Mongolia. The name alone stirs up visions of nomadic herders, thundering horses and, of course, the warrior-emperor Genghis Khaan.
However, the 21st-century Chinese province of Inner Mongolia (内蒙古, Nèi Měnggǔ) is a wholly separate place from the neighboring country of Mongolia itself. The more-visited south of the province is industrialised, prosperous and very much within the realm of China’s modern economic miracle.
Having said that, Inner Mongolia is more than nine times the size of England and the Mongolia of your dreams can be found off the tourist route, amid the shimmering sand dunes of the Badain Jaran Desert or the vast grasslands in the north. Some effort is required to reach these areas, but the spectacular scenery can make it an unforgettable journey.
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