If you think the world is becoming too crowded a place, a trip to Mongolia will cure you of that notion. With a population of 2.6 million living in a country that is 1.5 million square kilometers, Mongolia's population density of 1.7 people per square kilometer makes it the fourth least densely populated country in the world. Traveling along the flat Mongolian steppe, you will feel every bit of its emptiness. With nothing but open sky to look at for miles and with towering mountains in the distance, a trip to Mongolia will make you feel like a tiny ant in a giant universe.
What to do
Mongolia's isolation, natural beauty and openness to outside guests have led a boom in ecotourism. Adventure travelers can roam the countryside on horse, 4x4 and on trains. They can also use the Gobi as a playground and climb some of the fiercest mountains in the world.
Even if adventure is not your thing, Mongolia is a destination worth visiting if for no other reason than to experience the hospitality of the Mongolian people. Many still hold on to the traditional nomadic ways, living in yurts and living off the land. Experiencing this lifestyle for even a day will make you appreciate just how diverse and how interesting the world in which live can be.
You can book a flight into Chinggis Khaan International Airport (code: ULN), which is just outside the capital of Ulaanbaatar. Airfare tends to be expensive, but the airport can be reached non-stop from many major European and Asian capitals. Some people stop in the country while on the Trans-Siberian railroad. You will definitely want to make sure you have all your documents in place if you choose to go this route. You probably won't have any problems in Mongolia, but entering Russia or China can be a hassle.
Where to stay
There are many hotels throughout Mongolia, but quality is uneven so don't jump at a low price without looking carefully. There are a few hostels in Mongolia as well, and more are sure to open in the coming years.