Next: 50 Must-See Weather Photos from 2012
Tucked between China and Russia, Mongolia seems at first glance to remain magically untouched by time; travelers here are confronted by a vast, wild landscape where nomadic living is still very much the norm and horses outnumber people.
A closer look at this land of dramatic mountains, lakes and gorges reveals growing towns like Ulaanbaatar, relatively teeming with traffic, Internet cafes and vegetarian restaurants.
Today, travel to the country has been made easier with the opening of an entry point at China's Bulgan/Takashiken border, and a number of tour operators, like G Adventures, have begun offering packages to the country.
Adventure travelers can experience Mongolia through long-distance horse trekking, cycling or hiking tours, and by camping with nomadic families in traditional gers, or yurts.
10 Travel Hot Spots for 2013Where to go in the coming year? Any one of these places is worth a visit.