Bookmark and Share

Mongolia Travel Guide

Mongolia — Attractions

Attractions and landmarks in Mongolia are mostly linked with the country’s diverse, magnificent natural beauty and religious buildings, although the majority of its Buddhist monasteries suffered partial or complete destruction during the Soviet era. Those seeking to explore the more distant regions of this unique country will find geographical wonders, high peaks, gorges, and the world’s most forbidding desert.

Altai Tavan Bogd National Park

The magnificent Altai mountain range spans almost 600 miles from Russia to Mongolia and into China, with its five massive glacial peaks known as the Five Saints. The 14,000 foot Khuiten Uul forms part of the Five Peaks overlooking the Potanin River and the region is rich with prehistoric sites dating back to the Paleolithic era between 40 and 12 millennia ago. The traditional occupants of the region are the Kazakh group.
Address: Bavan-Uligi province, Mongolia
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

Great Bogd Mountain and Gorge

The highest peak of the Gov-Altai range is Ikh Bogd, a sacred mountain reaching over 12,000 feet above sea level. Highlights include the dramatic 60-mile gorge, saltwater Orog Lake and the Bichigt Khad caves with Bronze Age drawings nearby. A recent discovery is the White Cave, containing relics of humans from over 700,000 years ago.
Address: Bayankhongor province, Mongolia
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

Gobi Desert

The Gobi Desert isn’t by any means a Lawrence of Arabia-type of picturesque desert featuring rolling sand dunes dotted with oases and warm seas – it’s more an end-of-the-world experience at 5,000 feet above sea level. The vast region contains scrublands frozen in winter, desolate steppes, salt pans, ice lakes, arid plateaus, the remnants of mighty, disintegrated mountain ranges, deep gorges, and a huge moonscape of barren rock incapable of supporting any life. Temperatures can drop from searing to far below freezing over the course of several hours, and even the outer edges populated by camel-herding nomads are some of the world’s most challenging places for human habitation.
Address: southern Mongolia
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

Karakorum

Karakorum, the capital city from which the powerful Mongol Empire was controlled, was built in the early 13th century by order of Mongolia’s most famous son, Genghis Khan. Set in the Orkhon Valley, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the great city was the heart of the fourth major empire of the region, preceded by the Xiongnus, Gokturks and Uyghurs. The city was destroyed by Chinese Ming Dynasty armies in 1388, but was inhabited again 150 years later. Nowadays, it’s one of Mongolia’s most-visited attractions for its ruins, paved roads, adobe and brick buildings showing evidence of heating systems, and stupa temples.
Address: Ovorkhangai province, Mongolia
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

Erdene Zuu Monastery

The oldest surviving Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Mongolia, Erdene Zuu lies close to ancient Karakorum and was founded in 1585. The massive outer walls of the complex feature 100 stupas and, by 200 years after its construction, contained 62 temples. Tragically, on the orders of Joseph Stalin in 1939 when Mongolia was under Russian control, Erdene Zuu and hundreds of other monasteries were destroyed during a purge which killed more than 10,000 monks. The external walls and several temples remain, one of which is used as a museum today. Monks have returned to the site, and Erdene Zuu is once again a working Buddhist monastery.
Address: Ovorkhangai province, Mongolia
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

Khustain Nuruu National Park

Also known as Hustai National Park, this beautiful region bisected by the Tuul River is the home to Mongolia’s famous wild horses, the takhii. The park is a UNESCO biosphere reserve for its almost extinct subspecies, native only to Asia’s central steppes which were only recently reintroduced into the park’s protected environment. The takhii are the last remaining truly wild horses on earth which were never domesticated, and are believed to have separated from the modern domestic horse species some 160,000 years ago. The park itself is a delight for eco-tourists and wildlife enthusiasts with 44 mammal and 217 bird species.
Address: Tov province, Mongolia
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

Hovd

The remote city of Hovd lies almost 1,000 miles from Ulan Bator, although domestic flights can be found. The settlement is famous for its multicultural population of more than 17 ethnicities and nationalities. Each group still uses traditional dwellings, dress and distinctive cultural elements in the forms of music, art and dance. The city dates back to the 17th century and was a hotbed for revolution and the drive for independence during the early part of the 20th century.
Address: Hovd Province, Mongolia
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

Gandan Khiid

Gangan Khiid Monastery is one of the country’s most important religious sites and a top tourist attraction. Built in 1838, the complex suffered partial destruction in the Soviet purge and remained a show monastery for visiting foreign dignitaries until 1990. Nowadays, it’s home to more than 600 monks and its highlight is the Migiid Janresig Sum temple containing hundreds of Buddha statues and a huge gilt-copper image of Janresig.
Address: central Ulan Bator, Mongolia
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

Featured Tours to Mongolia

Close