Mongolia is best known in the West for the great 12 and 13th century conquests of Ghenghis Khan, whose armies created an empire encompassing East and Southeast Asia, parts of Europe, Central and West Asia. The nation of Mongolia has a long history of nomadism; a fairly inhospitable land area, consisting of the Gobi dessert, semi-arid steppes and rugged mountains, it is still sparsely inhabited. Long engaged in conflicts with China, in recent times, Mongolia has been heavily controlled by the Soviet Union. Today, while 49% of its people are still nomads, it is developing alternative sources of income and modernizing its cities. As in Tibet, its people are mainly Tantric Buddhists, a form of Buddhism particularly compatible with traditional Shamanism. For more information on Mongolia, please click on the above buttons.