Central Mongolia is includes the most visited areas in countryside. This region has many historical sights , natural wonders in Mongolia’s heartland, particularly in the Orkhon River Valley, known as Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape, which is an encompasses an extensive area of pastureland on both banks of the Orkhon River and includes numerous archaeological remains. It was registered by UNESCO in the World Heritage List as representing evolution of nomadic pastoral traditions spanning more than two millennia.
Another main part is Arkhangai province – has astounding scenery; wide rivers full of fish, several volcanoes and volcanic lakes, extensive forests, and pastures where yak thrive. It also boasts the stunning lake Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur, the ruins of several ancient kingdoms.
Destination & Highlights
Kharakorum & Erdenezuu Monastery
Kharkhorin is one of the country’s major tourist destinations and historically known as Karakorum the ancient capital of Mongolia Empire, Genghis Khan. The site of Genghis Khan’s fabled city, administrative center of an enormous empire, Karakorum was founded in 1220 in the Orkhon valley, at the crossroads of the Silk Road. The city flourished with wealth and culture, especially as artists and intellectuals were brought over from Europe to enhance the Eurasian capital.
The city was destroyed under war-torn in history this is a place where legends come to life. Later, materials used to build the monumental 400m walls and 108 stupas that surrounded Mongolis’s first Buddhist monastery of Erdene Zuu, built in 1586. The monastery is still active, and there are temple museums and buildings where monks live and pray. The site is not particularly beautiful, but we had a good time and it was a nice experience.
The Kharkhorin of today is a small settlement with little focus on tourism. The Ger camps are rather situated near Erdene-Zuu and other attractions.
Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes
Elsen Tasarkhai magnificent dunes are surrounded by hills with willow trees, streams and bushes, and appear as a small desert in the center of the country. This sand dune is 80km long and the widest part of the sand dune is 9-10 km. Visitors can hire horses and camels to ride around the dunes.
Mt. Khugnu Khan National Park
This picturesque area of Khugnu Khan National Park with mountains, forests, steppes, Gobi desert and mineral water sources all in one location represents two or three different natural zones. Khugnu Khan National Park is ideal for hiking, horse- und camel riding, biking, wild life observation and photography. There are many historical places, including: Uvgun temple, granite stone statues, Senget khad dating back to the Bronze Age and many tombs.
Tuvkhun Monastery was built in 1654 by Saint Zanabazar who was a great sculptor and one of the biggest representatives of Buddhism in Mongolia. The monastery is located on the densely forested and picturesque Rocky Mountain at an elevation of 2000m above sea level.
There is a small cave near the temple known as “Mother Cave”; it is believed that by crawling into this cave, turning about, and re-emerging, one can be symbolically reborn as a pure individual.
Today, there are special formation of rocks which are called womb and cradle, symbolizing rebirth, besides 4 temples and 2 stupas. Several monks live at the monastery year around.
Orkhon waterfall (also, called Ulaan Tsutgalan Waterfall) is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Central Mongolia. The height of the waterfall is about 20m (65 feet). The waterfall is located in a beautiful Orkhon river valley with volcanic rocks which listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its historical value related to Great Mongolian Empire. There is opportunity to experience their way of life, their culture and traditions. The area is ideal for fishing, horse riding, cycling and photography.
Khushuu Tsaidam Monuments
Khushuu Tsaidam Monuments to Bilge Khaan and Kul-Tegin, dated 732 AD, were found 47 km to the northwest of Karakorum, part of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape UNESCO world heritage site. This collection of historical heritage includes stone monuments with runic inscriptions, stone turtles, human statues and other relics. Both monuments were dedicated to Turkish khans who ruled Mongolia between the 6th and 8th centuries.
There is a research center and museum founded jointly by Mongolian and Turkish Friendship Societies.
Ugii Lake is located up 1337m from the ocean level and it is a pure water lake, 7.9km long, 5km wide, which is the lake, is home to many birds, fish species and the nomadic families living around the area. The lake, designated as a Ramsar Site of International Importance, is known for its fish and for birdlife. There are 14 kinds of fishes and 144 kinds of birds.
Tsenkher Hot Springs
Tsenkher hot springs are located 30 km south of Tsetserleg city in a beautiful forested mountain valley. The +86.5″C hot spring water is supposed to have curative properties for arthritic joints and other ailments. There are well developed and equipped resorts and the area is an ideal place for bird-watching, hiking and riding.
Khorgo-Terkh National Park
The Khorgo – Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur (Terkh White Lake) National Park is amazingly beautiful scenery of mountains, cliffs, rapid rivers, lakes, extinct volcanoes and fantastic caves green forests and pastures, where the long haired yaks and horse thrive.
The Khorgo Mountain is extinct volcano which lies east of the Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur beautiful lake with crystal clear fresh water. The attractive landscape is rich of flora and fauna.