Southern Mongolia & Gobi

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When people imagine of Mongolian Gobi, they imagine wide-open unfertile land or continuous massive sand dunes. When you travel Mongolian Gobi, your imagination will be broken completely.

Mongolian Gobi is a combination of massive sand dunes, wide-open stony, but has vegetation steppes, marvelous rugged mountains rich in flora and fauna, oasis, rivers and streams, Gobi tree groves, high cliffs that appear surprisingly, at most of them dinosaur excavation held successfully. Also there are some evidence of earliest man found such as the Stone Age tools, hole residence of people, rock drawings etc. Even though Mongolian Gobi is uninhabited enough, more uninhabited and remote areas, there are even no nomads, are habitat of some wild animasl, some of them endemic (wild ass, saiga antelope, wild camel and Gobi bear).

Even though Gobi has lack of pasture land and water, in some dry years the situation is more difficult, still the nomads those lived the area from the generation to generation are living with their animals in search of pasture and water. In the Gobi, you will feel a lot of space, in some days we will drive from attraction to attraction without seeing any nomad, but the natural scenery will always surprise you.

Khongor Sand Dunes

Khongor Sand Dunes are the largest sand dunes in Mongolia that continues 180 km, 5-35 in width, rising 50-300m above the surrounding area. This massive sand dunes accumulated by windblown. Sometimes it is called singing dune by locals. The sound arises from negative and positive charges of fine sand blown by wind. When you climb the dune, you will see beautiful views of surrounding area. In addition, do not forget to crash sand to the north direction against wind to hear another strange sound. It borders magnificent mountains in the south, green-shored river in the north, along with many nomads stay with their herds of camels, sheep, and goats. Except for the amazing natural beauty, there you can have opportunities to ride camel through sand dunes, visit camel herding family, even stay with them on your request. 

Gobi Gurvan Saihan Mountain

Gobi Gurban Saikhan Mountain or Three Beautiful Mountains in the middle of endless steppes of the Gobi desert rises 2200-2800 m above sea level, has been protecting since 1965. Those are three separate mountains named East Beauty, Middle Beauty and West Beauty that continues over 100 km. The mountains are home to many rare and endangered species including mountain sheep, ibex, snow leopard, deer, wolf, lamergrayer or golden eagle. Gurban Saikhan Mountain is one of the attrations leading us to there to be refreshed, fascinated by natural beauty at the same time enjoy and love wild nature after end of travelled country of emptiness and amazing endless landscapes edged with horizon. 

Eagle Valley/Yoliin Am

Eagle Valley is one of the beautiful valleys in the Gobi Gurban Saikhan Mountain. There is a sheer cliff that formed by erosion of wind, rain and stream current. In the depths of the valley, bottom of the sheer canyon does not accept sunlight makes the valley has ice even in the middle of summer. Tourists are always amazed when they see beautiful green valley in Gobi desert. If you are there on right time you will have chance to see wild animals such as ibex, mountain sheep and deer. In the morning at the same time of the sun shines upon upper part of canyon golden eagles began to fly from their nests. The valley was named after those birds. 

Golden Eagle

Pray of bird, one species of eagle. It has beard and golden chest, so it was named golden eagle, sometimes named bearded eagle by locals. Also called doctor bird because they feed on carrions, even eat bones. They carry bones to the rocky mountains close to their nest to throw and break bones into small pieces. They make their nest at least 2000 m above sea level in rocky mountains. 

Flaming Cliff

High steep red mud cliffs, which was bottom of an ancient sea where many important paleontological findings were discovered. Some of the findings are valuable, new and rare in the world. First complete dinosaur nest in the world found from where discovered that dinosaurs laid eggs. In1922 American Researcher Roy Andrew traveled Mongolia expected to find trace of ancestors of human. Who found cemetery of dinosaurs except found human settlement camp dated back to The Stone age. People of Gobi knew the bones laying everywhere but they thought those bones are of dragon’s. There many cliffs contain dinosaur bones in the Gobi those attracts thunder more than surrounding area made people think of dragons’. Flaming cliff is strange natural formation and nice place to go on hiking. 

Bayan Zag

Bayan Zag literally translated “an area rich in saksual tree” located 5 km from Flaming cliff. Saksual tree grows only in Central Asian Gobi. The tree has very long root so always green even in very dry summer. Such green forest covered pretty much area in the middle of wide open Gobi desert is beautiful and strange. In some dry summer many nomads stay around grove to use the green trees as emergency feed for animals. 

Ih Gazariin Chuluu

Ih Gazariin Chuluu is an area of granite stone mountains continues 30 km long, 15 km wide in the middle of wide, open steppe in Gurvansaihan soum, Dundgobi province. Highest peak rise up to 1706 m above sea level. The mountains rich in wild animals and birds including mountain sheep, ibex, gazelle, wolf, fox, eagle, vulture, falcon and bustard. The area has different kind of minerals like crystal, chalcedony, jade, fluorspar, ferum, copper, grindstone and slate. There you will see tombs of ancient people everywhere. Thousands of years wind and rain created amazing artworks in the nature. Almost all rock formations look sculpture like artistic creation. When you look around you will feel like to hike everywhere and see what is behind mountains. If you wish, you can see Gobi sunrise and set, up and down ground.

Baga Gazariin Chuluu

Zone of granite stone mountains, 1768 m above sea level, covering an area of 300 surrounded by flat plain in Delgertsogt soum, Dundgobi province. Many streams flow through mountain valleys; some of them have aspen groves between gorges. The mountains have been keeping rich historical remains of ancient tombs, burial mounds, rock drawings, rock inscription and monuments dated back to The Bronze Age, Huns state, Turkic state, Great Mongol Empire and 16-17th century and many other sightseeing. There, also you can see ruins of meditation temples of 17th century, crystal cave and eye treatment spa. The mountainous area is home to wild animals, particularly wild mountain sheep and ibex. Sum Huh Burd: A Gobi oasis has reed and temple on the shore. It locates on the way to Baga Gazariin Chuluu in Delgertsogt soum, Dungobi province. Not only birds, also five kinds of animals of nomads those live in the surrounding area gathered around small lake seems the animals and birds are in the paradise. There is a stone temple built incomplete on the island of lake. Unrepaired natural flat stones carried from 300 km away by cart and mud from lake used to built the temple. The temple was built by son of Tibetan lord in 16th century who arrested before its roof completed. Later it roofed over several times, but broken by thunder strike several times. 

Ongi Monastery

Ongi Monastery was one of the largest monasteries consist of two complexes of temples on the north and south banks of Ongi river. Monastery on the southern bank had 11 temples has history over 300 years while the temple complex on the north bank built over 220 years ago. The monastery housed 1000 monks at a time. Along the procedure of scenic area is selected as site monastery built on, the Ongi monastery is surrounded by five sacred mountains have elm trees in the valleys and Ongi, the biggest river in the Gobi flows through mountains. During 1930s socialist purge the monastery was completely destroyed, monks killed, arrested and sent to labor camp. Now there is a temple that is active all year around and ger museum display religious items used by monks of monastery and remains from old temples.

Southern Mongolia & Gobi

This article is only publisher's viewpoint.

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