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Mongolia travel guide

Much of Mongolia’s appeal lies in experiencing nomadic culture and a completely different way of life. It is a perfect destination for the adventurous spirit. Here are the main areas which you might want to visit on a holiday to Mongolia.

Ulan Bator
Founded in 1639 as a nomadic Buddhist monastic centre, Ulan Bator changed location 28 times before it settled as a permanent city in 1778. With transport routes to Russia and China, the city has long been an important trading point with these two powers. The capital is worth visiting for its terrific display of dinosaur remains in the Natural History Museum, including a complete dinosaur skeleton.

The Gobi desert
The Gobi desert covers much of southern Mongolia, an area of sand dunes, grassy steppe, rocky outcrops and canyons.

Wildlife such as snow leopards, Siberian ibex, argali (wild sheep) and lammergeiers (or bearded vultures) have made this barren landscape their home. You can see some strange natural sights here such as the Gobi glacier, a river of ice that lasts well into the intense heat of the summer, and the Flaming Cliffs, red-orange sandstone that glows brightly at sunrise and sunset and contains numerous fossilised dinosaur bones and eggs.

Established by Genghis Khan in 1220 as the capital of the Mongolian empire,Karakorum was once one of the most important cities on the ancient Silk Road. Today it lies in ruins.ThebeautifulErdene Zu monastery is nearby, one of the earliest surviving Buddhist monasteries and one of few to endure Stalin’s purge, which saw hundreds of monasteries destroyed across Mongolia and thousands of monks killed.

Khogno Khan Natural Reserve
Situated in the Bulgan province and protected since 1997, this is a remote landscape of mountains, steppe, forests and a sand dune called Elsen Tasarhai which extends about 80km. There are a few old temples and monasteries scattered around the reserve. Wildlife includes wolves, snow leopards, foxes and deer.

Khustain Nuruu National Park
Established in 1993, this 50,600-hectare reserve situated 100km south-west of Ulan Bator is the native habitat of the takhi, Mongolia’s wild horses. This landscape of undulating steppe is also home to lynx, deer, boar, ibex, grey wolves and wild sheep as well birds such as golden eagles and lammergeiers.

Travel books on Mongolia
Please browse our selection of travel-related books, guides and maps on Mongolia.

Our team of Far East experts have hand-picked their favourites, and you can find these in the Suggested by Cox & Kings category. The bookstore is powered by Amazon, so you can also find its own recommendations under the other categories and make your purchases direct from this page.

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