Vacations to Bayan Gobi, Mongolia

Mongolia is a dream destination for adventurers. Silk Road tourists can enjoy impressive granite mountain ranges, discover lost temples, monasteries and shrines, ride horses across the endless Mongol Steppe, and – of course – conquer the mighty Gobi Desert.

Anyone wanting to follow in the footsteps of Genghis Khan simply has to visit Bayan Gobi. Fifty miles south of the Khogno Khan National Park, this beautiful stretch of the Gobi Desert is where you’ll find the Erdene Zuu monastery. It’s built on the site of the Great Kuriltae, the ‘gathering of all the clans’, when Mongolia was at its most wild and when Genghis Khan was declared the first Great Khan of Mongolia.

The Erdene Zuu monastery was the first ever to be built in the country. It signalled the beginnings of Buddhist Mongolia. As well as being the oldest, it is also arguably the most important. It faced decades of persecution and neglect, most notably during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, but it’s still standing and has earned its status as one of the true must-visit attractions of Mongolia.

The area around the Erdene Zuu monastery is well worth exploring. Bayan Gobi translates to ‘the rich Gobi’. A picturesque mosaic of mountain, forest and desert habitat, the Bayan Gobi is perhaps one of the most hospitable parts of the Gobi Desert. Areas of short grass allow for wildlife to survive in the area, perfect for nature spotters.

To get around you can ride two-humped camels over the dunes. If you’re planning on staying for a couple of days then seize the opportunity to experience Mongolia’s famous nomadic culture by staying in an iconic ‘ger’ tent camp.

Highlights

  • Visit the great Erdene Zuu monastery made famous by Genghis Khan

  • Explore the dunes of Bayan Gobi

  • Experience the nomadic culture with camel rides and ger camps

Alice
Senior Travel Designer
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Bayan Gobi trip ideas

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