Central Mongolia used to be the heart of the Great Mongol Empire.The vast grasslands of Central Mongolia is where the first official capital.Karahorum was founded in the 13thcentry . Trades and dignitaries as far as from Europe visited the capital city of Karakorum to represent their countries.This place was also a home to ancient Proto Mongol people who engraved rocks and deer stones to document their lifestyles.
Location:100kmto the west from Ulaanbaatar.
Features: In 1993, after the initiation of the representational project of the Takhi (Przewalski’s horse) to the KhustainNuruu was presented year after, Hustai National Park was declared a national protected area by the Government of Mongolia.
The whole area of Khustai National Park starts from Khentii Mountains and includes the western edge of the Mongolian steppe at the boundaries of Altanbulag, Argalant and Bayankhangaisoum of Tov province. The Khustai National park is rich and home to 459 species of vascular plants, 85 species of lichens, 90 species of moss and 33 species of mushrooms, 44 species of mammals, including Deer, Mongolian gazelle, Roe deer, Wild boar, Wild mountain sheep, Ibex, Mongolian marmots, Gray wolves, Lynx, Pallas’ cat, Red fox, Corsac fox and Eurasian Badger. Also, there are 217 species of birds, 16 species of amphibians and 385 species of insects.
The Khustai National park has become one of the best and careful managed park in Mongolia and the first National park to be managed by Non-government organizations, that specializes in nature and environment safety.
Location: 280km west Ulaanbatar, just off the main highway Ulaanbaatar to Kharakhorum.
Features: KhognoKhan Nature Reserve cover 470.000m² and became protected in 1997. This is the magnificent place with mountains, forests, steppe, Gobi type desert and mineral water sources all in one location and home of many wild animals such as Wolves, Deer, Foxes and even Snow Leopard. In the KhognoKhan Nature Reserve there are an extraordinary semi-desert called ElsenTasarkhai, part of the Great Mongol Sand dunes, extends 80 km. At the southern foot of the mountain there are two ancient ruins of Buddhist monasteries. This area is pleasant for many activities such as hiking, mountain climbing and horse, and camel riding.
Location: 360 km from Ulaanbaatar in Uvurhangai province.
Features: Kharakhorum was one of the most important city on the Silk Road, even it has the relatively small size. It was first founded by the great ChinggisKhaan in 1220, but the development of becoming the capital of Great Mongol Empire has occurred in 1230s under the rule of ChinggisKhaan’s son Ogedei. As the Mongolian Empire vast through to the east, west and connecting their trade across the Central Asia were facilitated by the Parks Mongolia, that made the whole territories a safe, peaceful, stable situation under the Mongolia rule. Kharakhorum is located on the most important east-west route across Mongolia in the Valley of Orkhon River-UNESCO World Heritage Site. This river valley has been the sacred homeland by steppe inhabitants, who in history placed their capitals here, like Turegs, Chinese, Uighurs and Sogdian from 8th and 13th century AD.
The city was destroyed by Ming troops in 1388. In 1585 near the ruin of Kharakhorum city constructed Erdenezuu Monastery. Stones from the nearby ruins of the ancient Mongol capital of Kharakhorum were used in its construction. Planners attempted to create a surrounding wall featuring 108 Stupas (108 being a sacred number in Buddhism), The monastery was damaged in 1688 during one of the many wars between Zuungar (left side of Mongolia) and Khalkh Mongols. Locals dismantled the wooden fortifications of the abandoned monastery.
It was rebuilt in the 18th century and by 1872 had a full 62 temples and housed up to 1000 monks. The monastery went through periods of neglect and prosperity until the Stalinist purges of 1937 put it completely out of business. Most of the temples in Erdenezuu were destroyed and an unknown number of monks were either killed or sent to Siberian gulags.
Location: 360 km from Ulaanbaatar, 10 km from Ugiisoum of Arkhangai province.
Features: Ugii Lake is a fresh water lake located in the steppe, Average depth is 6.64m, in some sections 15.3m, coastal length is 23.5m. Ugiilake abounds in various types of fish and birds, which creates an incredible natural beauty. Ugii Lake also provides a favorable condition for research work and traveling. Ugii Lake attracts travelers, tourists, and researchers from Mongolia as well as from foreign countries. More than 150 types rare species of birds dwelling in Ugiilake.
Location: 780 km from Ulaanbaatar, 25 km from Tariatsoum of Arkhangai province.
Features: Locals say some visitors who came to the eastern shore of this lake gasp, “look at that huge white lake!” and so it was named TerkhiinTsagaanNuur (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 TerkhiinTsagaanlake 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 Sumanriver flows out. 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 Khorgomountain, 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 Khorgomountain. 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.
Location: 450 km west Ulaanbaatar, in Arkhangai province 27km from Tsetserlegsoum.
Features: 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.
Location: 360 km from Ulaanbaatar in Uvurhangai province.
Features: 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 UlaanTsutgalan Waterfall, ruins of Karakorum built in 1220 by ChinggisKhaan, 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 Kharakhorum Museum that contains excellent artifacts such as the king’s crown, gold, and silver crafts found in this area.
Location: 520 km from Ulaanbaatar, 70 km from Bat-Ulzii town of Uvurkhangai province.
Features: A must-see place for those who want to walk the trails of the Mongolian Empire’s glory and fall, is The area of NaimanNuur, ”Eight lakes”, formed behind the volcanic eruptions that occurred all along the centuries. The park is 2400 meters above the sea level. An area of 11.500 hectares has been protected as a National Park since 1992. The eight lakes in question are lakes Shireet, the largest and the most beautiful, Khaliut, Bugat, Khaya, Khuis, Onon, Doroo and Bayan Uul.
The national park is located in a high mountain area comprising alpine meadows and forests of conifers (Siberian pines and Siberian larches). In the North of the protected area, we can see entire valleys strewn with volcanic stones. The peaks of the mountains are arid. In the national park, we can see 50 species of birds, such as the black-throated loon, great cormorant, bar-headed goose, or whooper swan.