Bogd Khan Uul National Park-is the oldest national park in the world, dating back to 1783. The mountain lies to the immediate south of Ulaanbaatar, the highest mountain of the park being Tsetseegun Uul, at 2256m. In the south of the park lies Manzshir monastery, which like many others, was destroyed in the Stalinist purges of 1937. It has since been rebuilt as a museum, and its ruins lie to the side. The surrounding scenery is quite beautiful, especially in July and August when the hills are alive with mountain flowers.
Manzshir monastery-was established in 1733 CE, south of the Bogd Khan Uul Mountain range, 4kms/3miles north of the Tov province, capital of Zuunmod. Manzshir is the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. Over time the monastery grew into a complex that housed more than 20 temples with over 300 resident monks. During the communist purges of the 1920's and 30's, the monastery was completely destroyed and all the monks either killed or exiled. The remains of the temple have been turned into a museum. A new temple has been built in Zuunmod also dedicated to Manzshir.
Karakorum-is located about 390kms/242miles west from the capital Ulaanbaatar in Ovorkhangai province. This is the Genghis (Chinggis) Khan's 13th century capital and heart of the mighty Mongolian Empire and Okhon river Valley, cradle of Mongolian civilization. Visitors, such as Marco Polo, described its ornate building, including a 2500 sq. meters Palace of Worldly Peace. In 1792 the Monastery still had 62 temples and 10,000 lamas. But in 1930 it became a victim of the Stalin's purges. All but three of the Temples were destroyed and most of the monks were either killed or sent to Siberia. Now there is a museum and restored.
Orkhon Valley-is located west of Ulaanbaatar, along the Orkhon River in Ovorkhangai and Arkhangai Provinces, was the center of the Mongol Empire, the center of the Uighur Empire, and the birthplace of Mongolian Buddhism. Today, the cultural heritage of the valley constitutes a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Elsen Tasarkhai-is a part of the 80kms/50miles long Mongol Els Sand Dunes and is located on about 270kms/135miles west from the capital Ulaanbaatar. The nature in this area is really spectacular and great for relaxing. During the trip, you will also have opportunities to visit a local nomadic family, ride two-humped Bactrian camel, walk on sand dunes, experience staying in a traditional Mongolian dwelling ger, and walk and relax in beautifully serene nature.
Shankh Khiid-is one of the oldest and most important monasteries in Mongolia. Zanabazar founded this monastery in 1648 at the age of 13. He went to Tibet when he was 15 years old during the time of the great 5th Dalai Lama. The Panchen Lama, Lobsang Chogen, gave him the name of Jetsun Dhampa, and ordained him. The present temple, which is being restored, was one of them called Noyon Hamp. Zanabazar (1635-1723), a revered sculptor, politician, religious teacher, diplomat and living Buddha, who became Mongolia's first Bogd Khan (God King). Shankh monastery, Known as the West monastery, it was one of the foremost seats of Buddhist teaching and practice in the country for almost three centuries. It was in this context that in 1937 Shankh monastery was closed, its temples burned and most of its monks arrested and executed or sent to labor camps in Siberia. One of these monks reopened the monastery in 1990.
Tuvkhun monastery-ruins of an ancient temple partially restored, sits atop a mountain on the north of the Orkhon Valley. The temple gives a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape to which one can get by hiking. Bogd Gegeen Zanabazar, the leader of Buddhism built the temple in 1653 where he lived, worked, and meditated for 30 years. The monastery is located on top of a mountain. Hidden in the mountains, so close to the sky, they are quiet shelters far away from secular society.
Ogii Lake (Ugii Nuur)-is a wonderful place for birdlife (cranes and ducks, to name just a few species, migrate to the area around late April & May). This a freshwater lake located in the valley of the Orkhon river, at 1, 387 meters above sea level in Arkhangai province. Ugii lake (Ogii lake) is also renowned for its fishing. It covers 25 square kilometers, and is rich in Perch and Pike. Swan Goose, White Spoonbill and Dalmatian Pelican have been recorded. Relaxing, fishing, boating, hiking, or horseback riding.
Orkhon Waterfall-is situated in Ovorkhangai province, in the historically significant Orkhon Valley, whose river flows an incredible 1120kms/696 miles to the North before it joins the mighty Selenge river. Also called Ulaan Tsutgalan, the waterfall was formed by a unique combination of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes about 20,000 years ago. The fall is naturally most impressive after heavy rain.
Maanit Monument-with Turk inscription erected in 731 BC stand tall in the middle of the steppes of Ovorkhangai province. Ruins of Kharkhot, capital city of Uigur.
Naiman Nuur Eight Lakes-The fresh water lake and the area around it is highlight of Ovorkhangai in Central Mongolia, which was created by volcanic eruptions centuries ago and is now part of the 11,500 hectare Khuisiin Naiman Nuur Natural Reserve. The lake area is part of the unspoilt and is perfect for camping. The region offers wonderful hiking and swimming opportunities.
Khogno Khaan Mountain National Reserve and Uvgun monastery-This Mountain is at an elevation of 1967m and is perfect for short trekking and walks around the surrounding area and there are some remains of an ancient monastery.
Hustain Nuruu National Reserve-The Hustain Nuruu Reserve (hustai is Mongolian for birch and nuruu means mountains) measures about 57,000 hectares, or including the bufferzone 120.000 ha., and is located on about 100kms/62 miles west from the capital Ulaanbaatar. The flagship species for the Hustain Nuruu Nature Reserve is the reintroduced Przewalski horse.
Horgo Volcano & Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake National Park-this is a freshwater lake with volcanic area around it is certainly the highlight of Arkhangai province. There is a dead volcano, situated close to Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake. The volcano is 2240m high. There is a 100m deep hole created by volcanic eruption several thousand years ago at the top of the volcano.
Taikhar rock-is situated at the south bank of Tamir river in Arkhangai province. Originally the rock was end of the long narrow rock coming from the north. Over the thousands of yeas the river water cut split the rock in two, leaving Taikhar rock on the south bank. Ancient Turkic, Uighur, Chinese, Tibetan, Manchurian and Mongolian scripts were written on the rock can be still seen.