A vast country of spectacular landscapes, Mongolia is only recently starting to be picked up as an off-the-radar tourist destination. Seen by some as desolate, untamed, and remote, Mongolia is a warm and vibrant country with incredible sights just waiting to be discovered. We’ve uncovered a few of the best, but there are undoubtedly more to see in the Land of the Blue Skies.
So, without any further ado, here are some of Mongolia’s greatest sights:
Mongolia has one of the most varied landscapes of any country on earth, and this wild, rugged beauty has to be seen to be believed. From the Altai mountain range to the windswept Gobi Desert, Mongolia’s landscape is hardly touched by human industry and still makes up the majority of the country, broken here and there with roads, villages, and traditional nomadic yurts. Being so remote is appealing for many travelers looking for something different.
If you want to witness some of the best landscapes in Mongolia, you should then visit Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Located only 70 km away from the capital of the country, this stunning national park is not just a perfect slice of Mongolia’s greatest sights, it has natural hot springs and the mountain pass of Gorkhiin Davaa as well.
Mongolia is also known for the Przewalski horse, also known as takhi in Mongolia. To see this rare and endangered beautiful animal, you can visit the Khustain Nuruu National Park. The park hosts Bronze Age monuments and miles of mountainous steppes, perfect for intrepid explorers.
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As one of the largest centers of Buddhism, in Mongolia, there are many beautiful temples and monasteries to explore throughout the country to seek out peace and tranquility on your travels. The Erdene Zuu monastery is one of the oldest surviving examples, dating back to 1586 and it’s situated in the world heritage site of the Orkhon Valley.
For those looking for a slightly easier temple to reach, the capital Ulaanbaatar has the Gandantegchinlen Monastery, which was renovated in 1990 and boasts some beautiful examples of prayer wheels, typical in Tibetan Buddhism.
The Flaming Cliffs
Venture into the Gobi Desert, one of the largest deserts in the world, and you’ll be rewarded with more than sand dunes. One of Mongolia’s greatest sights, The Flaming Cliffs has to be seen to be believed – and they’re named for the way the sun hits the sandstone cliffs as it sets, making them leap with a red light. A number of important dinosaur finds such as eggs and bones have also been made here, perfect for fans of ancient natural history.
Mongolia is famous for its nomadic people, who are some of the most skilled horsemen in the world. Riding with golden eagles, bows, and arrows, and on sure-footed horses, the Mongolians are fiercely proud of their horse culture and celebrate with horse festivals throughout the year, the biggest of which is Naadaam.
Attend one of those horse festivals and see how this country’s relationship with horses has shaped their culture and played a vital role in helping them conquer the world back in the age of Atilla the Hun. Watch outstanding displays of talented horsemanship and maybe even have a try at riding one yourself!
Ulaanbaatar is the capital and the largest city of Mongolia.
Here are some of the sights not to miss in Ulaanbaatar:
- Mongolian National Museum – learn about ancient Mongolia, the Mongol Empire, the soviet days and its independence journey.
- Zaisan Hill – Soviet memorial that commemorates those lost in World War Two.
- Gandan monastery – built in the mid 19th century, this is the largest and most significant monastery in Mongolia.
- Sukhbaatar Square – in the heart of Ulaanbaatar where you can see a statue of Sukhbaatar, a famous patriot who has been enshrined as the ”Father of Mongolia’s Revolution”. In the surroundings are located also the Parliament House, the Drama Theater and the Cultural Palace.
The Mongolian capital is connected by rail to Russia via the Trans-Siberian Railway and to China via the Chinese railway system.
Disclaimer: This article has been contributed to Owl Over The World.
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