Southern Mongolia

Baga Gazryn Chuluu

The 1751-meter high granite stone mountains in 37 km north of Delgertsogt village of Dundgobi province covering 300 area, is another place with unique scenery that many tourists compare with lunar scenes. The mountain contains several interesting places such as remains of old temples in secret place with unique location, eye spring used as medical treatment and caves which have different precious stones. On the rock you just see the hole like an eye and people use spoon like stone to get the spring which seems extraordinary with its formation, medical factor and the way people noticed and proved it. The old stone temple ruins related to 17th century. Three hundred years ago, two monks who practice meditation, used to live in the mouth of rocky mountain gorge, where trees of aspen were grown. And in the cave you can see the sparkling on the wall, maybe it is the remain of precious stones.

Particularly also there is an image of man who is leashing two ibexes that attract many scientists.  This splendid mountain has sheer rock wall and canyon. 

Bayan Tooroi

It is one the oasis that located in the desert beyond the Altai Mountain Ranges. This place distanced at 45 km from Eej Khairkhan Mountain. Many different kinds of plants of Central Asia including Saxual tree and tooroi are grown here. Especially “tooroi”, a special plant only grown in gobi desert grows here in plenty which used for different reasons by nomad people. The administrative office of Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area located in this place.

Bayanzag (many saxaul trees)

Bayanzag known as a “Flaming Cliff” is a paleontological site where large number of rare species of dinosaur skeletons was found. Bayanzag is a saxual forest and area of red cliffs which have been formed from the erosion of the sand and rock over many thousands of years.

This area is the birthplace if dinosaurs, and is renowned worldwide for the number of cretaceous dinosaur eggs and bones found here, which are displayed in the natural history museum in Ulaanbaatar and in other museums around the world. Bayanzag is well known as the location where the American scholar Roy Chapman Andrews launched his famous exploration in 1920’s and made their most spectacular discoveries here. In the west it is better known as a Flaming Cliffs, so named by explorer Roy Chapman Andrews. In the same area he also discovered purified forests, remains of mammals, and particular skeleton of hornless rhinoceros, the largest known mammals in the world.

Roy Chapman Andrews named this place as the “End of the World”. As scientists defined it was an inland sea bottom about 200 million years ago. The Flaming Cliffs themselves are very imposing from a distance, and are particularly fiery in the light of the setting sun, and it is an interesting place to wander about to get a closer look at one of the world’s most famous paleontological sites. Also, we will visit local dinosaur ger museum. Bayanzag locates in Bulgan village of Umnugobi province. It is 550 km from Ulaanbaatar, 100 km from center of Umnugobi province. 
Also, traces of the settlers of the Neolithic Epoch were found here. There is an eerie beauty to this classic desert of rock, red sand, shrubs, sun and awesome quietness.

Bichigtiin Am of Ikh Bayan Mountain

This historical site is famous not only in Mongolia but is also a valuable cultural heritage of an ancient civilization of the world. The engravings are on the rocky slope of the mountain and stretch for a few hundred meters and remained in good condition. It dated back between 3000 BCE and 8th century AD.  According to the scientists’ assumption, the climate and geographic condition of this area was more convenient than present time. The climate was mild and the nature was rich in grass and forest to live for herds of deer. The theme of the painting is wonderful and wide ranged including animal hunting, husbandry and agriculture that is the most unique site as it was found in Mongolian Gobi. There are also rock paintings that display “Men are fighting on the horseback with archeries” so it means Archery was invented by ancient people in Mesolithic and became the best weapon in 16th centuries. 

Bichigt Khad

Bichigt khad is located in 240 km from Sainshand village, Dundgobi province. Most of the rock paintings were found in the Eastern Gobi dated to Bronze Age, but some are younger and belonged to Hunnu or even Kirgiz periods of second half of the ninth century or early 10th century.

Bogd Sum (Bogd village)

The province of Bayankhongor includes some parts of the highest summits in Gobi-Altai chain, among them famous mountains Ikh Bogd (3957 m), and Baga Bogd (3590 m) are both located in Bogd Sum. In 1957 huge earthquake shook the region creating a fault several hundred km long, and originated new lakes, gorges, and waterfalls. It is unique place because the province is coupled with huge area covering high mountains with astonishing nature and the sand or desert areas with beautiful formations in different color. 

A glacier three to five km wide slides down from Ikh Bogd and spreads out along 20 km towards the Arsat and Jargalant valleys. Snow-capped mountains are an astonishing contrast with the sand dunes next to it. More than 100 km north of Ikh Bogd, west of the Gashuun River, there are several volcanic craters, Khuren-Aarg and Shuuder.  

Burkhan Hailaast

This mountain is formed of orange colored granite rock, locates in the south east mouth of Jinst mountain range in Bayangobi village, Bayankhongor province. However, the height of the mountain is 50-60 m. It looks like very strange and interesting from the distance in vast Gobi. There are two granite holes that contain water inside of it, called Jartiin and Daltiin Khuv in the beginning of Khuv Khailaast pebbles in North West of granite low mountain Ridge of Burkhan Khailaast.  Local people call these holes as “Chuluun Togoo” (means Granite pot). The surface of granite rock has been weathered by wind and rain water for millions of years, thus creating a deep hole. The water of these holes is replaced by rain water all the time. So it is wonder of the Gobi to provide animals and live stocks with water.

Bugiin tsav

Situated 50 km north from Khermen Tsav in Bulgan village, Umnugobi province. The area is rich with fossilized dinosaur findings. Fossils of many different species like dinosaurs, turtle, fish, and mollusk along with interesting traces showing their lifestyle lying on the ground everywhere and it really catches researchers’ as well as people’s attractions. Skeleton of carnivorous Tarbosaurus found in the area is now being as a show in the Museum of Natural History. Bugiin Tsav is a special protected area in the zone of natural complex area called “Gobi Gurvan Saikhan”.

Buun Tsagaan Nuur

It covers 240 which is a great saltwater lake in the Gobi desert located at 1336 m above the sea level in Baatsagaan village, Bayankhongor province. The sand on the bank, blown by the wind, has formed here a veritable promontory in the middle of it. The lake, inhabited by geese and swans, increased in size significantly after an earthquake in 1957. The Baidrag River flows into Lake Buun Tsagaan.

Eej Khairkhan Mountain Natural reserve (Dear Mother Mountain Natural Reserve)

Reserve created in 1992, stretches over 22.500 hectares and is located in Tsogt village since 1992 has been under the State Protection, west of the oasis of Zakhiin Bayan Burd of Gobi Altai province. Eej Khairkhan (dear mother) has strange shape and reminiscent of a petrified dinosaur. The 2275 m high mountain lies 150 km from Altai, a bit north of section A in the Reserve of Great Gobi. It has nine caves, though none are deeper than four meters. Stone figures have been found around the mountain.

The waterfall cascades from the peak of Eej khairkhan (2257 meter) and is a famous for its beauty. This mountain is formed of granite stone and it is amazing Rock Formations created by Nature seems like some wise crafty man made it in purpose. The water flows through 9 granite pots located in distance from each other 2-7m, with diameter of 2-3m, depth of 2-4m. Wild life is important and special –Haloxylon ammodendron, Ephedra glauca and Gobi Bear (Ursus artos) occur here.

Ergeliin Zoo

This area locates in 30 km northwest of the Khatanbulag village of Dornogobi province. The rocks of Ergeliin Zoo Natural Reserve are World famous for its paleontological remains of Dinosaurs of the Mesozoic Era. Ergeliin zoo is named by Altan uul /Golden mountain/. The Natural Reserve was declared in 1996, and covers 60.900 hectares. Giant dinosaurs lived here in the Mesozoic Era and new objects of ancient animals are reported here.

Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area

The Great Gobi is designated as a Strictly Protected Area, but is actually in two geographical parts:

Part A-southern Altai Gobi- Part A is located 500 km from Bayankhongor province and covers 45149 including Edrengiin Nuruu, Atas, Chinggis, Segs Tsagaan Bogd and the boundless Gobi Nomin and Tsenkher. Its width is 100 km.

Part B-Dzungarian Gobi- Part B is 250 km from Altai and covers 8000 area. It comprises the South Gobi of the Altai Mountains and Zuungar Gobi. Its width is about 80 km. Altogether the Strictly Protected Area (A+B) has a total area of 53117, making it one of the biggest reserves in the world. It has been protected since 1975. 

Gobi Gurvansaikhan Mountain National park

The largest of Mongolian national park Gobi Gurvan Saikhan Mountain is a part of the Altai Mountains stretching from the northwest corner of Mongolia. It takes in a magnificent chunk of the landscape including 27,000 It measures roughly 400 km from east to west, and 80 km from north to south spanning 10 villages, mostly in South Gobi province. The national park was established in 1993, and enlarged its current size in 2000, with addition of nearly 500 in Bayan Khongor province. Mountains which are called Three Beauties are 2815 m above the sea level. They belong to a mountain system dated to Palaeozoic age and extend for 100 km and are inhabited by large numbers of wild sheep and ibex. For all its open space and rock-bound appearance, the park supports a diverse and sometimes hidden community of living things, including more than 600 plant species, 240 bird species, and about 50 mammals. These include the marquis species of central Asia: ibex, argali sheep, Asian wild ass, Mongolian gazelles, gray wolves, snow leopards, and Eurasian lynx. Occasional rumors circulate of Gobi bears have been sighted in the western part of the park.

Khamriin Khiid Monastery

Khamriin Khiid Monastery, 38 km south of Sainshand village, was found in 1820 by well-known prince and author Danzan Ravjaa who was called "Terrible Noble Saint of the Gobi". The Monastery was an important centre for him and for the red Buddhists. He devoted great efforts to the cause of public education, which he promoted at Khamar Monastery through the establishment of an inclusive public school, theatre, museum, three stories of drama theatre and library.

He allegedly liked the spot because of a hunting bunker nearly that could be used to protect the temple from bandits. You can still see the traces of the foundation of these buildings. The site now includes two new working temples serviced by eight monks. There is a large stupa and special hut that encloses the spring. A couple of kilometers away are the caves where Danzan Ravjaa and his disciples meditated. At its peak Khamar Monastery is consisted of four main sections - East Khuree, west Khuree, Tsokhon and Dunkher - comprising four colleges (datsan) and the children's school, more than eighty temples, and a resident population of over five hundred lamas.

Khamar Monastery was a perfectly harmonious location, having a river with many fine trees along its south part and Rocky Mountains with dozens of caves along to its north.

Fossilized dinosaur bones, petrified wood, and other rare paleontological remains are widespread in the area surrounding the monastery. Paleontologists working in the region have dug up most notably a skeleton of the herbivorous dinosaur iguanodon, which lived in the Cretaceous period between 80 and 200 million years ago. 

Khermen Tsav

Hermen Tsav is a canyon with beautiful oasis, 6 km in width and 15 km in length located in a distance of 400 km from Dalanzadgad city. The canyon is full of 30 m high natural formations of cliffs, and it looks like remains of ancient cities and temples, iceberg drifting on a sea, huge dinosaurs, turtles and crocodiles. As scientists defined it was an inland sea bottom about 200 million years ago.

The first steps on this land give an impression that you have entered to the age of ancient world. Hermen Tsav is known not only by its beauty of natural formation but also by its trove of dinosaur fossils.

The first full skeleton of a dinosaur was found in this place. Even nowadays, there are treasure chest fossilized dinosaur bones and eggs lying on the surface of sandy land. The beauty of the cliffs is added with small grove of Gobi saxaul trees.

However, it has not been well studied yet; some fossils of dinosaurs were found from here. This place is considered to be most possible place where new findings might be.

Khongoriin Els (Khongor Sand Dunes)

The sand Khongor is north of Baruunsaikhan Mountain, and in the northern part of Servei village. This is Mongolian largest sand dune extends for 180 km to the right side of Gurvan Saikhan Mountain Ranges behind gorgeous black Rocky Mountains of Zuulun and Sevrei making the sand looks outstanding with beautiful stream and green oasis. Its highest point is steep in 200 m in height. The sound produced by the masses of moving sand or the wind can be heard from a far and when it occurs, it is said that it can be mistaken for the sound of an aero plane. Hence people call it as a ‘Singing dune’. It is 3-15 km wide, 100-300 m high. When you climb up the peak of the sand dune, you can see hundreds of sand hills. From the top of the sand dunes the view of the desert is awesome.

Khongor River

Khongor River originates from flood water that flows from Zuulun Mountain through sand dune and is absorbed in the soil. This absorbed water come out on the ground in the back of the sand dune, thus creating streams of Seruunbulag and Argana which flow along the edge of the sand dune for 10 km; thus creating breathtaking green oasis.

Ikh Bogd Mountain

The mountain of Ikh Bogd, the highest peak of Gobi Altai Mountain range, attains an altitude of 3957m above the sea level. However, the mountain is in the territory of gobi zone it has unique picturesque with eternal snow on the top, rain in the middle and hot summer in the foot of it during the summer time which are the feature of mountainous region decorated by gorgeous peaks with colorful cover, beautiful rivers and streams, rare animals, herbal plants, and strange platforms formed of huge earthquake in 1957.

That is exactly the place for tourists to come who enjoy hiking and camping in astonishing nature.

Ikh Gazariin Chuluu

This is one of many interesting places in Mongolia. It is a mountain of granite rocks in the Gobi desert with a peak of 1565 -1709 m high above the sea level stretching 30 km long and 15 km wide. It is afforded opportunity to visit this interesting site. These Rocky Mountains are situated in Gurvansaikhan village of Dundgovi province. There are many interesting stories about local historic people who had lived or had been hidden in the caves from the royalties in the mountains. These caves are usually named after those people. In 2003, Ikh Gazriin Chuluu was officially announced as the state protected area for its beauty. People admire and amuse the place with its unique existence. At the same time, the area contains more than 40 caves; the biggest one is “Tagtaagiin Agui” (Pigeon’s Cave) 30 m long, 3.5 m wide, 10 m high. The steppe contains more than 30 kinds of rare birds used in medical fields. You will find rare species that are forbidden to hunt such as dodge, wild goat, lynx, and many others like fox, steppe fox, badger and wild cat etc. Unique structured Rocky Mountains in the desert look like man-made beautiful and miracle city in a fairy tale.  

Ikh Nart Natural Reserves

It was formed in 1996 in order to safeguard 43.000 hectares in northwest of Dornogobi province. There are many rare and wild animals such as wild sheep (Ovis Ammon), ibex (Capra sibirica), black-tailed gazelle (Procapra gutturosa), white-tailed gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) which are registered in Mongolian Red Book. Not only the animals the place has unique sites including different shapes of Rocky Mountains and the ruins of old temples at the same time. Local people here are trying to protect the nature and raise the number of rare animals. Since 2001, long term project has been implemented by Academy of Mongolian Science and Zoology Foundation of Denver.

Museum of Danzan Ravjaa

In Sainshand town there is a Museum of Danzan Ravjaa, the great 19th century artist, prince and author of the Story of Moon Cuckoo, a great classic of Mongolian literature. His personal assistant Balchinchoijoo swore an oath to protect the works of his art and manuscript after his saint left behind in 1856. This duty was passed to his descendants and current curator Altangerel, his fifth generation is continuing to protect and take care of these valuable works in the museum.


Nemegt located in Gurvan tes village, Umnugobi province. Here is uncovered the largest Eurasian dinosaur cemetery. During the joint Italian, French, and Mongol paleontological mission in July 1991several remains of Tarbosaurus were identified in this valley, including a large skeleton with its bones still perfectly connected. In the sediment surrounding the skeleton the skin print of the Tarbosaurus was perfectly clear thanks to fossilization conditions.


Ongiin khiid (Ongi Monastery ruins)

Small monastery with a temple which was built on the ruins of a monastery complex that was formerly one of the largest monasteries in Mongolia and found in 1760 and consisted of two separate temple complexes, Barlim khiid and Khutagt khiid, on the North and South of the Ongi Gol river about 18 km from Saikhan-Ovoo village, Dungobi province.

From XII to XIX century, Buddhism came at its golden period in Mongolia, with over 2000 monasteries and temples with 120,000 monks and nuns. This 2 monastery complex was built to commemorate the first ever visit of Dalai Lama to Mongolia and the construction had been continued in two phases, the south side, Khutagt Khiid, in first in 1760 and the north side, Barlim Khiid, one century later. The older southern complex consisted of various administrative buildings as well as 11 temples. The northern complex, built in 18th century, consisted of 17 temples - among them there was one of the largest temples in all of Mongolia. It also had 4 Buddhist universities.

The 2 complex was destroyed in 1939, within few months and about 17,000 monks killed or arrested and never seen again, with total victims of about 27,000 persons. Over 200 monks were killed from the temples.

In 1990s, it was decided to rebuild the monastery. There is a small museum in a ger in front of it. One of the stupas has just been reconstructed as well. At present, 13 monks live and manage daily activities in the monastery. The small contingent of 20 monks visits the monastery three or four times a month. There is a bright yellow ger that displays some old objects that were used in its glorious period.

Orog Lake

Salt Water Lake is at 1198 m above the sea level, at the foot of gorgeous mountain Ikh Bogd. It is 110 km south Bayankhongor province and although it is a full 28 km long, its depth does not exceed over five meters. The lake freezes from November to April can reach two meters thick. The lake is full of fish and frequented by migratory birds. Around the lake are three distinct zones of sand, one of which to the east stretches for over 40 km making a beautiful view for the travelers.

Otson Maanti

This site located south east of Khanbogd village, Umnugobi province. Its last inhabitants were belonged to Neolithic period about 4000 years ago. The discovery of Otson Maanti has shown that the appearance of human in the desert area of Central Asia dated back at least to 125.000 years ago. About 10 km north of the site on plateau in narrow gorge, is a large rock with paintings on it representing horses as well as number of ducks followed by an eagle. In the same area is a cave, in one of the tallest mountains around, at the edge of the sandy desert and the mountain. At summit of a neighboring mountain, one can see a stone kurgan.

If you visit this area, you will surely see the unique and magnificent parts of Gobi in Mongolia. In its northern part are ruins of three monasteries belonged to17th century.  

Takhiin Tal

This area is included in the territory of Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area and this is last cradle land of Wild Horse “Takhi” inhabited. Wild Ass “Khulan” is common in western part of the Gobi. Here is successful implementation of the second part of the project is on “To reintroduce wild horses back to its home land.

Toromkhonii Valley

It is located in the territory of Bayanlig village of Gobi Altai Province. It is a valley of the way to ascend Tsagaan mountain ranges which belongs to east side of Ikh Bogd Mountain that is the highest peak of Gobi Altai Mountain ranges. In the beginning and middle of the valley, there are wells which have fresh water.

Tsagaan Agui (White Cave)

Tsagaan Agui cave is in Tsakhir Mountain in Bayanlig village, Bayankhongor province. This crystal cave is 40 m long and is famous in the world by its beauty and trace of ancient people who lived 700,000-800,000 years ago. Bedrock and large blocks of dolomite debris occur at depths of as much as four meters below the present surface of the cave interior. A wide range of mammalian and avian species has been identified thus far, many with important pale ecological implications, including the Chiru or Tibetan Antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii) which is currently restricted in its distribution to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, numerous rodents, and 17 species of birds including Saker Falcon. Tsagaan agui cave and Bichigt rock paintings are protected by Mongolian government since 1998.

Tsagaan Suvarga (White Stupa)

Tsagaan Suvarga is white limestone rock in Ulziit village far south of Dundgobi province. It was an old seabed with sedimentary structure created by million years and the different colors of the ground represent different times. The formation is over 60 m in its highest point and continues 400 m. There is no clear date of geography research work and it is good spot to take rest and overnight driving to South Gobi desert from Middle Gobi desert. It is interesting to see the sheer slope, facing east; from a distance it seems to be the ruins of an ancient city. To see from other side, it looks like a White Stupa. There are 2 famous sites for exploring. First one is an interesting cave which is 70 m long Khevtee Bosoo agui (Lie and Stand Cave) and not so far from the site. Second option is exploring Del uul (Back Mountain) for seeing rock drawings of Bronze Age. This is considered as almost largest site of rock drawings in Central Asia.

Rain water flowing from Tsagaan Suvarga looks like a fantastic waterfall.

Tugrugiin Shiree

Tugrugiin shiree is another place to look for dinosaur fossils, the Moltsog els is an area of excellent sand dunes, and further north, travelers will find saltwater Lake Ulaan, the largest lake in the province.

Ponderous bones of reptilian monsters-the tarbosaurs, ankylosaurs, hadrosaurs, velociraptors, oviraptors and others-lie near the tiny and delicate ones of rodents, whose remains would seem insignificant except for the place in history. The late Cretaceous was the last stage of dinosaur dominance.

Flaming cliff is the most famous as the place where dinosaur eggs were first found in the Gobi. Eggs had been found in other places, but never been in such good condition, nor so abundant, nor clearly identified as coming from dinosaurs. Also discovered here were oviraptor, named because on skeleton seemed to be in act of robbing nest of protoceraptors eggs. Another species was velociraptor, the small swift carnivore made famous by movie “Jurassic Park”. After series expeditions made at known sites and Ukhaa Tolgod in 1990, it proved to be the richest of all fossil sites found so far, including many nests of eggs with exquisitely preserved embryos. These turned out to be eggs of oviraptors and an old mistake was rectified.

The finding known as the “Fighting Dinosaurs” has made this place famous throughout the world. The flesh-eating Velociraptor and a protoceratops dinosaur were found in the position while they were fighting each other at the moment they died.

Ulaan Hongil

It is a high bank locates in the foot of Nemegt Mountain in the Gobi beyond the Altai Mountain Ranges. Ulaan Khongil (Red Corridor) is very interesting place for its rich findings of Dinosaurs that lived in Cretaceous Period.

Yolin Am (Eagle Valley)

The valley is named after the Lammergeyer, which is called Yol in Mongolian. The Lammergeyer is an Old World vulture; hence the name is often translated to Valley of the Vultures or Valley of the Eagles.

It begins from Zuun Saikhan Mountain National park (the Eastern Beauty), a branch of the Gurvan Saikhan Mountain system and stretches over 10 km. It is the narrow canyon of a river which flows through Zuun Saikhan mountain, 62 km from northwest of Dalanzadgad town. The gorge has sheer rock walls with height of about 200 m in the center. It has been protected since 1965 and has an area of 70 Today it is Strictly Protected Area.

It is completely shaded from the sun in some parts by high cliff walls. You will ride Mongolian horses through the narrow green valley which is famous for the fact that there is ice present there even during the hot summer months. It will be great experience for you. The beauty of the valley, combined with the sound of vultures (Yol means lammergeyer in Mongolian) creates an atmosphere of awe and wonder – this is an experience not to be missed! Also, we will visit to local museum of Yoliin Am. The ice field reaches several meters thick by the end of winter, and is several kilometers long there is also two or three kilometers long spring freezing in August to July. Very wide in the entrance it narrows gradually into a remarkable gorge. Following the canyon to the very end, one emerges into beautiful wide valley. The surrounding mountains are home of argali, ibex, and many birds of prey as well as numerous small rodents particular to the Gobi. 

Zulzganai River

West Nemegt Mountain, the Gobi becomes a harsh, herder less desert. It locates 40 km far from the north of Khermentsav in Gurvantes village,Umnugobi province. The Zulganai River takes its source from the West Mountain of Altan flows to the west for 20 km and dissolves into the sand. The Zulganai River has beautiful dense forest with cane and willow. The cane grows about 3 m high even the camel is not shown.