Top Ten Places to Visit in Mongolia
Spanning a total land area larger than all of Western Europe, Mongolia is a relatively large country with a sparse population known for being one of the most hospitable. Often described as a country of uniqueness, relatively unexplored, and even a mystery to some, Mongolia encompasses some of the features which appeals to wild travelers, especially those coming from abroad.
Traversing the lands of Mongolia can be fun alone, but there is no denying the fun it brings with some people to company you around. Whether you’re a free-spirited individual who braves the land once walked by Genghis Kahn alone or with people to accompany you as you go with the journey, the following are ten of the best places to visit if you or your company is in Mongolia:
More than just being the capital city of Mongolia, Ulaanbataar is the country’s depiction of a mixture of both modernization and tradition of Mongolia as seen on its infrastructures (Soviet-influenced) as well as the nomadic life of its people with their “gers.”
2. Orkhon Valley Complex
Said to be once a home to many nomadic empires, the Orkhon Valley Complex is significant to the history of Mongolia, even regarded as the link between the East and West. As of 2004, UNESCO recognized the Orkhon Valley Complex as one of its World Heritage.
Also known by name of “The Flaming Cliffs” because of the fiery red-orange coloration of the place during sunset, Bayanzag was made popular for the discovery of the preserved dinosaur eggs in the area.
4. Tsagaan Suvarga
As a huge landmass of rock shaped with the changes in time giving the impression of a ruined city at certain angle, the Tsagaan Suvarga, also known by its English name “White Stupa,” is a protected land area that has been preserved since. Just southwest of it is the Ulaan Suvarga or the “Red Stupa.”
5. Uvur Hoshoot
Said to have dated back in the old Bronze and Iron ages, the Uvur Hoshoot (Uushgiin Deer Stone Complex) is an area that contains megaliths carved and designed with animals, mainly reindeers, and ancient symbols. To date, there are only two known locations to contain the same stone sculpture – Siberia and Mongolia.
6. Lake Hovsgol
Making an estimated 1% to 2% of the world’s fresh waters, Lake Hovsgol is referred as the Blue Pearl or Mother Ocean among the natives of Mongolia and is a younger sister lake to Lake Baikal.
7. Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
Just located south of Mongolia’s tallest mountain, Tavan Bogd, the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park contains one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site — Petroglyphic Complexes of the Mongolian Altai.
8. Khorgo Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park
A home to some of the most endangered flora and faunas as well as beautiful mountain sceneries, the Khorgo Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park is another one of Mongolia’s protected land area located somewhere on the northwest of Ulaanbataar. It is, however, most known for the Khorgo volcano crater as well as Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur, a great lake.
9. Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
Popular for its dramatic rock formations, sometimes a display of animate objects, the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is just 70 kilometers away from Ulaanbataar.
10. Hustain Nuruu National Park
Possibly most appealing to biologists who would like to get a first-hand experience with the place’s endemic flora and fauna such as the wild Przewalski (although not solely), the Hustain Nuruu National Park is a place of rich biodiversity that is likely to surprise as it is to marvel to anyone.