The world is indeed becoming a smaller place, but as our travel capabilities improve, the amount of amazing, unique and beautiful places we have access to is also increasing. Take a look at our top seven list 'Wonders of Mongolia'. Some are beautiful, some carry legends and some possibly cover treasures as yet unearthed. Khorgo
1. Khorgo Volcano
The beautiful Mongolian province of Arkhangai borders the Khangai mountains to the north and boasts stunning mountain and valley scenery. Of its natural spectacles can be found Khorgo Volcano a now extinct volcano. From the summit looking down into the crater can be seen the spectacle of solidified lava bubbles which the locals describe as a ‘dirty anus’.
2. Melkhii Khad (Turtle Rock)
Turtle rock is a gigantic rock located in Terelj national park which unsurprisingly looks like a turtle. Legend states that King Galdanboshigt hid all his treasure here during the war with the Manchu troops in 1600. Since this time it has been thus worshipped by locals seeking wealth as ‘treasure rock’. Today it is a popular tourist hot spot not only for those wishing to see turtle rock but also for the beautiful surrounding area of Terelj National Park, famous for its spectacular valleys and rock formations.
3. Taikhar Chuluut –
Taikhar Chuluut is a curious looking monolith of a rock that sits bang in the middle of the Arkhangai plains. There are many legendary explanations for it including that Bukhbilegt, a giant warrior, threw this rock on a snake that was coming out of the earth, as well as that the rock symbolizes the love of two unfortunate lovers, Tamir and Taikhar. The story goes that a local lord wanted to marry the beautiful Taikhar and so schemed to prevent their love. The girl then ran away whilst her lover sat near a river waiting for her to come back; the wait was endless and Tamir ended up becoming a rock, standing along the river for eternity. Locals also believe that anyone who throws a stone on the top of the rock, will get rich.
4. Orkhon Falls (Ulaan Tsutgalan)
The Orkhon Falls is a vertical plunge of 20 metres over basalt cliffs. The river falls into a spectacular canyon formed after an earthquake and a volcanic eruption more than 20 000 years ago.
5. Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs) –
The Gobi is famous for its preservation of dinosaur fossils and fossilized eggs. The hot spot for these discoveries has been the area on and around Bayanzag, otherwise known as ‘the flaming cliffs’. The area is so named due to its red rock formations created from millions of years of erosion. Viewing the flaming cliffs during a bright sunrise or sunset is particularly beautiful.
6. Khongoryn Els
The most impressive sand dunes in the Gobi region of Mongolia is Khongoryn Els. These dunes are massive, with the tallest rising over three-hundred meters. Anyone brave enough to climb to the top of the dunes, if trekking on a windy day will be treated the phenomenon known as the ‘singing dunes’. When the wind blows off the top of the dunes it creates a humming sound similar to that of an airplane, hence the name ‘singing dune
7. Yolyn Am –
Located in Gurvan Saikhan national park in the Gobi-desert, Gurvan Saikhan literally translates to ‘three beauties’, so named after the three highest peaks of the park. The magnificence of this park comes from its huge variety; from rolling sand dunes to green valleys to snow peaked mountains and even a glacier! Getting to Yolyn Am glacier is one mean feat however as you must walk for a kilometer through a narrow gorge of two hundred-meter high cliffs. Be hopeful that the legendary Mongolian death worm does not make an appearance as you make your trek.