Top Places To Visit in Mongolia
A journey to Mongolia is a high priority for everybody desperately seeking a wild adventure and magnificent scenery. Mongolia is a country where roughly 35% of the people live a nomadic lifestyle. Mongolia is home to majestic mountains, natural beauty, and the rich history of the Mongol empire. If witnessing the nomadic pastoral traditions of Mongolians is not enough to attract you to visit Mongolia, the country's various natural wonders and archaeological sites will be.
From the Northern Mountains to the Gobi desert, the southern portion, this enormous and fascinating place is saturated with magnificent flaming cliffs, towering sand dunes, fascinating national parks, and extinct volcanoes. Several of the ancient sites in Mongolia are declared as UNESCO world heritage sites.
Situated in Asia, Mongolia is the place you must visit if you love scenic natural beauty, ancient culture, and diverse landscapes. In this blog, we have discussed and compiled a list of the 10 best places to visit in Mongolia.
List of Places To Visit in Mongolia
- Gobi Desert
- Gorkhi- Terelj National Park
- Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
- Genghis Khan Statue Comples
- Orkhon Valley
- Tuvkhun Monastery
- Hustai National Park
- Erdene Zuu Monastery
- Khuvsgul Lake
- Amarbayasgalant Monastery
In between Mongolian Altai, Khangai ranges, and the Himalayan Plateau, the Gobi Desert basin stretches over southern Mongolia and northwest of China. Long trips can be traveled by car on this landscape in either direction: northward towards the Hangayn and Altai mountains range, east towards the Energy Center and Sukhbaatar, or south towards the highest sand dunes Khongryn Els.
The Gobi Desert is a massive desert. Majestic mountains and sand dunes are strewn across the enormous and wonderful Gobi, which is flanked by barren plains and rare red canyons that conceal dinosaur bones. Gobi people are resilient camel breeders who are eager to demonstrate their precious animals to visitors.
There are a few fascinating monasteries in the desert, including the mystical Khamaryn Khiid adjacent to Sainshand. This monastery is located near a large energy hub that draws visitors from all over the world because of its restorative capabilities.
A portion of it is situated in southern Mongolia, near the Chinese border. Desert plains, sand dunes, red-rock cliffs, and unusual rock formations dominate the area. The Flaming Cliffs, an amazing, old sandstone cliff system, is one of the most popular tourist sites in the desert. There have been some significant fossil discoveries there.
Also worth seeing are the Tsagaan Suvraga (commonly identified as "White Stupas"), which are unusual wind-eroded formations. Climb Mongolia's tallest and most attractive singing dunes, the Khongor sand dunes. If you're traveling towards the Gobi via Ulaanbaatar, make a pit stop at Baga Gazriin Chuluu on the way.
How To Reach The Gobi Desert
You can travel via paved roadways, the journey to this spot in Mongolia from Ulaanbaatar takes approximately 8 hours. A domestic aircraft flight takes about an hour, but flights are not frequent unless it is peak season. It is encouraged to travel by car or jeep and stop at all of the beautiful places along the way.
When To Visit Gobi
Autumn and hot springs seasons are the best times to visit. It is suggested to plan your trip in April-May and September-October. Summer may be pleasant, although the average temperature is 34Â°C, with temperatures occasionally reaching 40Â°C.
Gorkhi Terelj National Park
Terelj National Park has stunning mountains, magnificent rock formations, attractive valleys, wild horses, and a river. It also includes a plethora of experiences such as horse riding, rock climbing, seeing a Buddhist monastery on a sacred mountain, staying in a traditional tent, and exploring nomadic people's homes.
Horseback riding across the spectacular terrain provides an adventure that is a must-do if you wish to get the true Mongolian adventure. Khagiin Khar Lake (a glacier lake), Yestii Hot Water Springs, and a Buddhist monastery are among the other places of interest.
Gorkhi Terelj National Park is one of the wonderful national parks to experience Mongolian landscapes in all their splendor without having to go far from the country.
How To Reach Gorkhi Terelj National Park
By vehicle, the national park is only 55 kilometers away from Ulaanbaatar city and takes only an hour to reach there. On the route, stop by the gigantic steel statue of Chinggis Khan on the horseback in the middle of the steppe.
When To Visit Terelj
The Terelj National Park is a truly excellent location to visit in Mongolia and is open for tourists all year round. Plan your trip in the winter season and it will be worth spending money and time.
Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, located in western Mongolia, near the Russian border and Chinese border, contains five of Mongolia's highest Altai mountains peaks. The location is rich in natural beauties, from glaciers to large freshwater lakes and archaeological sites, including the "Petroglyph Complexes ", UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Altai Tavan Bogd National Park in Mongolia will thrill outdoor enthusiasts and eagle hunters alike, covering a huge spectrum of terrain that encompasses everything from the Tavan Bogd mountain to the dazzling lakes of Dayan, Khoton, and Khurgan.
Since the area is remote and far from the populated locations, the national park feels pure and unspoiled, with plenty of fascinating species and flora to uncover. You can see the Siberian ibex and brown bears. There will be a sight of spectacular golden eagles gliding overhead.
Aside from several gorgeous sceneries that present themselves as excellent for bird watching, rock climbing, and river rafting, the national park is also one of the wonderful places to visit or stay with Kazakh and Tuvan families if you wish to develop a deeper knowledge and admiration for nomads life. You can enjoy activities such as Golden Eagle Festival, eagle hunters meetings, bird watching, horseback riding, and other cultural activities.
How To Reach Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
This spot is located western province of the country, It is recommended to fly to the capital of Bayan-Ulgii, which takes around 2.5 hours. Then, reach the Altai Tavan Bogd by renting a jeep or a car to reach the destination.
When To Visit Altai mountains
It is recommended to visit in the months of June-August, and September-October. The Golden Eagle Festival, which takes place near the Altai Tavan Bogd in October, is worth experiencing.
Genghis Khan Statue Complex
The massive horse-riding statue of Genghis Khan glints in the sunlight as the statue majestically appears over the grasslands and mountains surrounding the complex, which is simply stunning. The 40-meter-high statue was erected in 2008 to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Mongol Empire's foundation. Its enormous grandeur and magnification are befitting of a ruler who rose to dominate such a vast region of land and is regarded as a national hero in his homeland.
Around 45 kilometers of Ulaanbaatar is the Genghis Khan Statue Complex which is the largest horse statue in the world currently. The complex is one of the best places to visit in Mongolia. You will also discover souvenir shops, a cafe, and an archaeological museum to visit once you arrive at the destination. You can also see ancient items from the period of Chinggis Khan in the art galleries.
How To Reach Genghis Khan Statue Complex
It takes around 1 hour to reach the complex from Ulaanbaatar. You can rent a car from Ulaanbaatar and drive via the paved roads to reach the destination.
When To Visit the Statue
The complex is open throughout the year for travelers to visit in Mongolia. You can plan a one-day trip to explore the magnificent statue surrounded by majestic mountains.
Orkhon Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historical and cultural aspects. You can find and see ancient scriptures from the 8th-century. If you like nature, the Eighth Lakes (Naiman Nuur) and Orkhon waterfall should provide you with a spectacular spectacle. The ancient city of the Uighur flourished here.
The region is famous for its beautiful sceneries and significant historical sites. Buddhist monasteries, mansion ruins, and other ancient artifacts may be found in the Orkhon Valley.
The Orkhon River has been the Orkhon Valley's backbone. The majority of the area's historical landmarks are situated alongside the river's edge.
One of the most notable attractions in the area is the Erdene Zuu monastery. It is thought to be Mongolia's oldest surviving Buddhist monastery. Karakorum city remains are located next to the monastery. From 1235 to 1260, this ancient city served as the Mongol Empire's capital and stands as one of the best places to visit in Mongolia.
How To Reach Orkhon Valley
The distance between Orkhon Valley and the capital city is about 510 kilometers. You can easily get there via paved road on a car or a jeep.
When To Visit Karakorum and Orkhon valley
It is recommended to visit the spot during summer days, late autumn, and early spring.
This monastery is on the borders of the provinces of Uvurkhangai and Arkhangai. It's on a flat stony location near the top of the Shiveet-Ulaan Peak, surrounded by natural woodland and rock cliffs.
From the mountain's edge, visitors climb 5 kilometers to the monastery. The 14-year-old Zanabazar founder Jebtsundamba khutuktu Bogd founded the monastery in 1648. In 1651, he first discovered this lovely spot and built a tiny wooden hut for meditation.
Mongolian craftsmen constructed the monastery, and all of the structures feature excellent workpieces.
The Communists nearly completely demolished it, as they did other monasteries around the country. Today, there are distinctive rock formations known as the womb and cradle, which represent rebirth, as well as four temples and two stupas.
Climbing to steep heights and seeing the amazing beauty of untamed nature in the surrounding places is great fun that will leave you feeling relaxed and energized.
How To Reach Tuvkhun Monastery
The easiest way to reach the destination is from Kharkhorin, which is about 75 kilometers from the monastery. You can drive to the monastery by road. Once you reach there, you will have to hike for 5 kilometers to reach the mountain top.
When To Visit the Monastery
The best time to visit the monastery is from July to October.
Hustai National Park
Situated around 130 kilometers south of Ulaanbaatar, the park is Mongolia's strictly protected area. If you want to see the famous Mongolian steppe, it is a great spot to explore, and the lovely Khentii Mountains give some diversity to the picture.
Traveling through the national park is a real treat, as you see small groups of untamed horses galloping across the steppe with nothing but distant mountains in front.
The Przewalski's wild horses are the park's greatest showpiece. In the 1990s, they were brought back to the park, and there are now around 220 takhi (Przewalski horses) in the park. Hustai is the unique spot in the world where these horses can be found.
However, the park's main attraction is not the Przewalski horses. You can also observe other species such as red deer, sheep, and foxes.
How To Reach Hustai National Park
The easiest way to reach the destination is from Ulaanbaatar which is situated about 130 kilometers and a 2.5 hours drive.
When To Visit Hustai National Park
The national part is always open for visitors. You can plan and visit the destination in any month of the year.
Erdene Zuu Monastery
The Erdene Zuu Monastery, a mile above Kharkhorin, once housed between 50 and 100 temples. The monastery was founded by Altai Khan in 1586 and is open for tourists to explore the premises and admire the panoramic splendor of the 16th-century temples.
The monastery is one of the country's oldest surviving Buddhist monasteries, with three temples and numerous statues and carvings. east zuu, middle zuu, and west zuu are the three principal temples.
We can also see Buddha's various pictures in these temples, including old times Buddha, prospective times Buddha, current times Buddha, his infant images, adulthood image, old age image, and his sapient students. The monastery is one of the places to visit and learn more deeply about the traditions, cultures, and religions of Mongolia.
How To Reach Erdene Zuu Monastery
You can easily get there by renting a car and driving through paved roads. From Ulaanbaatar, it takes about 6-7 hours to reach there.
At an elevation of 1,645 meters above sea level, Khuvsgul Lake is situated in northwestern Mongolia, adjacent to the Russian border.
The lake is one of 17 ancient lakes that date back over 2 million years. Eleven species of fish and 45 distinct water plants flourish in the Lake. There are 740 plant species identified on the lake banks. Larch woodlands, mountain ranges, and mountain networks surround Lake Khuvsgul. The lake freezes completely in the winter, with an ice sheet that is between 1 and 1.5 meters thick.
Camping in conventional tasted shelters known as ger tents around the lake allows you to immerse yourself in the life of a Mongolian local. Talk to the nomadic families who live in the beautiful countryside adjacent to the lake.
Hike up the numerous hills and hillsides around the Ardavhar Peninsula to find solitude and leisure. Furthermore, don't miss out on the stunning views of the unspoiled beauty of the lake.
How To Reach Khuvsgul Lake
Lake Khuvsgul is around 800 kilometers from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia country's capital. Traveling there by vehicle takes more than ten hours, but you can stop at several intriguing places along the route.
When To Visit Khuvsgul Lake
Lake Khuvsgul is available to the public at any time of year. Even in the summer, the water in this magnificent crystal blue lake is freezing.
Amarbayasgalant Monastery- UNESCO World Heritage Site
The aesthetically stunning monastery, one of Mongolia's three paramount monasteries, was constructed between 1727 and 1737 by Manchu ruler Yongzheng, the son of Kangxi (Qing dynasty).
Many valuable historical texts are kept within the monastery, especially the 226 volumes of Danjuur and the 108 volumes of Ganjuur, which were penned in 1628 and cover ancestral philosophies, pharmacy, history, science, and architecture. In 1996, UNESCO designated this magnificent monastery as a World Heritage Site.
In mid-August, the Monastery hosts one of the greatest religious rites, the Gongoriin Bumba sacrifice, which is attended by a significant number of local devotees.
How To Reach the Amarbayasgalant Monastery
The quickest and easiest way to reach the destination is by renting a vehicle from Ulaanbaatar. You will reach the monastery in around 5-6 hours from Ulaanbaatar.
When To Visit Amarbayasgalant
The best time to visit the monastery is from May to October, as the weather will be enjoyable and warm during this period.
Other Destination Spots
Furthermore, there are other best places to visit in Mongolia. To name a few, Khan Khentii National Park, Turtle Rock, Nuruu National Park, Gun Galuut Nature Reserve, three large freshwater lakes, Khorgo Volcano, Gangdam Monastery, Zaisan Memorial, Nuruu National Park, and Ulaanbaatar City are the most attractive tourists destinations in Mongolia.
The capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar also has various scenic and attractive spots that you can visit. These spots include Central Sukhbaatar Square, Choijin Lama Temple, and numerous other shopping malls and tasty restaurants like the Shangri-La Hotel and Shopping Mall or the lounge with a nice view on top of the Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel.
How To Travel Around in Mongolia
If you want to fully discover Mongolia's many attractions, renting a car to drive with more mobility is essential. Mongolia offers a diverse range of activities and sights to explore. Renting a car allows you to travel to your desired close and distant locations while stopping at interesting sights along the way.
If you want to take a self-drive vacation to Mongolia, renting a dependable vehicle is the ideal option so you can continue exploring this magnificent country on your own schedules and routes. Mongolia's roads are imbalanced, so you'll need a car that's not just reliable, but also the perfect one.
We suggest renting a powerful and comfortable vehicle that can take you to any desired destination. If you are seeking a vehicle for self-drive the simple UAZ Patriot 4x4 or the Toyota Landcruiser 76, 79 Pickup, Prado (with automatic transmission) are the choices you should be considering.\
Since numerous destinations in Mongolia are rocky, offroad, or desert, It is highly recommended to go for UAZ Patriot and Toyota Landcruiser 76 due to their comfort, powerful engines, and ability to smoothly run on high terrains and rocky off-roads. The UAZ Patriot is designed to withstand cold and freezing temperatures and has sufficient height. It is ideal for adventures and has sufficient trunk space. A Toyota Landcruiser 76, 79 can also be rented. It's tough, comfortable, and comes with everything you desire in a car, making it ideal for lengthy road journeys.
Things You Should Consider When Renting A Self-Drive Vehicle
Just like any country, a person driving a car should possess a driver's license. Mongolia is no different. The question is, how a foreigner gets the driving license of Mongolia? In Mongolia, obtaining a driver's license is rather simple. All foreign nationals must obtain an International Driving License IDL or a Mongolian driving license to legally drive on Mongolian roads. However, the requirement to obtain a Mongolian driving license is that you need to pass a written test.
However, if you are a resident of a country included in the Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic, you can drive through the country on your valid and legal driving license. If you have a valid driving license and you belong to any country in Vienna Conventions on Roads Traffic, you can drive in the Mongolian Territory for up to one year after entering the country.
The required documents for applying driver's license are listed below. You need to submit a Driving License Permit application, in-person, to the Center of General Police Department of Mongolia, with the following documents:
- Valid foreign passport
- Address and card of your temporary residence
- Valid foreign driving license with a copy of license translated into Mongolian
- 1 clear photo in 3 by 4 size
- Receipt of the payment or fee