Stage 1: Arrive in Ulaanbaatar (also spelt Ulan Bator ) By air to Ulaanbaatar International airport.
Visit: National Museum of Mongolia. This is a great museum for people who know nothing about Mongolia, but compared to other museums it lacks explanations of modern history, politics and so on.
Bogo Khaan Palace Museum: There is little to learn at the palace but it’s beauty and architecture make up for it. Taking the local bus is a complete hoot, strongly recommend it. When we visited there was one other tourist.
Gandantegchinlen Monastery: Stunning Monastery that opens your eyes to Buddhist life in Mongolia. Well worth the visit.
Travel Ulaanbaatar to we drove south from Dalanzadgad. We strongly suggest that you fly to the domestic airport and hire someone from the area to take you to the sights. This is the Gobi Desert, well worth the trip.
If you do climb to the top make sure you take hat, sunglasses, and water. It’s a deceptively difficult climb, up up and up through sand, and more sand.
Eagle Valley Glacier: To get to the Eagle Valley Glacier you need to walk, at a guess around a kilometre. It’s not hard, but truly stunning. We tried to walk over the glacier (stupid) but that honestly was such fun.
Ongi Temple North from the Gobi desert is more desert. The roads are no-existent, the land flat and boring. In amongst the landscape you realise slowly the changing landscape. Goodness there’s a river. Rocks begin to dominate and in amongst the emptiness is the 17th century Ongi Temple. A cluster of temples the monastery has houses up to 1000 monks at one time.
Karakorum: village to experience the rural Naadam festival. The village is barren and worth seeing to get a picture of how hard life can be in the region. We spoke with a USA Peace Corp volunteer who talked about life during winter. Toilets are outside, when in winter it’s minus 35 degrees, the heating is from wood/coal and conditions are harsh.
Naadam Festival is truly the trips highlight.
Khorgo Volcano and Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur