The 10 must-see natural wonders of Mongolia
Mongolia is the second largest landlocked country in the world and its stunning landscapes make up for its lack of seas. A brief history tells everyone about the nomadic past of the country, which later turned into an empire established by Genghis Khan. It’s common knowledge that the Mongol Empire was the largest contiguous empire in history, so it’s surprising that tourism to the republic has yet to boom.
Mongolia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, with some of its landscapes untouched. That alone should make this Asian nation a part of anyone’s travel bucket list. Photos of its grasslands, desert, and waterways are stunning, even more so when explored in person. In Mongolia, the nomadic way of life is enticing.
11 The Cool Gobi Desert
Probably Mongolia’s most famous attraction, the Gobi Desert is a top priority when visiting the country. Not all deserts are scorching as the Gobi is known for its cold temperature and it snows here in winter. This makes it ideal for quick hikes or perhaps a horse or camel ride. Surrounded by magnificent views, tourists will enjoy being under the sun. The Gobi is perfect for those who want to disconnect and feel nomadic for once. While touring, some creatures may even say hello, such as sand plovers. It’s always a good day in the Gobi.
ten The Great Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park
Gobi Gurvansaikhan is The largest national park in Mongolia, making it a great playground for outdoor enthusiasts. It is located in the northern part of the Gobi and is home to the Gurvan Saikhan Mountains, hence its name. The park is famous for the Khongoryn Els dunes, nicknamed Singing Sands because of the sound they make during strong winds. Another popular attraction is the Yolyn Am, a breathtaking gorge in winter when filled with ice. Whatever the season, however, Mongolia is the place to be.
9 The lakes are inviting
The country may be landlocked, but that doesn’t mean Mongolia lacks great waterways. It has stunning lakes scattered throughout its mountainous regions. The largest is the Uvs, with its basin listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The country is also home to one of the oldest lakes in the world, the Hovsgol. Another famous lake is Khar Us, also known as Black Water Lake. Bird watchers, meanwhile, might be interested in visiting Lake Uureg, the meeting place of waterfowl, pelicans and peacocks. The lakes await their eager visitors.
8 The rivers relax
As with its lakes, Mongolia is also proud of its flowing rivers. The 700-mile Orkhon is the longest in the country and is a favorite recreation spot, with its valley. Another popular attraction is the Selenge, known for its river delta, where Baikal sturgeons spawn. Other rivers to discover include the Egiin Gol and its archaeological sites and the Ider with its old wooden bridge. The rivers look good, so it’s never a problem that Mongolia is landlocked.
seven The humble waterfall of Orkhon
6 The previously mentioned Orkhon River is part of a wide valley recognized as a World Heritage Site. The region is appreciated for its landscape and its archaeological remains, but there is another feature not to be overlooked: the waterfall of Orkhon. The 65-foot Orkhon Waterfall is the largest in the country and a favorite with tourists, thanks to its humble yet awe-inspiring cascades surrounded by inspiring views. Swimming is also acceptable thanks to the calming waters. From the river to the falls, Orkhon knows how to impress.
5 The mountains are beautiful and sacred
After enjoying the fine waters of Mongolia, tourists should then explore the mountains. The Mongolian hinterland offers hikers the challenge they need, thanks to its rugged beauty and untouched landscapes. Khüiten is the highest peak in the country, located in the Tavan Bogd massif. Another famous mountain is Burkhan Khaldun, considered the birthplace of Genghis Khan. This World Heritage Site is not only historically significant but also the location of some religious shrines. It is home to taiga forests where cranes and eagles thrive. The mountains of Mongolia are not only teeming with wildlife, but also with history and culture.
4 Khustain Nuruu National Park overflows
Another scenic national park is the Khustain Nuruu. It is home to the Khentii Mountains, believed to be the resting place of Genghis Khan. Its steppe is so vast that it is like a stage where the wonders of Mother Nature can best be seen. The location of Genghis Khan’s tomb remains a mystery, but at Khustain Nuruu what is certain is the wildlife sightings. It is, after all, the last natural habitat of the Mongolian wild horse, alongside deer, gazelles, badgers, wolves and lynx. This is really where the wild stuff is.
3 Flaming cliffs filled with fossils
The Flaming Cliffs are famous for the sandstone formation that looks stunning at sunset, but the landmark is world famous for its fossils. The Djadochta Formation is so rich in archaeological wonders that fossils of dinosaur eggs have been discovered there. Other known fossils spotted in the area include that of a velociraptor, a pinacosaurus, and a protoceratops. However, even non-archaeology enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the place as the view of the cliffs surrounded by the wide Gobi is magnificent on its own. The Flaming Cliffs site is really hot.
2 The best of both worlds: Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park
Another beautiful Mongolian national park is Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur, famous for the extinct volcano Khorgo and Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan, hence its name. It’s a mix of a pristine waterway and a lush interior, making it an office for outdoor enthusiasts. Besides hiking, horseback riding is also a popular recreational activity in the park. Birdwatchers can take care of recording cormorants and waterfowl. In the woods, meanwhile, wildlife watchers may spot deer, goats, and possibly a wild bear. The park looks great the more it is explored.
1 Altai Tavan Bogd National Park has petroglyphs
Apart from its wild species such as marten, sheep, deer, ibex, moose, snow rooster and golden eagle, Altai Tavan Bogd National Park is unique due to its petroglyphs. The 12,000-year-old archaeological wonder is a World Heritage Site and offers a unique travel experience. The park is home to part of the Tavan Bogd massif and the lakes of Khurgan, Khoton and Dayan. This protected place is a mix of natural offerings and man-made wonders, making it the perfect place to be with the past while exploring the present.
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