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Central Mongolia - Things to do & What to see
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Central Mongolia

Central Mongolia was the heart of the Great Mongol Empire. The vast grasslands of Central Mongolia is where the first official capital, Karakorum, was founded in the 13th century. This place was home to ancient people who engraved rocks and deer stones to document their lifestyle.

Wonder of Volcano – Khorgo Volcano

Academics have proven that Khorgo was a volcano that erupted twice 9 million years ago and became dormant. Khorgo volcano, 2240 meters above sea level, is the youngest of all the volcanoes in the country. Its pre-historic lava flowed 100 km to the east of the mountain, and to the Suman and Chuluut rivers. The crater slopes at about 50 degrees, its depth is about 100 meters, and its diameter is 300-400 meters. Inside the crater you may see large stones, the size of tables and chairs. Between the trapped stones of the Khorgo Mountain, small cedar trees are growing with plenty of cedar nuts and berries. There are caves too. Three dormant volcanoes Bosgo, Khyar, and Suga are located 20 km from the Khorgo Mountain. The Bosgo crater has a crack on its northwest side, and has a lake at its bottom. A rare type of diamond was found near a clay mountain in the area of Khorgo.

Natural Heritage of Humanity — Orkhon Valley

A must-see place for those who want to walk the trails of the Mongolian Empire’s glory and fall, is the Orkhon Valley Protected area. The Ulaan Tsutgalan Waterfall, ruins of Karakorum built in 1220 by Chinggis Khaan, Erdenezuu monastery and its 108 stupas, and Tuvkhun monastery on top of a mountain (you’ll need to hike 600 meters to reach it!) — are all located along the Orkhon River. The valley is 360 km from Ulaanbaatar. For thousands of years, this area was the center of powerful empires. A stone statue with inscriptions dedicated to Bilge Khan of the Turkic Empire is the oldest remaining relic that proves their history. Once you’re in the soum center, you can visit the Karakorum Museum that contains excellent artifacts such as the king’s crown, gold, and silver crafts found in this area.

Natural Spa Tsenkher Spring

Mineral and hot springs have been an important part of Mongolian traditional medicine. There are springs that heal and others for relaxation. The Tsenkher hot springs are located in the Arkhangai province at an altitude of 1850 meters above sea level. By the time you count to one, the spa effuses 10 liters of water. The water comes from deep reaching up to 90 degrees Celsius. There are a number of tourist camps in the area.

Heaven of Birds – Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake

Locals says some visitors who came to the eastern shore of this lake gasp, “look at that huge lake” and so it was named terkhiin tsagaan nuur (huge white lake). A small island in the lake is inhabited by birds that build their nests and lay their eggs. Black geese and seagulls dive at depths of up to 5 meters to catch pike. In 2011, CNN named Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake as one of the world’s best tourist destinations. The lake is surrounded by the khangai mountain range and more than 10 rivers, including the Terkh , pour into the lake while Suman river flows out.

Good to Know

Best months to visit
May to October
Horse trekking, trekking, biking, kayaking and yak riding
Nomadic tribes
yak herders
Rare animals
Flora & Fauna
Siberian larch, cider and pine trees