Places of Interest

Take a look at the places of interest

Ulaanbaatar is by far Mongolia's largest city and it is the capital city in every respect. It is located in the north-eastern part of central Mongolia, along the Tuul Gol river and surrounded by mountains. Although the city centre has a very Soviet-style look, the city is being modernised at a dazzling speed. Old buildings are being modernised and new trendy shops and hotels emerge in the Ulaanbaatar streets. This, in contrast with the suburbs, where - under primitive circumstances - the traditional gers of some 250.000 people still dominate the sights. It is particularly in those suburbs, where one can easily sense the laid-back atmosphere of Mongolian's daily lives and admire the colourful traditional costume that is still worn by many.

Ulaanbaatar has many museums, monasteries and other places of interest, most of them located near or around the city centre and its Sukhbaatar Square in particular. Sukhbaatar Square represents Ulaanbaatar's heart as it is located right in the middle of the city centre and is the home of the State Parliament House, the Palace of Culture, the National Museum of Mongolian History, the Mongolian Stock Exchange and the State Opera & Ballet Theatre. The square was named after Damdiny Sukhbaatar, "the revolution hero" who declared Mongolia's independence from China here in 1921. The square is often used for parades and ceremonies. All our tours include a stay in Ulaanbaatar.

Our Ulaanbaatar excursion package includes a visit to the Gandan Monastery, the Sukhbaatar Square, Bogd Khan's Winter Palace and the People's Historical Museum. Apart from visiting all the prominent city's highlights, you will also get acquainted with the real Ulaanbaatar and the traditional life of the ordinary Mongolian by a trip through the city's outskirts. There you will visit a genuine nomad family in their ger, a small ger factory, a local market and a school (only outside school holidays), where you will be told about Mongolia's educational system. As for accommodation, we can offer you: a room in a comfortable 3-star hotel (with shower/toilet and telephone) in the centre, overnight stays in a genuine purpose-built ger in a ger camp in Terelj National Park (located some 50kms outside the city, amidst the typical Mongolian scenery of unspoiled rough nature). For more information we would like to refer to our tours-page.


Kharkhorin was the ancient capital of the Mongolian Empire. The city was founded by Genghis Khan in the early 13th century, initially to serve the country as a military outpost, but soon to become the most important town of the Mongolians. Kharkhorin is famous for its ancient city walls, which still remain 100% intact today! Kharkhorin flourished as it became an important point on the northern Silk Route. The area around Kharkhorin was very rich in minerals; Kharkhorin was known for its production of arrowheads, cauldrons and ceramics.

Kharkhorin was besieged, raided, plundered and burnt down a few times, but it remained a stronghold of the Mongolian Empire until the late 14th century. Back then, the Mongolian ruler Kublai Khan moved the capital to the town of Dadu. It was also the period in which the Mongolian Empire was slowly falling apart in the west Russian areas. Kharkhorin lost its importance and more and more people left the town. 1388 was the year when the Chinese invaded Kharkhorin and burnt it down once and for all. The only leftovers from Kharkhorin visible today are the city walls and some ruins of the ancient town.

In the late 16th century, Lamaists built a monastery within the city walls of former Kharkhorin. The monastery was called "One-Hundred Treasures" ("Erdene Zuu"); it was the first Buddhist monastery in the Mongolian Empire. The 17 temples of Erdene Zuu can still be admired today. They stand within the Kharkhorin city walls, together with a museum. Apart from sheer beauty, it also boasts an impressive collection of Mongolian art and religious objects. For more information we would like to refer to our tours-page.


The history of Hustai National Park starts with the extinction of the Mongolian Wild Horse, also known as the Przewalski horse. The species were first discovered by a Russian general and explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky in the 19th century. The horses lived of the grass on the vast Mongolian steppes. The population declined dramatically in the 20th century for a number of reasons. First of all, the horse was wanted for its chloroplasts. In a chemical process, which is unique to the Przewalski horse, the animal produces certain chloroplasts in the back of their throat as a result of a chemical process after eating steppe grass. The very same chloroplasts were used as an anti-viral drug to conquer an outbreak of a disease in the early 20th century. Secondly, the horse was simply hunted for its meat. It was an easy target as it lived on the open steppes and was never used to be hunted (Przewalski horses had no natural enemies).

The last Przewalski horse was seen in 1967. A special expedition to track the animal in 1969 had no result. In order to bring the Mongolian Wild Horse back to its native land, the Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of the Przewalski Horse was founded in the Netherlands in 1977. They used Przewalski horses from zoos all over Europe to start a special breeding program. In 1992, the Dutch foundation reintroduced the first 16 horses to the Mongolian steppes. The horses bred successfully and more of them were released in the years to follow.

The area (Hustai) in which the horses were released was given the status "National Park" by the Mongolian authorities in 1998 in order to protect the animals. Hustai National Park was born and with it the first ecotourism in Mongolia. For more information we would like to refer to our tours-page.



Terelj National Park is one of the most popular destinations in Mongolia, for a reason! Terelj offers one of the most beautiful sights of Mongolia, the scenery is truly breathtaking! Terelj hosts many protected species such as the Mongolian moose, weasel and brown bears. The opportunity is there to go hiking, mountain climbing (Terelj's plains are on an average altitude of +1650m) and horse riding. Gardi Tours is glad to welcome you at our ger camp, which is situated in the most beautiful area of Terelj National Park. The park combines the experience of accommodation in a traditional Mongolian ger tent with the comfort of modern camp facilities, such as the palace ger and clean sanitary (toilets and showers). For more information we would like to refer to our tours-page.

When people think of deserts, they often imagine an endless area of sand, drought, heat and emptiness. This is exactly what the Gobi desert is not. The Gobi has high mountains, springs, forests, sands, glaciers (!), vast steppe lands and is full of life. Even more, the Gobi hosts several species which cannot be found elsewhere! The Gobi is the home of many nomad families, moving from one place to another with their flocks of camels and horses. Actually, nomads have been inhabiting the Gobi ever since ancient times. Recently, the Gobi houses a whole different kind of people: scientists and palaeontologists. Not very long ago, scientists from all over the world declared the Gobi Desert as one of the world's greatest dinosaur fossil grounds. Several nearly-complete 80 million year old skeletons of dinosaurs that were caught in ancient sand storms have been revealed in the Gobi. However, the Gobi is (like any other desert) not a place that can be discovered on one's own, unless with an expert guide and the necessary equipment and supplies. Gardi Tours makes it possible for you to go on a true one-week Gobi Expedition, allowing you to experience the Gobi's unique scenery, life and atmosphere from a 4-wheel drive terrain jeep. For more information we would like to refer to our tours-page.


With Khuvsgul Nuur you have to imagine yourself an alpine lake of 450 X 40 kms, with water so pure and clear you can drink it. Khuvsgul Lake is surrounded by rough mountain ranges with vast thick pine forests. Khuvsgul Nuur is Mongolia's second largest lake and one of the largest fresh water reservoirs in the world. It was formed by the same tectonic forces then the lake's big brother: the nearby Siberian Lake Baikal. Khuvsgul Nuur - since 1992 part of the 840.000-hectare large Khuvsgul Nuur National Park - is located in the very north of Mongolia, nearly bordering Russia. With the closest inhabited place of relevance at a 4-hour drive, the lake is a place of serene quietness. Khuvsgul Nuur can hardly be reached by cars, because there simply are no roads. However, because of the extremely rich fish life, the area attracts nomads. Furthermore, horses, yaks, sheep and goats wandering around the lake banks can always be spotted. Gardi tours offers a expedition-like tour to the Khuvsgul Nuur. Included in this trip is a MIAT-flight to the town of Mörön, from where the trip to the lake will be continued by 4-wheel drive jeeps. Overnight stays in a ger, located directly at the lake. The simple meals are included. If you want, your host will prepare your own-caught fish for you! For more information we would like to refer to our tours-page.