7 Best Places To Visit In Mongolia
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A land where you can experience wide-open spaces, cobalt blue skies, forests, deserts, crystal clear rivers, and lakes, and the traditional hospitality of the nomads that is known for vast, rugged expanses and nomadic culture, Mongolia is a nation bordered by China and Russia which is truly one of the world’s last undiscovered travel destinations and the safest country to visit. It is an explorer’s dream, with natural wonders like the Gobi Desert and annual festivals such as Naadam that boasts of unique history dating back to the Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan but it is seemingly untouched by tourism. In simple words, Mongolia is a land of adventure, horses, nomads, and blue sky which you should definitely add to your Asia travel bucket list. Now, how about finding some of the best places to explore when you’re in Mongolia? Let’s find out.
Here are the 7 Best Places To Visit In Mongolia.
1. Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is one of the national parks of Mongolia where the Terelj tourist zone has a number of tourist camps which is connected with Ulaanbaatar by a paved road. It is one of the most visited areas in Mongolia due to its magnificent scenery where you can enjoy the activities like hiking, rock climbing, swimming, rafting, riding, and bird watching. It is really impressive with massive rock formations set among scenic valleys and hills with a winding river and groves of trees. So, if you like adventure activities such as hiking, rafting, horse or camel riding, and visiting the Nomad family where you can stay overnight in a traditional yurt for a short period then definitely this is the real place to fulfill all of your wishes.
2. Orkhon Valley
Orkhon Valley is located North of the province of Ovorkhangai, in the central part of Mongolia which encompasses an extensive area of pastureland on both banks of the Orkhon River and includes numerous archaeological remains dating back to the 6th century. The basin of the Orkhon River has many historical vestiges due to many successive nomads had been living in the valley since the prehistoric period and that’s why this area is often considered as the cradle of the nomadic civilization of the steppes. It’s a must-visit when you’re in Mongolia where the valley is an outstanding example of various significant stages of development in human history, from trading posts to capital.
3. Flaming Cliffs
The Flaming Cliffs site, also known as Bayanzag is one of the most famous palaeontological sites in the world which are a prime example of what’s known as a Djadochta Formation, layers of sand, and calcareous matter. The Flaming Cliffs which are located in the heart of the Gobi Desert are home to the fossils of ancient creatures from the dog-sized herbivore Protoceratops to the ferocious predator Velociraptor. In the evening, these desert cliffs glow with a fiery red light that seems to mimic the radiance of the setting sun that is best seen from below or across the escarpment. But no matter where you stand or what time you visit, you can still witness the breathtaking magnitude and raw beauty of the place come to life so don’t miss it.
4. Bogd Khan Mountain
The Bogd Khan Mountain is a mountain in Mongolia that overlooks the nation’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, from a height of 3000 feet above and to the south of the city. It is great for hiking and it is popular for its forest with larch trees, grasslands, stunning plants, and its animal life which has over 220 species of plants, some rare animals like red deer, musk deer, Siberian deer, Siberian ibex, wild boar and many species of birds such as common buzzard, woodpecker, stork, and others. The Bogd Khan Mountain has been the most ancient national park of the country since 300 years ago and also the home for a historical monastery, built in the 18th century and renovated in the 1990s after the political purge of the 1930s. It has a rich diversity of fauna and flora and its natural settings perfectly allow one to go hiking, mountain biking or simply enjoying fresh air and tranquillity.
Olgii is the capital of the Bayan-Olgii Aimag of Mongolia that is located in the extreme west of the country where everywhere you look in the city, you will see rugged mountains rising up in the distance. This and the remoteness of the city from Ulanbator (over 1,000 miles away) gives the place a pleasing ‘frontier’ feeling. It has 4 mosques and is known for its Kazakh music, embroideries, and art, and of course for its Eagles Festival. So don’t forget to witness their clothes, customs, and low, mud-brick houses of the Kazakh population where you may feel like you’ve left Mongolia and flown into Kyrgyzstan.
Ulaangom is the capital of Uvs Province in Mongolia which is located on the slopes of the Kharkhiraa mountain, 26 km southwest from the lake Uvs Nuur shore and 120 km or 70 miles south from the Russian border. It is considered to be the coldest province in the country. It has a population of around 27,000 which serves as a good base to explore the north-west corner of Mongolia. So don’t miss to explore Ulaangom which is yet to be discovered by travelers from all around the world.
7. Uvs Lake Basin
Uvs Lake Basin is an endorheic basin located on the territorial border of Mongolia and Tuva, a republic of the Russian Federation. The basin is part of the Central Asian Internal Drainage Basin that is named after Uvs Lake, a large saline lake situated in the western part of its drainage basin. The site is made up of 12 protected areas representing the major biomes of eastern Eurasia. UNESCO has recognized this northernmost part of the Great Lakes Basin as a World Heritage Site in two categories. First, for the presence of rare and endangered animals and plants. And second, for its untouched and pristine native landscapes. The surrounding area consists of steppes, mountains, forests, wetland, and deserts so don’t miss to explore this amazing lake when you’re in Mongolia.