The real appeal of Mongolia will always be in its seemingly endless green steppe, and horseback trips will forever be the best way to experience it, but to get there, you have to first navigate the country's capital, Ulaan Battor. And for years, a lack of infrastructure (or much of anything) limited access there.
Now, as the government introduces plans to double the country's foreign visitors to two million in the next few years, that's changing. Foreign hotel chains are breaking ground in Ulaan B, and a new domestic airline, Mongolian Airlines, started flights last year and has plans for adding additional destinations within Asia this year.
A number of outfitters, including MIR Corp. and Nomadic Journeys are starting to lead horse-pack trips here, overnighting in traditional gers and visiting with reindeer herding families near Mongolia's alpine Lake Hovsgol.