Wide open grasslands and vast blue skies characterise the terrain of Mongolia, a country three times the size of France, where horses outnumber people 13 to one.
The vast steppe was the heartland of the great Mongol Empire that Genghis Khan founded in the 13th century and now, as then, many people pursue a nomadic existence in this stark but beautiful expanse.
Fringing the steppe is the enormous Gobi Desert, home to rare Bactrian camels, snow leopards and Przewalski horses. Away from the wilds, around a third of Mongolia's three million people now live in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, a city where the internet, mobile phones and international hotels demonstrate a desire to embrace the modern world.
But even here age-old traditions still exist, not least the colourful annual Naadam Festival, the highpoint of the year for locals and visitors alike.