Well, I'm a Mongolian and to give you some gut honest advice,
YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON THERE(not the sweet Genghis Khan stories you heard):
In 1990 when socialism ended, the country itself became exposed to alcohol to the max, like its very sad how the country is addicted to it. So when socialism ended the social class became very vivid. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer. It's just like New York a bit(Ulaanbaatar). However, mongolias main population is in Ulaanbaatar and honest opinion, Ulaanbaatar is so exposed alcohol, the government gives money to the poor and of course the poor gets lazier and drinks because they have never been given this freedom. While the rich gambles and drinks even more, ultimately creating a generation of so many exposed homeless children. Mongolias biggest struggle is also liver cancer and many die from cirrhosis.
ULAANBAATAR IS LIKE:
Massive amount of homeless kids(not sure now after human trafficking)
But I'm not even sure anymore
, apartment prices are jacked there
Get all your shots!!!!!!
Always keep a travelers dictionary with you
Please don't have sexual intercourse, their std rate is increasing
Keep a pocket full of chocolate and give to any homeless kid(a kind gesture will be new to the)
Really observe the poor
Because your an American you might get a lot of attention, stay humble
Keep a journal
Keep hand sanitizer
Watch out for the streets(not the best drivers)
Buuz(dumpling but the best)
Okay I know I probably made mongolia sound like the worst place, but better me not sugar coat it for you. You have to understand that this country is in the midst of trying to rebuild their government and is exposed to sex violence, alcohol, media. I don't want you to go there blind without knowing the current affairs. I'm biased that way because I grew up there and then raised here, The country is breathtaking. So me personally I would make it a plan to go there. At the same time I warned u which you shouldn't be scared of mongolia it was basic tourist guideline. It's a dying country, many left the country, many developed liver problems, the younger generation is exposed to the negative, rich just gets richer, so help out as much as you can, give many people especially the younger kids your come across, give them hope. To them, you are there hope of America. Ulaanbaatar is a city which lost its ethics and morals. So it's important to give much hope you can as u travel.
There are three generations you need to know.
-the Older Generation(50-80) are good company to keep! They are the oldest generation which means their morals are as Mongolian as you can get. They are very into the traditions and are true Mongolians. They knew the country before socialism.
-the Middle Generation:(20-45) if your in Ulaanbaatar avoid these age groups!!!! When socialism ended they were teenagers or in their twenties, which means they were the ones effected by the violence sex, alcohol. They were the ones who failed to redefine mongolia as the government failed. Not all of them are bad, but they are the exposed generation.
-the Younger Generation(1-18) In Ulaanbaatar, they are the byproduct of the environment which they were raised in. With parents as either, alcoholics, or violent, or materialistic they get exposed at such a young age, majority were runaways and are homeless. They too start to delve into alcohol at an young age or poverty. They are not shown what life outside the country is like. This is the sympathetic generation. remember, they are the generation most effected by their parents addiction which makes them a byproduct of their environment. So when they see you, an American, your image alone will give them a sense of hope and curiosity. Give much kindness as you can to the little ones.
I am a byproduct, my father became a huge alcoholic, like many of the men at this time, also very abusive. At age four and five I was exposed to their struggle. I saw no hope, I saw only what my parent unknowingly compressed on me, no morals, no role model to look up to. but as a tourist you must understand this. Wen I was five two Mormon missionaries came to my school and taught us the alphabet. I remember that they looked like angels to me, they were so nice and patient. I will never forget it they gave me a glimpse of hope. So mongolia is a beautiful place just be very kind and humble, your simple good deed will be a memory to someone there, because you show them another life. so keep a journal write your experiences, observe these three generation with avid ears, and an open heart. Good luck on you journey