Little is known about Mongolia except for a few names like Chinggis Khaan (Genghis Khan), Ulaanbaatar and the Mongols. When you imagine Mongolia, you’ll think about a vast view of nothing but nature from the sand dunes in the south to the snow-capped mountains in the north. Feel the nomadic lifestyle as you walk around the almost empty roads of Mongolia. So get on your horse and explore the places you should see in the Land of the Blue Sky.
1. Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
You can think of Mongolia as a clean slate of pure, unspoiled nature so one of the places you can go right away is the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. The national park is considered one of the most scenic areas of Mongolia. What makes it a good place to visit is its accessibility from Mongolia’s capital. It’s a popular place to go for a picnic or just waste away some time by wandering around to see mountains, rivers and uniquely-shaped rocks like the Turtle Rock.
2. Hustai National Park
Located three hours away from Ulaanbaatar, Hustai National Park is a haven for those who don’t want to get mixed in the crowds of more popular national parks. It is also a great place to stay in for those who want to see wildlife with the Przewalski wild horses as one of its major attractions. Other than horses, you can also see marmots, eagles, and squirrels. If you’re done with the wildlife watching, you can try some horse riding and hiking.
3. Yolyn Am (Yol Valley)
You need to fly from Ulaanbaatar to reach Yolyn Am, located in the southern side of Mongolia. The effort of flying to see the valley is all worth it as it boasts its picturesque landscapes, unexpected to be found in the semi-arid Gobi desert. Surprises await you when you trek around the valley where different animals like camels, yaks, wild goats, and even an ibex, wander around. Be ready to bring the best shoes for stream hopping/crossing.
4. Lake Hovsgol National Park
Make sure you’ve got plenty of time to spare when you plan on going to Lake Hovsgol National Park. It is actually a favorite vacation spot by locals and neighbor Russians, so it could get too crowded especially during Naadam Festival – Mongolia’s annual national festival where you can witness their traditional Mongolian wrestling, horse racing, archery, and arts. Despite the crowds, there’s a reason why the crystal clear lake is often visited: the breathtaking views.
5. Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
For those who want a bit of a tough adventure, Altai Tavan Bogd National Park is for you. It is a bit out of the particular Mongolian areas as it is situated on the westernmost point in Bayan-Ulgil Province bordering China and Russia. Be amazed with Altai Tavan Bogd’s spectacular green scenery with the stunning snow-covered Tavan Bogd Mountains, archaeological sites, nomadic families, and large glacial lakes.