Trying to find the best places to visit in Mongolia? Well, there are so many incredible places that you can enjoy during your trip. Unfortunately, most of the tourists usually miss their chance to see them because there’s not enough information and adverts about those places.
So as a person who experienced almost all of them, I am here to suggest to you the best of best places to visit in Mongolia!
Karakorum \ Kharkhorin \
Karakorum once was the capital city of the Mongol empire between the 14th and 15th centuries. Just imagine that you could see and feel that ancient city which is only written in the history books by yourself.
Even though it’s not the same as it was during the Mongol empire’s rise, you can still feel the powerful energy of the city. To me, I felt like I used a time travel machine and went back to the 1200s. And the main part of the place you can also visit the earliest surviving Buddhist monastery called ‘Erdene zuu’ in there too.
Terelj National Park
If you don’t want to travel by car too far distances but still want to see beautiful aspects of nature, then Terelj will be the best place for you because it’s located in a part of Ulaanbaatar (the capital city of Mongolia) which means that it will be the nearest choice.
Terelj National Park is surrounded by the Terelj river, rocks, mountains, and trees. I visited there with my family. We rented a horse, went to the souvenir shops, and hiked in the hills which were so fun to do. Also, there are a variety of guest houses, resorts, and Ger camps due to the attraction of tourists.
Lake Khovsgol is one of the biggest and the deepest lakes of Mongolia surrounded by really beautiful nature. You might have heard about this lake by its nickname “Younger sister of Lake Baikal ”. And the water of Khovsgol is so pure that you can truly drink it. It even holds 70% of Mongolia’s fresh water.
But when I visited there the weather was very cold because of the big amount of water. Even though it was summer time I was shivering. So don’t forget to pack some warm clothes and enjoy your trip!
Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
“Altai Tavan Bogd” is the mountain that even includes the highest point of Mongolia (Khuiten Orgil 4374m). It’s home to a variety of wild animals like snow leopards, golden eagles, brown bears, red deer, etc. So it will be the best place for wild travel lovers. And most importantly inside these mountains, there are lots of cave drawings and one of them is in UNESCO.
Orkhon Valley has always been a major attraction for tourists. Because this place was the center part of Mongolia during the Genghis Khan era and the even Karakorum is located here. There are a lot more fascinating things to see there except the Karakorum too. Personally, I really love to visit the waterfall called “Ulaan tsutgalan” in Orkhon valley.
Related: “The Orkhon Valley of Mongolia”
Khustain Nuruu National Park
Khustain Nuruu is specially protected by the Mongolian government. Because so many rare animals live there. Especially, the Takhi (wild horse) is the only and last group of wild horses left on the planet. Even though I wasn’t that lucky to see them, I’ve seen a lot of other rare animals there including foxes, and eagles. But you might get lucky to see them, who knows!
As I mentioned before Ulaanbaatar is the capital city of Mongolia. In this city, you can see the modernity of Mongolia except for the nomadic culture. You can visit shopping malls, national museums, art theaters, and Mongolian food restaurants. But for you to say it is the coldest capital city in the world. So I suggest you visit in the summertime.
You can experience so many different things here. Because Kazakhs nation people live in this area. So you can see their unique culture including the Eagle festival. It’s a very famous festival in Mongolia where they organize competitions with trained eagles. Also ‘Altai Tavan Bogd’ is located in Olgii city too.
Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park
This place is really the definition of ‘Kill two birds with one stone. Because you can see both the extinct volcano mountain Khorgo and the lake Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur from one place. Those two places are located very close to each other. But when I was in Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur, just like lake Khovsgol, it was very cold too. So be prepared for cold weather even in the summertime.
Khangai Nuruu National Park
My favorite thing about this place is in the summertime, this place looks whole green. Everything is covered by grass. And there are mountain forests too. You can sleep in tents and sit next to campfires and travel by horse too. You will experience a real wild adventure in this place.
Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park
This place is the largest national park in Mongolia nearly 27000 kilometers big. So it’s obvious that there will be a lot of incredible places there. For example, there is ‘Yolyn am’ and the edge of the Gobi desert, etc. But I was really amazed by the singing dunes of ‘Khongoryn Els’. It’s the sound that is made when the sand is moved by the wind.
I highly recommend you to visit the ‘The Tsenkher Cave’ in Khovd. Because the researchers said that this place is proof that people from the stone age have lived in Mongolia before. There are cave drawings that were drawn by rocks from 10000-20000 years ago. And also in Khovd, you have to visit ‘Khar Us’ lake which is very wonderful to see.
Elsen Tasarkhai is the sand fracture that looks like the mini version of the Gobi desert. But what makes this place unique is there are rivers and little forests surrounding this place. It’s like everything is mixed together. Also you can rent camels to ride and take some pictures with them. It’s located near Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia.
Amarbayasgalant Monastery is one of the largest monasteries in Mongolia. And it has a rich history to it including surviving ‘Stalinist purges’ like burning the monasteries. But after all this place still remains the central part of it. I have visited there in the summertime. So there were wild strawberries growing in a nearby mountain which was so delicious. That was one of the best parts of the trip for me.
The Gobi Desert
If you are up to another level of extreme travel then this place will be the perfect choice for you. It’s the sixth largest desert in the world that even including China’s land so it means you will see endless sand dunes. Also the weather there is very hot or very cold there’s nothing in between. And you can rent a camel to ride and if you are lucky enough you might see some endangered rare animals too.
The largest lake in Mongolia has located 36km from Ulaangom. Almost 38 rivers flow and make the Uvs Lake. And this place is in UNESCO World Heritage. Also, Ulaangom is very famous for its seaberry which grows there. It tastes very unique and sour. You have to try them too!
I have saved the best one for the last to say. White stupas are the red and huge cliffs that are located in the Gobi. It’s 98 feet high and almost 328 feet wide. The unusual and unique aspect of this place made me speechless the moment I’ve seen it. And I promise that you will have some very cool pictures for your Instagram!