About the country

Mongolia (Cyrillic-Mongolian) Монгол Улс
Mongolia (traditional Mongolian)  Monggol ulus.svg
Capital Ulan Bator (Ulaanbaatar)
Currency Tögrög

Mongolia is a very special country, not known to me as a classical tourist destination when researching upon what to explore. It is a very vast country, huge by its size, though close to 50% of its population living in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and its suburbs. I touched Mongolia the first time through a TV-documentary of Sarah Fischer, a travel journalist with a big focus on Mongolia. It immediately touched me, I was desperate to travel to this very special country.
From a historic perspective, Genghis Khan, the founder and first Khan of the Mongolian Empire, conquered most of Eurasia to build one of the largest contiguous empires. Genghis Khan still plays an important role for the definition of a Mongolian identity, especially since the country is squeezed between Russia and China interchangeably trying to conquer Mongolia in the past. In our days, Mongolia is dependent of Russia and china, has a good relationship to both countries, and therefore lacks of the drive for inner development.
The Mongolian language across all its dialects is spoken by approximately 5.2 million people, composed of both the vast majority of residents of Mongolia and many of the ethnic Mongol residents within Inner Mongolia (Autonomous Region within China). The traditional Mongolian script distinguishes itself by writing words from top to bottom (vertically) instead of horizontally, as for any other language. The traditional Mongolian script is still predominantly used within Inner Mongolia (China), while Cyrillic letters have been used within Mongolia since the 1940ies.
The Mongolian currency Tögrög cannot be exchanged outside the country, so any leftovers have to be exchanged to any other currency before leaving the country. I was able to use the ATMs of Khan Bank with my VISA, some cash was definitely important since rural shops do not necessarily have a (functioning) card payment machine.