Best Hotels and Tours in Mongolia

Nestled between vast expanses of rolling steppes and rugged mountains, Mongolia stands as a land of mystique and wonder, inviting travelers to discover its untamed beauty and rich heritage. As the world’s least densely populated country, Mongolia offers a rare opportunity to connect with nature and delve into the traditions of its nomadic inhabitants. With a tapestry of diverse landscapes and a tapestry of cultural experiences awaiting, this article unveils the captivating tour opportunities that await those who yearn for an authentic and awe-inspiring journey through the heart of Mongolia.

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Why You Should Visit Mongolia

While there are plenty of reasons to travel to Mongolia, here are a few of the top reasons!

1. Cultural Immersion in Nomadic Traditions:

Traveling to Mongolia offers a unique chance to immerse yourself in the captivating world of nomadic culture. The Mongolian nomads, who have thrived on the vast steppes for centuries, provide a genuine and enriching cultural experience. You can stay in traditional ger camps, the portable felt tents that serve as nomadic homes, and witness the everyday life of herders. Participating in daily activities such as milking animals, herding livestock, and even trying your hand at traditional crafts allows you to connect deeply with a lifestyle deeply attuned to the rhythm of nature.

The genuine hospitality of the Mongolian people will make you feel like a welcomed guest, fostering cross-cultural exchanges that broaden your perspective. Engaging with locals during festivals like Naadam, where you can witness traditional games and performances, offers insights into the essence of Mongolian identity. By immersing yourself in these age-old customs and sharing in the simple joys of the nomadic lifestyle, you gain a profound appreciation for a way of life that’s intricately woven into the fabric of Mongolia’s history and present.

2. Adventure Amidst Untouched Wilderness:

Mongolia’s vast and untouched landscapes provide an adventurer’s paradise that beckons explorers seeking an unfiltered connection with nature. The country’s diverse terrain, ranging from the rolling steppes to the dramatic Gobi Desert and towering mountains, sets the stage for an array of outdoor activities. Embark on horseback treks across expansive plains, mirroring the journeys of nomads. Traverse the shifting sands of the Gobi on camelback, witnessing a landscape of immense solitude and beauty. Challenge yourself with exhilarating hikes in the Altai Mountains, where snow-capped peaks and alpine meadows reward your efforts.

The remote wildernesses of Mongolia also invite stargazing enthusiasts to witness breathtaking celestial displays unhindered by light pollution. Camping beneath the brilliant night sky, where constellations shine with exceptional clarity, offers a profound sense of connection to the universe. Mongolia’s untamed wildernesses provide a canvas for both physical adventure and spiritual rejuvenation, allowing you to push your boundaries while finding solace in nature’s grandeur.

3. Preservation of Ancient Traditions and Heritage:

By traveling to Mongolia, you play a crucial role in supporting the preservation of its ancient traditions and cultural heritage. The nomadic way of life, with its symbiotic relationship between people and nature, faces challenges in the modern world. Your participation in responsible and sustainable tourism practices directly contributes to the well-being of local communities and the maintenance of their customs.

Visiting historical sites like ancient monasteries and rock carvings helps keep Mongolia’s history alive, providing a tangible connection to its past. Additionally, engaging with traditional craftsmen and artisans supports their talents, ensuring that traditional skills are passed down through generations. Your presence demonstrates the value of preserving Mongolia’s unique identity, fostering a sense of pride and ownership among the locals. Through your travel experiences, you become an advocate for cultural heritage preservation, helping to ensure that Mongolia’s timeless traditions continue to thrive in the face of modern challenges.

Popular Tour Destinations in Mongolia

If you are planning tours in Mongolia, then here are some of the top destinations and attractions.

Ulaanbaatar: The Capital City and Cultural Hub

Ulaanbaatar, often simply called UB, is the capital city of Mongolia and the country’s cultural, economic, and political center. While not as famous as the natural wonders of Mongolia, the city itself offers a unique blend of modernity and tradition. Key attractions include:

  • Gandan Monastery: One of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Mongolia, the Gandan Monastery is a serene oasis in the midst of the bustling city. It houses a massive gilded statue of Migjid Janraisig, the Buddha of Compassion.
  • National Museum of Mongolia: This museum provides a comprehensive overview of Mongolian history, culture, and heritage. It’s a great place to learn about the country’s nomadic traditions, ancient artifacts, and historical events.
  • Sükhbaatar Square: The central square of Ulaanbaatar is named after Damdin Sükhbaatar, a national hero. The square is surrounded by important government buildings and landmarks, and it’s a common gathering place for events and celebrations.
  • Zaisan Memorial: For a panoramic view of the city, visit the Zaisan Memorial on a hill overlooking Ulaanbaatar. This monument was built as a tribute to Soviet soldiers who fought in World War II and offers stunning vistas.

Khövsgöl Nuur National Park: Pristine Wilderness and Lake Khövsgöl

Khövsgöl Nuur National Park is located in northern Mongolia and is known for its stunning alpine landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and the famous Lake Khövsgöl, often referred to as the “Blue Pearl of Mongolia.” Highlights include:

  • Lake Khövsgöl: This freshwater lake is one of the largest and oldest in the world. Its crystal-clear blue waters are surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills. Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, and hiking along the lakeshore.
  • Reindeer Herding: The Tsaatan people, a small nomadic tribe, practice traditional reindeer herding in the taiga forests of the national park. This is a unique cultural experience where you can learn about their ancient way of life and interact with these magnificent animals.
  • Hiking and Wildlife Watching: The national park offers numerous hiking trails that lead through picturesque valleys, over mountain passes, and to breathtaking viewpoints. The area is home to diverse wildlife including ibex, argali sheep, and various bird species.

Gobi Desert: Land of Contrasts and Unique Landscapes

The Gobi Desert is an iconic destination in southern Mongolia, known for its stark beauty, diverse ecosystems, and historical significance. Highlights include:

  • Flaming Cliffs (Bayanzag): This is where the first dinosaur eggs were discovered by American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews in the early 20th century. The cliffs derive their name from the stunning red and orange hues they display during sunset.
  • Khongoryn Els Sand Dunes: Reaching heights of up to 300 meters, these massive sand dunes are often referred to as the “Singing Dunes” due to the sound the sand makes in certain weather conditions. Visitors can hike to the top for panoramic views of the desert.
  • Yolyn Am (Eagle Valley): A dramatic and narrow gorge nestled within the Gurvan Saikhan Mountains, Yolyn Am is famous for its ice field, which persists even during the hot summer months. It’s a great spot for hiking and birdwatching.
  • Moltsog Els: This area showcases a unique phenomenon known as “singing sands.” When the sand is moved by wind, it produces a haunting sound that locals attribute to the spirits of the desert.

These are just a few of the many incredible destinations Mongolia has to offer. Each place provides a distinct glimpse into the country’s history, culture, and natural beauty.

Most Recommended Hotels

If you are looking for the best hotels in Ulaanbaatar, then here are some of my suggestions. I have encountered plenty of tourists who visited Mongolia say good things about these:

Kempinski Hotel Khan Palace

The Blue Sky Hotel & Tower

Ramada Ulaanbaatar Citycenter

Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel

Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar Hotel

  • A well-established hotel offering various room types, conference facilities, and a central location.
  • Address: Sambuu Street 5, Ulaanbaatar

Holiday Inn Ulaanbaatar

The Corporate Hotel and Convention Centre

Kaiser Hotel

Springs Hotel Ulaanbaatar

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