Fun things to do in Mongolia

  • Gandan Monastery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    Gandan Monastery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    by happyhourkid
  • Gandan Monastery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    Gandan Monastery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    by happyhourkid
  • Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    by happyhourkid

Most Viewed Things to Do in Mongolia

  • iwys's Profile Photo

    The Three Beautiful Mountains

    by iwys Updated Apr 6, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gurvan Saixan Yi or, the Three Beautiful Mountains, is a legendary Gobi oasis.

    It's at the eastern end of the Altai mountain range, which forms a vertical rock barrier along the northern edge of the Gobi Desert.

    It is not a conventional, Saharan style of oasis, with palm trees, but a narrow rock gorge cut into a sheer wall of metamorphic rock.

    The sides of the gorge are vertical, but there are rock ledges with clumps of stunted juniper. The bottom of the gorge, which only sees the sun when it is directly overhead, is filled with snow and ice. There are hundreds of small birds and animals lapping at the edges of the melting ice.

    I saw, jerboas, rabbits, snow finches and a solitary Great Rosefinch. Higher up, I saw Argali mountain sheep, Griffon Vultures, Black Vultures and a nest of lammergeiers, some of the biggest birds in the world, which feed on bone marrow by carrying bones high up into the sky and dropping them onto the rocks below.

    A tip: pick handfuls of juniper, stuff them into your pockets and put them into the stove in your yurt at night. They smell a hell of a lot nicer than dried animal dung.

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Saagar's Profile Photo

    Ger life

    by Saagar Written Apr 28, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Mongolia you should make an effort to visit and try life in a ger. Traditional hospitality allows for this, but try not to abuse the opportunity.
    However, experiencing some time with a ger-living family group gives an insight into a life you otherwise wouldn't know existed. Their practice of transhumance gives little room for material things, but huge space for the spiritual realm. The animals and their survival is central to the family's well-being - a detrminant, so to speak.
    So, if you have the chance to stay with a family for a day or two to see and learn, do it!

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tulka's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Camel Trekking

    by Tulka Written Apr 5, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gobi is one of the featured destination, A place of everlasting peace, two humped Bactrian Camels are grazing in a middle of nowhere will really admire everybody, They are huge and even you get very closer to them they don't cake and keep eating the Saxual tree, Camels are very calm animal and the steps are slow and amazing comfortable, you will see them with very well decorated saddle which can keep you safely.Camels are get used to be mounted from the left side the hardest part to get on it is to get up and set down with a camel.
    Camels never listen anyone else except the owner and when the herder say **SUG SUG** and pull the rope which is in a nose they just lay down and wait for he to get on them.
    You could easily find camels by 7-10$ from the Tourist camp and less cheap from the locals.
    Most of the tour companies, travels agencies and tour operators organize camel trekking around different area.

    Related to:
    • Desert
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Horse Riding

    Was this review helpful?

  • Saagar's Profile Photo

    Khar Bakhin Balgas ruins - a special place

    by Saagar Written Apr 28, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the middle of the steppe, some ruins raise as you draw near the site of the ancient Mongol capital of a pre-Dhjingis people of probable Turkic origin.
    Abandoned shortly after Buddhism arrived in Mongolia, a large stupa remains relatively intact since 8-900 ad. The location of the fortress-like city (ruins now, but you see the outlines) in the centre of the steppe makes the place take on an unreal atmosphere. What did all these people do out here? Why did they live here and not in a more fertile area? What happened to them that made them leave?
    This is a place of afterthought and contemplation. The nearby little museum adds some details to the big picture; archaeological digs have been done a long time ago by an Italian team.
    The atmosphere of this place is very, very special and I took an instant liking to it. Thus I feel that the guidebooks vaguely mentioning it are underrating Khar Bakhin Balgas.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Adventure Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Saagar's Profile Photo

    Visit Lake Ogii

    by Saagar Written May 20, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On the way toward the west along the middle route to Tsetserleg, make a stop at Lake Ogii. If you have spent time visiting sites along the road from UB you may as well be too late for arriving in Tsetserleg before darkness, so stay overnight in a ger along the banks of Lake Ogii. There were a few possibilites near the eastern end of the lake, I noticed.
    Located on the steppe, you will see the blue expanse from far away.
    Nearby (western/southern side) are some very intresting remains of a city and a fortress. The lake itself is full of fish and has abundant birdlife. Some recreational water activites are available, and, indeed, taking in the view only may be preferable just to experience the peacefulness here.
    There are many insects around, so just be prepared for this.
    If you have a driver/guide to take you around he can set you up with a ger and a meal for the night.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Saagar's Profile Photo

    Marmot hunting

    by Saagar Written May 8, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Perhaps you don't want to watch hunting, but in any case, stop marmot hunters on the trail and ask to see their catch and see their equipment. And, with a translator, askh how they do it.
    The hunting outfit is hilarious, resembling a wolf or fox, but the shot (22 kal.) is very well done on the short range they get.
    The photo shows a hunter returning home, bags dripping with marmot blood.
    The meat is eaten and with a good shot through the head, the pelt is sold - you find it back in UB as warm fur hats.

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • Saagar's Profile Photo

    Mountains and basins west of Lake Hovsgol

    by Saagar Updated Jan 25, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I have been wanting to go here for a while, but I haven't made it so far. This is the result of some of my research:
    The best map I have found is "New Tourist Map Welcome to Hovsgol 1:200 000". At a scale of 1:200 000 it is not a hiking/compass navigation map - a GPS may be handy. This map I bought at the State Department Store in UB in September 2003, and I have not been able to find anything better that covers the entire area.
    My info is that you cannot enter the strict nature reserve Horidol Saridag in the mountains of the southwest of Hovsgol lake. In any case a permit is needed for the national park. The best place to enquire would probably be via a travel agency or relevant ministry in UB. According to the map, and from sightings when flying several times overhead, I see some very steep mountain sides, plateaus and U-shaped valleys, and snow in the higher elevations into at least mid-summer. Inbetween those mountains there appears to be valleys that can easily be follow east-west. North of the strict nature reserve, about mid-way up Hovsgol's west bank, 60 kms out of Hatgal, there is apparently a well-trodden horse track/foot path (no jeep) into the Tsagaannuur basin to the settlement of Renchinlhumbe (49 km traverse). From here there are jeep tracks south and west.
    Tsagaannuur basin appears difficult to navigate: marshland, brush, flat.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    Family Visit

    by victorwkf Written Jul 31, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the highlights of a Mongolian trip is a family visit to their gers. You will be treated to warm hospitality, as well as some traditional Mongolian food such as the airag (milk tea). The followings are important things to take note during a family visit due to the local customs: (a) Never step on the door curb as it is impolite (b) Never lean onto the central supports of the ger or it may collapse (c) Men should sit on the left and women on the right (d) Always use your right hand to take your food and drinks (e) Even if you do not like the airag or food, just take a little and pretend you enjoyed it.

    Was this review helpful?

  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    Gorkhi Terelj National Park

    by victorwkf Written Jul 31, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Gorkhi Terelj National Park is the biggest national park in Mongolia and it is conveniently located about 1.5 hours drive north-east of Ulaanbaatar. This national park is very beautiful with many mountains and rock formation. In fact, this place looks more like Europe and it is definitely worth a visit especially for those with little time to explore the rest of Mongolia. More information and photos of this national park will be posted in my VT Tov Aymag page soon, so do keep a lookout for the updates.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Saagar's Profile Photo

    The Gobi on the cheap

    by Saagar Written Aug 17, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You do not have to do a big round trip or package deal or extremely organised sort of deal to see and be in the Gobi. But you may need to accept a degree of uncertainty baked into your project.
    This is one option: As an excursion out of UB, or on the way into Mongolia, or on the way out over the Chinese border; get out of the train at either Choir or at Shainshand, or even Zamin Üdd (the border station). From either of these three places, get some kind of local transport or make a deal with a knowledgeable travel agency for a pick-up and get out of town and into the desert. Shouldn't cost you neither an arm nor a leg, but count on roughing it... Regarding the onward transportation you may have some challenges if wanting to jump on the Trans-Mongolian Express and expecting 1st class service. May not be available. Heading back to UB is probably easiest on a local train or the local part of any international train.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Trains
    • Adventure Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    Traditional Mongolian Ger

    by victorwkf Written Jul 31, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you have not seen or stayed in a traditional Mongolian ger while in Mongolia, it is as good as not been to Mongolia. For thousands of years, the nomadic Mongolians have been staying in their humble gers, which have a proven track record of enduring the harsh environment. Once you are outside Ulaanbaatar, chances are that you will have to stay in one. How to build a ger, you may ask? Well, the details are illustrated in the travelogue below "How to build a traditional mongolian ger?".

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tulka's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Terelj a week trip

    by Tulka Written Apr 10, 2007

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gorkhi Terelj National park is well known for it?fs Strange shaped beautiful rock formations This is a very convenient recreation area to spend few days?BThe river valleys, Blooming flowers, forest, Rocky summits, and impressive color combination of meadow attract thousand of people every year, from the beginning of the June until late September it?fs normally very crowded and seems there are more tourists than the locals,,
    In addition to wonderful scenery it offers quite many interesting places to visit. Aryapala Buddist meditation temple which is high on a mountain, One hundred lama cave which has a small hidden space inside , During the time of purge monks gather there all together secretly and do buddhist ceremonies. Lama stone which has a shape of Monk reading a book, and the Turtle rock is the most prominent one,
    Horse riding, and Hiking around the granite rocky mountains are the best way to escape from the crowd. There is a old temple from the 17th century Gunjiin Sum , The temple of the princess which has a great love story ( when Mongolia was under the rule of the china , Chinese Emperor sent her daughter to Mongolian Khan make his wife , The Emperor expected her to spy on the Mongolian Khan, But the Princess truly fell in love to her husband and worked against to her father, Finally she was Poisoned by her father and Mongolians preserve her memory and buried in over there?c.This is very beautiful place surrounded by the forest mountain?cgalloping with the horses through grass rolling meadow, crossing the streams feeling the Mongolian fresh air and wind come against your face , Then visiting the Historical old Temple ruin is Worth .

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    Karakorum

    by victorwkf Written Jul 31, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Karakorum (also called Khakhorin) is the ancient capital of Mongolia before the empire move it to Beijing after the conquest of China. Unfortunately, the city has been mostly destroyed by the Manchus later and what remains today is the famous Erdene Zuu Monestary, which is the oldest Buddhist monestary in Mongolia. To get to Karakorum, the road journey is about 7 hours, so be prepared. More information and photos of Karakorum will be coming up in my VT Ovorhangay Aymag page (a province in Mongolia) so do lookout for the updates.

    Was this review helpful?

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Manzshir Monastery

    by sachara Updated Oct 26, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    South of Ulaanbaatar is the Manzshir Monastery. The former monastery had more than 20 temples, but they were destroyed during the Stalininst purges of 1932.
    The main temple is recently restored. There is a small museum with pictures of the monastery in its former glory. Near the museum we visited a traditonal ger and could try traditional clothes.
    The monastery is part of the Bogdkhan Mountain Protected Area with an abundant wildlife. The valley with its streams, pine and cedar trees is very scenic.
    We stayed in the ger camp near Manzshir.

    For more information see the ''off the beaten track'' section of my Ulaanbaatar page.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Erdene Zuu Khiid, arrival from the grasslands

    by sachara Updated Oct 26, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We visited the Erdene Zuu Monastery coming from Khujirt by a rough road through the grasslands.
    It's amazing to see the first contours of the surrounding walls of the immense compound, by which the monastery is enclosed. Spaced evenly along each wall are about 108 stupas at about every 15 M (108 is a lucky number for Buddhists).
    There are three temples in the compound, which were not destroyed in the 1930s. These temples are dedicated to the three stages of Buddha's life, as a child, adolescent and adult.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

Mongolia Hotels

See all 34 Hotels in Mongolia

Top Mongolia Hotels

Ulaanbaatar Hotels
293 Reviews - 853 Photos
Hovsgol Nuur Hotels
4 Reviews - 18 Photos
Harhorin Hotels
9 Reviews - 71 Photos
Gatsuurt Hotels
See nearby hotels
Erdene-Dzuu Hotels
22 Reviews - 140 Photos

Instant Answers: Mongolia

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

65 travelers online now

Comments

Mongolia Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Mongolia things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Mongolia sightseeing.
Map of Mongolia