very funny account of the author’s experience in Mongolia, during which she spent two years editing the UB Post. This lightning-fast book serves as a good armchair read before visiting Mongolia.

HearingHearing Birds Fly, by Louisa Waugh, describes the year the author spent living in Tsengel, a Kazakh village in western Mongolia. Waugh does an outstanding job of describing the stark landscapes, personal stories and ironies in one of Mongolia’s most remote areas.

EagleEagle Dreams: Searching for Legends in Wild Mongolia, by Stephen J Bodio, describes the remote and enchanting Bayan-Ölgii aimag. It gives a good account of Kazakh contemporary life and the ‘eagle-hunters’.

Among the Mongols, by James Gilmour, was written by a Scottish missionary who travelled to Mongolia in the late 19th century. Some of his observations of life at the time are remarkably compatible with modern Mongolia.

More travel literature reading lists for other destinations can be found here.